Sometimes we just don’t have the time, patience or skill to practice our swing out on the course. In those moments, the driving range calls. There are few things as cathartic as firing off 100 balls into a grassy expanse, but when you’re there, you have to observe certain aspects of etiquette.
Here at International Design Group, we’ve already covered good etiquette out on the links, but what about when you’re on the driving range, what are the essential unspoken rules there?
Respect the facility
The quality, rules and codes of a driving range are often entirely unique, varying wildly from one range to another.
Some will ask you to tee from the grass, whilst others will provide mats. Others still might be entirely artificial, and the only way to really know is to take your time and get to know a facility before you settle in.
Respect also extends to leaving things as you found them. Replace divots where you can and hit each ball as close as you can to where you hit the last one. This will minimise the amount of area torn up from hitting the balls and makes it easier to repair, if you’re teeing off from real grass.
Don’t steal the balls
Okay, okay, you don’t steal the balls at driving ranges. Of course you don’t, but, should you ever see your friend try it, tell them not to. Driving ranges are a cheap, friendly and fun way to improve your stroke and unwind, so let’s keep it that way.
Safety first, always
Many driving ranges will have dividers to separate tee areas, but that doesn’t mean that your own (or that of those nearby) safety is assured. Try to keep a two-driver length between you and other golfers and make sure that nobody is about to walk behind or beside you as you take a swing.
Giving yourself plenty of room not only means you can swing safely, but it also means you can practice your natural swing, which is sort of the point.
Oh, and if you miss-hit a ball and it dribbles down 10 feet ahead of you, don’t go get it. Putting yourself in the firing line of other golfers is never a good idea, even if you’re just darting ahead for a second.
Keep the volume down
Driving ranges can feel like great places to socialise, but never forget that there are serious players there trying to improve their swing. The last thing they need is the sound of somebody loudly discussing their last Friday night. Oh, and turn your mobile phone off (or on silent) – too many good shots have been ruined by the ring of a mobile phone.
Look after the greens
Lots of driving ranges also offer short greens for putting practice, or bunkers to practice chipping. When using these areas, treat them as though they were your own. The person after you should have the same experience you did, so give them the case and attention you’d like to see when you approach.