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Driving ranges are a convenient location for perfecting your golf skills; hence amateur golfers like myself frequent them. Gold is an outdoor game, so it is naturally affected by weather changes, especially rain. But are driving ranges open in the rain or closed?
Enclosed driving ranged like TopGolf will be open rain or shine. However, outdoor driving ranges will typically be open unless it is raining hard or there is lightning in the area. In a light to medium rain most driving ranges will remain open.
I have had the opportunity to explore a few driving ranges and concluded that it depends on the rain intensity. This blog will help answer your question, provide details, and give additional information to help you make an informed choice.
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Are Driving Ranges Open in the Rain?
Technically, yes. Driving ranges remain open while it’s raining. Hence, you don’t have to worry about canceled plans because of a bit of downpour. In my experience, driving ranges have remained open in most weather conditions, significantly since the fields can absorb water to an extent.
Only two conditions prompt driving ranges to shut down entirely or partially; lightning and water puddles. Following are a few reasons lightning and water puddles cause the facility to shut down:
1. Hazardous Conditions
The combination of lightning and rain is dangerous because water conducts electricity. Even though driving ranges always reserve an elevated space for golfers instead of making them stand on the field, the situation is still hazardous.
Lightning falling close to where you’re standing can put you in danger of electrocution. Therefore, you will notice driving ranges temporarily shutting down under such weather conditions.
2. Inconvenient for Diving Range Picker
Driving range pickers are responsible for collecting and cleaning the balls left on the field by golfers practicing their skills. The picker driver takes the vehicle around the range, picking up the ball, cleaning them, and depositing them in a collection area.
This role becomes tricky when there are lightning and water puddles. Puddles make a few regions inaccessible for the pickers, while lightning makes the situation hazardous.
Since the Range cannot continue operations without continuous collection of golf balls, they choose to close the facility down while the conditions persist. They open it again once the puddles recede or the lightning shifts away from the area.
How Rain Affects your Game
As mentioned above, driving ranges rarely shut down due to rain, so you don’t need to change your practice plans in most cases. However, that does not mean that your practice will remain unaffected. Rain will affect your game in the following ways:
1. Change Ground Texture and Humidity
Although the field can absorb the water from the rain significantly, the moisture affects its texture. The wet grass absorbs the force of the ball more than the dry grounds, reducing the intensity of the reaction. Thus, the ball doesn’t bounce as much, and the speed drops significantly.
Additionally, a downpour also increases humidity in the air, increasing the friction and causing the ball to slow down automatically. That also affects the force with which the ball hits the ground, reducing the impact force.
2. Affect Grip
Some driving ranges have covered arrangements for the launch areas while others don’t. The ones without the cover leave the players exposed and drenched, affecting their grip on the club.
All amateur and pro golfers know how critical grip is for good results. Unfortunately, rainwater makes the club slippery, making your hands lose their stable hold. The instability eventually affects the quality of your swing and may even cause the club to fly away from your hands.
3. Impair Focus
Precision is critical for golf, whether you are an amateur or a pro. Unfortunately, rain affects visibility and concentration, making it difficult to aim the swing as accurately as you usually would. Few players can overcome such a challenge without taking additional measures to maintain their focus.
Precautions to Take when Playing Golf While it’s Raining
You can’t change the impact on the distance the golf ball covers while it’s raining. However, you can take a few measures to prevent the weather from worsening your performance. Following are the top actions to take when practicing golf at a driving range while it’s pouring:
1. Keep an Umbrella
An umbrella will be a trusted part of your gear when the weather is scorching hot or raining. It will keep you protected against natural elements as much as possible, allowing you to maintain your concentration.
While an umbrella has its limitations, its presence will make the weather more bearable for you.
2. Wear the Right Gloves
Rain will weaken your grip and make it difficult to swing the club the way you want to. However, getting suitable gloves can help. Look for gloves made for rainy conditions and take them along to the driving range.
I typically have 2-3 different types in my gear, so I am well-prepared for the weather.
3. Protect your Gear
The last thing you want is to get your clubs and other accessories soaked because the moisture can impair their quality. Use an umbrella or buy a protective shield to ensure the water does not pour down on your belongings.
Additionally, make sure that you take everything out and dry it once you head back. Such precautions will help you prevent damage and elongate the gear’s life.
4. Use Rain Suit
A rain suit is a perfect way to prevent the water from soaking you. It might make you feel a little uncomfortable, but it is still the best solution under the circumstances. Staying out in the cold rain can make you ill, so wearing the rain suit is a fair precautionary measure.
5. Wear Waterproof Shoes
Finally, you’ll need waterproof shoes when playing to prevent rainwater from seeping inside. Regular shoes cannot keep the water out, becoming damaged and uncomfortable. Therefore, waterproof shoes are a great option.
In short, driving ranges open in the rain unless there’s lightning and excessive water puddles. Therefore, you can enjoy your golf practice as long as you take the necessary precautions.