I have mentioned before about the need for a decrease in the time it takes to play 18 holes of golf. For the majority of instances the biggest problem that I see is the behavior of players on the golf course, from not knowing when to call a quicker group through to a group leaving bags in the middle of fairways at the furthest point from the next tee.
After having conducted a small study at the golf course at which I work, I have realized that a big part of the reason for slow play is actually the way the golf course manages and runs itself, from the way the players are marshalled to the intervals between tee off times.
Golf courses must respond to this in some way and I believe that the most effective way of increasing the speed of play would be to work in unison with the golfers using the course and build a more efficient method for playing, based on players handicaps and the course difficulty.
I know that some clubs in the United States and others in the Middle and Far East already have this method and it is being used to combat slow play with good results, when the players accept the recommendations of the golf course staff.
Having mentioned this to many of my clients on the golf course, the speed of play has increased and the enjoyment of the players has increased, as the players are getting more out of their games.
The simple change is easy to put in to practice at any golf course as long as the marshals and course staff explain fully the reasons behind the changes.
For example, in general if a golfer is approaching their twilight years the likelihood of them hitting the ball as far as they did in the younger years is low, meaning that continuing playing from the men’s tees, normally the yellows, is just not viable anymore.
For these clients on your golf course I would highly recommend that you enforce a rule that these golfers must play from a forward tee. In doing this you would increase their enjoyment as they would not be forced to struggle on certain holes, where distance is required to reach the fairway from the tee, or where they have no chance of reaching a long par 4 or 5 in regulation for their handicap.
In the short term this will require extra attention giving to your clients, ensuring that you explain the reasons for the change and that you and your staff monitor the playing habits of your clients, both at the start and during their rounds.
However I believe in the long term that by putting this measure into place, your clients will be more than happy to play from a forward tee to enhance their enjoyment and experience at your golf course.
All the while that you are improving the experience for the mature golfer you will also be improving the time it takes to complete 18 holes on your golf course, as the course difficulty will be reflected by the tees that are in play. Higher handicappers and shorter hitters will be able to get closer to the greens in regulation whilst maintaining a better position on the golf course, easing the flow of play.
At no point do I want clubs to be solely responsible for this decision, and I encourage golfers of all abilities and ages to consider which tees would be the best for them, if in doubt a golf course will be more than happy to offer advice and guidance as to what you should be doing.
Remember for beginners and younger golfers there is always the opportunity to play from the “longer” tees at a later date as you progress on your improvement journey in golf.
I think that for the most part you will enjoy the game more if you choose a teeing ground that is more suitable for your handicap level and ability level.
After all we are all supposed to play golf because we enjoy it, so if as a golfer you can improve your enjoyment levels by moving to a more forward tee position then I think that can only be a good thing.
Until Next time,
The Golf Swing Doctor