The Hitting Net

My backyard hitting net

Oh my my…. here is a winner.  The ultimate low cost, anytime, anywhere golf amenity – the hitting net.  It may seem a little blasé to hit a golf ball almost nowhere but let me tell you why it is one of the most rewarding activities you can do to help your golf game and your stress level. 

  1. It gets the energy out.  Swing hard and get out the frustration you been carrying around all day and slowly dial it down until you carry a care-free rhythm into the kitchen to enjoy a meal with your family, homeboys or whoever.
  2. Work on rhythm, timing, and balance.  Have you ever looked at the swings of the tour pros?  They make it look easy right?  They have a nice flow to their swing, they create effortless power, and they finished in a perfectly balanced position.  You have ample opportunity to work on these fundamentals without the critical eye of “Golfer Joe” a few stalls over at the range.  Get a flow going. Think about effortless power.  Watch some youtube videos of Ernie Els or Louis Oosthuizen and then step out to the net to emulate!
  3. Contact!  The most significant benefit I have found by working at a hitting net that I have yet to find while at the driving range or on the golf course is finding the sweet spot.  That feeling at impact where the club face brings the ball in for a gentle hug and then lovingly delivers it to the world with force and accuracy.  My theory is that when we are at a driving range we are so preoccupied with the external factors like the targets or how far we can launch it, that we fail to discover the nuances in the golf swing, the little things that help deliver the club to the ball in the most appropriate way possible.  In my backyard I felt it.  I recognized my head was dropping through impact.  I also recognized I was coming down too steep.  These discoveries I had not made in my previous dozen or so visits to the range this year whereas I figured it out in 15-20 swings in my backyard after setting up the net for the first time this year.  I’m stoked about the discovery.  I also noticed, by hitting a few pitch shots into the net, that my weight transfer was off and that I was “coming out of the shot”.  Its so interesting – you make all these little discoveries about your swing.  I would recommend validating these discoveries at the driving range to make sure the ball is taking off in the intended direction.  There is such a thing as hitting a really solid shot dead left!  So use the net as a tool and validate at the range.
  4. A nice place to record your swing.  Set your camera phone up behind you and record your swing.  Sit down in your adirondack chair with a coca cola and look at your swing.  Youtube a pro’s swing who you really like.  Youtube instructional videos on “golf basics” or “the swing plane”.  This will get you going.  You’ll start to look like Tiger circa 2000 in no time flat!
  5. Something to do.  Do you have kids?  Do you have friends over?  The hitting net can just be plain fun sometimes.  Although she wouldn’t want me to show it, one of my happiest moments would have to be watching my wife hit balls into the net barefoot in a swimsuit.  My three great loves all in one place – my wife, golf and my backyard.  My kids are also my in the top three there somewhere….

There are tons of hitting nets on the market.  The best advice I can give is to think about your budget and then look around online and read the reviews.  There are all sorts out there to look at.  If you want to buy one from Golftown or another store you might still want to read reviews online first.  I bought one called Rukket a few years ago.  Its holding up pretty well.  No holes in the net just yet but I need to put a dust mask on when I set it up because the fabric around the perimeter of the net is disintegrating and thousands of little fibers float around.  I inhaled them once and that was no fun.  Also, my hands seem to go black when handling the poles.  I’m not too bothered; I think the price was right. 

A Hitting Net – Why Wouldn’t Ya!?

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