A long, reliable drive is one of the cornerstones of any good golfer’s game, and it’s something that can take a lot of time to perfect. Taking 18 tee shots over the course of a round doesn’t always do the job, and this is where a driving range can be so useful.
By visiting a driving range, you can get the time and space to focus on perfecting your shots, adding range and making any changes to your action. In this blog, we’ll explore why a driving range can be such a useful asset for any golfer, key things to know, and pick out some of the best driving ranges to visit in the UK.
Why is it so important to use a golf club driving range?
A driving range really is as simple as it looks at first glance. It’s a big open field into which you can drive golf balls to your heart’s content. Most ranges will have distance markers set out in the field, so that you can judge how far you’ve hit each shot.
One of the key benefits of a driving range is that it gives you the chance to practise your drive over and over again in a very short space of time. If you hit a bad one or need to work on a particular area of your swing, then you can simply grab another ball from your bucket and have another go immediately afterwards.
The other advantage of a driving range is that it’s a much shorter experience than playing a full round of golf. This makes it much easier to fit some golfing activity into your usual schedule (for example, if you have a spare hour after work one evening). Many driving ranges are also floodlit, allowing them to stay open for golfing at night.
Key things to know about driving ranges
The first thing to note about a trip to the driving range is that you don’t need any sort of specific equipment for it: your normal driver and kit is perfectly fine. In fact, it makes more sense to use your usual driver so that you get practice that’s relevant to your full course play, and bring some of your irons and wedges for sharpening your short-game skills.
Driving ranges are generally priced according to how many balls you want to hit, rather than how long you want to be there for. This is mainly because some golfers take much longer to line up their shots than others. When you arrive and pay your fee, you’ll be given your bucket or box of balls, and then it’s up to you to find a vacant space. Unless it’s particularly busy, try not to take a spot immediately next to another player, so that you’ve all got the space to concentrate.
The balls that you’ll be provided with are generally a little bit harder than normal golf balls, so that they can withstand the punishment of being driven hundreds of yards over and over again.
Our favourite golf club driving ranges
You might think that a driving range is just a driving range, but there are some that stand out for the level of service and experience you get. We’ve picked out three of our favourites, so you can get a feel for just how advanced some ranges have become:
N1 Golf, London
Located in the Greenwich area, N1 Golf is open until 11pm every night of the week, making it easy to fit around busy work and personal lives. It’s a two-tier range that is a leading option for those who need advice, as there is a full-time team of qualified coaches on hand to supervise and support if needed. Along with a large golf shop and riverside roof terrace, it’s one of the best places for a golf experience in the capital.
Trafford Golf Centre, Manchester
Trafford Golf Centre is set up with all the facilities and technology you need to get the most out of your driving range experience. Every bay has Toptracer screens fitted to it, so that you know exactly where your ball has ended up, and you can play off either the upper or lower tiers. The centre also encourages youngsters to try out their skills too, making this a great choice for families who want to play together.
Adlington Golf, Cheshire
This floodlit range in Cheshire runs to 350 yards, making it suitable for all but the biggest hitters. But where it really stands out is its private studio, which you can book in advance for an additional fee. It effectively gives you your own private barn, from which you can hit the balls from under cover out onto the range. There’s also comfortable seating, TrackMan technology to get accurate ball measurements, and the ability to play range-related games and virtual courses.
Get golf insurance with SportsCover Direct
If you’re using a driving range on a regular basis, then you’ll be the type of golfer who will be serious about wanting to improve their game. And if you’re taking the game seriously, then putting the right insurance cover in place is a must.
There are many reasons for this: you could get hurt while out on the course, hurt someone else with a stray shot, or suffer from the loss, theft or damage of your clubs and equipment. For all of these circumstances and more, SportsCover Direct’s golf insurance policies can make sure that you don’t end up out of pocket.
Our policies are suitable for all levels of golfing ability, and can cost just a few pounds a month thanks to our flexible payment plans. Take a closer look at our cover here.