How to build a rooftop hitting bay with things you already own

March 30, 2020
zephyr melton hitting ball on rooftop

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Times are strange in these parts. Other than reading, writing and Netflix, there’s not much else that goes on in my world these days. The routine can be nice in those brief moments when I can put aside the horrors that are occurring not far from me. But that routine can get redundant. Not to mention I have insatiable cravings for golf.

In order to ease these cravings, I made it my mission to find a way to play golf, in the city, in the middle of a pandemic. It might not be the golf I was used to, but I was determined to make it work. So I went exploring my building. Alas, I found a ladder with a hatch to freedom at the top of it. Roof access is no guarantee in New York City, so this was truly a break. Surveying the land (roof) I determined I could fashion a makeshift hitting bay up there. The views aren’t bad either.

Here are the steps I took to build Greenpoint’s only rooftop driving range with the following items:

Bed sheet
Two step ladders (chairs or stools will also work)
Yoga mat
Foam practice balls
7-iron

1. Find a roof
Pretty self-explanatory, although you don’t necessarily need to be on a roof. Just find any place with enough room for you to make full swings. Creativity is key!

2. Place step ladders six feet apart (social distancing is key!)
Like I said above, step ladders are optional. This can also be accomplished with chairs or barstools or really anything that you can string a sheet up between. You want them to be roughly six feet apart so you can pull the sheet taut.

3. Drape sheet between ladders
Take your sheet and drape it between the ladders. You want to make sure you have some slack in the sheet, but you don’t too much. Play around with the slack until you find what works best for your setup.

4. Tie sheet
Tie the corners of the sheet to the legs of your ladders or chairs. This is where the extra slack you accounted for earlier comes into play.

5. Put down soft surface
You want to put down a surface that you can hit off that won’t damage your clubs. For me, this was a yoga mat, but really anything will do. It may not be the juiciest lie you will ever hit off of, but when options are limited you make do with what you have.

6. Swing away
Look, I get that stringing up a sheet between two ladders may not offer the biggest hitting area to catch you balls, but I never said this was perfect. Take a lower lofted club if you’re worried about clearing the sheet, or maybe just practice stingers. It’s not a perfect setup, but if you gave me a choice between no golf or this makeshift setup, it’s an easy choice.

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