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Duncan Cheslett

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Short Scale Driving Range
« on: January 13, 2023, 02:44:22 AM »
At the public golf facility where I work, our 30 bay range is 230 yards long, and a kindergarten was opened 100 yards beyond that on the adjacent property 20 years ago.


In recent years balls have begun to clear the old, rather delapidated fence surrounding the range, entering the kindergarten property. This has forced us to ban the use of woods during school hours to the detriment of our revenue flow. Plans are afoot to replace the fence with a brand new incredibly tall one at eye watering cost.


While this is the obvious solution I am wondering whether it is necessarily the best one.


20 of our bays are already fitted with Top Tracer simulator screens which are wildly popular. If we installed a net say 50 yards out from the bays to fire into it would be enough for golfers to get a good idea of how they struck the shot, with the computer doing the rest.


It would also give us an area 170 yards x 120 yards on the other side of the net to develop into a state of the art short game area - something  we are currently lacking.


Has anyone any experience of such a facility or are full length driving ranges still considered a necessity?




« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 03:03:44 AM by Duncan Cheslett »

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2023, 04:22:11 AM »
At the public golf facility where I work, our 30 bay range is 230 yards long, and a kindergarten was opened 100 yards beyond that on the adjacent property 20 years ago.


In recent years balls have begun to clear the old, rather delapidated fence surrounding the range, entering the kindergarten property. This has forced us to ban the use of woods during school hours to the detriment of our revenue flow. Plans are afoot to replace the fence with a brand new incredibly tall one at eye watering cost.


While this is the obvious solution I am wondering whether it is necessarily the best one.


20 of our bays are already fitted with Top Tracer simulator screens which are wildly popular. If we installed a net say 50 yards out from the bays to fire into it would be enough for golfers to get a good idea of how they struck the shot, with the computer doing the rest.


It would also give us an area 170 yards x 120 yards on the other side of the net to develop into a state of the art short game area - something  we are currently lacking.


Has anyone any experience of such a facility or are full length driving ranges still considered a necessity?
i think this will be the new norm  for driving ranges, they dont even need to be  50 metres in length. Only problem with short game areas is making them commercial. They attract a different user, the better golfer and they dont like to pay, they are expensive to maintain as well. They work at members clubs fine, not sure how they would do financially at a municipal, probably badly.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
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A.G._Crockett

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2023, 09:19:34 AM »
I'm certain there are others here who know far more than I about this, but years ago I practiced at a range that used "floater" golf balls and had a pond at the end of the range.  The pond was only reachable on a really well-struck driver anyway, and the balls were obviously lighter and had somewhat restricted flight.  Fwiw, the ball flight seem "accurate" in terms of curvature and trajectory, and the distance difference was really only on the longest clubs; short irons seemed to go almost as far as with a "normal" ball.
So I suppose it might come down to what the purpose of your range is?  If it's primarily for pre-round warmup, then the restricted flight option might work.  But if you get lots of more skilled players who want to work on their games, then not so much.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Steve Lang

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2023, 10:56:01 AM »
 8)  Hey Duncan,


Sounds like what's been at the local Golf Galaxy store for many years, launch monitors in about a half dozen bays in an open area with nets.  Since many better players know when they've hit it somewhere close to the sweet spot, or have their own launch monitors these days,  nets seem quite appropriate in a space challenged setting... target banners or openings could easily be configured to indicate launch angles...


How long are the nets you're spec'ing going to last hanging out in the elements?   


A vendor could probably make some profit selling/installing grips there too  ;D





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Inverness (Toledo, OH) cathedral clock inscription: "God measures men by what they are. Not what they in wealth possess.  That vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness"

Lawson Klotz

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2023, 11:26:11 AM »
At the public golf facility where I work, our 30 bay range is 230 yards long, and a kindergarten was opened 100 yards beyond that on the adjacent property 20 years ago.


In recent years balls have begun to clear the old, rather delapidated fence surrounding the range, entering the kindergarten property. This has forced us to ban the use of woods during school hours to the detriment of our revenue flow. Plans are afoot to replace the fence with a brand new incredibly tall one at eye watering cost.


While this is the obvious solution I am wondering whether it is necessarily the best one.


20 of our bays are already fitted with Top Tracer simulator screens which are wildly popular. If we installed a net say 50 yards out from the bays to fire into it would be enough for golfers to get a good idea of how they struck the shot, with the computer doing the rest.


It would also give us an area 170 yards x 120 yards on the other side of the net to develop into a state of the art short game area - something  we are currently lacking.


Has anyone any experience of such a facility or are full length driving ranges still considered a necessity?
i think this will be the new norm  for driving ranges, they dont even need to be  50 metres in length. Only problem with short game areas is making them commercial. They attract a different user, the better golfer and they dont like to pay, they are expensive to maintain as well. They work at members clubs fine, not sure how they would do financially at a municipal, probably badly.


There's a public course near me that's in Plano (TX) that has a 5-hole short course that is $5 for all day play. Only takes up ~2 acres, holes range from 30-65 yards. I do wonder if they struggle to get people to actually pay. I'm familiar with another short course in the state that gave up on that. 

Robin_Hiseman

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2023, 12:53:15 PM »
I've had a close look at your range on Google Earth. There is a very good 3D image of it available.


I think you are best advised to invest in the fence, although I expect it will have to be 25-30m high to be effective.


One can see that users can only use irons between the hours of 9-6pm Monday to Friday, presumably to avoid school hours. This must be having an effect on the takings. 27 bays in which you cannot hit a driver for most of the week is going to really hurt the business model.


Do you have to collect golf balls from the nursery before school on a Monday?
Best of '22: Al Mouj; Cleeve, Painswick, Minch Old, Silloth, Balfron, Archerfield, Roxburghe, Stoneham, Woburn Marquess, JCB, Hayling, Wentworth (East), East Sussex West, Dunes, Arcadia Bluffs South, Crystal Downs, The Loop, Shoreacres, Chicago, St. Patrick's, Rosapenna Sandy Hills & Old Tom Morris

Thomas Dai

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2023, 02:55:20 PM »
Is it not the case that some driving ranges use limited distance balls? Mind after being bashed about a few zillion times the consistent performance of any ball must be a bit suspect.
Atb

Matt_Cohn

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2023, 04:53:44 PM »
I've seen several ranges (Valley Club might be one?) that have regular flight balls in one color and limited flight balls in another color. If your shot is likely to fly over, say, 200 yards, you use the limited flight ones. Might be a little tougher at a public facility where I assume people are buying buckets and you don't just have both kinds of golf balls in piles on the range. But if it's possible, this would be the ideal solution, I'd think.

Thomas Dai

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2023, 05:05:13 PM »
I've seen several ranges (Valley Club might be one?) that have regular flight balls in one color and limited flight balls in another color.
Also a potential solution or at least a potential alleviation to another problem or aspect of the game, the issue that on the course the ball travels as far as it currently does and likely will travel further in the future unless regulated. Different spec balls with say a different colour code stripe. Another subject though, admitted a related one, for another thread of which a few have been raised over the years.
Atb

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2023, 10:17:45 AM »
I'm quite friendly with the owner of a driving range in London who had to put in a high (25m?) net at 210 yards.  Then a Residential Centre was build to the right of the site and an even higher net went there. 


I've seen it myself, they are just a challenge for "Juvenile minds" to clear. This is with 'floater' balls, and if they can't clear with them they reach into their bags for real ammo.


Good luck
Let's make GCA grate again!

Robin_Hiseman

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2023, 10:47:14 AM »
Tony


Always a problem, but easier to patrol these days, especially with Top Tracer / Trackman, which will immediately notify the operator of a range boundary breach.
Best of '22: Al Mouj; Cleeve, Painswick, Minch Old, Silloth, Balfron, Archerfield, Roxburghe, Stoneham, Woburn Marquess, JCB, Hayling, Wentworth (East), East Sussex West, Dunes, Arcadia Bluffs South, Crystal Downs, The Loop, Shoreacres, Chicago, St. Patrick's, Rosapenna Sandy Hills & Old Tom Morris

Kalen Braley

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2023, 12:41:21 PM »
Tony

Always a problem, but easier to patrol these days, especially with Top Tracer / Trackman, which will immediately notify the operator of a range boundary breach.


Robin,

This made me think of the latest Top Gun movie where they had to deal with heat sinking missiles if they flew above a certain elevation.

Perhaps something like this is in the future for driving ranges!  ;D



Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2023, 02:13:15 PM »
I belonged to a club that had a similar problem. They asked folks not to hit anything that went over 200 yards. Very few times were there problems.
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Scale Driving Range
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2023, 03:35:31 PM »
Recall a public range that put two old, wrecked cars on their range.
The numpties who would otherwise be trying to hit shots over the boundary fence or hit the moving ball-recovery buggy just kept firing away at the old cars. The range owner moved the cars location every now and then and even replaced the old wrecks with newer ones.
Atb

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