After purchasing the neighbouring farm in October 2005, which is situated just to the west of our current Whispering Hills Golf Club, 18 hole golf course property, I immediately went to the drawing board with a vision of what type of a Practice Facility I wanted to build for my potential golf customers in the Grey-Bruce and surrounding area.
The property, which was a corn and hay field since the 1960s, was the prime and extremely convenient location to add a golf practice facility for Whispering Hills customers and for golfers in the Walkerton, Hanover, and surrounding area. The entire farm property is a little over 10 acres of land, but the actual area where the practice facility is located is exactly 198,000 square feet, or 4.5 acres in size.
Because the property is not at least 300 yards deep, I decided to take a totally different approach to what type of golf practice facility I was going to build for my customers.
There were already numerous “Driving” style ranges around. And to be quite frank, “Driving” Ranges do not always help people play better out on the “golf course.” I know, that’s a bold statement, but, I think it is very true from what I’ve seen in all my 30+ years being around this sport called Golf.
Here’s what I mean, really. You see, when you label yourself as a “Driving” Range, people immediately think of the club called “Driver.” Hitting drivers and nothing but. Just think about that for a minute. Go to a range, buy a large bucket of balls, head to the tee, take your driver out and just bang out a whole bucket of nothing but driver and sweat your butt off. How is that smart? It’s not! So many people do it though, because they figure if you get awesome with your driver, you’ll go out the next time on the golf course and shoot amazing scores. Reality is, you won’t!
My whole life, I’ve hit the ball long. I’ve been kicked out of ranges for banging all their balls “out of the park” past the 300 yard fence. At a high-end course in Florida, I even had the Head Pro come out and ask me to hit my 3 wood only, as my balls were going past the 320 yard boundary out onto a hole of the golf course behind the range. I looked around and everyone else was just hitting driver. Point is, I hit the ball stupid-LONG, but yet I have scored some stupid high scores because I hit it great off the tee, but that was it. I didn’t hit the second shots tight to the pin as often because I didn’t practice with my Irons as much!
The second shot on a hole of the course is more important than the first. You’ve gotta knock it tight if you want to see your scores drop!
When I bought the farm with the vision of building a practice facility, I was glad that the property wasn’t terribly long. Actually the length and width of the range is pretty well dead-on perfect to practice Irons and Wedges. Otherwise known by the Tour Pros as the “money clubs.”
Ever wonder why pros hit irons off the tee on long and tight par fours and fives? Because it’s more accurate than a driver – even for them! That sure tells the average Joe golfer something. Even a pro hits terrible drives and gets into HUGE trouble on the course because of it. Driver is very hard to hit well all of the time.
People need to work on their irons the most. Simple as that. You can hit 300 yard drives all you want, but if you can’t hit the green on your next shot, to give you a chance to make a birdie or par putt, then what’s the point? I personally have shot lower, more consistent scores on the course, the less I use a driver and use irons more off the tee. Try it, you will notice what I have.
That is why my slogan is: Work on the shots that matter the most – the ones at the flag.
I built a Target Greens Range. A range with the sole purpose of getting the customer better and prepared for “out on the course!”