Golf driving ranges have come a long way since their humble beginnings. From small practice tees to high-tech facilities, the evolution of the driving range is a fascinating story. But did you know there are some little-known facts about driving ranges that might surprise you? Here are just a few:

1. The first recorded driving range was in New York City in 1915. The Golf Range Association of America was formed just a few years later in 1928.

2. The first automatic ball dispenser was invented in the early 1950s. Before that, golfers had to manually load balls into dispensers or hit off grass tees.

3. In the 1960s, the first indoor driving ranges were built, allowing golfers to practice year-round.

4. The largest driving range in the world is the TopGolf location in Las Vegas, which spans over 105,000 square feet.

5. Many driving ranges offer more than just practice facilities. Some have mini-golf courses, batting cages, and even go-karts.

6. In the 1970s, a driving range in California became famous for hosting concerts. The Riverside Golf Club featured acts like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.

7. The first virtual reality golf range was introduced in the 1990s. Today, golfers can use simulators to practice on courses around the world without leaving their hometown.

8. Driving ranges have become popular destinations for corporate events, birthday parties, and even weddings. Who knew hitting balls could be so versatile?

9. Some driving ranges have gone green, using solar panels to power their facilities and implementing sustainable practices like rainwater harvesting.

10. The Golf Range Association of America estimates that there are over 3,500 driving ranges in the United States alone, generating over $2 billion in revenue each year.

As you can see, the history of golf driving ranges is a fascinating one. From the early days of manual ball dispensers to the high-tech simulators of today, the driving range has evolved to become a staple of the golf industry. So the next time you’re out practicing your swing, take a moment to appreciate the long and interesting history behind this beloved practice facility.