A little advice for Tiger Woods
With the birth of his first child, Sam Alexis, two months ago, Tiger Wood begins a new phase of his life. And with the launch of his golf course design company, Tiger Woods Design, he embarks on a new phase of his career.
As a golfing mother of three, I’m familiar with this kind of juggling act. In fact I’m something of an expert. Not a parenting expert?after three kids I happen to know that there’s no such thing. It’s the golf course design part that I can help with.
While William K. grapples with the complex sociopolitical ramifications of Tiger’s new venture, I find myself more concerned with something a little closer to home: how will TW’s courses play for us ladies?
I wouldn’t presume to know anything about the way a course plays from the back tees since I’ve never played them. By the same token, what does Tiger know about the other end of tee box row? As he hasn’t played from the forward tees since his age was still counted in months, probably not much. That’s where I come in.
My advice: Give us ladies another set of tee boxes.
Guys generally get three, sometimes even four tee boxes to choose from. Whites, blues, and tips come standard. What do us ladies get? A singleton set of reds. Every now and then we’d like to step back, but check the slope and rating of the white tees?if they’re rated for women at all?and you’ll find that whites play tougher for us than the tips do for you fellas.
You gentlemen wouldn’t settle for a course with just one tee box. So why do course designers assume women are okay with it?
Give us ladies the equivalent of choosing between whites and blues.
The number-one complaint of women golfers is that greens are simply unreachable. So move that first set of tees up. Accommodate the average female golfer who only drives 150 yards by making those tees no longer than 4800 yards, with par 3s no longer than 120 yards, par 4s no longer than 320. Hitting driver, 3-wood; driver, 3-wood all day is no fun for anyone. Bonus: The ladies?and the whole course?will play faster.
Place a second set of sloped and rated boxes at the usual 5200 yards or so. But make accuracy count as much as length. And handicap the holes properly. One of the courses I play regularly features an uphill all-carry 185-yard par 3–a distance most women can’t reach with their drivers, let alone an iron. If that weren’t ridiculous enough for a red tee par-3, the course raters had the gall to call it the 18-handicap. Riiighhht.
And for the love of God, don’t stick the red markers on the white box and call it a “par 4/5.” I mean, if there’s a bet going on, what are we supposed to do when I make a 5 and my husband makes 4? We both made par?does that mean we halve? Or does he win the hole with the clearly superior 4? That’s the ultimate indication of a lazy designer. Just don’t do it.
You have the opportunity to make a lasting contribution to golf course design here, Tiger. Follow my advice, and someday little Sam Alexis?and the rest of us female golfers?will thank you.
Oh, one last thing: more bathrooms wouldn’t hurt either.
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Davis,Greg and others.
The bottom line is, any sports figure
in the US with just "one drop of Negro
blood" in them had better beware!
They just can't wait to trip you up!
Note Super Mario points out that many courses have even four tee boxes for men to chose from. Which in the five tee box norm you cited yourself Mon would leave exactly one for the ladies.
Jen is asking for more, for an actual choice, and making an excellent point. English really isn't your strong subject Ron Mon. I weep for the children of Buffalo.
Your points are taken.
I too bear no
ill will or vindictive feelings
toward the sentiments you all thought
proper to express.
Nevertheless, I will go have two beers...
Present company excluded Jen, the majority of ladies struggle from the red tees.
I coach a couple of college girls that walk directly to the men's whites when they play. It just wouldn't be fair if they hit from the reds, but they are the exception and not the rule.
The NCAA/USGA set up courses up a bit longer for women who play at their level. So Jen just walk up to the whites and swing away.
Hopefully they could be taken into account by putting tee boxes in for the elderly golfers who have the spirit, but not the strength to hit a green in regulation.
As an experiment one day I asked a 70 year old golfer named Fred to try hitting from the ladies tees to see how he would score. For the first time in many years Fred was hitting greens in regulation and having the time of his life. The 85 he carded was the best score for him in many years. From then on he called them, "the over seventy tees" and he continued to play from them until he passed on.
By the way a 500lb. man did once try to clear me off "the men's tee" at a local municipal course here in England. He still walks and talks in a funny way I assume. However, I do find our uphill par 3 of 172 yds. from the red tee totally impossible to reach. Sure I can par it the hard (or lucky) way, but mentally I'm defeated on the tee shot. More choice for all, I say. At our local course only two "ladies" tees are more than 5 yds. forward of the "men's" tees, which is ridiculous.
while I appreciate that women and men can indeed share tee decks, my point is that on most courses, only one set of tees is sloped and rated for women--largely because only one set of tees is remotely reachable for women. This matters if you're 1) keeping track of your handicap, or 2) interested in making par, ever.
As Wendy points out, we can par it "the hard (or lucky) way," but isn't the point to reach the green in the appropriate number of strokes?
What I'm suggesting is adding another set of tees shorter than current red distances (call them pink if you want), so that women have the equivalent of choosing between multiple, reachable, distances, which men do every time they choose between whites, blues, and tips.
While bother with golf at all?
If the courses in your area actually have more than one set of tees sloped and rated for women, and those ratings match whites and blues for men, then that's great. But I've played the red tees at many courses around the country, and believe me, such courses are rare.
Red Hawk Ridge
5 Tee Boxes
Black - 6942
Gold - 6276
Blue - 5923
White - 5356
Red - 4636
5 Tee Boxes
Pro - 7661
Black - 7279
Blue - 6814
White - 6228
Gold - 5175
Ridge at Castle Pines
Black - 7013
Gold - 6490
Silver - 6002
Jade - 5011
Black - 7118
Blue - 6583
Plum - 6272
White - 5935
Red - 4903
I have to agree with RonMon. Plenty of choice for the ladies. If you want easy, pick the reds. If you want more of a challenge, play from the whites. All of this is altitude golf as well, so the ball flies 10% farther, and there is more roll.
And there's a simple solution here. If you can't hit it from the teebox, what's the problem of creating your own teebox in the fairway? If 185 is too tough, tee it up from 150 if it concerns you so much.
Not to nitpick, but golf is a "get what you get" sport. It always has been, and in my opinion, it always should be. The rules are designed in that fashion. You play the ball as it lies. Course setup is no different. It's supposed to be a challenge. If the challenge is too much, you have a choice. Practice and get better, or find a more suitable challenge for your game. Stealing a quote from Ian MacCallister, "golf isn't supposed to be easy." If you need extra distance, maybe you should look into some NXT's...
There are also plenty of executive courses available, if 5000 yards is too much. And that doesn't just apply for the ladies. There are quite a few men and kids who would be well-served to work on their game in a more appropriate setting.
On a slightly different tack, I am all for going back to the days of three tee boxes.
Designers spend tons of $$ building tee boxes. Grounds Super's pay $$ for cutting grass. I say put in 3 tee boxes, and cut three strips for each box. Why the heck do we need to mow so much of the teebox? For that matter, why do we need to mow so much of the surrounding areas to tee boxes, in between holes, etc? I bet if you analyze your local course, you would see at least 10% of the grounds that are mown on a regular basis that have no bearing on play for the average golfer. We should do our part to conserve, keep down costs and protect our environment.
Okay, I am going to split hairs with you.
"Most cases"? There may be some cases, but I wouldn't say "most".
5000 yards isn't that long, even at sea level. If you can't play that distance, it presents one with choices - pick a different course, tee one up from the fairway, or play an executive course.
Seniors already do it. They stay away from the courses that don't suit them. And your question about senior golfers complaining is basically moot, because "if if's were skiffs we'd all be sailors". The scenario you describe is not a common one. We have a course in Colorado which is 8112 yards from the tips. I choose to play it on special occasion for the challenge. But I accept that challenge up front, knowing that some holes are unreachable in the traditional GIR.
From a women who carries a 5 handicap(used to be a 2...three kids has slowed me down a bit) from my clubs blue tees(nearly 6500 yards) I like the idea of adding another set of tee boxes for shorter hitting women, seniors and juniors.
If the distance is too great, find an executive course.
About time you posted an interesting blog, Ron - one which generates as much comment as this one?