A few weeks ago I posted a story from GolfWRX.com about golfers playing the right tees. The long and the short of the story, is that most guys do not play the correct tees. Sadly I am one of these golfers. I always think that if I am not playing the back tees, then I am chickening out in some way. When in fact all I am doing is hurting myself, as well as the other golfers around me. Now this is coming from a 2 handicap, who hits the ball admittedly farther than most people do. So whats the big deal? The problem, is that the 23 handicapper who hits his driver 210 on average, is playing those very same tees as someone who hits is 290. We have all done it. We stroll up to the tee, and wait our turn to tee off (there are 3 or 4 groups on the tee box, probably because everyone is playing the wrong tees). We chip and hang out and tell fun golf stories or jokes. Then when it is our turn to go, we stroll on back to those blue tees, or championship tees, or whatever the “big boy tees are”, and we start our long drawn out day of missing the fairway, hitting fairway woods or hybrids into par 4’s and never even having to check the yardage on a second shot of a par 5 cause the yardage marker says “all you got and a wedge”. And why do we put ourselves though this misery, so we can say we shot 105 from the tips, so we can puff out our chests at the 19th hole and tell everyone of the great 3 iron we hit into the par four 10th? Is our pride really worth that much that we are willing to shell out $100+ dollars, and 5 hours of our time just to play the back tee box?
So the question is how do we get people to move up tee boxes? Well I got a plan, and my dad always said a man with a plan has at least that going for him. How do we get players (and we mean men) to move up and playing shorter tee boxes? My plan is to give them no choice. Only put up two sets of tee markers: one for men, and one for seniors/ladies. This way the male ego is still intact and we really have no choice because there is only one set of tee boxes. Brilliant I know, but it gets better… Players will only have two sets of tees to pick from, and most play is from the Men’s tee box. By playing the golf course shorter several things happen:
- Golfers shoot lower scores
- Golfers enjoy themselves more (lower scores mean happy campers)
- The golf course gets more time to recover (less of the tee boxes are used each day)
- No one has to feel bad about playing or not playing a certain set of tees
But what do we do with the back tee boxes? The idea of using one set of tees does not mean that we are stuck on easy. What I am proposing is to use different sets of tees each day. 6 holes are going to play longer (normal back tees), 6 are going to play shorter (front tees are used), and 6 holes we play the regular run of the mill tee box. This way each and every day when the tees are changed you move them basically from front to middle to back. Similar to the flags on the green. Each day the cup is changed, and it is never on the back edge two days in a row. The cup is rotated to give the green a chance to rest after all those golfers chewing it up. This is the same for the tee boxes. Move them around each day, and keep the six six six motto, front middle back.
How do we make this transition? The tee markers are changed everyday by the golf course superintendent and his crew. I guarantee if you asked the superintendent to only use one set of tee markers (instead of the normal four sets of tees that are available) he will go for it. The golf course gets less beat up, and you get to play a different golf course each and every time you hit the links.
I am a firm believer that we have to change our way of thinking in order to keep the game we love going. With less and less players coming out each year, golf in general is in need of some changes. And why would you not want to make a change that will not only make you feel better about yourself, but enjoy the game we all love so much even more than you do now?
Chicago Golf Guy Challenge:
Now that the golf season is upon us I have our first challenge. Think of your home course, or your favorite course, or the course that you play the most in a season. Now write down your best score there. Play from one tee up at least 25% of the time you play this course, and I guarantee you that you will beat your best score by three shots before the end of the season if you move up a set of tee boxes.