At one time or another, every golfer has undoubtedly run into a tricky situation on the driving range. Ever wonder if you should keep hitting when the local cart boy is out picking up balls? Or what to do when you hit six inches behind the ball and send a piece of earth flying ten yards down the range? Or how about when you hit that dreaded snap hook soooooo far left that it rolls up to the feet of someone actually playing on the course? Well fear not. All of your driving range etiquette questions will be answered here so that you never run into another awkward moment when you’re hitting a bucket of balls.
The Chunked Shot
The chunked shot is probably the most common occurrence one will face on the practice range. Generally, the sight of a six-inch chunk of earth flying through the air is often followed by everyone in the area turning to see who did it. Most of the time, you’ll see the culprit with their back turned to the range, cleaning dirt off the club, acting like they weren’t the one that hit the shot. Don’t be “that guy”. If you do chunk a shot, treat it like you would on the golf course and replace it.
Employee is Picking the Range
Yea I know, we’re all thinking the same thing here.
“Wouldn’t it be fun to try to hit the cart that’s picking the range? I mean, its got a net around it. The kid inside will be fine. Ten bucks to whoever hits it first.”
The kid inside probably will be fine, but let’s not take that chance. Some golf courses will purposely pick the range when no one is hitting but in the event that someone is actually out there when you’re practicing, you don’t necessarily have to stop. Instead, pull out a club that you know can’t reach the cart. Hit a club that will land the ball 50 yards short and don’t purposely take aim. If by some stroke of chance you hit the cart, you hit the cart. Just be sure to apologize (and maybe tip him a little bit extra the next time you see him).
Talking in Someone’s Backswing
Technically, the driving range is still part of the golf course and the golden rule of not talking in someone else’s backswing does still apply, to an extent. Though having a friendly conversation while someone is hitting balls on the range is not quite the same as blowing an air horn on the first tee, there are ways to be respectful. If you are talking, be sure to keep your voice down and if your cell phone rings, then you’ve already done something wrong because it should be on vibrate.
Hitting Errant Shots onto the Actual Course
Ever play at one of those clubs where the driving range seems to be situated right in the middle of the course? The type of course where an errant shot from the range ends up in an actual fairway at someone’s feet? Yea, well, it happens. If you see a group 250 yards out on the right and you hit your driver 250 yards with a slice, then don’t hit (similar to the “cart boy picking the range” situation). Pull out a club that you know can’t possibly reach the group. If you come across a situation where someone is picking the range and a group is playing the hole right beside it at the same time, just pick the person you like the least and take your chances. Just kidding. Don’t hit!!
Any other driving range etiquette rules you can think of? Share them here!