So I went to the golf course for the first time in my life last week, and hit the range with my buddy who got me into golf. Now I always knew about a golf range, but I had no idea about the practice putting greens and practice pitching hole etc. So this is my question, is it bad etiquette to just go to the golf course and ONLY use their practice putting green for like an hour to just practice, and leave? Without spending any money? I will go in the future to use their range and eventually [hopefully!] play 18 there. But I get a funny feeling thinking about just driving to the course, spending an hour or two on their upkeep for free, and then leaving. What do you guys think? Thanks!
Going to golf course only to use their practice green, is this ok?
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Any putting green I have ever used I had no problem just going there and using it. The Old Adage--Act Like you own it till somebody tells you otherwise. That said I was a regular at the course that had the range. As a new golfer I would suggest you take a lesson with a pro at a club and I'm sure he'll advise you to practice your chipping/putting and you can ask about using that facility. Best to initiate a relationship this way.
You are just getting into golf and will more than likely spend money there playing in the future. I think it is okay. If it is like my local course lately, they will just be happy somebody is there. If you are out there in any shape or form, they know you will eventually spend money there. I would at least go in and chat with the people, talk about your swing, talk about their course, buy a drink or maybe something to eat, and then hit the practice green.
i go to my nearby course and practice on the putting/pitching green all the time. of course, it's the same course where i have been taking lessons for the last couple months, so i feel comfortable name-dropping the instructor who gave me the "go-ahead"
i don't think this is a problem at all
If it makes you feel better you could just explain that your learning the game and didn't want to slow up play by just heading out on the course you wanted to get some short game and range practice in. Any real PGA pro or assistant will respect that. If they are decent people they'll offer you some quick help if they aren't too busy for free. Seriously I wouldn't ask I would just let them know what you're doing and will eventually be playing their course when you get more comfortable.
I would agree with this. Except the overpriced part (Although it's unlikely there is any other kind of drink at a clubhouse bar )
I never ask. Be respectful of others on the green. Stay as long as you wish. When you choose a range, sometimes choose theirs and buy a bucket of balls. That said, the indoor range where I practice during the winter now charges for use of their indoor practice green IF you are not paying for a stall during that visit. I'm not sure if they enforce it or not.
As a long-time golfer, I love to see kids, teens, and just about anyone else working on the greens. Beets the heck out of standing in the fairway and watching them learn to putt while on the course.
Free use of these practice areas does nothing but good for the course. It will (hopefully) speed up the pace of play, and get more people hooked on the game. Plus, if you get hungry/thirsty, etc. The clubhouse is usually right there.
This is something I do regularly, and I think it is one of the best ways to keep your game sharp without dropping money.