Business Overview

A driving range offers golfers of all skill levels a place to practice their swing by allowing them to practice many repetitions of their swing without having to travel the length of a golf course. Driving ranges can be located indoors or outdoors, and most ranges also offer the retail sale of golf equipment and a snack bar or restaurant. A driving range can be located almost anywhere. Your range will appeal to people of all ages from kids who are interested in learning golf and businessmen looking to sharpen their game on their lunch breaks to old folks who still have a love for the game. Many golfers choose to practice at a driving range as the range gives them the opportunity to practice their swing many times without having to cover the golf course. Adding cutting-edge technology, such as golf simulators, can make your range unique and highly desirable to those most passionate about golf.

Who is this business right for?

Ideal driving range owners are those interested in golf and experienced in customer service. Great customer service is a vital part of your business, as you will be having personal encounters with your customers, and satisfied customers have the potential to become regulars. It is also important for owners to feel comfortable managing property maintenance, maintaining food-service standards, and running basic business operations.

What happens during a typical day at a driving range?

Your own list of daily duties can depend on whether you open an indoor or outdoor facility with or without food services, but the average day of a driving range owner includes:

  • Maintaining the driving range which can include collecting balls, removing debris, mowing, and maintaining night lighting
  • Checking ball dispensers or golfing simulators for proper operation
  • Standard money handling and banking procedures
  • Providing assistance for customers who might need help with simulators or ball dispensers
  • Maintaining clean golfing stations
  • Conducting property surveys of parking area
  • Providing clean restrooms for your clients
  • Serving food items offered on your menu

What is the target market?

Your customers will include golf lovers of all ages and skill-levels. Students and young professionals will use your facility to improve their golfing game, teens will enjoy hitting a few balls with their friends, and dedicated lifelong golfers will enjoy the convenience of a driving range when they don't have time for an entire game. Indoor facilities can target companies and families to sell parties that include a meal and use of the facility for a specific amount of time.

How does a driving range make money?

Driving ranges make money by charging customers for the use of golf balls and a tee area where they can practice their swing. While a bucket of balls can cost you $20 as an initial investment, you'll be re-selling the balls over and over before you'll need to replace them through loss or damage. The trick for finding real profit is generating enough traffic such that you sell a sufficient number of balls over the year to cover payroll, insurance, cost of property and maintenance. The retail sale of golf equipment can generate a substantial portion of your income.

What is the growth potential for a driving range?

The location of your driving range will determine how much business you can generate. While property values in rural areas lower your initial investment, urban settings bring in more customers. The increased number of customers may open up opportunities to offer golfing lessons, sell more golfing equipment, or expand your snack-shack into a larger restaurant.