Bucks County has a number of venues where one can hone his or her game on a practice range or short course. The price is right, and the practice can really help one's game.
Spring is zipping past and I just heard a DJ on the radio say the Fourth of July will be here before we know it. That means area golfers should be getting their swings in shape for the season if they haven't already done so.
While some players are already in midseason form, others, well, haven't taken their clubs out of the garage.
If you've played a few rounds and the ball isn't cooperating with what your mind had intended don't go out and buy a different brand of golf ball, try a little serious practice. There are several places to go between driving range facilities (I prefer to call them practice ranges) or some of the local courses that have practice ranges open to the public.
To just go hit balls without being tempted to hit the pro shop for a greens fee and playing you can go to Spring Mill on Jacksonville Road, the Double Eagle at Snipes Farm off Route 1 in Morrisville, Four Seasons Golf Center on Swamp Road in Fountainsville or the Mad Golfer on Street Road in Southampton. Spring Mill and Morrisville Golf Farm are open air stalls and you can practice in sunlight playing conditions and subject to the weather. The Mad Golfer offers both with a lower level covered and an upper tier open.
Facilities open for practice at golf courses can be found at Bensalem Municipal Golf Club (30-stall driving range) Fox Hollow in Trumbauersville, The Bucks Club in Jamison, Makefield Highlands in Lower Makefield and Five Ponds in Warminster among others. The Bucks Club, while open to the public, is the only facility that offers a small bucket of balls for warm up to players as part of their greens fee.All of the area's private facilities also have extensive practice facilities.
So, instead of making ball manufacturers increase their profits unnecessarily but hitting balls to places where you can't retrieve them or more drastically switching brands, try to take some serious time at a local range.
I am just a mid 80's player and don't profess to be an expert, but I learned from an instructor years ago how to practice. When you go to the range don't just machine gun balls down the range with your driver or other favorite club in a half hour. That accomplishes little. Hit a few warm up shot with a medium or more lofted club and graduate to every club in the bag.
I like to work with an approximate 60-ball bucket to three balls per club starting with my irons after a few warm up shots. Say hit even numbered irons and then fairways woods and a few drivers. Then hit the odd numbered irons, a couple wedges, more fairway woods and a few more drivers.
Also pause between shots to think about the execution. It's too easy to hit a bad one and just get another ball. You don't have that luxury on the course without a penalty. That is just my method. You might find one that works better for you. The bottom line is that there are places to go to practice and if you practice properly you can improve your game. If you need help, all of these facilities have accredited staff associated with them for lessons.
See you on the first tee.
Contacts: Bensalem Municipal Golf Course (215) 639-5556; Double Eagle Golf at Snipes Farm (215) 295-1337; Mad Golfer (215) 357-1622); Four Seasons Golf Center (215) 348-5575; Professionals are available at most sites for lessons.