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jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« on: September 18, 2018, 04:30:05 PM »
What features do you enjoy at a driving range that would make you frequent and return to a stand alone driving range?
Things you like
Things you don't like.
Amenities (Food and beverage, bar area, putt putt)
Short game area


What is your dream stand alone facility?
Top Golf or a mowed open field where you shag your own balls?
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Peter Pallotta

Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2018, 04:50:01 PM »
Honestly?
Those little triangles of golf balls all stacked up, neatly in a row before I got there and just waiting for me - and they're all Titleists ProV1s. And benches to sit on, and at the end of/entrance to the range a table with an umbrella, with bottles of ice-cold Gatorade to take with you as you head to your little triangle of ProV1s.

I had that at a course once -- and I do mean, "once".  It was very nice. I 'liked' it.

Other than that, just flags at 'greens' placed left, right and middle at 100, 150, 200, and 250 yards; and of course, off to the left a modest bunker & short game area and off to the right a large practice green.
 
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 05:04:05 PM by Peter Pallotta »

BHoover

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2018, 04:51:54 PM »
My ideal practice range can be found at Windsong Farm in Minnesota. Just copy that.

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 05:12:44 PM »
My ideal practice range can be found at Windsong Farm in Minnesota. Just copy that.


No luck with range pictures on website or Google search. What makes it special and why would you pay to practice there?
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2018, 05:58:21 PM »
Decent quality balls and mats that are changed out for new ones regularly and a big, well stocked golf shop attached.
Bays arranged in such a manner that stray shots from Mr/Mrs/Miss Shanker in an adjoining bay don’t ricochet around and hit others.
Proper discipline. Those who behave badly get thrown out.
Not fussed about a putting or short game area. I’d like to practice these with my own golf balls not range balls.


But an alternative view - with the development and seeming ongoing enhancement of indoor simulators etc are the days of driving ranges over? You could almost containerise a simulator. Maybe someone has already. Drive one or more up on a flatbed truck. Unload it/them. Plug in a power connection and off the punters go hitting balls in a nice heated/air-con environment.


Atb

Buck Wolter

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2018, 06:07:04 PM »
I've considered a business where you would rent the use of a Trackman (not lessons just the numbers) -- not sure how the economics would work but if I had a driving range I would definitely include that as an option.

I saw ClubCorp is adding sort of Top Golf 'lite' ranges to some of their clubs using Top Tracer with monitors above the bays. Somewhat similar concept.

Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience -- CS Lewis

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 06:17:33 PM »
Guess Peter and I are dinosaurs...nice description
other than the balls being stacked in pyramids that is....


Good turf as well.


A small cozy bar/seating area where one could check in on a ballgame or golf event


Good balls, good turf, reasonable targets, a place to get a drink
Lights for evening practice


I don't want to live in a world where a Trackman is better than the real thing, though I completely get the simulator for inclement/winter use
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Jim Hoak

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2018, 06:33:41 PM »
Good turf, firm conditions.  Never mats!
Water to drink.  Trash cans.  Good club cleaning boxes.  Toilet.
Players around who understand courtesy--not idle chatter or loud conversations.  People who know enough to take divots in straight lines, not patches.
Good targets, but not necessary to have elaborate greens, bunkers. etc.
Places to sit in the shade to watch and think.
Balls that go normal lengths.  No nets.
As much space as possible.  The bigger the better.  Ability to hit from both ends.
Various separated areas to practice special shots--pitches, chips, putts.  Creative areas to allow challenging shots. 
But number one--good turf well maintained.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 08:18:41 PM by Jim Hoak »

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2018, 06:47:59 PM »
Good turf, firm conditions.  Never mats!
Water to drink.  Trash cans.  Good club cleaning boxes.

Good targets, but not necessary to have elaborate greens, bunkers. etc.
Places to sit in the shade to watch and think.
Balls that go normal lengths.
As much space as possible.  The bigger the better.  No nets.
 
But number one--good turf well maintained.


A line of good quality mats(the kind you can put a tee into)-all connected can be a good thing when weather is wet/cold aerified etc.
I actually enjoy hitting off a good mat(and they make some really good ones now) more than marginal or wet muddy turf-but I get the emphasis on good real turf.


As far as space and balls that go normal lengths-that's another thing really affected by modern equipment.
AN errant or long shot is far more likely to leave the range now than it was 20 years ago-and a range from that era no doubt had land constraints then that may severely hamper it now.
I'd say a MAJORITY of high end courses in the MET Section now have irons only ranges-something that was not the case 25 years ago-remember they have to legislate/protect against those who actually can hit it 300 plus, and they do exist at every club these days.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Peter Pallotta

Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 06:50:19 PM »
Jeff, I was only half joking about the pyramids...but, more seriously:

I think there might be an opportunity here, even for dinosaurs, to re-vision the old 'club-pro model' - you know, back in the days when you had the pro who stocked/ran the shop.

Even for those who can afford to join a private club, I take it that those days are over now, i.e. that folks are now going to the many other (and supposedly cheaper) vendors and service providers for their fitting & equipment needs.

But if there is going to be a new/improved range anyway, maybe it can combine the old fashioned flags & bunker area & practice green not only with a small bar/lounge but also with a good sized and comfortably covered (i.e. all weather) hitting bay that *does* have the trackman and video etc, and that is also the fitting-and-sales area.

In other words, as a service to members, the old pro comes back -- but this time as teacher-fitter-and-equipment provider. I'd sure like that, especially since you could go out to the range right away to test things out...and even though I'm not the target market or a likely candidate for private membership, I have a feeling many of those 'candidates' would like it too.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 06:52:06 PM by Peter Pallotta »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2018, 06:59:19 PM »
Pietro

We have what you are talking about at Burnham...a fitting room connected to the proshop and next to the driving range, putting and chipping greens...all not more than a 1 minute walk to the tee.  Of course, I never use those facilities because the bar is just as close to the tee! 

Just wait.
www.burnhamandberrowgolfclub.co.uk/]www.burnhamandberrowgolfclub.co.uk

www.burnhamandberrowgolfclub.co.uk/course/course-tour/championship/hole/1/

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 07:07:00 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hanley Common, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Peter Pallotta

Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2018, 07:15:02 PM »
Sean - you know, I so think of you as the 'travelling golfer & guide' that it never occurred to me you might have a home club. And what a lovely one indeed you've settled on in B&B -- for me, it seems just the ideal spot to grow old with my golf clubs, a good book, a ploughman's lunch and cider, and a small scotch by the fire after some winter play. Happy for you -- and hope the reality comes at least somewhat close to my fantasy.
Peter
PS - didnt need the 'just wait', as I've looked up B&B on many a cold winter night

« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 07:16:39 PM by Peter Pallotta »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2018, 07:37:27 PM »
Sean - you know, I so think of you as the 'travelling golfer & guide' that it never occurred to me you might have a home club. And what a lovely one indeed you've settled on in B&B -- for me, it seems just the ideal spot to grow old with my golf clubs, a good book, a ploughman's lunch and cider, and a small scotch by the fire after some winter play. Happy for you -- and hope the reality comes at least somewhat close to my fantasy.
Peter
PS - didnt need the 'just wait', as I've looked up B&B on many a cold winter night

Pietro

You know, I just played with three Americans who were finishing up a West Country Tour (on the way to Sunningdale the next day, I believe)...to a man they said B&B was their preferred course of the West.  Of course, I said they were crazy not to take St Enodoc over B&B!  So yes, I guess I am lucky even if I live 1.5 hours from my "home club"  ;)

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hanley Common, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

BHoover

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2018, 08:12:44 PM »
My ideal practice range can be found at Windsong Farm in Minnesota. Just copy that.

No luck with range pictures on website or Google search. What makes it special and why would you pay to practice there?
Different angles from which to practice the long game (including wind directions), large short game areas to practice different types of shots around the green (both from fairway height and deeper rough), several bunkers to practice both greenside and fairway bunker shots, multiple target greens and fairway areas to aim at, and ProV1s. The practice putting green is very large and features both relatively flat areas and some pronounced slopes, so you can practice most of the different putts you’re likely to face on the course.

MLevesque

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2018, 08:27:38 PM »
360 degree range to experience varied wind and sun conditions.  Real grass, both fairway and rough height.  New full flight balls- Titleist Prov1/NXT.  Putting, chipping and bunker area.  Cell phone use prohibited.  Frequent user discount program.
I am Skew!

Ryan Coles

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2018, 08:44:46 PM »
Turf like the practice ground at Royal St George’s is a great start.


In every other respect, the UK lags well behind.


MClutterbuck

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2018, 09:08:38 PM »
Apart from one practice facility used 1 week per year in Georgia, I would like to have a putting green and a range as close to the club house as possible.

Matt_Cohn

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2018, 10:33:47 PM »
Lots of targets. We all carry 13 long clubs. What's with only having 5 or 6 things to aim at? If you vary them — poles, flags, rocks, mounds, greens, bunkers, whatever — I would think that would look better than having 15 identical flagsticks. But either way, I don't really care. I just hate when there isn't a target in a 40-yard range when it seems so darn easy to just put in a few more.

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2018, 11:06:51 PM »
One of my favorite ranges has a large trash can on it about 80 yards out-hit a ball in and win a free pizza.
Simple way to create interest and get people to aim to an easy to pick area.
In 25 years of infrequently visiting, I've yet to get one in....
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Ian Mackenzie

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2018, 11:07:34 PM »
Good turf, firm conditions.  Never mats!
Water to drink.  Trash cans.  Good club cleaning boxes.

Good targets, but not necessary to have elaborate greens, bunkers. etc.
Places to sit in the shade to watch and think.
Balls that go normal lengths.
As much space as possible.  The bigger the better.  No nets.
 
But number one--good turf well maintained.


A line of good quality mats(the kind you can put a tee into)-all connected can be a good thing when weather is wet/cold aerified etc.
I actually enjoy hitting off a good mat(and they make some really good ones now) more than marginal or wet muddy turf-but I get the emphasis on good real turf.


As far as space and balls that go normal lengths-that's another thing really affected by modern equipment.
AN errant or long shot is far more likely to leave the range now than it was 20 years ago-and a range from that era no doubt had land constraints then that may severely hamper it now.
I'd say a MAJORITY of high end courses in the MET Section now have irons only ranges-something that was not the case 25 years ago-remember they have to legislate/protect against those who actually can hit it 300 plus, and they do exist at every club these days.


You kidding me... I LOVE hitting off of mats. Perfect lie, perfect surface.
Priblem is, itsuntealistic. Must have turf for the real thing.


Again with the problems, that means your business is targeted at the niche freak golfer like us. Top Golf got it right to open up the game to others. I agree with many points above, but that wouldn’t be a great business unless it was in pinehurst or AZ.

Brock Lynch

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2018, 11:15:36 PM »
Bandon Dunes Resort has the best practice area that I've been to. With Shorty's and a range where you can hit from at least 180 degrees of playing direction, I gotta believe it's hard to beat.


Cheers
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 09:19:14 AM by Brock Lynch »

Pat Burke

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2018, 01:32:10 AM »
Good turf
Correct spacing in stations....and stations managed when turf runs out
Good, consistent balls
Multiple targets.....posts are fine with reflectors for easy yardage info
No smoking
No music
Rules
Water, shade available, and some seats
Club cleaning area
Selfishly...prevailing wind right to left or in to    (Or double sided)
Ideally, the sun moves across the range, not lengthwise


Kevin_Reilly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2018, 01:39:23 AM »
Landing area at a slight incline (uphill) so you can see the ball landing (to assess distance).  Similar to Olympic's range.
"GOLF COURSES SHOULD BE ENJOYED RATHER THAN RATED" - Tom Watson

Duncan Cheslett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2018, 03:05:55 AM »
One of my two local driving ranges used an old scrap car as a target at 150 yards. It was great fun (and not as easy as you'd imagine) trying to break the windshield or land one on the roof. Every month or so so they'd haul it away and drop another in its place.


Unfortunately new operators have taken over and ditched the idea as "too gimmicky".


I think they've made a mistake. It was the only USP they had over the neighbouring range a couple of miles away.


I'd have cars at 100, 150, and 200 yards!  ;D
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 03:09:45 AM by Duncan Cheslett »

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Driving Ranges/Practice areas
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2018, 04:18:30 AM »
One of my two local driving ranges used an old scrap car as a target at 150 yards. It was great fun (and not as easy as you'd imagine) trying to break the windshield or land one on the roof. Every month or so so they'd haul it away and drop another in its place.
Unfortunately new operators have taken over and ditched the idea as "too gimmicky".
I think they've made a mistake. It was the only USP they had over the neighbouring range a couple of miles away.
I'd have cars at 100, 150, and 200 yards!  ;D


I've also seen this done. The cars weren't VW 'Golf's but perhaps they should be! :)
atb




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