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Opinions please about Driving Ranges...


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Ok so the other day, I was in Maryland for work and it was 80 degrees and went and hit at the driving range three days in a row. I was doing incredible, better than normal for those three days. I was hitting my 5iron 205 yds, my 3 hybrid 225yds and my driver carrying 250yds. All my shots were smooth and crisp. Today I went to the range in New Jersey where it was 50 degrees and I could barely hit my 5iron 180yds. I was hitting ok, but had no distanced compared to the last three times. Idk if I was doing something different or what. Now I am thinking about it and being a head case. In Maryland the range balls were nike and looked brand new. Where I hit today, the balls looked like rocks and all scuffed and were crappy. Could that have a difference and same with the weather?

Thanks

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The quality of range ball may make a difference, but the weather certainly did.  Range balls have a very high compression number, and it's very common in cold weather for players - of all abilities - to switch to a lesser compression ball.  A classic example of this was noticed by Precept;  they re-fashioned their Lady balls as Laddie (with minor changes), after noticing the number of men who wanted that sort of ball on the occasional February day in a Mid-Atlantic state that they could get out for 18.

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The cold weather could have just made it uncomfortable to swing, in addition to what the posts above me say.

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If the main difference between the two range sessions was length, then as stated, it probably was due to the temp and range balls.  Nothing to worry about - don't sweat it.

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the range markings/any elevation changes at the ranges could also play a factor. for instance, the distance markings at the range i normally go to could be 15 yards off (either longer or shorter) depending on the hitting area.

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I can beat that last post.  I go to a nearby driving range in the colder months because it's one of the few who have indoor/heated hitting areas.  The yardage markers are all jacked up.  I don't know who put them out there, but apparently that person doesn't know a darn thing about golf.  The hitting stalls all point toward the center of the range in a gradual U-shape.  But the yardage markers are in straight lines.  So I end up having to do TRIGONOMETRY to figure out my distances... and I'm usually off by at least 15 yards.   It's times like those, I wish I had the ability to walk out on the range with my GPS to figure out exactly what those markers SHOULD say.

Can anyone recommend a CHEAP, non-GPS, rangefinder that doesn't rely on a reflector surfaces (like the prisms inside some flag pins so the laser can "see" it easier)?

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Yardages are ridiculous to try and figure out on a range. Maybe a few ranges like the TPC's that use 'good' balls will reflect a bit better, but overall- not a chance. Any range work that I do, I concentrate on ball flight and ball striking. I'll pick a flag and just use it for an aiming point. I'm not trying to 'get it close'. You can "Dial in" a number at the range, and use that at the course and wind up a club or 2 short every time. Especially a mat range that will cover up those minor errors. I start off by using the worst balls that I can pick out easily, just to warm up and get in a rhythm. As I go along the better balls will give a slightly better approximation of ball flight, if not yardages. This is more important to me anyway- I kind of have a good idea of what my ball will do out on the course.
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Originally Posted by RayG

Yardages are ridiculous to try and figure out on a range.



Very true.  My range doesn't have yardages just flags, but the back net is only about 250 yards.  You'd be amazed the number of guys that think they are hitting 300 yard drives that are landing halfway down the range.

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Originally Posted by nuck81

Very true.  My range doesn't have yardages just flags, but the back net is only about 250 yards.  You'd be amazed the number of guys that think they are hitting 300 yard drives that are landing halfway down the range.



What? I'd be amazed if even one person hit their ball < 200 yards and thought they hit a 300 yard drive, but maybe the fence tricks people.  One local range (part of the muni's practice facility) has > 350 yards runout to a road and more distance beyond the road. I've never heard one person use the term "300 yards" when describing their own drive. I have seen people lie about hitting targets (yardage markers) though.

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