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Driving range etiquette: How to properly practice

Many of you are aware that our range has been closed for almost the last two weeks in an effort to dry out.  During that period, the winter grass overseed was spread throughout and it has grown in quite nicely.  I was just down there two days ago and was amazed at the beautiful “green” transformation that occurred.  It might be the best the practice area has ever looked.  …and it won’t be long until we will actually get to use it!

The following information was originally published by Andrew Rice, the Director of Instruction at Berkeley Hall Plantation in Bluffton, SC.  It is a short and sweet attempt to educate the golfer how to correctly practice in a manner that is least harmful to the turf.  I found this article quite interesting in that I spend a lot of my time teaching new golfers how to respect the golf course, but not so much how to respect the practice tee.  I learned early in my life the correct way to practice (the striper method), but this sort of knowledge is not as widespread and as popular as fixing divots in fairways and ball marks on the greens, yet, it is just as important.

Let’s face it…we can all stand to get some practice in, so let’s do it in a manner that maximizes the small practice tee that we have!  I hope you enjoy…

 

“It has often amazed me how a golfer’s personality tends to shine through in the manner in which they practice. Some are neat and tidy while others seem to be all over the map! Good golfers however, always seem to manage their practice sessions and the turf they have at their disposal. Creating good divot patterns when you practice might not be the key to you shooting under par, but you’ll look good and might even make a few friends while you’re at it…

The excavator tends to:

  • be a more experienced and often, better player
  • clear cut any and all life forms from the rectangle where they’ve been hitting irons
  • make it very difficult for the turf they use to grow back in a timely fashion
  • cause the practice tee to be uneven and wavy
Excavator

The Excavator

 

The roamer tends to:

  • use up as much space on the practice tee as is humanly possible
  • be a type AA personality
  • not be too bad for turf growth and management
  • makes it very difficult for the golfer using the space behind them
The Roamer

The Roamer

The striper tends to:

  • be an experienced, better golfer
  • is efficient with turf usage – they get the most out of the space they use
  • make it easy for the turf to recover and fill in
  • use an alignment aid to help both their golf and divot patterns
  • is a friend to superintendents everywhere”
The Striper

The Striper

For all of you that enjoy the path of improving your golf game and use driving ranges, let’s all become stripers and improve the longevity and quality of turf for the golfers behind us!

 

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