How to Build a Driving Range
Depending on your schedule or distance to a golf course, getting time on the driving range may not always be easy. Some golf courses have driving ranges but not putting greens, and both are important to your game. Building your own driving range with a putting green will help eliminate the time, travel and finding the proper course to practice. Building your own range also allows you to customize it to your specific needs.
- Select flat land to build a driving range. Keep away from areas where water can form pools. Move large rocks, debris, stumps or organic material off the land to avoid the underside of your turf from rotting.
- Know the dimensions of the ground you want to use. This will help you understand the proportions of the driving range in regard to the land. This will also help to know if there is enough depth for your needs.
- Create the dimensions for the putting green. You want a long and thin green to make the most use of the space. Mark the boundary with chalk.
- Lay a 4-inch layer of gravel over the entire area you are using as a putting/driving area. then cover it with course sand until the gravel is not visible. This allows proper drainage and stops anything from growing under your turf.
- Compact the gravel using a vibrating compactor or by having many people stomp on it over several days. If you use a compactor, the surface is compacted when the machine starts to jump around.
- Unroll the turf strips, one strip at a time. Lay down the turf in strips with the grain running the same direction in each strip. Use turf designed for golf instead of traditional turf to get better performance. Water each strip of turf after you lay it so that suction forms between the layer and the ground below it to keep it in place.
- Use the tape measure to measure the length between the putting green and the net you will have at the other end of the range. Make a target with this measurement marked on it, and place this at the location of the net. Then measure back to the putting area, marking every 5 or 10 feet, depending on what you want to use.
- Put up the cage for the driving range at one end of the putting green. Normal sizes for cages average 10 feet square and can be found at golf-supply companies. You can also build a cage out of PVC. Hang thin mesh netting from the top bars to create the walls of the cage. Tie the net to the top bars of the frame using zip ties at one-foot intervals. Coat the back section of the net with chalk dust. This will allow you to see where your ball hit the net giving, you an idea how you are doing.