To be clear, I am not talking about an occasional error that even tour pros encounter; this is about the opposite when several errant tee shots occur. To be fair, golfers have been programmed by marketing companies trying to sell you clubs and golf balls promising to give you more distance. In addition, popular slogans like “Grip it and rip it” and “Swing for the fences” have crept into the game like weeds taking over your lawn. The landscape of the game has changed to errant shots (weeds) played by golfers trying to live up to the hype with small patches of skillfully placed golf shots (bentgrass).
This year The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association started a new initiative to help you gain more enjoyment out of playing the great game of golf. Simply put, golfers are encouraged to play the set of tees that best suits their current skill level. The PGA provides the following chart to help golfers select an appropriate set of tees.
TEE IT FORWARD
Guidelines for Selecting Tees
Average Driver Distance 275 Yards
Recommended Total Course Yardage 6,700 – 6,900 Yards
Average Driver Distance 250 Yards
Recommended Total Course Yardage 6,200 – 6,400 Yards
Average Driver Distance 225 Yards
Recommended Total Course Yardage 5,800 – 6,000 Yards
Average Driver Distance 200 Yards
Recommended Total Course Yardage 5,200 – 5,400 Yards
Average Driver Distance 175 Yards
Recommended Total Course Yardage 4,400 – 4,600 Yards
Average Driver Distance 150 Yards
Recommended Total Course Yardage 3,500 – 3,700 Yards
Average Driver Distance 125 Yards
Recommended Total Course Yardage 2,800 – 3,000 Yards
Average Driver Distance 100 Yards
Recommended Total Course Yardage 2,100 – 2,300 Yards
According to the PGA’s press release a 6,700 yard course played by an amateur is “proportionally equivalent” to a Tour Pro playing an 8,100 yard course. That is 700 yards longer than the average Pro Tour Course. A unique quality of the game is the handicap system maintained by the USGA. Players of different skill levels can compete equally from a variety of tee boxes according to the rules of golf. The bottom line with the keepers of the game is that EVERYONE can play on an equal playing field. The goal of the game has not changed, it still remains to get the ball into the hole in the fewest amount of strokes.
When the game first began the club we teed off with was called the “Play Club” (not the driver). It was called the “Play Club” because the goal of the tee shot was to get the ball in play, not to miss the shot, end up in the woods or another fairway trying to hit the ball far. According to golf legend Jack Nicklaus “All of us deeply involved in the game encourage golfers of all skill levels to play the proper tees, but too often golfers want to bite off as much of the golf course as they can. What ends up suffering is their scorecard and their overall enjoyment. This program should help stimulate people to play the proper tees and maximize the golf experience.”
One of the reasons golf is so appealing is its ability to keep us present in the flow of the game. We tee off on a journey that keeps us moving in our mind & our body. Each shot presents a challenge as we travel the landscape of the course. Some of the best rounds we experience are effortless; we feel one with the game. Let’s face it, we play golf to ENJOY ourselves. Join the PGA & the USGA this season by “Teeing it Forward” to have more fun and enjoyment with the great game of golf.