Going for a Drive My Life | Sport & Health 23 MAR 2010

Ah, the guys at Vodacom Golf Village, Somerset West. Persistent really. You see, I’m quite keen of finding something new to keep me busy and get me outdoors on the weekends that Chantelle works, meaning the time to work on my golf game is now finally at hand. Now the Vodacom Golf Village situated next to Somerset Mall is pretty much the only golf driving range I can find in my area and so I contacted them via email to request information in terms of prices, times, etc.

Of course, having heard horror stories regarding their persistence before, I made sure to remove all telephonic references out of my signature before hitting the send button.

Their response was pretty quick I must say and a certain Victor contacted me back via email, though outside of operating times he was pretty stingy with information, instead insisting that I come in for a consultation in order to discuss month to month membership pricing schemes. Needless to say, I iterated that I’m not a particularly keen golfer but was rather just looking around for a place to knock a couple of balls about, thus interested in comparing day visitor prices to membership prices and so make a choice based on the projected number of times I would visit the driving range (which is probably only like four times in a month by the way).

Not to be outdone by my apparent lack of interest, Victor then went ahead and phoned the company line which he tracked down based on my footer image and email domain, which thankfully I avoided answering by virtue that I was out to gym at the time he phoned, leaving poor old Kim to take a message for me – obviously I instructed her to ignore any further calls from him.

So he shot back to the email route and after a couple more rounds, I finally got the day visitor price out of him but despite all my questioning and egging on, I couldn’t drag any sort of membership fee out of him. So I pretty much thanked him for his time and stopped the email conversation.

Four days later and I got another email in my inbox from Victor informing me that it was a special “invite a guest” day at the driving range on Saturday and wouldn’t I be interested in coming in to have a chat – all I needed to do was confirm my availability  so that he could make the necessary arrangements.

Now annoyed by his unwanted persistence, I declined.

Yes, these are my second hand babies, purloined from all the extras left behind by Dad and Ryan's quest to ever improve their respective golfing stashes

However, this doesn’t mean that I was particularly put off by the driving range itself. Having worked out that it would be really stupid to take a membership out now going into autumn/winter when the chance of playing every second weekend is pretty slim due to the wind and the rain that usually accompanies the seasons, as well as input taken from Pops and Ryan, I instead opted to go out on Sunday and sign in as a day visitor – where I noticed just why Victor had been trying so hard to hook me in – basically the whole page of sign-ins consisted of day visitors only!!

So for an entrance fee of R79 (and a little extra which I had just for some reason spent on purchasing brush tees at Sportsman’s Warehouse around the corner) I got unlimited access for the day with unlimited balls at a place that opens at 08:00 in the morning and runs all the way through to 18:00, giving a person plenty of time to mess about.

As it turned out, I must have emptied a good six or seven buckets of balls during my two or so hour stint at the driving range, practicing my shots with just about all the clubs in my bag, including driving, putting, chipping and even some bunker play! In fact, I hit so many balls that I completely worked through the thumb of my glove that I’ve borrowed from Pops and Ryan, meaning I now need to go out and get a new one for the next time I venture on the mats! :)

As for the driving range itself, I was suitably impressed that it covered everything a person needs, with a large number of side by side tee off areas (though you do tee off from rubber with astro turf mats), two nicely sized putting greens and a tucked away chipping and bunker shot area. Flanked by two pubs/restaurants there is more than enough options when it comes to taking break and as a whole, their whole team responsible for filling up the buckets and clearing off the balls from the range did a pretty damn good job, meaning you never sat in a situation where you’d have to stand around and wait for balls to become available.

The only drawback from my day out at the range? The whole of yesterday I sat with an extremely stiff and sore back, not to mention my rather tender right arm forearm.

Sigh, the sacrifices one needs to make in order to challenge a tiger…

A view down the driving range.

One of the two available putting greens.

About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.

  • Ryan

    The sheet was full of day visitors, because you swipe yopur card to enter as a member :)

  • Well now this day visitor knows that. Thanks for the heads up Ryan! :)

    (Next time you must come join me there when you’re in the area again!)
    .-= Craig´s last blog ..Going for a Drive =-.