Golf Terms Defined
Driving Range | Practice Range
A driving range – or practice range – consists of an area where golfers can practice hitting golf balls. These can be found within the boundaries of a golf club or as stand alone facilities. The name finds its origin in the fact that golfers will oftentimes practice using their drivers.
A range will take the form of an open field where hitting stations will be put one next to another on one end. Such stations will either feature natural grass or artificial turf platforms. In some instances stations may be positioned on both ends, provided that the distance between the two is far enough for the long hitters to be unable to reach the other side. In urban or otherwise crowded locales, rows of hitting stations may even be positioned vertically, one on top of the other.
Golfers obtain practice balls through buckets and are billed in relation to the size and number of buckets purchased. Such balls – called range balls – are almost always imprinted with the ‘PRACTICE’ letters in order to dissuade golfer from stealing them and using them outside of the facility. Vehicles fitted with ball picking equipment will be used to retrieve the balls from the field and bring them back into the ball storage area. Such vehicles are fitted with specially-built protection grills that allow its driver to safely operate during open hours, i,e., when the range is open and balls are flying in the air.
A practice green consists of a practice area where the grass is cut to the same height as it is on the greens of the rest of the course. They are built in order to let golfers practice short game shots, i.e., mainly putting and short chips. They will often feature different sets of elevations and several holes that golfers can use for targets as they practice different lines of putts.
They are often positioned near the teeing ground of the first hole in order to provide golfers with the opportunity to practice while they wait for their tee-times, essentially killing time while still be ready to go when the tee box becomes available. Otherwise, they may be placed near the driving range in order to let golfers practice all areas of their golf game and not only their long game.
An informal term, the 19th hole refers to the restaurant or the bar where golfers will usually gather after finishing up their rounds. The origin of the term is found in that golfers will proceed to the venue after completing eighteen holes of golf, which can be considered the nineteenth.
9 and a Half
An informal term, the 9 and a half refers to the restaurant or snack bar where golfers can procure refreshments or food after the 9th hole and before they begin the 10th. It constitutes the mid point of a round as golfers finish the front nine and before they proceed to the back nine.
Because such venues are almost always located near to the clubhouse, golfers that play on courses that are built using the links layout will normally not have the luxury of visiting such an establishment. Indeed, in a links course, golfers will be situated very far from the clubhouse as they move from the 9th to the 10th hole.