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Our Five Faves

Best driving ranges

Posted June 17

Jeff Gravley and Gerald Owens introduce some of the world's best golfers and the historical course they will tackle in the U.S. Open.

— After watching some of the best men's players in the world struggle mightily on Pinehurst No. 2 the last four days, many Triangle golfers are likely entering the second week of U.S. Open play in the Sandhills feeling like a bit of practice is in order.

With that in mind, here is a list of the five best practice facilities in central and eastern North Carolina.

Knights Play (Apex): The Ten-Ten Road facility is more known for its 27-hole par-3 course, but the practice facility at Knights Play may be the best in the entire area.

There are 60 hitting stations available (mats and grass), and the tiered range that includes target areas offers players a chance to work on firing at pins before they head out to the course.

Another notable feature is the lights, which allow players to practice from 8 a.m. to midnight (weather permitting). There is also a putting green for work with the short stick.

A large bucket of golf balls is $9, and a small bucket is $5.

For those just getting started, Knights Play offers lessons to all ages.

Capital Golf Center (Raleigh): Located north of Interstate 540 on Capital Boulevard, this practice facility is in a good spot for many of the golfers in north Raleigh and southern Granville and Franklin counties.

There are 25 heated and sheltered hitting mats, and CGC also has several grass hitting areas. The large range includes multiple targets and is about 300 yards long.

The short game area has both a sand trap and putting green. Another feature of Capital Golf Center that will entice children in an 18-hole miniature golf course.

The facility offers lessons to all ages. Hours are noon-8 p.m. on Monday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

A small bucket of balls is $7, a medium bucket is $11 and a large bucket is $15.

401 Par Golf (Raleigh): Located west of Garner in south Raleigh, 401 Par Golf is a short drive for much of Raleigh, Cary, Garner and other communities in southern Wake County.

The driving range includes 17 artificial turf mats (four covered stations), a large grass hitting area, a practice bunker and a putting and chipping green.

401 Par Golf also features a nine-hole pitch and putt golf course that is great for beginners. Holes range from 50 to 115 yards.

The range is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

A small bucket of golf balls is $5, a medium bucket is $9, a large bucket is $10 and a jumbo bucket is $18.

Tee to Green (Apex): Located west of downtown Apex off U.S. Highway 64, Tee to Green is convenient to western Wake County, eastern Chatham County. For folks in Durham and Chapel Hill, Tee to Green is a short drive down N.C. Highway 55.

The one-acre facility features all-grass practice areas and lights for nighttime practice.

It is open noon to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

A small bucket of balls is $7, a medium bucket is $10 and a large bucket is $12.

Hillandale Golf Course and Driving Range (Durham): Just a few minutes west of downtown Durham, Hillandale Golf Course offers a full-service driving range and golf lesson facility.

The course has a grass hitting area, practice green and wedge practice area. The course, which is the oldest in Durham, also hosts demo days to allow players to test out the latest technology.

The range is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.

A small bucket of golf balls is $4, a medium bucket is $7 and a large bucket is $9.

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  • Knock Jun 17, 4:28 p.m.

    Can't comment about the often closed grass areas I guess. Weird. At least if they knew why I didn't go they might stop.