Our 8 Favorite Westchester Driving Ranges
How do you find a better game? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice. PLUS: Join the Practice Club in White Plains
A trio of future pros work on their swings at Doral Arrowwood in Rye Brook
Photographs by John Fortunato
Noted golf instructor (and former pro at Sunningdale, Quaker Ridge and Sleepy Hollow) Jim McLean says you should practice for one hour for every round you play. If you’re playing twice a week, then, you should put in two hour-long sessions on the range. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to log your range time in Westchester.
Doral Arrowwood Golf Club
Rye Brook 914-939-5500; www.doralarrowwood.com
The newly renovated practice facility at the Doral Arrowwood offers a grass driving range with a professional grass practice green and bunker, and a short-game area. There’s also a fine pro shop and instruction available from the Mitchell Spearman Golf Academy, which offers group clinics and individual lessons. Large bucket: $15
Fairview Golf Center
Elmsford 914-592-1666; www.fairviewgolfcenter.com
This extensive range has a two-tier structure protecting 76 tees, 36 of which are heated and partially enclosed for year-round comfort. The synthetic landing area has been newly resurfaced following damage from Hurricane Sandy. Five greens as well as other marked points provide a variety of targets. There’s also a practice putting green and bunker, not to mention two mini-golf tracks for extra fun. Large bucket: $12
Yorktown Golf & Baseball Center
Mohegan Lake 914-526-8337; www.yorktowngolfandbaseball.com
Hone your swing at this two-tier, 36-station, 14-acre facility just minutes off the Taconic Parkway. Half of the covered hitting stations are heated, and there’s a putting green, practice bunker, and numerous target greens. For a change of pace, you can always putt around the mini-golf course or take a few swipes in the baseball batting cages. Large bucket: $12
Westchester Golf Range
White Plains 914-592-6553; www.westchestergolfers.com
This beautiful 16-acre range has 90 hitting stations, plenty of well-marked targets on a spotlessly maintained grass range surrounded by trees, a practice putting green, and a well-stocked pro shop. There are also two fully equipped teaching areas for lessons given by three of the best-known PGA professionals in the area: John DelVecchio, Sharon McQuillan, and Jim Turnesa. Large bucket: $11
4 More Westchester County Golf Courses
Warm up and/or practice at four of the county-owned courses: Mohansic Golf Course, Yorktown Heights; Sprain Lake Golf Course, Yonkers; Dunwoodie Golf Course, Yonkers; and Saxon Woods Golf Course, Scarsdale. You’ll also find practice greens at all the courses and PGA professionals to help with your game. Bucket prices vary.
Need Discipline? Join the Practice Club
Instead of dropping by the range in your spare time (who has that?) and whaling away at a bucket of balls as fast as you can, Sharon McQuillan suggests you set aside an hour once a week to hit balls under supervision, working on specific things to sharpen your game. She calls it the Practice Club, and it’s just what it sounds like: regularly scheduled, supervised practice. The goal is to actually accomplish something — like improving your scores — instead of just more deeply ingraining your slice.
“It’s such a simple idea with so many good things going for it,” McQuillan says. “You make a commitment in advance, so you’re much more likely to carry through with your good intentions. You also practice with a purpose, which every good golfer will tell you is key to making it worthwhile.” Best of all, you’re not on your own — McQuillan will be there to make sure you’re working on the right facets of your game. These aren’t lessons, but there’s no question that you’ll get good guidance from a top PGA professional.
The Practice Club meets at the Westchester Golf Range on Dobbs Ferry Road in White Plains every week, and is open to McQuillan’s students. Membership in the club is only $65 per month (or $240 for four months), which includes range balls. For more information, visit www.sharonmcquillan.com.