The golf industry has been required to change and adapt as the golf business and market has shifted. All golf professionals and facilities should continually evolve, learn, and grow in this changing environment. One aspect of the game that is important to me, is the course practice area. Like the industry, practice facilities need to evolve and improve.
The practice facility, or "driving range,” has typically been the last thought in the development process of a course. As a result, many ranges are forced into a less than adequate space. I have been to countless "high end" golf courses that had terrible practice facilities. Many are too small, with not enough room to hit your driver; poor layout with bad targets; and often void of a dedicated short game area. Those of us lucky enough to be associated with the Running Y, have access to a great practice facility. The creators dedicated plenty of land to develop a large range, and had the insight to build multiple short game areas.
Similar to the evolution of golf and instruction, there is now heightened awareness around how and where players practice. Countless instructors, including myself, speak on how golfers need to practice like they play, and in a similar environment to the golf course. However, most practice areas have not changed and evolved to meet this need. Thanks to our Running Y facilities management, a request for updates to our range has been acknowledged. Our back range has evolved to include a larger undulating area, similar to our fairways. This enables players to practice those uneven lies which are more a part of golf than the flat and even lie. Potentially, this evolution could continue into the development of a practice facility which rivals some of the best, and is designed for the player.
Take advantage of our facilities and practice more from the uneven and awkward lie. You will find that with more variable practice, your time on the range will relate more to your time on the course. Finally, please use the sand made available on the back range to fill in your divots after your session is complete. This etiquette allows the turf to heal smoothly and provide a quality surface for future use.