Toptracer – Driving Range Reimagined

The driving range. The place we go, usually alone, to hit shot after shot with, say, a 7 iron, groove our swing, good or bad, maybe switch to another club, hit some more, tell ourselves we’re practicing with a purpose.

Prepare to adjust your whole idea of a driving range.
Toptracer technology is now installed in all the practice bays and on the grass tees at Miles of Golf. If you watch golf on TV, you’ve seen the highlighted ball flight. That’s the technology. And it’s free!

Something for everyone.
At the range, Toptracer Range offers an amazing number of choices, from games of skill (and fun), to simulated world-renowned courses. Grab a beer/wine and enjoy!

For golfers aiming to improve and learn more about, say that trusty 7 iron, there’s distance and carry, ball speed, launch angle and height, and you can keep all those stats on your phone.

We’re pretty excited, so here’s a quick look and easy-start guide.

TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT – IT’S EASY

In the practice bays there are monitors, on the green tees you use your phone. You can play as a guest or as yourself.

Before you head to the range
  • Load Toptracer Range App on your phone
  • Open the App, select “Sign Up” and create your profile
At the range

The monitors in the bays are as simple as press a button. If you’re on the grass tees …

  • Select “Play Now”
  • Select “Play Mobile”, then select “Locate Position”
  • Follow the directions on your screen & you’ll be ready to play!
Bring a friend and play “Closest to the Pin”

It’s a friendly challenge game. You’re practicing distance control, understanding exactly how far you hit each club, AND getting a feel for Toptracer Range. Maybe check out some of the other challenge games.

Try “What’s in Your Bag”

You tell Toptracer what club you’re hitting, and it traces and tracks all of your stats. All shots are stored for easy access. Grab a beer if you find this too humbling.

NEXT TIME YOU GO

On your next visit, maybe you want to invite 3 friends to play Pebble Beach. Or you want to understand the data details of the ball when you hit driver. Speaking of driver, you can challenge your friends to see who hits it farthest. Or maybe you’re thinking of the possibilities of league play.

Toptracer Range can be a platform for an all-friends, all-fun outing with drinks and snacks, or the virtual golf instructor who never forgets a shot. Like golf itself has always been, it can be both a social hoot, or a very personal endeavor. Take a swing at it at Miles of Golf.

Practice with a Purpose

Everyone likes to practice but not everyone’s practice leads to improvement. In almost 20 years of teaching I’ve found that it isn’t just practicing that makes you better. It’s HOW you practice. Many people wonder, “Why can I do it on the range and not on the golf course?” Well, what exactly WERE you doing at the range? Firing off 100 drives without a target, maybe?

When you go to practice there should be a purpose to what you’re about to do with those 100 balls. Is the practice short game based? Is it putting that’s causing you to lose strokes? Or maybe it’s bunker shots? Some people have trouble with uphill/downhill/side hill lies on the course but do we ever practice them? Yet we expect to hit a good shot when faced with that situation on the course. I don’t think so!

Your first step is to figure out what area of your game needs the most work or what area you have the most questions about. That’s your focus during a practice session.

Here are some simple things you can practice at the driving range that will help lead you to better outcomes on the golf course.

new balance shoes

Warm up
Get your 100 balls and warm up with some short wedge shots and then a few mid iron shots. Now you’re ready for your main practice.

Pitching & Chipping Practice – The Ladder Drill
Hit a ball 10 yards, then 20 yards, then 30 yards, etc, all the way out to a full wedge distance. For some that might be 60 yards and for others it might be 100 yards. Then work your way back to the 10-yard distance.

See if you can transition from ball to ball the distance you want it to go. On the course you’re never the same distance from the target each time so you need to practice shortening and lengthening your swing to accommodate those distances. I see many people having difficulty making smaller swings when they get near the green.  That’s because golfers practice way more full shots than they do half swings.

new balance 750

Putting Practice – Distance & Direction
To practice putting productively, separate it into 2 categories – distance putting (lag putting) and directional putting.

Distance Drill
Try putting a 30 foot putt to the edge of the green and see how close you can come without hitting the fringe. Try it with any number of balls. Taking the hole out of the equation works well for people because you’re not trying for a hole, just for distance.

Direction Drill
Lay 2 clubs down parallel to each other, just wide enough so your putter fits in there. Place the clubs in the direction you want to putt and not more than 15 feet from the hole. You want to swing your putter in this path to better guide your stroke to the hole. You will make a lot of putts this way so don’t be surprised!

On the course if a player is unsure of what she’s doing as she stands over a ball, her chance of hitting it correctly are about zero. She’s not committed to the shot she’s about to hit. If she’s practiced that situation, purposely at a range or with the guidance of an instructor, she will have the confidence to hit it successfully.  Now THAT’S fun!