While the driving range is the perfect place to hone your swing, long-distance shots, and short game, it is very easy for your practice to become stale if you are simply just hitting down the range every time you go. As we have covered before, golf is a very social game, and you can bring this social aspect to the driving range. While solo practice is an important way to hone your skills, going to the range with some friends and incorporating some games is a great way to change up your usual practice session and improve your skillset at the same time. Below are 4 games that different levels of golfers can play on the driving range.

Beginner – Target Practice  

A simple game that will have a massive impact on your golf game, especially if you are just starting out. The game is simple: pick a target and get as close to it as possible. The closest ball wins. Most driving ranges are littered with yard markers, baskets, and flags, so you will have plenty of options depending on which club you use. If playing on a virtual driving range, choose a set distance as your target. This game will not only improve your speed and direction control but also help you calculate the average range of your clubs. Even if playing solo, this is a great game to play.

Lower Intermediate – HORSE

Very similar to the above game but with more targets and competition. Played between two players, the concept is simple. One player calls a shot and then attempts it. If they miss, the second player gets to call a shot. If the first player’s attempt is successful, the second player must duplicate it in order to avoid getting an H. Players keep going until one player misses enough duplicate shots to spell HORSE and loses. This is a great social competition that will allow you to play to your strengths and test your opponent’s weaknesses.

Higher Intermediate – Play a Hole

This game requires a little imagination, but it is a great way to mix up your shots and get you ready to play on an actual course. To play, you simply imagine a hole and use the markers on the range to set the boundaries and any obstacles. For those who don’t have a range finder, you will have to estimate the distance of the ball using a bit of common sense to judge who is closest to the hole. Whether you will be able to putt will depend on whether your driving range has a putting green you can use. If not, then a 10-yard target can be your final shot. And if you “land” in the bunker, you can replicate course conditions by using a sand wedge on your next shot. This game uses a variety of different clubs, especially if you are “playing” a 5-par hole, and is great for practising the 50-100-yard shots that many golfers struggle with, as well as replicating the pressure of playing on a golf course. You can reproduce this game on a virtual driving range, and an advantage will be that you won’t have to estimate the distances as the golf tracker will tell you the exact yardage. That being said, the main advantage of indoor golf is that you don’t need to use your imagination, as you can play actual courses using the virtual sim.

Advanced – Tiger’s Nine Shots

This is the hardest game to not only play but also complete, as it requires you to have complete club control. Made famous by Tiger Woods, players need to hit a draw, fade, high fade, high draw, high straight shot, low draw, low fade, low straight shot, and a straight shot in as few shots as possible. If you can hit all just using nine balls, then you are a pro; ideally, though, you should aim to hit all nine using 18-20 balls. If playing with a group of friends, you can make it a competition by seeing who can hit the most shots out of 9 or who can complete all nine shots the quickest. This game is great as an indoor golf game as you will be able to see the exact ball flight on the screen, so there can be no disagreements over close calls.