The Most Entertaining Place I Know Of: The Driving Range

Through out my many years of playing golf, I have spent a lot of time at my neighborhood driving range working on various parts of my game, everything swing changes to “breaking in” a new set of irons. Over the course of my visits to the range, I have heard and seen some of the most incredible things when it comes to golf instruction…not by real life teaching professionals, but by fathers teaching sons and daughters, buddies teaching other buddies, strangers helping out other strangers or people who think they know the swing and can teach others..usually seen way off in a corner of the range.

Sometimes I’ll get “lucky” enough to be next to these people while practicing and I’ll hear some of the most incredible, god awful pieces of advise that you can imagine…to the point where I have to stop hitting balls and walk away. It takes almost everything I have to keep from coming up to that person and asking,”Do you have an idea of what the hell you’re talking about?  Does your friend have any clue of what you are telling them?” Typically the folks giving swing advise are people that are poor players themselves. People that can’t hit the ball out of their own shadow. People that really never have had any type of proper instruction themselves. People who believe that their own bizarre philosophy on the golf swing is the norm.

Let me just give you a few examples of some of more comedic things I have heard people helping out other people on the range: “Now if you practice this move a few more times, you’ll have it because muscle memory happens very quickly.”  “You’re hitting the ball on the ground a lot because these clubs are too short for you,” or my personal favorite, “You’ve got to squat down to the ball like you’re almost sitting on the toilet.”

I keep threatening that one day I’ll go to the driving range, without my clubs, but just with a small tape recorder and get all of the “words of wisdom” down on tape so that I can start on the book I’d love to write for all of “golfdom” to laugh at. Well, that’s it for me. I’m off to the range to practice because last week I heard some old guy telling his wife that if she swung to the inside as far as she could, it would stop her from coming over-the-top. What the hell, I’m going to try it!

Dennis Silvers


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