Golf Driving Ranges Near Me

Golf Driving Ranges Near Me

What do we look for when we are looking for golf driving ranges near me? There are an abundance of golf driving ranges around, but does the one you use really do your practice any justice! In this article I want to pass on my ways of using the practice ranges for golfing tips for the senior golfer.

What I look for in a golf driving range is an assortment of options that I can practice all parts of my game, I am not one of those golfers who just wants to go to the range and just try and ‘Boom’ the driver over the back fence, that is not practice because when those culprits get on the course then they cannot replicate what they did at the range anyway.

So what do I look for in golf driving ranges, I look for a variety of things so I can practice with all of my clubs, starting with sand wedges through to woods I want to pretty much practice as if I am actually playing a golf course, so that means I want to also practice my putting and also sand bunker play.

So when I go to the range my initial requirement is that I get a newer mat and not a worn out one, there is nothing worse than trying to hit all types of shots off of bare lies, because that’s what it feels like when you use a worn out old mat in one of the cubicles!

So I look for at the golf driving range:

  • A nice newish mat if possible
  • Not an automatic ball dispenser that pops the ball onto a tee for you
  • Fixed rubber colour coded tees are better that can be changed when required
  • Good lighting so you can see the ball flight, distance and direction
  • Away from the crowds so you can practice with as little noise as possible
  • Outdoor mats are a plus, dependent on the weather though
  • Some ranges have mirrors fitted behind the bay, good for checking your back swing
  • A bench or seat to relax in between practice sessions
  • Near to a practice sand bunker if your range has one
  • Near the practice chipping and putting green if your range has one

So now we have sorted out that we are now in the best bay that ticks all of our requirement boxes, now it’s down to get the maximum out of our time spent at the range, I like to warm up with short irons, little punch shots that get you into that feel of when you are hitting down on the ball, these types of shots gets your brain into that thought process that can help your game no end.

Now that I have warmed up I have always had the same routine, start with the shorter clubs and work your way to the longer bigger clubs, nothing worse than trying to hit your first practice shot with the longest clubs in the bag, it makes more sense to hit shorter clubs because you are nearer to the ball when you are not fully warmed up and in the swing of things.

So I start off with the following at the golf driving range:

  • 6 balls with a sand wedge
  • About 10 balls between a pitching wedge and a nine iron
  • About 10 balls between and eight iron and six iron
  • About 10 balls between a 5 iron and 4 iron

These are all varying shots from playing some off the rubber tees plus playing some off of the ground, so mixing up the shots and hitting fades and also draws, then when you have covered off all of these different types of shots starting working on just hitting straight balls.

Once I have covered the irons I will then make my way onto the rescue clubs, fairway woods or woods in general, doing the same as I did with the irons by mixing up some off the ground shots with some off of the tee.

You have to remember that when you play a round of golf you will use the majority of the golf clubs in your golf bag, if you omit to use them at the practice range they will feel very alien to you when you do take them out to play a shot on the golf course.

Golf Driving Ranges near me - golf course putting green

A lot of people have the habit of not practising with the clubs that they don’t like in their golf bag, this is just asking for trouble, practice with the clubs that you hate using on the golf course and keep practising with them until you like them too!

So now I am onto the woods, I do not go overboard with these clubs because I know that when I am on the golf course I can normally do what I want with the woods, but there is one wood in particular that I always practice with and I do not necessarily like the club, but I know I need to use it on par 5’s and also longer par 3’s – that being my fairway 5 wood – great when you are catching it right but can be a nightmare when you are not swinging it timely enough to nip it off of bare lies. So this club gets a little closer attention that my other woods.

Now that I have really covered everything on the range, where I have worked on all of my clubs, all of my required shots and all of my distances, I now move onto the practice bunker to play an assortment of shots that I feel I may be having to play in my next round of golf.

So I plump for a few short bunker shots that I feel that I need to practice, a few with an uphill lie, a few with a downhill lie, a few just sitting on top of the sand and a few from plugged lies. Once I have done this I will then practice a few longer shots where you sometimes have to play a similar shot with say a 20 or 30 yard bunker shot, good for practicing playing out of those nuisance bunkers peppered in front of a putting green about 20 or yards away, so what I am doing is ingraining those mental and feel thoughts into my memory bank so I can draw on those snippets when I need to.

Once I have finished in the sand bunker I make my way over to the chipping and putting practice green, this is where I can play all types of shots that I will be faced with in the majority of my rounds of golf.

Golf Driving Ranges near me - Flag and golf balls

Chipping and Putting Practice Area, I normally work along these guidelines:

  • Use about 6 to 8 practice balls out of my golf bag
  • I like to practice this part of my game with my preferred golf ball
  • Hit about a dozen ‘bump and run’ shots from off the green with my pitching wedge
  • Hit about a dozen ‘chip and run’ shots from off the green with my sand iron
  • Repeat both processes above from varying points of the practice green
  • This gives you the opportunity to play different types of shots taking into account breaks
  • Hit about a dozen putts off of the putting area, this gives you the opportunity to practice those putts that need to travel through the fringe of the green before the ball gets onto the putting surface – great practice for allowing for the break and also the unknown when the ball pops out of the fringe!
  • Once I have done with all of the above I practice shorter putts, about 3 to 6 feet in length
  • This drill gives me a great feeling of actually popping the ball into the hole from different points around the hole
  • You can practice longer putts but these are the putts that very rarely drop in when you are out on the golf course, I am not saying that you don’t make any long putts it just that they are just too infrequent
  • So I practice shorter putts to give me that mental edge with my brain having experienced many times of watching the ball drop into the hole from short range

I am not saying that you should just concentrate on just short putts, but make more short putts than long putts when practicing, the mind and brain are complex parts of our body and ‘good memories’ of dropping in 6 shorter putts on the bounce are better than making 1 in 30 longer putts.

Here is a recent article I wrote on practice putting and how to read a putt, to read the article CLICK HERE.

That has really wrapped up this article on golf ranges near me, I really do hope that some of my practice drills and habits will help improve and enhance your game of golf, it has certainly helped me over the years to become a better golfer, remembering all the time that the most part of the golf game is mental and in your head, so programming your mind and brain to recall all of those good practice shots will surely flow over onto the golf course and reduce your golf scores.

As always, if you have any comments or feedback regarding this article please do not hesitate to leave me a comment or message below, I will gladly respond as soon as possible with a reply.

Happy golfing and keep hitting it straight down the fairway!

Regards,

Michael

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