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Teed off: What if women made the rules at golf courses?

By Katharine Dyson, Special Contributor

I stood on the back tee watching my pal, Joe, get ready to hit his drive. From the time he addressed his golf ball, gave his club his slight characteristic waggle, and then squared up for the shot, I felt a sense of power, beauty. From this elevated tee box it seemed a good drive could fly forever.

Women's Golf Rules
If women made the rules, ladies would be able to walk straight from the putting green to the manicurist.
Women's Golf Rules

Joe crushed it, sending his drive soaring over wetlands, a gorge and up to the crest of a hill. Magnificent. Then it was my turn. I walked down the hill to find the forward tee. Since we were playing in a tournament, I had been told, "Ladies tee off from the reds."

The tee box was not easy to find. It was tucked off to one side, hunkered down below the hill.

"Have any idea what the distance is to the top of the crest?" I asked Joe, looking around on the ground for any signs of yardage.

"Take your 5-iron and just loft it to the top," advised Joe.

"Really? You used your driver. I want to use my driver."

"Whatever," Joe said, shrugging his shoulders.

But I got the picture. I was lining up straight into the bank of the hill and I really needed to get the ball into the air to reach the top.

"Stupid," I muttered.

"What's that?" said Joe.

"This tee box - obviously an afterthought," I mumbled. "I'd rather be up there." I pointed back towards the elevated mounds. Sure the wetlands, the carry over the gorge, had been taken out of play on the reds making it a lot easier for short hitters. But where was the fun, the adrenalin rush?

If a woman had designed this hole, there would have been a well-constructed tee box halfway down the hill with a bench, flowers and a ball-washer. There would be a map of the hole and a marker telling you the length of the hole.

Even if you could only drive the ball 160 yards, you would grab some pretty views of the hills, be hitting slightly uphill instead of at a steep angle, and you'd have the thrill of carrying over some portion of the gorge and wetlands.

You'd be able to use your driver and then if you couldn't make it, there would be a drop area on the hilltop. I know, I know. Many architects today do this. I'm talking about those golf courses where the forward tees are shoved in like groceries into a bag wherever they will fit.

This got me to thinking. What other things would be different if women got into the act and made the rules?

Golf rules for women, by women

1. Yes, there would be a bench, a ball washer and a map of the hole on all the forward tees.

2. The snack cart driver would be a buff male wearing khaki shorts and a collared shirt. Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey would do.

3. There would be an on-site manicurist in a peach and cream-colored room off the women's locker facility.

4. Instead of in-ground yardage markers, there would be birdhouses along the side of the fairways painted red, white and blue to indicate distance.

5. As to getting tee times, those who work would have preference over those who don't during certain hours (like Saturday mornings) regardless of gender. It's time to get into the 21st century.

6. The snack bar would sell cans of Evian spritzers in the summer and Irish coffee with whipped cream in cold weather. Sushi? Okay, that might be pushing it.

7. At least four ladies restrooms would be installed in strategic locations. They would have ample supplies of soft toilet paper, scented towels, boxes of tissues and basic feminine necessities.

9. The pro shop would sell trendy lines like Adidas, Cutter & Buck and Lija, and there would be hats and visors with lady-sized brims - and you wouldn't need a map to find them. Logos, if any, would be inconspicuous and everything would be on sale.

10. Men would be asked to watch ladies tee off and give them high-fives for good shots. If they drove past your tee before you drove, they would be penalized one stroke. The second time, two strokes.

11. Every course would have a lady golf pro on staff offering ladies-only clinics.

12. There would be flowers everywhere.

13. Rangers would be given a crash course on how to correctly identify who is really holding up play and practice tough love with the offenders, man or woman.

14. You could tee off wherever you felt you could handle. Tees would not be labeled in conjunction with sex or age. Anyone with a handicap of 28 or more would be required to tee off from the forward tees.

15. Breakfast balls would be allowed on holes #1 and #10.

16. Counting beads? Not a good idea. If you can't remember, it doesn't matter.

17. Animal head covers like lions, badgers, raccoons and great white whales would need a license.

18. Grill rooms would offer margaritas on tap.

19. Granite slabs for benches and hole markers would not be allowed. Sure they'll last forever, but come on, you know what they remind you of. Golf games have a way of becoming depressing enough without the reminder.

20. Unless your wife is about to give birth (or a similar potential emergency) cell phones should be turned off. No one is that important that the message can't wait.

Those are the rules.

Katharine DysonKatharine Dyson, Special Contributor

Katharine Dyson is a golf and travel writer for several national publications as well as guidebook author and radio commentator. Her journeys have taken her around the world playing courses and finding unique places to stay. She is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, Metropolitan Golf Writers of America; Golf Travel Writers Organization and Society of American Travel Writers. Follow Katharine on Twitter at @kathiegolf.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • women rule!

    Bernadette wrote on: Aug 21, 2008

    Right on!! So many times we have been held up because men insist on playing from the pro tees even though they can barely hit the ball up to the forward tees!!


  • Comment

    Pam Tracy wrote on: Jun 13, 2008

    ...way to go Katharine.


  • ladies making the rules

    dano wrote on: Jun 12, 2008

    Thank goodness women do noy make the rules at the golf course. Men need a place to escape. You know the old saying, " Why do men die before women"?...because they want to"!


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