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Driving range opinions

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How much are people willing to pay for balls?  Would you rather pay by the ball or by a time frame?  And based on your answer what would you expect to pay?

I am thinking about opening a range that is not cheaply put together, we will have live music on the weekends and possibly during the week depending on how busy we are.  It will be an interactive experience for the customer with games available to play against each other as well as to win prizes from the "house."  Please any input is greatly appreciated!

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In other words, you're not looking to attract serious golfers who want to practice?

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How much are people willing to pay for balls?  Would you rather pay by the ball or by a time frame?  And based on your answer what would you expect to pay?

As far as that goes, the answer is going to depend on the person. I'd rather pay by the ball since I'm a slow, methodical range hitter. It would be less economical for me to pay per time slice, but it would be more economical for a scrape-and-hit, scrape-and-hit practicer.

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In other words, you're not looking to attract serious golfers who want to practice?

Wow, was the snark really necessary? :-X

Anyway, to answer the OP I would actually like to find a range that has a season pass.  I think the time based usage would easily be the least appealing, nobody wants to go to the range and feel rushed.

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Wow, was the snark really necessary?

No snark. I wouldn't go to such a range.

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How much are people willing to pay for balls?  Would you rather pay by the ball or by a time frame?  And based on your answer what would you expect to pay?   I am thinking about opening a range that is not cheaply put together, we will have live music on the weekends and possibly during the week depending on how busy we are.  It will be an interactive experience for the customer with games available to play against each other as well as to win prizes from the "house."  Please any input is greatly appreciated!

Not sure I see the appeal. People who are going for the golf won't really like the live music, and a driving range isn't exactly a great place for people who love live music. And if the money for the prizes and music is coming from the range balls, most golfers would likely prefer you, well, not do that, and pass the savings on. As for time vs. # of balls, people are going to prefer whichever is cheaper. People who hit more balls in rapid succession will likely prefer by the minute, and vice versa. I'm sure there are some numbers you can crunch to figure out which would make more sense for more people.

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We have courses that offer most of what the OP mentions here. One had a weekly range special for couples, families and singles. It ranged from a flat fee for cocktails and a bucket on singles night to unlimited balls and a family pass on the shortest par 3 course. It was always packed. The only live music events were after golf on the patio but same thing, well attended. But these are mega-plex type courses. The current specials are football and food.

As for pay by the ball or pass I prefer the time. I get unlimited range with my membership but my home course does it by the hour for $10. That includes use of the 3 practice greens and balls set up in a pyramid in the stalls. It's a slick setup that feels exclusive. For $20 you get a day pass.

Mixing entertainment and dining with golf is new this year and it's really taken off. Will be tough to pull off at a range without a liquor license, service and seating. I like it because it's easier than booking a reservation or waiting with a buzzer at a shitty chain restaurant. Couples night at the course is a blast. We just had a clam bake and the majority of the "couples" were buddies out for a round and dinner. They had a Johnny Cash impersonator  and patio BBQ over the July 4th weekend and that was fun too. You see everything from the hardcore regulars to the non-golfing course/community residents there.

It's a good idea if you can pull it off. More or less a country club range.

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I wouldn't go to a range either which was playing music, lol.  I'm not sure who honestly would.  Why would you want music and games going on when you're going to work on things in your golf game?  It sounds to me like the type of "entertainment" being described here would be best suited for a mini golf course and not a driving range.  Majority of people I observe at the range are there to practice their golf game, in a serious manner, not be entertained.

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Ok, I like all the info.  I am not talking about playing live music during the day, rather on Friday and Saturday nights as more of a fun atmosphere and the plan would be to have a full liquor license as well as a full menu from a restaurant.  The idea of the "games" is to bring a group of friends to play closest to the hole, long drive, have a game something along the lines of darts that is scored on the screens provided that are linked to the balls.  This is not going to be small and or low end.  I am shooting for a mid to high end establishment that will attract good golfers, couples, families during the day, and non golfers to have a good time around a game that I love.  While making money for the house.  I think there is something here I just dont know the best way to price the experience.

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have special colored balls that if you get them you get something(find a pink ball=free lesson)

have a small target somewhere at the end of the range where no one would be able to hit it for a free car :)

or have a real green plus hole on the range about 150 yards or so, and offer a prize if people hole it.

have a record for who has the longest drive(like a sign that states the current record and name of holder)

have some kind of funnel where if you get the ball in, something happens, minigolf style

i can see a thing like this work of your just goin for a range session with your buddies and have drink afterwards, or indeed a family trip of some sort. basically have stuff to do for every age/type group, so also something for the more serious golfer

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In England there are two similar places:

Top golf - driving range mixed with pool, which has games and also the ability to use as a traditional driving range.

Urban golf - inside bar with simulators, table service and loads of live sport.

Google them both and see if you fit into a similar market?

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$20 for a day? They would lose money with me.
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http://topgolf.com/dallas/ Sounds like top golf in Dallas... more party than anything else.
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Pay by the ball, definitely.  I don't want to feel like I have to rush my pace to get my money's worth.


Also, (and this may sound self-evident to people here), make sure you have actual yardage markers.  The most convenient range to my house has various flags set out in the range and a single map that says the yardages to those flags.  The problem is that some flags are gone and I cannot resolve what I see on the range to what's on the map so I have no idea what my distances are!  I would go someplace else but the next closest range is 25-30 minutes away and with this one only 5-10 minutes away, it's hard to make the longer drive.  (pun intended?  I'll leave the answer as an exercise for the reader.)

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By the ball definitely.

There is a heated dome not to far from me that would be great in the winter except for the $27/hr :bugout: fee. Some guys love it because they figure they can machinegun 5-6 buckets and come out ahead. I make an effort to slow down and be thoughtful with my pactice. Slow motion drilling between shots, checking my video camera every few balls to see if I'm doing what I'm thinking of doing, stepping back every shot to pick a target and focus on my intermediate target and getting my alignment right and so on. I'll probably make it through a bucket and a half at most which really doesn't work out well price wise.

Hell, at $27/hr I'd be better off just going to play golf on a simulator.

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It is something similar to Top Golf that I am thinking.  My idea is to try and find a balance between the party and the stodgy perception of golf that has been for years.  I want to bridge the gap and make it fun for everyone.  So if you pay by the ball what is appropriate?  And really if you pay by the hour some of you say you don't get your money worth, but in actuality I would think no matter how the price is determine you get money worth because taking more time and slowing down you will benefit from the practice even more.  Im thinking of some sort of a hybrid pricing scale.  During the day pay by the ball and when we would get into busier times in the evenings change it to by the hour.  Or would that be frustrating to you as a customer?

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Just make sure you let people hit off the grass. The mats are a waste of time

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