In today’s article, we’ll answer the popular question “can you bring your own golf balls to a driving range?” Usually not. Although sneaking a couple of your own in during a warm up or practice session is fine.
Like any sport in the world, you need to practice golf in order to improve your performance and results.
For golf, one of the best ways to do that is by visiting a driving range. There, you can hit a large number of golf balls in a short amount of time, which allows you to develop excellent muscle memory and improve your ability to judge the distance of each of your clubs.
A lot of players consider using their own golf balls in a driving range to keep their results consistent between the driving range and the course. But is that allowed? Here’s what you need to know!
Can You Bring Your Own Golf Balls to a Driving Range?
Since the initial drive usually has a lot to do with your overall performance throughout the round, many players seek consistency by trying to use the same golf balls they use on the course while in the driving range.
However, in the majority of cases, most driving ranges will set rules that prevent players from using their own golf balls there, especially if we’re talking about a public driving range.
Despite that, there might be a few driving ranges out there that might still let you use your own golf balls while practicing. These are usually found in ultra private golf courses that include a small number of members.
In these driving ranges, players should be able to bring their own balls to the driving range, but you shouldn’t rely on finding those driving ranges easily because the vast majority of driving ranges, even elite ones, still won’t allow it.
If you do find one, grab one of these shag bags to store and collect your golf balls. Much easier to collect and reset to hit again.
As a rule of thumb, the more golf players the driving range is able to house at the same time, the less likely for the course to allow players to use their own golf balls.
But if you are wondering why it is so hard to improve at golf, and thinking that using your own balls at the range could help. By all means, find a place to practice the way you think is best for you!
Why Do Driving Ranges Prohibit Players’ Golf Balls?
Ideally, it makes great sense for driving ranges to set policies that ban the use of players’ golf balls. In this section, we’ll have a quick look at some of the most notable reasons why it doesn’t work:
1. It’s Unsafe for Players to Collect Their Own Balls
Driving ranges are designed in a way that allows golf players to hit balls constantly and for a very long time. They also offer thousands of golf balls for players to hit, so you shouldn’t worry about supply.
At certain times, driving range attendants use specialized golf carts and tractors to collect the balls from all over the range. These tractors are designed to protect the attendant from hundreds of golf balls that are fired at them constantly.
However, if a regular player goes down the range to collect their own balls, they’ll be in extreme danger, which is why almost every driving range out there prohibits that.
2. It’s Extremely Inconvenient for the Clubs to Sort Out the Balls
As previously mentioned, most driving ranges use ball collector carts and tractors in order to retrieve all the golf balls that have been hit by players.
These machines are unselective and immediately remove all balls from the range, and since all of them belong to the driving range, they can immediately bring them back to the driving spots to replenish the range with golf balls.
However, if the driving range has to collect players’ golf balls, they’ll have to sort out all the balls to bring them back to players, which is highly inconvenient and would slow down the retrieval process greatly.
3. Some Balls Might Get Damaged or Crushed While Collecting
In addition to the previous issues, even if the club doesn’t mind collecting players’ owned golf balls along with the range’s balls, tractors and collectors don’t always retrieve 100% of the balls that have been hit.
Not only that, but the mechanisms used to collect the balls expose them to excessive collision and crushing force that can damage the balls much quicker than usual.
In other words, you’ll be greatly shortening the lifespan of your own golf balls if you used them in a driving range.
What Kind of Golf Balls Do Driving Ranges Provide for Golfers?
The balls used in driving ranges are subjected to more hits than the average golf ball. Not only that, but they’re consistently bumped and bashed into one another when they’re collected in hundreds inside the tractor’s bin.
For that reason, golf balls at the driving range aren’t the best when it comes to response and performance.
Yet, driving range owners are aware of these problems, which is why they use a special golf ball with an extra thick casing and a 2-piece construction in order to last longer and stay consistent for as long as possible.
In other words, they’re not necessarily bad either, especially if you’re using them to improve your technique and get a general idea about the balls’ reaction to changes in your style.
For that reason, a lot of pros and experts recommend that you hit a maximum of 50 to 70 balls only in the driving range and always balance things out by also training with real balls on an actual golf course to stay in touch with how undamaged balls react to your technique.
Luckily, there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to using your golf clubs with driving range golf balls because the metal clubface is designed and tested to withstand hundreds of thousands of ball hits without deterioration.
This wraps it up for today’s guide that answers one of the most popular questions that we receive. So, can you bring your own golf balls and use them in a driving range?
Well, unless we’re talking about a super private golf course with driving ranges, the general consensus here is that players’ owned golf balls are prohibited.
However, as you now know, even the common golf balls used in the driving range are all designed and tested to perform consistently and shouldn’t cause any harm to your golf clubs.