If practise makes perfect, it makes sense that the majority of the guys out here spend their free time on the driving range.
Us regular human beings have all been to a local range and know what to expect: grass mats, rubber tees and old yellow golf balls that whirr through the air. Things are a little different on the PGA Tour.
At Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario, site of this week’s RBC Canadian Open, players are treated to pretty much anything they’d like. There’s water, juice, food, golf clubs, balls, etc, etc. You want it, they’ve got it.
Here are some of the highlights:
Practise with any type of ball you want
You like Titleist? Grab a bag. TaylorMade? You got it. Usually play Srixon, but want to try out a Bridgestone? Yep, they’ve got that too. Essentially, the old adage, “You play how you practise” has been taken very seriously here. I’m sure it’s just a little detail to the pros, but getting to mash hundreds of whatever type of brand new balls you want, is pretty cool. I wonder what the course does with all of the “used” balls?
Star players just strolling around
Nothing to see here, just Bubba Watson and Tommy Fleetwood.
It takes a media pass or actually being involved in the event to get into the driving range area (not a big deal), but once you’re in, everyone is just one of the guys. Joking around, messing with each other, closest to the pin competitions, putting contests, these guys are just like us when they’re in their element. Turns out some of them have pretty big security escorts too. Case in point, the large man in a vest behind Bubba Watson.
Great practice facilities
Most good courses have driving ranges. This one is just better. It’s bigger, wider, longer, and has more target greens the just about any other in the area. Throw in a massive putting green, and a pitching green with a deep bunker alongside it, and you’ve got yourself somewhere to spend eight hours working out the kinks before your round.
I mentioned the balls. They’ve also got every type of club, shaft, grip, glove; anything and everything a golfer could need. Dustin Johnson, for example, spent over an hour this afternoon tinkering with his Driver.
No need to wait until you meet with your instructor or club guy, it’s all on the range every week. Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, Ping, doesn’t matter. If you want something, the Tour’s got it.
Now all you’ve got to do is go out there and get good enough to play on the Tour.