What Is A Driving Range? [Explained]

A driving range is very commonplace in the golfing world, but what actually is one?

In this article, we’ll have a look at what a driving range is and whether you should be going there.

What Are Driving Ranges?

What Are Driving Ranges?

What Is A Driving Range?

A golf driving range is an area or facility where golfers can hit golf balls and practice their swings and technique, without having to go onto the golf course.

Many driving ranges are part of a golf club, designed to give golfers a place to warm up before a golf game, but also to have golf lessons and practice golf shots.

Some driving ranges are just stand-alone facilities such as TopGolf, which has a golf shop and bar, available for people of all levels can enjoy a practice range session and a few drinks.

A golf driving range is a great place for golfers to work on their golf swing, from experienced players to new golfers, it’s ideal for hitting golf balls and working on different golf clubs away from the golf course.

Golf driving ranges usually consist of the following:

  • range area
  • teeing area
  • distance markers
  • range balls
  • bays
  • green areas
  • practice putting and chipping areas

Range Area

Driving ranges will have a large range area for golf balls to be hit into, often enclosed by large nets to catch any incoming balls.

These areas are large to make sure that golf balls aren’t hit over or outside the enclosed area.

Teeing Area

The teeing area of the driving range is the area where golfers stand and hit balls from.

This area is either actual turf grass, artificial grass or artificial mats, but it can vary depending on the type of golf course.

Many golf courses will have a mixture of grass and artificial mats to hit off and may alternate depending on the weather conditions.

Driving ranges for pro golf events like those on the PGA Tour will always have a grass area for players to hit off, whereas stand-alone facilities will just have mats.

Oftentimes, the artificial golf mats will have an automated tee system which will tee another ball up after a shot has been played.

Distance Markers

Across the area of the driving range where the balls land will usually have distance markers or flags so that golfers have some indication of how far their shots are travelling.

These markers help those hitting to have a better understanding of their yardages and how far each golf club is going.

Range Balls

Most driving ranges will supply range balls for people to pay for and use.

These balls are usually a little different to normal golf balls, and although they may still look the same, they will perform differently from standard golf balls.

Most golf range balls will be designed at about 80% distance compared to a normal golf ball to avoid people hitting balls outside of the designated range area.

Driving ranges will have a machine for collecting the balls which uses a brush and roller attachment that automatically picks up the balls when they get driven over. If this is the case, golfers are not allowed to go onto the range to collect any of the balls.


The range bays are the sections of the range that golfers hit from, whether it’s a grass or artificial teeing area.

These bays might have a hard cover to protect them from the elements as well as barriers separating the different bays.

Some golf ranges will also have golf ball tracking systems in the bays, which gives golfers the opportunity to see the flight and distance their ball is going.

Green Areas

Some driving ranges will have, as well as yardage markers, green areas to help simulate a golf course experience with multiple targets to aim for.

These greens might have a flag on them and give the players practising something to aim for, helping them work on their accuracy and distance control.

Practice Putting & Chipping Areas

Some larger driving range facilities will be built with a separate practice putting and chipping green.

This means that golfers can have a practice session on the range hitting practice balls and then go and work on their short game afterwards.

Advantages Of Going To The Driving Range

Going to the driving has numerous benefits for a golfers game. Although it’s a little different from actually playing golf, there’s many advantages of giving the driving range a try:


For most golfers, the primary reason to go to the driving range is to work on their golf game and to become a better golfer.

It’s the perfect place to practice different shots, from full swings to chip shots, and work on swing changes which can’t really be done whilst out on the golf course.

Immediate Feedback

If you’re making swing changes, the driving ranges are a great place to see instantly how those changes are working out.

Especially with the introduction of flight tracking devices at most modern driving ranges, golfers can see the trajectory, direction, spin and distance of each shot and begin to understand the reasons for those shots.


It’s super easy to pop down to the driving range if you fancy hitting a few balls after work or on the weekend.

If you’re not looking to get out onto the golf course, heading to the driving range for a bucket of balls can still be good fun and beneficial to your game.


Sometimes after a long day at work, hitting a few balls at the range is the best way to take your mind off the stress of life.

Growing up, the driving range for me was always a bit of a happy place. Just me, a few hundred golf balls and a couple of golf clubs. A great way of clearing your head and relaxing.

A Place To Start

For new golfers, the driving range is the place to get into golf and learn the game.

There’s nothing more demoralising than trying to play on a golf course if you’re totally new to the game.

The driving range gives beginner players a cheaper option to begin getting into golf, which is far less intimidating than a golf course.

Doesn’t Rely On The Weather

Most driving ranges will have covered bays which means that whatever the weather, golfers can still get a practice session in.

Some will also be indoor ranges, which again means that they’re not reliant on good weather.

They’re also equipped with floodlights for practising at night time, which is ideal for the Winter months when sunlight is more limited.

Disadvantages Of Going To The Driving Range

While driving ranges are great for a number of reasons, they do also come with some disadvantages:


Hitting from a flat, artificial mat is never what you’re going to experience whilst out on the golf course so the driving range conditions aren’t necessarily a reflection of real golf courses.

This means when you get out onto the golf course, it may feel a lot different conditions to what you’ve been used to on the driving range.

Range Balls

The range balls are built to not fly and perform the same as normal golf balls, so this gives a false representation of how you’ll be hitting it when out on the course.

They also aren’t always in the best condition, which could heavily affect the flight and distance they travel.

Overemphasis On Distance

Many golfers will often become too focused on hitting it as far as they can when they get to the driving range, rather than actually working on improving their swing and overall golf game.

If they’re with their mates, it might even turn into a competition of who can hit the ball the furthest and all focus on improving their swing goes out the window.

Final Thoughts

A golf driving range is a great place for golfers to go and work on their games.

Golf is a very difficult sport to master, which takes many years of practice and the driving range is one of those places to go and hone your skills in order to improve.

If you’re heading to the driving range, check out our guide on what to wear.


What does one do at a driving range?

A driving range is where golfers go to hit golf balls and work on their swing. Golfers hit balls into an area which has targets and markers to help with their accuracy.

What does within the driving range mean?

Within the driving range means that the balls should be hit within the specified area and enclosing netting. This is to stop people outside of the driving range from being hit by flying golf balls.

Do you only use a driver at driving range?

No, a driving range is designed for all different types of golf clubs except a putter.

Can you chip at a driving range?

Yes, chipping at the driving range is allowed and can be done into the various close targets on the range. However, you’re unable to go and retrieve the balls.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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