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Whether it’s located in an open field or a Soho basement unit, the range is a place where you can develop the skills needed to survive in this dog-eat-dog world. Whether you shoot, fling or whack, Beijing has a range for you, and they are all way more than we bargained for. Being denied entry at Beijing North International Shooting Range was a minor blip compared to being slammed in the mouth with a golf ball at Chaoyang Kosaido Golf Club. In short, the assignment was equal parts painful, informative and challenging.

Just a ten-minute walk from Tuanjiehu subway station is a nine-hole golf course. Chaoyang Kosaido Golf Club is modest and not really worth the price of becoming a member, but it is conveniently open seven days a week, from 7am-10pm, for you to come and perfect your swing. Think of it as a place where you can prepare for weekend excursions to more reputable courses outside the city.

I hadn’t been to a driving range in about 17 years. Golf was never a sport I enjoyed, but I remember at the time thinking Michael Jordan did it, so it had to be cool. Evidently, this wasn’t enough to keep me interested in the sport during my adolescence, but I was excited to give it another try.

I arrived at about 9am and purchased an hour on the range (RMB 50), rented a couple clubs (RMB 100) and a basket of 100 balls (RMB 150). While initially a little rusty – impossibly whacking one ball into my lip – I was eventually surprising myself by slamming them past the 150-meter mark.

During summer mornings, the lanes are primarily filled with Beijing youths being observed by their mothers. I was one of three in my age bracket, but surprisingly not the worst on the range. With most of my pocket cash gone, and feeling slightly fortunate that I finished the bucket without losing my front teeth, I got the hell out of there.

Chaoyang Kosaido Golf Club 广济堂高尔夫俱乐部
Daily 7am-10pm (summer only, closed in winter). 9A Nongzhan Nanlu, Chaoyang District (6501 8584)
朝阳区农展南路甲9号

Also in this month's Range Life series:
Shooting Range Beijing: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Dandies
Bullseye in Beijing: A Visit to Jian Archery Club

Photos: Kipp Whittaker


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