Golf Club Atlas

GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: Tim Liddy on May 02, 2022, 11:06:29 AM

Title: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Tim Liddy on May 02, 2022, 11:06:29 AM
Working on a new golf course within a new housing development. It will be a private club in a northern area of the US
Question: Has technology advanced enough to replace the typical driving range? Will 20 stalls (with trackman information) be preferred near the first tee instead of a typical range? TV is now emphasizing ball speed, etc. and wonder if younger generation wants this information over hitting balls on range?
Advantages: year round use, can double for teaching and club fitting, saves land for housing development.
Disadvantages: Cannot see shots in the air, importance of hitting off turf, will still need short game practice area, does not work well for big events
Appreciate comments.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Tommy Williamsen on May 02, 2022, 11:19:36 AM
I would hate that kind of practice facility. Hidden Creek has a practice area that is long enough to hit from both sides with a short game practice area on the far side of the facility. I want to see the ball land, how high it goes, and know how much it curves.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Jason Topp on May 02, 2022, 11:21:05 AM
I would view the lack of grass hitting areas and lack of exposure to the wind and weather conditions as significant negatives with such a set up. 


Mats are probably the biggest downside - they affect spin and can make fat shots seem like they are well hit.  We have mats we use when the teeing area is wet and the game seems so much easier from there.


On courses with real restricted range areas, I would probably prefer they go with this approach and build an excellent short game area in the extra space rather than do a half-hearted version of a range and practice green.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Paul Jones on May 02, 2022, 11:40:40 AM
Trackman numbers are usually off (longer) when hitting off of mats as the club will bounce into the ball.  They are correct with a driver since it is on a tee.  I am only interested in that information during a fitting and it is on grass unless hitting a driver onto the range from a mat.  I would much rather see a great short game area.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: V. Kmetz on May 02, 2022, 12:27:54 PM
I have to chorus the initial feedback... a standard 15-25 station wide outdoor range is an essential feature asset for a golf course/operation. And as you mention in your own glance, how do you manage a small indoor facility such as the type you describe, with a large event or robust regular play?...
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Buck Wolter on May 02, 2022, 12:29:23 PM
I could see a hybrid -- a much shorter range (225 yards?) with grass tees for irons and a 'trackman' Driver area where you hit into some sort of net off mats. Why dedicate all that extra yardage to a few bombers.






Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: John Kavanaugh on May 02, 2022, 01:08:33 PM
They're going to be driving their electric carts listening to music from their electric devices. If the homes are on less than one acre lots give them an electric range. The greenspace can go for better use.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Dan_Callahan on May 02, 2022, 02:39:02 PM
Pine Needles has an outdoor covered range where each stall has it's own Trackman display. So you get the data AND you get to see your ball in the air. Admittedly there is a difference between hitting off grass and mats, but this seems to me to be a great compromise. And at many northern courses, the grass range can get torn up pretty quickly. I suppose you could add a grass teeing area as well. But I really liked the setup at Pine Needles.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Mark_Fine on May 02, 2022, 03:45:06 PM
Tim,
As much as I donít like hitting off mats it is the way of the future.  A course I play a lot in Hilton Head, The Jones Course at Palmetto Dunes, just added something similar to what you are talking about.  It is packed all the time.  I still go to the courses that have real grass practice areas if I want to work on my game but they are few and father between to find. 
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Thomas Dai on May 02, 2022, 04:03:19 PM
I can recall when a well worn net in the far corner of the carpark with water filled divots to hit from was considered luxury!
But then again ďLuxury! We used to dream ÖÖ.Ē! :):)

Atb
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: John Kavanaugh on May 02, 2022, 04:15:59 PM
Tim,
As much as I donít like hitting off mats it is the way of the future.  A course I play a lot in Hilton Head, The Jones Course at Palmetto Dunes, just added something similar to what you are talking about.  It is packed all the time.  I still go to the courses that have real grass practice areas if I want to work on my game but they are few and father between to find.


Just played the Jones. While I didnít bother to walk over to the range I found the presentation humiliating. Iím no ones monkey in a box flailing away at balls for the lunch crowd.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: archie_struthers on May 02, 2022, 04:29:37 PM
 8)
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: archie_struthers on May 02, 2022, 04:30:33 PM
 8)


Think that it's a real option when you are pressed for space and or water restricted.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Mark_Fine on May 02, 2022, 04:45:32 PM
John,
I tend to agree but seems golfers love it.  My son goes there and loves all the information.  At least you arenít hitting into a net. 
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Mike Nuzzo on May 02, 2022, 05:44:21 PM
your client may not be sure, and eventually, everyone will copy you - when considering the RE value of the land the range takes up
speaking as someone that doesn't practice... especially on a range... and someone that can turn extra land into better golf....
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: John Kavanaugh on May 02, 2022, 06:59:08 PM
Iím sick of golfers who overestimate their swing speeds. Clubs are going to have to recalibrate their track mans just like they have their stimp meters. More preferred lies for the rubes. You get a text saying your tee time is approaching because your swing speed just reached 110mph so please proceed and enjoy our greens stumping at 12. We slow them down for everyday play donít you know.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Amol Yajnik on May 02, 2022, 07:27:17 PM
Even in the South, more clubs are going away from grass tees on the practice ranges and moving to artificial turf.  My father's club in South Carolina just made that transition recently and no one seems to mind it very much.  The grass practice area remains in front of the artificial turf area, but the turf area is more often than not.  It makes a bunch of sense to do it at a Northern US golf course as well. 


If money was not a big concern, you could have the range operate like that and have a teaching/learning center with a full Trackman setup as well.  The optimal setup is a hitting bay that is covered, but you can hit out onto the range in warm weather, but also close the bay door in the winter and hit into a screen so members can take lessons all year.  You could also have multiple bays that can be transformed in the winter into areas where players can play simulator golf.


As others have mentioned, there is Trackman Range and Toptracer Range (the latter is at Palmetto Dunes, not sure which system is at Pine Needles) where a player can get data on every ball they hit by using an app on a phone or tablet.  They are really cool systems and a great addition to driving ranges.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Jason Thurman on May 02, 2022, 08:29:28 PM
I wouldn't join a club where I couldn't hit off grass for a significant portion of the year, and I have to remind some kid not to hit off the grass often when we're mats only. But mostly the range gets used by guys warming up, and they'd probably be perfectly happy with flight tracking. None of them are ever ignoring the "Mats Only Today" sign.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Paul Jones on May 02, 2022, 09:17:32 PM
I went to visit a friend at Frederica.  After we played and ate lunch he asked if we wanted to go play again.  I asked if we could go to the short game area instead.  He laughed and said that was his favorite spot - it was impressive with large chipping green and smaller greens to hit shots from 30-130 yards. 


I would trade hitting off of mats for a nice short game area.  You cannot work on your short game when on mats.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: jeffwarne on May 02, 2022, 10:29:08 PM
Uggg.
I'd go the other way.
Design a 17 hole course with a creative practice area in the space of that last 560 yard par 5.


By the way, I don't mind hitting off a mat-especially a good one.(Not a single square but an area of artificial turf you can also put tees into.
It's better than hitting off poor, thin or muddy turf.
But many clubs have simply gotten lazy and use the mats most of the time-often because the range is(now) too short and the mats are at the back allowing the most distance room.


But we could do so much better with our practice areas.
Uneven lies,Grass areas for teed drivers with trees, poles or mowing patterns to simulate fairways,
More flags spaced for pitching various distances(to a mere fairway with a flag).


I've always enjoyed a "practice fairway" like some courses in the UK have(Panmure comes to mind)
rather than a perfectly flat constructed tee, a large fairway(or even some rough)area where turf can be rotated constantly and many different shots or lies can be created.
Would equire some management and some common sense but with some imagination and committment  it could be done.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Dave Doxey on May 03, 2022, 09:06:52 AM
No mats!  Impossible to work on your iron shots off of a met.  The opposite is true.  Hitting off of mats lets one get away with poor swings and still make ball contact.  I'd rather hit off of grass into a net than hit from mats on a full length  range. For all but scratch golfers, Trackman is a gimmick.  The average golfer can't swing the same way twice in a row.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Tim Gavrich on May 03, 2022, 09:20:06 AM
I may be generalizing, but a new private housing development golf course generally isn't likely to be one that's full of hardcore range-rat types, right?


In a lot of cases, it seems like courses' TrackMan/ForeSight/FlightScope capabilities are used as a revenue stream, with the pro(s) using it to enhance and create demand for lessons. Is this club pondering just giving that technology for free to the members so that they can get and (mis)interpret the data however they wish? Interesting amenity strategy but sounds expensive.


Overall, I'm in agreement with those who advocate for highest-possible-quality short game practice facilities. They are so rare and so helpful.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Mike Hendren on May 03, 2022, 10:46:37 AM
Years ago Rossí Cherokee CC in Knoxville utilized the first hole as a range, perhaps beginning at a certain time in the afternoon.  One simply started on #2 and played 17 holes. 


Seems like the first hole at Rossí Memphis CC once doubled as part of the range using colored golf balls.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Luke Sutton on May 04, 2022, 09:26:16 AM
This all depends on if they plan to use premium golf balls. The ball flight, distance, curve people expect to see and practice on the range is useless if you are using pinnacle range balls. This is a golfer mindset they need to get over. I love the idea but it might not go over well with everyone.


As far as the matsÖ there are new divot action mats that are very very close to grass. I have a one on my simulator. Look up the Holy Grail hitting mat from Gung-ho golf.


I have been a range rat my whole life and over the past 2 years hit 99% of my balls indoors on a GCQuad
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Bruce Katona on May 04, 2022, 11:12:59 AM
So, this group espouses to "Grow the Game'; while taking a very old fashioned view of " I only want to hit off grass on the range" & "Trackman is a gimmick" and "How can you work on your game with Pinnacle range balls"


Well............the demographic to market at least a portion of a new golf club to "loves electronics", to quote one JK. Having a hitting stall that has electronics that this group loves, is covered and can be used in the northern climes poor weather months is a great advantage, IMHO.


Is a mat more forgiving than grass on the range.......yep. Can most, if not all of us feel a mist on a mat......yep.  Anyone miss a mouthful of dirt and mud all over your clean golf clothes when the grass range is a bit damp and you mishit one.......likely not.


Are Calloway or Titleist Pro V range balls preferred to Pinnacle.....likely........however what the younger demographic is looking for is new clean range balls, that may even load themselves on the mat, so they don't have to bend down.....gadgets, you know.


Just MHO....
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Ronald Montesano on May 04, 2022, 12:28:30 PM
Since we all agree, you have your answer.


;D
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Michael Wharton-Palmer on May 04, 2022, 03:42:24 PM
One thing you could do is the Full Monty.
Have some covered bays with Trackman units and then on the grass outside have Trackman range .
This is the best of both worlds.
its only $$$$


It so much depends upon your clientele. The younger generation are rapidly becoming shot information dependent in the game improvement, and whilst I dont consider it essential it certainly helps folk who enjoy working on their game.


If the range is more of a warm up area before play, with a more mature generation as its primary revenue source, save the money for a single unit and have booking times for its usage.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Michael Wharton-Palmer on May 04, 2022, 03:44:35 PM
Uggg.
I'd go the other way.
Design a 17 hole course with a creative practice area in the space of that last 560 yard par 5.


By the way, I don't mind hitting off a mat-especially a good one.(Not a single square but an area of artificial turf you can also put tees into.
It's better than hitting off poor, thin or muddy turf.
But many clubs have simply gotten lazy and use the mats most of the time-often because the range is(now) too short and the mats are at the back allowing the most distance room.


But we could do so much better with our practice areas.
Uneven lies,Grass areas for teed drivers with trees, poles or mowing patterns to simulate fairways,
More flags spaced for pitching various distances(to a mere fairway with a flag).


I've always enjoyed a "practice fairway" like some courses in the UK have(Panmure comes to mind)
rather than a perfectly flat constructed tee, a large fairway(or even some rough)area where turf can be rotated constantly and many different shots or lies can be created.
Would equire some management and some common sense but with some imagination and committment  it could be done.




there is nothing in here I would not agree with..
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: John Nixon on May 04, 2022, 04:42:08 PM
If it's where I think it is, isn't there a public, traditional grass range within a mile or two of the new development? Which also features an ok short game area?


Seems to me most folks buying homes in an upscale development that has its own private course would skew younger and more tech-oriented than the dig it out of the dirt crowd. I've been wrong before.




Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: John Kavanaugh on May 04, 2022, 04:48:09 PM
It would seem that by not having a traditional range you cut into your pros income. All my favorite pros have been those ones out on the range teaching the game. No one ever seems to get better but it creates a sense of camaraderie when you see a dude out trying.
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: Kalen Braley on May 04, 2022, 05:33:37 PM
Jeff, as much as the 17 hole golf course concept might play with this group....

Having a hard time believing this would be acceptable if you was actually going to try to do it and recruit people to join...
Title: Re: Practice Range Question for the Treehouse
Post by: jeffwarne on May 04, 2022, 07:01:18 PM
Jeff, as much as the 17 hole golf course concept might play with this group....

Having a hard time believing this would be acceptable if you was actually going to try to do it and recruit people to join...


lower scores and sub 4 hour rounds.
What's not to like? ;) ;D


and don't have to listen to that god awful noise the shot tracers make at some ranges....