Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Driving Range Without ... Driving?

What do you call a driving range that bans drivers? An ironing range?

We'll find out soon, because Ten Cups driving range in San Antonio has banned the use of drivers. I know what you're thinking - it's a short range. That's not uncommon in cramped quarters - many golf courses have short ranges where only irons, or even just short irons, can be hit due to the short length of the range.

That's not the case at Ten Cups, where the owner, David Fineg, says he's just tired of digging balls out of the woods that have been hit by golfers who have no business trying to hit a driver. (Hat tip to Richard Oliver of the San Antonio Express-News for first publishing this story. You can Richard's blog by clicking on the Oliver's Twist link in our sidebar.)

"As far as I'm concerned, drivers are useless to amateurs," Fineg told the Express-News. Hmmm. As far as I'm concerned, a driving range that bans drivers is useless to golfers who need to practice ... their driving. That's what a driving range is, after all: a practice facility. How is a golfer supposed to get better with a driver when the practice facility says, "Sorry, you can't hit that club here"?

Now, Fineg is correct when he says drivers are useless to most amateurs. Let's face it: recreational golfers stink when it comes to hitting driver. As elevated a figure as Lee Trevino has said many times that amateurs shouldn't even carry a driver, they just get you into trouble.

But, c'mon, hitting driver is fun. That rare big bomb down the middle is what keeps many weekend hackers coming back to the game. The quest for a consistent, deep driver is what sends many of those hackers to driving ranges to practice.

So Fineg's choice at Ten Cups is odd ... but, then, so is Fineg. Check out the Ten Cups website for a taste of Fineg's eccentricities.

Meantime, we'll be watching to see what effect the new no-driver policy has at Ten Cups.


  1. thanks for your coverage of the article richard published in todays paper. I just wanted to say that while hitting a driver long down the middle is fun, what i think is more fun is having success a greater percentage of the time. "12. Maximize the potential for success, and minimize the probability of failure." More success equals more fun. When you hit only the clubs you are extremely confident with at the course (or the range), you are maximizing your potential for success, and by extension, fun. I feel that no matter how much you practice hitting a driver, if you can't hit all your irons in your sleep, you are never going to hit a dirver with much success. Drivers are the clubs that permit professionals to get below par, and prevent amateurs from ever even getting to par. They are useless to us. They elevate your blood pressure, and your score. The minute you take that club out of your bag and throw it in the chipper, is the minute your game will go to the next level. Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts, Bogster!

  2. David, thanks for your comments. You have a lot of very interesting (and some very funny) commentary on your website. I hope our readers will click over to your site and check it out.

  3. Bogey;
    it is always amazing to note that someone has bothered to reply to any message...and very impressive. most guys (assumption) have no agenda, and no mission. I appreciate that you do. I was not aware of your site but will keep up on it now. It is a good site to be sure. I did want to mention a few things i forgot about during my last communication. Only men between the ages of 16 and 60 are not permitted to hit theior driver, women and all other kids may still do so. When you were talking about the range's dimensions not necessarily being the issue, you were only partly right. It is not that my range is not deep enough, but that it is not WIDE enough, HA-HA. As far as the business aspects of this decision go, the range is my backyard, I hit all the balls I can hit and rent the rest. No this is not Iowa, IT IS HEAVEN!
    one more thing I will put a link to your site as soon as i learn how to do so, and i really thank you for linking me up to your site. As far as I know, you are the first to do so. thanks again, david


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