Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Are you man enough to play from the forward tees?

Here’s a “forward” thinking idea – or is it just another feminist tirade?

Even though some courses have their own color coding system, the forward tees on a golf course are often referred to as the red tees. Many people call them the “ladies tees,” which I think is the problem stigmatizing these poor, underused tee markers around the country (maybe the world).

The idea behind the multiple tee marker placements is to give golfers a choice of how long and/or difficult of a course they want to play. Sometimes there are even shorter tees than the “reds,” often called junior tees. Most men, however, simply refuse to play from any tees in front of the “whites,” or middle tees.

Here’s an idea – maybe the tees should be posted with recommended handicap indexes. Some courses actually require proof of a lower index in order to play from the “backs” or “tips” as they’re sometimes called. Malibu Country Club is one such course. Why not have a similar situation at all tee placements – without the enforcement, except for extremes. That way, men wouldn’t feel emasculated when playing from alternate tee markers. Nor would they face the humiliation associated with a missed tee shot that doesn’t travel beyond those “ladies tees.” Now that indignity could rightfully fall on anyone who dinks their tee shot, from whichever markers they choose to start. Equal opportunity ridicule - I can take it.

Sure, I play from the forward tees. I also play from the whites. On really short courses, I’ve even been known to play from the blues. It’s so nice having options! Why shouldn’t men feel that same sense of liberation? I’ve played with some old men who hit their driver about as far as I hit my 7-iron who insist on playing from the “men’s tees.” Sometimes when I choose to play the whites, men even change their minds and suddenly decide to play the blues. Fellas, let me tell you: it’s neither manly nor impressive for you to play from further back if it’s just going to make you hack around more. I’ve sure seen my share of that, and it just makes me laugh (on the inside, of course). Then they get all frustrated and don’t enjoy their game. Why waste your money and spoil your day? And let’s not forget those poor folks behind you that have to wait around for you to find your ball and hit it four more times just to make room for them to hit.

As the game continues to grow and more people take to the field, I think the tee marker system needs an overhaul. There need to be more options for different skill levels, not just the big hitters. But there also needs to be an adjustment to the mindset about the different tees. Whether you’re a new golfer struggling to learn the game, a senior citizen, a high handicapper, or just a shorter hitter, why not play from further up? Even low handicappers might enjoy a change and a new challenge on a familiar course. Give it a try!

Next post.


NothingMan said...

Interesting thoughts. I an honestly say that I'd much, MUCH rather hit from the seniors tees than the ladies tees :-) I agree, they should be thought of as more of a handicap-based system than as a pro/amateur/senior/ladies/junior system. Thankfully, I don't think I'll ever feel the need to hit from the "reds", but you're absolutely right, I wouldn't hit from them even if I thought I had to.

Anonymous said...

I agree! We played last week (17 & 25 hdcps) with a scratch player and he insisted my husband play off the tips at 7155! He seemed put out every time we had to "stop at the reds for the girl" Why can't we all play off seperate tees based on ability, not macho!

mediaguru @ hookedongolfblog.com said...

Totally agree and many "higher end" courses to suggest or even require certain handi levels to play. At wolf creek in mesquite they wouldn't let me play the back tees because my 2 (yes 2) handi wasn't low enough...

dave said...

I think you have a great idea. I used to play the whites and then when the kids got better we moved back to the blues. Later when they made the golf team we had to play the tips a few times at that time I could keep up. I am now back to the white ones and might go to the gold or what ever color the retiree tees are. I like the idea of skill level tees. I played the reds once with my wife, I could hit longer but it was just longer to the left or longer to the right at that time.

Cal said...

I played with this young guy once who thought he was good, so he played from the Blues, the rest of us played from the Whites.

Because he had further to get to the hole, he though he had to swing harder to get the exta distance. 90% of his tee shots went one way or the other, and we took 6 hours for the round!

We told him to move up to the whites and swing slower, get the ball on the fairway, but he refused. What can you do? (Apart from beat him over the head with his clubs and dispose of him in the lake!).

I'm quite happy to play from the whites until I become a pro (which is never going to happen). I think as you get older, you become more aware of your actual ability versus your ego and can quite happily accept not playing from the tips.

Eddie said...

Good point GC,
This would probably speed up play.
Those 5 hour rounds are just painful.GC for commish.

Stacy said...

A man, if playing golf with a woman, will never play at the same tee box. Their "machismo" attitudes sometime ruin their games. Most of these guys should just step forward but they see the senior tees, the "golds" as "yellow".

I also don't appreciate when I hook up with a couple of guys who play from the blues and they sigh and "tsk" as I walk over to the ladies tees. That irks me but we all know it's not how long you drive the ball, but what happens from 50 yards and in!

Carol said...

I agree totally. My husband, bless his soul, does play from the reds when he plays with me. When he plays with the men he plays whites out of expectation, but he really needs to play the reds because he has back issues and can't swing hard. He's very cool about it. I love this blog and have bookmarked it. I'm going to check out the links from the comments looking for more womens golf blogs. Any suggestions? I have several blogs, but my (recently started) golf blog is at: www.carolsgolfseason.blogspot.com

Cdnblade said...

Very good post!
I play out of a golf course that is relatively short, but treacherously tough. Countless times I have heard someone on the first tee say; "Well the golf course is only 6400 yards from the tips, lets play from the blue tees". Almost with out fail the above statement is uttered by those golfers who have no business playing from the back tees. It is my personal rule that I play the tees my golf partner or guest is most comfortable playing. So if that is the forward tees, so be it. Bring it on. I'm a 4 handicap, and get my fill of grinding it out on my course from the back tees during tournaments. The key to good golf is to park your ego. It is surprising how much fun us amateurs have when we do play the tees consistent with our skill level.

Golfchick said...

Hi Carol,
I just checked out your blog and it looks like fun. Enjoy your season!
As for other women's golf blogs, check out Jennifer Mario and Stacy Solomon on Travelgolf. Heather McMichael runs the leaderboard there, too. There's also a link under "other golf sites" called The Forward Tees you might want to check out.
Thanks for reading!

Rob Mize said...

Hi - I think the forward tees should be for beginners and women. I play generally from the middle, but the shorter courses from the back. I just started my own blog & nobody's read it yet - hole-in-1-82.blogspot.com. Thanks and good golfing!