A few weeks ago I wrote a blog entry about the smell of golf matts and why some are charred. I got many interesting and helpful comments. Here is one:
I believe you’ve answered your own question. If the plastic is not burned, it releases its odorants, much like new vinyl flooring can release a smell in an enclosed room. The heat from friction from the golf ball passing through the turf does not cause the turf to melt (otherwise it would be melted all the time) but does cause it to release some of its odors. Plastic does not have to melt to release odors (think about cracking open a new toy for your kids). The odour is not necessarily coming from “burning” plastic, rather from volatile organic compounds being released.
I was testing my golf putting mat and my 10 year old son was walking by and asked me why the mat didn’t smell like chemicals or burning when I hit it.
I asked him what he meant and he said he had smelled this before in a lab at school. He explained that when you heat up plastic you get a lot of vapors and it smells bad.
He looked at me to see if I was going to tell him otherwise. I couldn’t. There is an odor from heating up plastic. A few years ago when we moved into our new house, one of the first things I did was put down a carpet in our basement rec room. It’s not a big space but the fumes were unbelievable when we installed the carpet.
So there you have it, we had discovered why some golf mats smell like chemicals or burning when you hit them. They are made out of rubber and are heated with PVC to make them adhere them together to make them more durable.
The biggest difference between these golf mats and ones that don’t smell is the thickness of the material used on the top layer of the golf matting. The thicker it is, the more fumes are released during manufacturing process and the more fumes during use over time (due to friction from
I go to the driving range at least once a week and always play on golf matts with my irons. I’ve noticed that some mats have a funky burnt smell to them (like when you get out of the car and your shoes smell like hot pavement). I was wondering why some golf mats had this smell and some did not?
I work for an OEM automotive supplier and we mold plastic parts in giant machines. The plastic is melted down and then injected into the cavity of the steel molds. One thing we always have to do is keep the machines clean so there is no contamination from dirt, dust, or the remnants of older parts stuck in the machine. If this occurs, the new part can be discolored, weak, or brittle. The molten plastic will burn any dirt or debris off to ensure that the part quality is high.
One thought I had as to why some golf mats are charred and others are not is because they are made from recycled plastic instead of virgin plastic. With recycled plastic it may be more difficult to remove all of the contaminants before it is melted down. Once these contaminants are removed through heat they naturally smell like a dirty ash tray because they were burned up in a furnace. This smell goes away after a short time (usually
“Over time, the rubber in your golf mat will begin to harden, causing poor ball control and the possibility of tearing. A golf mat should be replaced after two or three years of heavy use.”
In addition to that, it has been said that a golf mat can smell like chemicals or burning. It is difficult to understand why this happens.
So what’s going on here? Why do these mats smell like chemicals or burning? And why doesn’t it happen all the time?
The answer is simple: The mats are made of plastic, which is a polymer. When plastic melts, it releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. The VOCs released from plastic can cause “off-gassing” or “off-toxing,” as you might call it. In other words, when you heat up a sheet of plastic and let it sit for awhile, the smell will go away after a few hours or days. The same thing happens when you heat up a piece of metal and let it sit until it cools down. But if you put something hot (like a hot plate) on top of that piece of metal, the smell will not disappear until you take it off and let it cool down completely.
If you use a golf mat, it is probably the kind that has a solid surface and a thin layer of fibers. You put the ball on top of the fibers, and strike it with the club.
Why does this work? The fibers are made from plastic. This is different from your golf club since that is made of metal or wood. Not only does it allow for a similar feel, but it also prevents your club from hitting the ground after each shot.
The secret is in how these mats are constructed. They have a plastic sheeting underneath them that can melt at high temperatures. The fibers are made of polypropylene and they sit on this plastic sheeting it melts around the fibers and they become attached to the plastic sheeting.
Since many mats use this technique to make them, this smells like chemicals when melting because the fiber is still attached to the plastic sheeting. This smell comes from burning plastic and will be more noticeable when you first start using your mat. It will also go away after your mat has been used for a while and it no longer smells like chemicals or burning.
Most people will not notice this smell if they do not use their mat regularly because golf mats do not seem to smell like chemicals or burning very
One of the most frequent questions we get asked is, “what does this golf mat smell like when it’s on fire?” The short answer is that it doesn’t smell like much. For the long answer, read on.
We have had the great pleasure of running into a few avid golfers who have tried to melt our golf mats with heat guns, hair dryers, and even welding torches in an effort to figure out what they are made of.
The Process of Melting Plastic
Here’s how a typical melting experiment goes:
A customer takes a golf mat home and puts it under the hot water faucet. Nothing happens; it doesn’t melt or shrink or do anything else that plastic would do when exposed to hot water. He turns up the heat on his stove and takes his putter off the kitchen counter and starts whacking away at the mat. Ten minutes later he thinks he sees some smoke coming from underneath where his ball was sitting. He grabs his magnifying glass and comes over close for an inspection – yes! There are some tiny black spots forming on the bottom side of the mat! He brings out his lighter and holds it to one of the spots – nothing happens! He decides to try again with a candle instead – nothing still,
I have been playing golf for over 10 years and I do not know whether a golf putting mat will be their best option. If you are looking for a way to improve your golf game and want to get into it, then you probably are looking for an easy way to get away from your home, the driving range.
The main problem is that there is no one perfect way for a golf putting mat to help you improve your game. There are many methods you can use, but none of them are going to work 100% of the time. I have been playing golf since I was 5 years old, so I know what it is like to play on different surfaces, and I also know what it’s like when you have trouble with the ball rolling off the green.
The first thing you should understand about a golf putting mat is that they are meant to be used in the same way that any other kind of surface would be used. That means that they will help you with your swing technique, but they will also help you keep your golf ball on the green as well.