FYI SOUTH Magazine, April 2007.

Over the Range – Driving ranges in the South

Summer is here and it's time to hit the links! Swing still got kinks? Why not try out one of these four driving ranges here in Kaohsiung and work out your game?

Words and photos by Dale Baggs
Translated by Ann Lee

Peach Garden Driving Range

426, HuaRong Rd, GuShan District, Kaohsiung City
(07) 581-4920
Hours: 8 am-10 pm

First on the list is the Gushan Driving Range, sandwiched between the Taiwan Navy and Marine bases in Gushan District. This very quiet range is 170 yards long and has 24 driving stalls divided between two floors. There is a synthetic putting green on the second floor surrounded by mirrors, so you can keep your short game in check. There is also ample seating upstairs, including some couches. This range is basically a DIY facility as there are no attendants. The automatic ball machine takes NT$10 coins. Overall, this low-key range is perfect for a solitary afternoon of peace and quiet. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Easy Shower Golf Range

502-1, TongMeng 3rd Rd,
Kaohsiung City
(07) 312-5172, (07) 312-5173
Hours: 6:30 am-12 am

In stark contrast, to Peach Garden, the Easy Shower Golf Range, located on the Love River, is very popular and active. There are 32 driving stalls over two floors and a small synthetic putting green. The net extends 150 yards, although it is a little narrow. The pro shop has high-end equipment for sale and the friendly staff can help you with all your golf queries. Don't have your own clubs? Easy Shower will lend you a set at no extra cost. Buckets of balls are purchased with tokens; one token is NT$50 and gets you 30 balls. Saturday and Sunday have special deals on tokens: buy three tokens and get one free, buy four and get two free, or buy five and get three free. The Easy Shower hours are 6:30 a.m. all the way to 12 a.m.

Ping Hao Golf Sporting Goods Store

427, TzLi 1st Rd, SanMin District, Kaohsiung City
(07) 316-3396
Hours: 6 am-11 pm

The driving range located on TzLi Road has a pretty basic set-up. The small pro shop is equipped with limited stock and the synthetic putting green is very small. There are 30 driving stalls on one floor and the net reaches to 140 yards. One thing this range is, however, is wide. There is quite a lot of room between stalls and the sides of the net, so watch out for that slice! There are 90 balls per bucket and that will cost you NT$100. Although this range does not have a lot of frills, it is a good bargain when it comes to hitting balls.

KGolf Driving Range

20, WenLong Rd, FengShan City,
Kaohsiung County
(07) 777-5125
Hours: 6 am -1 am

Hoping to be the new king of driving ranges in Kaohsiung, KGolf Driving Range has all the amenities for the discerning golf connoisseur. This extensive range is located across the road from President Supermarket in Fengshan. KGolf has a whopping 80 driving stalls over two stories, a well-equipped pro shop, coffee shop, and even a games room complete with video and basketball shooting games. Each well-maintained stall is equipped with an automatic ball loader and mirror, so you can keep an eye on your swing the whole way through. The spacious net stretches back 150 yards. If you want to take a hard-earned break from practicing, you can order a cool drink and a snack from the coffee shop and recline on the wooden chairs that accompany each stall. An added service is the conveniently located car-cleaning service just outside the entrance. Head for KGolf, do your best Tiger Woods imitation, and have your vehicle detailed at the same time.