I very rarely play golf with other women. And if I do, it’s with one who’s playing with her husband, and I with mine (I miss those days Dot and Mikee!) (read: double date). I guess I’ve always been just “one of the guys”. Well, that and I am most comfortable playing when Vince is around. Even though I hardly listen to his advice while we’re playing and have told him numerous times to uhm, not tell me what to do, I just play better when he’s there (so long as he is not dissecting my swing when I’m about to hit).
So when we’re with the usual crew, I’m the only rose amongst the thorns. Even during tournaments, I’ve only been on the same flight with another female once, and she quit after the 3rd hole for a nice massage and pedicure. It was signal number 1 and we had no business playing in those super wet conditions anyway. She was smarter than all of us by quitting before pneumonia set in.
Anyway, I’ve been witness to guys trying to outdrive each other from the blue tee and argue about who’s got the nicer ball and the better shaft. (Totally about golf here people!)
Then you have some boys crackin’ jokes on how the red tees are 40 yards ahead, 50 yards ahead, almost a hundred yards ahead and that girls got it easy. Tsk tsk. Don’t they know that us female players have our own issues to deal with from the red tee? Either a tree is right there, or our driver distance is right where the water hazard is, etc?
The 2nd time I organized the Vince Hizon cup, I made a fun hole where guys had the option to hit from the red tee but they had to wear skirts till they holed out. Guess what? I almost ran out of skirts!
I say you guys, on just your regular golf rounds should just try to hit from the red tee! Say it’s because it’s WOMEN’S MONTH! It’ll change up your perspective, speed up your game, and make the female golfer in your group feel great and not so lonely waiting on the tee box.
Saw a throwback ’08 article on “why should guys play off the reds” by Bob Warters on www.golfmagic.com
And it left this for discussion:
Would you ever consider playing off the red tees? Isn’t it worth a try to speed up play or have more chances of hitting the green in regulation. Or are you too macho to consider it?
Before you answer that, read the rest of his article and maybe just maybe you can consider playing off the red tee!
Recent research by the USGA suggests that the slightly-better-than-average golfer (who shoots in the 90s) hits his tee shot just 192 yards.
However, 41 per-cent of the men in the survey of 18,000 golfers, estimated they hit their drives 250-plus yards! In reality, says the USGA, maybe only one in 50 golfers routinely hits drives that far. Senior men are lucky to coax even the most durable ball 170 to 180 yards off the tee and a typical woman golfer’s drive reaches 135 yards.
“For most players, the back tees on any course should be just a rumour,” says one golf architect who tends to hide the longest tees on courses he designs so that average golfers won’t be tempted.
The result of all this macho-thinking by average club golfers is that courses are becoming less enjoyable to play and, inevitably, rounds are taking longer to complete.
It might be sacrilege to say it, but if we want to make the game more fun and not so likely to be held up by the group in front, why don’t most of us play off the red tees?
Further research has discovered that forward tees for beginners, women and some seniors should be set around 4,100 yards, with courses able to provide tees between 5,700 to 6,300 yards for those with handicaps to prove they can handle them.
One idea is to charge more to play off the back tees (6,700 to 7,200 yards) where long-hitting youngsters and single digit handicappers can show off their driving prowess. Incidentally scratch golfers make up less than one per-cent of golfers.
Over the last 20 years, designers have given more thought to forward tees. The problem is getting golfers to use them, especially macho-oriented men who believe they haven’t played a proper round of golf when they can’t fire off the tips even when they can’t come close to reaching many par-4 greens in two shots.
By requiring an extra full shot on 14 or more holes, they can add 30 to 45 minutes to the length of a round and consequently slow down everyone behind them.
One experiment at Province Lake in the US set out to understand why more people weren’t playing the course. And in a radical system of repositioning tees ensured that players of all abilities would be hitting their approach shots into greens with similar clubs, not from similar distances. So while the seniors and women were hitting 8-irons into the green like the scratch golfers, they were doing it from 90-100 yards instead of 160 yards.
“You still have to hit the shot, but this way everyone has the same opportunity to reach the green, and everyone has fun,” said the course owner, who doubled pay-and-play rounds per year and improved playing time by upto 30 minutes.
So next time you have a social round, try playing off the reds as an experiment. See what it’s like having shorter irons into the greens and more makeable birdie putts. You might just have more fun and take less time over it.