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Covered driving ranges safe during Covid?

 el_hefty ·  
el_heftyel_hefty Members  133WRX Points: 78Handicap: 15.4Posts: 133 Fairways
Joined:  in Instruction & Academy #1

What's the thinking on how safe it is, given Covid and all, to hit balls at a covered driving range? At a fully open range, I'd feel totally fine, just like regular golf (which I've been playing). But the ones around here are covered with walls on 3 sides, making them sort of an indoor/outdoor hybrid I'd think, as far as ventilation and Covid goes.



  • ArtMBgolfArtMBgolf Members  574WRX Points: 127Handicap: 8Posts: 574 Golden Tee
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    Where are you. I have only seen walls on 3 sides for winter golf with heaters, then they remove them for summer.

    It may not be as safe as a open range, but that will depend on how crowded it is.

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  • el_heftyel_hefty Members  133WRX Points: 78Handicap: 15.4Posts: 133 Fairways
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    I'm in Seattle. And sorry, yeah saying 3 walls on all sides isn't exactly accurate. Here's a pic. I ended up going and felt safe mostly because it was so empty. My question would be more if the set-up had every stall taken basically...

  • AimeeAimee Members  512WRX Points: 78Posts: 512 Golden Tee
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    That's the setup at the range near me, every other stall is blocked from use. Plenty of fresh air circulating. Although last time I went, not crazy about the dude who decided to hit barefoot off the mat...eww.

    It's not how...it's how many
  • PhilsFanDrewPhilsFanDrew Members  597WRX Points: 98Posts: 597 Golden Tee
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    Honestly even if every stall was taken there looks to be more than 6 feet of distance between where you would be standing and where someone else would stand in the next stall.

  • andrueandrue Members  1565WRX Points: 301Handicap: 20Posts: 1,565 Platinum Tees
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    Looks like zero to almost zero risk. Our range is similar but has wooden panels between the stalls. It wouldn't worry me to go there in the least.

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  • bonvivantvabonvivantva Members  279WRX Points: 76Handicap: 21.9Posts: 279 Greens
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    I've been to a range when the guy next to me is hacking at ball after ball and breathing heavy. Even outdoors and 6 feet away, I wouldn't be comfortable with that level of risk.

    If you do go, I'd at least bring disinfectant spray/hand sanitizer for the ball machine, any transactions, etc. I don't personally understand the extent to which covid is spread through aerosolized transmission, but I'd definitely wear a mask and limit the time you're indoors, be it for transactions or any other reason. I'd also try to use the bathroom before you get there to avoid that risk as well. Always good to minimize risk, and better safe than sorry.


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  • scopekscopek Members  548WRX Points: 59Posts: 548 Golden Tee
    Joined:  edited Aug 3, 2020 2:56pm #9

    It seems fine as long as it's spread out. I personally wouldn't be there if all the stalls were filled. Even though you might be 6 ft away when hitting, it seems difficult to maintain that as people are coming and going and breathing heavily. Wearing a mask is nice because it will keep others safe *from you*, but it won't help you that much in terms of keeping safe from others unless you're wearing an N95 with eye protection.

  • xkilgorextroutxxkilgorextroutx Members  408WRX Points: 107Handicap: 15.5Posts: 408 Greens
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    Zero issue with a setup like that. If you're still uncomfortable, go at a time when it's less crowded so you'll know that you'll have some space and empty stalls near you.

  • gsrjcgsrjc TOC Members  1927WRX Points: 616Posts: 1,927 Platinum Tees
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    You can always wear a mask. I wear one when I play with my buddies and same when I’m at our outdoor section of the driving range.

  • scopekscopek Members  548WRX Points: 59Posts: 548 Golden Tee
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    The problem is that unless you're wearing an N95 the mask only protects you by 30% leaving a 70% chance of exposure if someone else has COVID. The point of the mask is to protect others in case you have COVID. If all parties are wearing masks the risk goes down to something like 1.5%.

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  • davep043davep043 Members  5325WRX Points: 2,498Handicap: 6.3Posts: 5,325 Titanium Tees
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    I know that the N95 masks are better than most, but as someone who has taken HAZMAT training, I understand that those N95 masks still don't get a full seal around your face. That means you're still breathing in some percentage of unfiltered air. If you have facial hair, the seal is even less effective. I'm not saying don't wear masks, doing so does help protect other people from you, and better masks (like N95) provide at least some additional protection to your own health. So lets all be safe, keep some physical distance (I hate the term social distance, we need to physically keep our distance), and wear masks to keep the people around us as safe as possible.


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  • scopekscopek Members  548WRX Points: 59Posts: 548 Golden Tee
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    Yes, you're absolutely correct on the n95 but they're better then the cloth masks, like you said. 100% agree with everything else you said.


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