Do you need a Trackman? Is it all about the balls? Or would just putting in a heater do? Steve Carroll and Tom Irwin recount their best and worst driving range stints

What does a good driving range experience look like? Do we need fancy technology and an on-demand bar, or will a quiet corner, a bucket of balls, and a nice patch of grass do the job just as well?

On this week’s From the Clubhouse, a podcast from National Club Golfer, Tom Irwin and Steve Carroll dive into everything you may have ever considered about getting in a bit of practice.

Tom is in raptures about a recent driving range session with his kids, Steve bemoans the ‘indifferent’ quality of balls you can find at some facilities and the pair recount their best and worst moments.

rules of amateur status

They look at what makes a great driving range, whether club golf is lagging behind when it comes it providing the best experience for members and visitors, and Tom remembers the weird and wonderful characters who made his own time working at a driving range so memorable.

After mustering a passing score last week, Tom also has to find another level as Steve puts him through the R&A’s intermediate Rules of Golf quiz. How will he get on this time?

What do you expect from a stint at the driving range? What have been your best and worst experiences? Let us know your thoughts with a tweet.

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 23 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former captain and committee member, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the national Tournament Administrators and Referee's Seminar. He has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying and the PGA Fourball Championship. A member of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap.

Handicap: 10.9

Tom Irwin

Tom is a lifetime golfer, now over 30 years playing the game. 2023 marks 10 years in golf publishing and he is still holding down a + handicap at Alwoodley in Leeds. He has played over 600 golf courses, and has been a member of at least four including his first love Louth, in Lincolnshire. Tom likes unbranded clothing, natural fibres, and pencil bags. Seacroft in Lincolnshire is where it starts and ends.

Ireland Golf Package: Play Portsalon, Old & Glashedy courses, Ballyliffin, for £375 per person

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