If you are anything like me then you don’t have as much time as you would like to dedicate to practicing your golf game. Whether its work, school, family or just other hobbies it’s hard to find time to practice golf. Depending where you live you might have to travel fairley far to find a driving range and a 4 hour round of golf is hard to fit into a busy schedule.
With this in mind I searched for a solution that would allow me to practice my golf game at home. You may have already read my guide to building an indoor putting green I built last winter to work on my putting but that isn’t what this guide is for. This guide is dedicated to building a home driving range to practice the long game.
Most people don’t have 300 yards they can dedicate to a backyard driving range, and even if you do I wouldn’t recommend an open area driving range. With an open range you will be spending a lot of time searching and collecting balls and less time practicing. Therefore I recommend a quality net.
Choosing the Best Driving Range Net
When looking for a net it is important not to skimp. Remember this net will have to stop thousands of golf balls traveling up to 200mph. Cheap nets will develop holes over time and the last thing you want is a golf ball damaging yours or your neighbors property. Another important feature to consider is the size of the net. It will need to stop errant shots that may go way left or right. The farther back you want to hit from the larger the net you will need. The last thing you need to consider it whether it needs to be portable.
Realistic Driving Range Mat
A driving range mat is optional but is something that I would recommend. If you decide not use a mat you will save money but you will have to make sure to keep your grass cut low and you will need to keep repairing divots/ moving your tee box.
Let’s discuss some of the features you should look for when choosing a hitting mat. The first thing I look for is the ability to use real tees with the mat. Being able to use real tees gives you a realistic feel to when you are on the course. Mats that use rubber or plastic tees can throw you off when you are back on the course.
Durability is the next thing I consider. I like to research and buy quality products that will last years of use. Cheap mats will start falling apart faster and will need to be replaced more often which could end up costing you more in the long run. Trust me save up a bit longer if you have to and buy a quality mat, you wont regret it.
Another feature I highly recommend is choosing a mat big enough for you to stand on it while hitting. Being level with the ball will give you a more realistic practice situation. With smaller mats that you can’t stand on you will adjust your swing to account for the ball being slightly higher and will cause to top the ball more often when on the course. Typically a 4’ to 5’ will be big enough for most people.
Shag Bag for Driving Range Pickup
A shag bag is a completely optional addition to your home driving range but being as cheap as they are I highly recommend picking one up. Whether you are hitting 10s or 100s of balls during your practice session your back will thank you for not having to bend over and pick up each ball.
Driving Range Training
To get the most out of your practicing I suggest you invest in a small tripod with a phone adapter so you can record your swing with your phone. Take video of a couple swings from both your side and your back. Once you see your typical swing it is time to start correcting one thing at a time until you have your perfect swing down.