Driving Range Tips from The Pro

Technical Practice vs Target Practice

Technical Practice

If you have been for a lesson with myself or a fellow PGA Professional, this would involve doing drills you may have been given or hitting balls with a visual aid, whether it be for strike, club path, or club face alignment for example. Or just a feeling of what you are trying to accomplish to improve your golf.

During this phase of practise you are solely focusing on the movement you are trying to make. However I would pick out some sort of target as a reference.

Target Practice

  • This is where I would like you to forget all your technical thoughts, and pick out specific targets on the range.
  • Use different clubs to different targets. Pick out a fairway, or a green, then go through your routine and hit the shot. Now you are practising how you play, rather than just beating balls with no real target.
  • If a tee shot doesn’t suit your eye, (our 16th for example), pick a line on the range as the O.O.B. then a fairway to the left and practise that tee shot.
  • Play a hole, pick out a fairway and hit driver, then pick another target as your green and hit 6 iron for example. You very rarely hit the same two clubs in a row on the golf course.

Golf is a target orientated game, so start practising hitting shots to targets and I’m sure it will help your game when your out on the golf course.

Greenkeeper's Report November 2015

In late summer we released a plan to members and visitors about our plans for improving the course and driving range over the winter, and we are pleased to report on the progress.

Mark and his team have been very busy over the last few months, and a mountain of progress has been made so far.

Bunker Renovation

Our winter maintenance plan for bunkers was to fully renovate 19 bunkers, top up 13 with sand, and also fill five bunkers in. We are two months into the work and so far the Greenkeepers have fully renovated 7 bunkers (37% complete) and topped up 7 bunkers (54% complete). If we continue at the current rate we may be able to add a couple more bunkers to the plan, but there are many external factors that will determine this, including the winter weather. Below are some progress pictures of bunkers already completed.

Putting Green

We opened the Practice Putting Green at the end of October, which was later than scheduled due to some areas not establishing as we'd predicted. Now the green is open we look forward to the turf growing stronger and thicker over the winter months, after getting used to constant use and maintenance.

We feel that at the moment the practice green is performing around 85-90% as good as the original greens due to it being in it's infancy, and the plan is to top-dress the surface in Spring to even out any discrepancy areas and by this time it will be identical to the other greens.

Disease on Greens

You may well have noticed that a couple of our greens have been suffering from disease lately. This is called Fusarium (also known as Fuzz) disease and it thrives in warm and moist (dewy) conditions, so many courses suffer in Autumn. As this autumn has been especially mild Fuzz has attacked a couple of our greens (luckily most of them are fine), with the 6th being the most badly hurt.

We have sprayed fungicide twice for Fusarium since September which will stifle it's progress, but you cannot reverse it's effects. Once we get into Spring we can reseed any affected areas and move in to Summer with perfect greens.

Driving Range

As promised we have made some exciting upgrades to the Driving Range to enhance your practice and make you a better golfer! Starting with 6,000 new range balls, four new mats, 3 new targets, and a re-arranged plan of old targets and flags with specific distances as shown on our range map to the left. You will find copies of this range map on the back of the driving range so that you always know how far each target is.

The range now looks great and is attracting more people to come and practice before their round or on an evening when the floodlights are on. We've also re-introduced loyalty cards with extra discounts for frequent users!

There are just a couple of repairs to some dividing nets (which are due soon) and then we the range maintenance and upgrades are complete.


Rough Areas

When we last cut the rough in October we decided to mow it a little lower after feedback from many of our members saying that it was a little too harsh and also slowing down play. We feel that now the trees are in play on the old field and the trees will be brought into play on the new field next Spring, that it is a sensible move to cut the rough an inch shorter to compensate. 

Feeback we have received on the shorter rough has so far been very positive, but if you think otherwise please talk to us!

New Practice Putting Green Opening this Weekend!

It seems like a long, long time ago since we announced the construction of the new practice putting green at Burstwick and due to a few things outside of our control, it has taken longer than we expected to get to a point where it’s ready to open.

Well, I am proud and happy to see that we are now at that point; the new putting green shall be open for business from this Friday! We have been over the last two months accelerating the maintenance of the green to bring it inline with the rest of the greens on the golf course, and last week was the first time it had been cut at the same height as these.

There will be five holes on the new green, and these will be changed on a much more frequent basis than the original practice green. As golfers begin to use the new facility we would like to remind them that it may take six to eight months to begin performing like the rest of the greens due to it taking time to bed in with constant use and maintenance, but it will perform fairly well from the outset.

New Practice Putting Green is coming along nicely!

Our new Practice Putting Green has now had the turf height reduced from 15mm to 8mm, and is looking fantastic for it! We have applied more fertiliser and water to the green and will keep bringing it on ready for opening mid-summer.

The total length of the green is 75 feet and it is 54 feet wide at the widest point, and we can't wait to let members use it!