Driving Range Etiquette

A few years back, when I was Club President, I recall being on the driving range one evening with a couple of newly minted Student Members. I was full of self-importance, grooving the new swing I had picked up the night before from the Golf Channel. These brash youths were on either side of me. Apparently they wanted to hit beside each other so they could discuss their plans for the weekend. Rather than take up a couple of stations on the end of the deck, one of them, in his ‘outside voice’, told the other to “ask the OLD GUY to move”. As I looked around, I quickly realized I was the only other person on the range.

My response (aside from wanting to introduce the lads’ shins to the business end of Gramma’s cane) was to become sensitive to driving range etiquette.Read More>>

Essentially, driving range etiquette involves trying to remember what your Mama told you…. please.  That is – respect others; don’t make a mess; clean up after yourself.

Respecting Others

Respecting others includes use of your cell phone. Are you aware of Niakwa’s cell phone policy??? I didn’t think so. Put your phone on vibrate. And if it’s one of those life threatening situations where you just HAVE to answer your phone, step away from the deck so you don’t disturb the guy trying to remember what Terry told him about ‘inside out’ and ‘releasing the club’.

Nobody cares that your customer is mad at you because your supplier missed a delivery. In fact, the gal who just shanked her seven iron into the screen hopes your supplier cuts you off completely – and that you lose your best client as a result.

If you’re young enough to still have a social life, don’t be arranging it on the driving range.  Use your ‘inside voice’ and keep conversation to a minimum. There’s a half million dollar patio, with all the amenities, a few feet away if you need to talk.

Don’t Make a Mess

The driving range has a 21,000 square foot tee area. Hitting stations are moved around the deck in order to allow the sod to recover from use, and to maintain a proper hitting surface. Hit between the wood station markers – not in front – not behind.

Keep your divots neat and linear. Hit a shot, then hit the next one directly behind the spot where you hit your first shot. Keep your divots in a straight line and don’t hack up the turf all over your hitting station.

The USGA says, “scattered divot pattern removes the most amount of turf because a full divot is removed with every swing. Scattering divots results in the most turf loss and uses up the largest area of a tee stall. This forces the golf facility to rotate tee stalls most frequently and often results in an inefficient use of the tee”.

Clean Up After Yourself

Before you rush off to the first tee, fill your divots with the sand and seed mixture that’s provided in the wheelbarrows behind you – just like you fill your divots on the fairway (Ha!). Fill the divot just below, or parallel to the surface and press the seed mixture with your foot or club head. If the person who used the station before you forgot to fill his divots because the marshall was screaming at him that he was up on the tenth tee, fill his divots, too.

One Last Thing

Unless you’re a certified CPGA Professional – no unsolicited advice please. The person to whom your giving advice has enough things going on in his or her head from the last lesson he or she took. There isn’t room in there for what you have to say. Maybe they’re working on a drill or a specific part of their swing. Don’t interfere, Golf’s hard enough already.

Niakwa has very good practice facilities for the use of all Members. As is the case on the Course, a little etiquette goes a long way.



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