“What Makes a Practice Facility Successful?”

So, for those of us living in northern climes, the inevitable has either happened or is about to happen. All or most golf activity is about to come to a grinding halt because of “Old Man Winter”. Now, when I go outside to walk my pup or in the morning the air is different. There’s a bite to the wind and tears form in my eyes from “his” breath.

Slowly but surely, golf courses have shut down except for a couple that try to stay open all-year round. Two of them don’t technically close, but, they really are forced to. Most of the driving ranges close too. Again, one or two try to remain open. So of course, we have to take it indoors into domes, simulators, or into a net at home. Which is cool! Beggars can’t be choosy.

A place like Niagara Golf and Batting Cages (pictured above) checks a lot of boxes. Good balls, turf, mats, and targets.

I have gotten in some range sessions recently and this is the time of the year when I experiment with all sorts of things. Equipment and mechanics type of things, although the latter was most of the year. When I go to the range I’m mostly working on feel(s), tempo, and quality of strike. When I’m outdoors, I do like to see my ballflight. After all, we certainly can’t see flight unless we have a sim or Trackman, or say a Rapsodo MLM.

While at these latest range sessions, the golf balls have been less than spectacular, which is typically how the range balls are at this range. For example, in what world can you strike the ever popular “drawfadeknuckleslurve”? From a physics standpoint, and I think Bryson DeChambeau would concur, how is it that you can hit a draw, a fade, and a sinker on one swing? Between the balls and the tee decks, this range is one that I visit only during this time of the year.

The range that I’m referring to. Sub-standard golf balls but the club washer is great.

All of this made me think. What makes or breaks a practice facility for you? Maybe this is a question that I should have posted on #GolfChat on Twitter.

  • Does it need to have good range balls? Which is likely a no-brainer.
  • Does it need to have good turf (grass)?
  • Are there decent range mats? If they use them.
  • Does it have a good short-game area? Or one at all?
  • How about a putting green?
  • The staff. Do the staff at a facility help you to decide whether you want to go there? Customer service does mean something. For example, does the person behind the counter give you the “stink-eye”, when their machine and not your bank card doesn’t work? (Yeah, that happened the last time I was there)
  • Cleaning stations for scrubbing your clubs. Which can be done at home.
  • Does the range have accurate yardages and are there targets/target greens

I guess there are a lot of things that make a range successful. What makes or breaks it? Am I too particular or picky about what I look for? Drop me a line and let me know.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenext