Your driving range is likely to stand in an area of between 6 and 15 acres, consisting of:
- the field into which the balls are hit. This will need to be about 350 metres long to ensure that balls don't go outside the perimeter. (While some golfers do hit the ball in excess of 350 metres when playing on a golf course, the types of ball used on driving ranges tend to travel less far. Also, if you leave the grass long at the perimeter of the field, this will help slow down any balls that are travelling towards the boundary of your land.) The field will also usually contain a few targets, nets and flags for golfers to aim at as well as yardage markers at 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 yards so that golfers can tell how far they have hit the ball. You may also have high perimeter fencing to prevent poorly aimed balls from damaging surrounding property and to make it easier for you to recover wayward balls
- the bays from which golfers hit the ball. Generally, these are covered individual booths with waist-high partition walls on either side. The front of the bay opens onto the field and the back of the bay opens onto an access corridor. The bay contains a tee mat off which the golfer hits the ball. Alternatively you may decide not to have bays at all and choose to have just tee mats spaced at two or three metre intervals, possibly separated by a low barrier on either side
- the reception area. This may be a small area with just a ball dispenser and a till or it may be larger with a retail area and possibly a café
- the car park. Your customers will be prepared to come to your range from quite far afield so you will need a parking area to accommodate their cars - even if they are local, they will often bring their own clubs with them so are unlikely to want to walk too far and will probably prefer to drive
- storage and utility sheds. You are likely to have various bulky items of equipment like ball collectors and mowers that will need to be stored overnight. You will also need an area for ball cleaning
Trade sources indicate that the total cost of construction of a driving range would be in the region of £200,000 - £250,000, although variations in land prices may affect this.
You may find it useful to purchase the Organisation of Golf Range Operators (OGRO) publications, the 'Best Practice Guide to Practice Facilities', and 'Golf Range - a Design Guide'. Visit the OGRO website for more information.