The Pellucid Perspective - June 2011 - (Page 17)
THE LAST WORD
A step ‘forward’ for golf?
read the recent announcements by the USGA and the PGA ed on a significant enough number of courses to finally move of America regarding their support of an initiative they are the participation needle by keeping beginning, less skilled or calling “Tee It Forward” with considerable interest, and an older players in the game longer, and perhaps also reduce at least ironic twinge of déjà vu [See article on page 2]. The organizations slightly the objections to the time it takes to play. attributed the genesis of the concept to Adams Golf founder BarAnd, the implementation is where the rub resides. Like most ney Adams, who had recently publicized an article he’d written of the global grow-the-game initiatives espoused by golf ’s govadvocating the placement of tees at intervals that would enable erning bodies and associations in recent years, “Tee It Forward” the majority of all golfers to play each hole with roughly the same will take root or die on the vine to exactly the same degree that clubs that Tour players or scratch amateurs would be using from it is implemented, promoted and nurtured at the facility level, by the back tees. The hoped-for results of the resulting new hole the managers, professionals, superintendents, starters and marlengths would be to not only speed play, but reduce frustration shals on the front lines at the course. Left to their own devices, and increase enjoyment of our inherently frustrating game. we all know that Mr. (or Ms.) Ego is going to keep most players One small kvetch – the basic concept is neither new, nor trudging back to the same old tees, hitting fairway woods or Barney’s creation. A number of publications, including Golf for hybrids into par-4’s and only dreaming of hitting a par-5 in 2, or Women and Golf Inc. (I should know, I wrote that one), to name even 3, and wondering why they just didn’t enjoy the experience. just a couple, have written articles about As Barney Adams says, would you go back the forward tee system designed and What really matters is to see a bad movie again? implemented more than a decade ago by There are a myriad of potential hazwhether the concept Arthur Little and his wife, Jann Leeming, ards on the road to more appropriate tees. at the Province Lake Golf Course they While many courses have all or most of can be implemented owned for 10 years in Maine. A Google the necessary tees already in place, which search should provide most of the basics on a significant enough just need to be designated differently, othof their system, perhaps most significantly ers may have to either find new tee boxes, number of courses to that they increased seasonal rounds from which may involve some construction or finally move the 8,000 to 18,000 after installing it, and sigmaintenance expense, or settle for placing nificantly bolstered not only play among tee markers in shaved fairway areas at apparticipation needle women, seniors and families, but also the propriate distances. If the concept catches by keeping beginning, on, there will have to be some course rating course’s bottom line. Knowing Barney Adams slightly, I and handicap adjustments down the line. less skilled or older would not be surprised if he was unaware But probably most of all, it will be a players in the game of the Littles’ concept, but it is a bit of matter of promoting the concept in such a stretch to imagine that nobody in the longer, and perhaps also a way that players giving it a try don’t feel USGA or PGA hierarchies recalled hearthere’s a big red “Wuss” painted on their reduce at least slightly foreheads as they move forward, tee in ing about their system, or acknowledged it if they did. Arthur has been a lone voice hand. One suggestion I’ve heard is to form the objections to the crying in the wilderness for change in leagues using the forward tees so that playtime it takes to play. course tee setup for some time, in both ers can try it out, and hopefully spread the letters, interviews and occasional speaking word if they enjoy it. Another is to schedengagements at industry gatherings. One ule one day a week, or part of a day, for such letter, after Arthur and Jann played the Old Macdonald forward tee play. Again, using word of mouth to spread the word. course at Bandon Dunes, inspired ever-creative Bandon Dunes If your macho pal tried it, liked it, and didn’t feel diminished as owner Mike Keiser to add a set of “Royal Blue” tees at 4,400 a human being (or golfer, which are generally in the same famyards on the course. Hard to imagine that neither the USGA ily), then perhaps your regular foursome might give it a whirl on nor the PGA, both of whom are obviously quite familiar with Saturday morning. the Bandon courses, heard nothing about that. All in all, while I agree with most folks I’ve talked to that All that said, it really doesn’t matter who birthed this par- it will take a number of years for the “Tee It Forward” concept ticular stratagem – the Littles, Barney Adams or even Jack to catch on to any significant degree, if ever, I do find it more Nicklaus, who has also publicly backed the idea (although he palatable than the “Alternate Golf ” approach, or Flogton (notdidn’t claim to have invented it). It’s not as if the credit is go- golf ). In my opinion, by ignoring many of the basic rules of play, ing to evolve into a Winklevoss Twins vs. Mark Zuckerberg Alternate Golf basically changes the game of golf to an almost “Social Network” legal battle with billions of dollars at stake. unrecognizable level. “Tee It Forward” doesn’t change the rules, What really matters is whether the concept can be implement- it merely levels the playing field. —Jim Dunlap
The Pellucid PersPecTive
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - June 2011
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2011
PGA, USGA Back Adams’ ‘Tee It Forward’ Initiative
The Price Is Right
Acushnet Transaction—Big Deal?
Reality Setting in for Course Buyers, Sellers
May 2011 YtD Weather Impact, Apr 2011 YtD Utilization
San Francisco/Oakland, CA Core Business Statistical Area (CBSA)
The Warrior Way
Comings & Goings
A Step ‘Forward’ for Golf?
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2011