We spent a day at World of Golf London in New Malden to experience just what it’s like at a place where the golf rarely stops…
Driving ranges… soulless places where golf junkies beat poor-quality balls into a featureless field from a prefabricated shed? Maybe round your way, but not at World of Golf London, the country’s premier golf practice and tuition centre, which turns our everyday understanding of a driving range completely on its head.
This excellent facility just off the A3 near New Malden in Surrey has evolved into Europe’s leading golf-based leisure facility. Put simply, it has everything that those devoted to improving their game could possibly wish for.
On the day of our visit, few of the 60 floodlit bays are ever free, with golfers of all ages and abilities sending a steady stream of balls out towards the six target greens. Twenty bays feature ball-tracking ProTracer technology, with golfers in adjacent bays taking on each other in distance challenges – the age-old pursuit of the driving range golfer with a new technological twist. This goes on all day every day, except Christmas Day, from 7am until 12am!
For golfers with an unquenchable desire to improve, nowhere offers more than World of Golf London. The eight-strong team of teaching professionals, including highly qualified Master Professionals Jon Woodroffe, Ian Clark and Duncan Woolger are constantly busy. At the far end of the range stands the Performance Centre, which opened in 2014.
Whenever we pop in there, all bays are occupied by golfers receiving expert advice with the assistance of all the technology you could hope for, from Trackman, FlightScope, GC2 with HMT and Swing Catalyst to a SAM PuttLab for help on the greens. Indeed, it’s not all about the long game either, with countless golfers taking to the practice bunker and Huxley putting green to sharpen up their games.
World of Golf London also knows that a fun element is required if more people are to be attracted to golf, and there can be few more enjoyable stepping stones into the game than the Jurassic Encounter Adventure Golf, with its exciting variety of putting challenges.
As we sit outside the busy Costa coffee shop, scores of people turn up to brave the dinosaurs, from young lads arriving on bikes to three generations of the same family.
If you thought all ranges were the same, think again…
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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