The Professional Golffers' Association (PGA) Press Release: The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) is backing an American inspired initiative that aims to make golf even more enjoyable for its millions of participants.
Golfers in USA are being introduced to the ‘TEE IT FORWARD’ scheme which encourages golf facilities to set tee boxes forward to match the ability of amateurs.
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones has welcomed the idea, which is being piloted by the PGA of America and the United States Golf Association.
He sees it as a means of improving the game, speeding up pace of play and attracting new enthusiasts to the sport.
Furthermore, Jones hopes fellow governing bodies at the Home Unions, Golf Club Managers’ Association and British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association, will join the PGA in adopting similar strategies in the UK.
He said: “The PGA fully endorses this initiative to encourage golfers to play the course at a length better suited to their game.
“It will not just boost many golfers’ enjoyment of the game but also addresses two of the bugbears frequently cited as problems in the game - ¬time taken to play a round of golf and the pace of play.
“I think realistically, the average club player should be thinking about playing courses in the region of 6,000-6,200 yards maximum. For example, it doesn¹t make sense to have higher handicap players tackling 450-yard par fours when they¹ve got no chance of reaching it in two.
“We will be monitoring TEE IT FORWARD with interest and would be delighted if our colleagues in the Home Unions, golf course managers and greenkeepers alike, all joined with us in supporting this initiative as we firmly believe it would increase the enjoyment for many club golfers and newcomers to the game.”
Facilities across the United States are being encouraged to adopt the TEE IT FORWARD programme between July 5-17 and to date more than 2,100 have registered.
The move would see course yardages in line with the average driving distance for amateurs, meaning they would be 6,000-6,200 yards long.
Those in the region of 6,700-yards would be proportionate to Tour players playing 8,100-yard courses, 700-yards longer than those USPGA Tour players play on.
The rationale behind the initiative is supported by evidence from former USGA technical director Frank Thomas. This stems from a report he produced in 2005 that found the average drive for a mid to high handicapper male is just 192 yards while the distance for women, averaging 95-100 a round, is 145 yards.
Thomas concluded: “Golfers want to be challenged but the challenge must be an appropriate one.
“Having a facility that caters for and is defined by what a golfer aspires to be, or once was, only leads to frustration and disappointment.”
PGA of America president Allen Wronowski added: “We believe that by moving up to another set of tees, golfers will experience an exciting, new approach to the game that will produce more enjoyment and elevate their desire to come back and play more golf.”
Issue date: 16 June 201. Republished by Club Murcia 17 June 2011.