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A driving range is a specially designed area where golfers can practice and improve upon their skills. Some full-course golf courses have separate driving ranges on premises, but a greater number of driving ranges are stand-alone facilities. A driving range is set up with an area for golfers to line up in individual bays or stalls and hit their golf balls into the same target area.
At a driving range, the target area may simply be an open field with distance markers, or there may be actual target greens at staggered distances. Patrons generally purchase pre-filled buckets of balls that are pre-sized and pre-priced. Many golfers patronize a driving range regularly to work on their swing and range. For convenience, most driving ranges have covered bays or stalls, which avid golfers take advantage of when the weather puts a damper on their regular game.
Depending on the driving range facility, there may also be designated areas to work on chipping and putting skills. Nearly every driving range facility also operates a golf pro-shop for convenient purchase of equipment. Most driving ranges also use special “range balls”, which are harder than regulation game balls and withstand frequent and repeated use. The range balls are usually identified with a colored band around the center of the golf ball.
A driving range is a great place to introduce kids to the sport of golf, as well. Unlike miniature golf, the driving range allows kids to engage in full swing without tiring out from a full or half course round. Driving golf balls is more quickly paced than a 9-hole game of golf and will hold younger players’ attention longer. Not to mention, careful attention can be given to instruction without holding up other players.
Nearly every town has a driving range nearby, and a quick glance through a phone book should turn up a few options. Most driving ranges rent drivers if you do not have your own equipment or if you want to try on different sized clubs. A great number of ranges are open seven days a week, but a quick phone call can confirm hours of operation and any questions you may have before arriving at your local driving range.