What is a Driving Range

A driving range is an area where golfers go to practice. The great benefit of a range is that you can enjoy a degree of privacy (your own ‘bay’), and you don’t have to go and pick up all the balls you’ve hit afterwards!

Most ranges have individual bays, with a mat and a rubber tee if you want to use that. Many are undercover and heated, so can be used in bad weather. There are all types and sizes of range – multi-tier bays, floodlights. The most technologically-advanced ranges now have automated ball-retrieval systems (so that you don’t have to try to watch your ball amongst the many thousand already out there) and self-loading tees, so that whilst you are watching one shot, another ball is set up ready for your next one. Some have a practice bunker and a special short-game area, including a putting green.

Ranges do not normally require a membership of any sort. You pay your ‘fee’ by buying a basket of balls to hit.
One sad fact of life is that many golfers – at whatever level – have absolutely no idea how to practice effectively. A session at the range often consists of buying a bucket of balls, then trying to reach the back fence with the biggest club in their bag – or at least to smash the ball out of sight to impress the person in the next bay. This is a pity, because a structured programme of goals to achieve with each visit to a range can be one of the best opportunities for serious practice offered to a golfer.
Make a point of when to go out and practice a particular element of the programme before moving on to the next activity.
Visiting a range for the first time
There is nothing worse than being called back publicly because you have tried to get in with a full golf bag – or had everyone in the place picking up your golf balls because no-one told you to put a basket under the outlet before you put your token in the machine!

Most people know of the location of a driving range in their area – often these are in very accessible locations near main road junctions. What is much less known is that a lot of golf clubs have a range which is open to the public. Sometimes these lack the sophistication of the stand-alone driving range, but often make up for this by being closer to hand, quieter and probably less expensive. Give your club a call and find out.