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Driving range wants and needs

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3 hours ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

I cant believe nobody jas mentioned balls or mats.  This is a driving range.  They are as essential to his siccess as beds and a shower are to a hotel. 

Dont skimp on balls   Get a good quality range ball—Stixon makes a good one—and please for the love of all things good---dont get the restricted flight balls.  Make sure he rotates them in on a regular basis.  Keep them clean and I'm good repair.  

Don't skimp on mats.  Good ones are expensive but if you get cheap ones that wear down in 5 months people won't come.  

Covered hitting area and heat are essential if you're in a seasonal climate.  

Ideally it would be nice to have a hitting studio.  That has permanent walls and interior and then an open garage door type access to hit onto the range.   And the door can close down in extreme cold and be an indoor instruction area.  

Hire a PGA pro if he is serious about lessons/fittings and club sales.   Most OEM have a very reasonable fitting cart program. And as Har mentioned, lots of demo days! 

Also right after balls and mats, to me is the actual range area.  As Cnosil said.  Lots of short gsme targets.  Well defined flags and landing areas for the longer shots.  Hopefully a nice looking grass area that you can clearly see your shots land. 

A lot have mentioned a practice bunker.  Nice thought.  We have one for short and long shots. And is litteraly never used.  Remember we are the 1% here.  Most average Joe consumers aren't going to come in and spend $10 or $15 on a bucket of balls and go "waste" them in bunker shots.   They want to bang the driver 50 times.  Ha    it's a nice thought.  But trust me it will get next to no use.  

Rather she that money spent on balls and the labor time spent on keeping the range grass looking nice. 

All the ideas about reduced or free things for kids to get them involved with Dad or the family are great and we do pretty well with that.  Consider a kids clinic in the summer. 

Those are the main things right off the top of my head. 

Very nice!  The range at my course uses mats during the winter and removes them in the spring.  However, there is enough room between the mats for people to tee up a driver (if they can get a tee in the frozen ground).  There are supposed to be no iron shots off the grassy area between mats; some do it of course, but generally most people respect it.  There's about 20 yards front to back on the teeing ground, and we do have yardages indicated to the various colored flags.  My biggest complaint is that the course architect continued his theme of mounds on the course into the driving range which makes no sense.  The colored flags are in top of the mounds, but you can't see balls landing over the first mound until it gets to the second mound.  Stupid!

Our range does have a teeing area at the far end of the range which is used for lessons.  It's inconvenient to give group lessons on the main teeing area when people are warming up to play.  I suppose that's not really an issue if it's just a driving range, but a separate area is really nice for lessons. 

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How is he trying to position it?  Upscale, or down home?  That should factor into the investments he wants to make.  Does he think he can turn it into a hangout and do some food and beverage?  Or just keep it simple and stick to selling range balls and just have vending machines?


The most important thing a range can have in my book is flat ground to hit off of.  Seems simple, but the grass tees at the biggest range near me slope horribly from back to front.  I go there when I want to hit off downhill lies.

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