Golf, at its best, is a game of skill. But for most of us it’s all about raw power. Tee it up, hit the crap out of it (as Val Adams would say) … that’s the thrill-making part of the game. However, it’s usually the reason why our scores are so high.
While the best golfers in the world can hit it 100 miles off the tee, they spend a lot of time on their short game, from 100 metres in. That’s where the scoring is done, but the average golfer would rather spend his practice time trying to clear the fence at the end of the driving range.
And because of this, too often, golfers come off beaten up by the course and their own power delusions. They’ve made the game too hard, and the fun aspect quickly turns to frustration. (Have a round with one of those crafty old buggers who can old hit it 120 metres or so and see how well they manage their game and score well. They’re the realists.)
Still, some older golfers haven’t caught on as yet. They continue to start each round with dreams of playing like their youthful selves and quickly find they just can’t hit it as far as they used to.
So, a year or three back, the USGA promoted the idea of “Tee It Forward.”
A few New Zealand clubs have taken this idea on board, with the nett result that golfers prepared to swallow their pride and move forward to a shorter set of tees are having a lot better time on the course. A lot of it is overcoming the “women’s tees” attitude. To overcome this, at Mangawhai we don’t have women’s tees – just Blue, White, Red and Purple, each with their own course ratings.
A lot of casual players could gain from this: “It’s a lot of fun to hit it hard, but it’s a lot more fun to score well.” So next time you get out on the course, have a think about teeing it forward – and showing how good you can be at this game.