New teeing system might be the solution to golf’s future

Updated: December 6, 2017

The American Society of Golf Course Architects and the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation have come up with, what they claim will solve one of golf’s biggest problems: golfers playing too long a course. They want courses to adopt the The Longleaf Teeing System.

Too many golfers are playing from the wrong tees, through no fault of their own.

The Longleaf System starts at the driving range. The range will have multiple colored targets at specific distances. A player determines which target they hit their drives to (carry), they then choose the tee box on the course that matches that color. The Longleaf Tee System suggests that courses add more tees (total of 7 is preferred) giving players the option to play the course that corresponds to their skill level.

Years of study, validated by Trackman® measurements of all levels of players, show that there is a direct correlation between the distance a player hits their driver (carry) and the other clubs in their bag. From Tour players to club players, the percentages are remarkably consistent.
For example: The USGA® defines a female bogey golfer as a player with a Course Handicap of 24 and can hit drives 150 yards (total yardage), and able to reach a 280-yard hole in two shots. That is the maximum yardage for a par 4 under those parameters. Holes longer than 280 yards will require at least one additional shot to reach the green: in essence, we’re asking the female bogey golfer to play par 4s as par 5s. And then we demand they keep a proper pace-of-play.

Using the correlation of distance between a driver and every other club in the bag, the female bogey golfer should play a course measuring approximately 3,800 yards. A quick Google search of scorecards reveal zero courses that do so. In fact, virtually all courses have the most forward tee yardage between 4800-to-5600 yards. We have set these players up for failure. The Longleaf Teeing System is a way to recreate the same expectation for every type of player? A way for each golfer to share the same golf experience, play at comparable speeds and feel welcome and appreciated?

The Longleaf Tee System is simple and practical, yet very profound. It eliminates outdated norms and vernacular, such as men’s tees, ladies’ tees, senior tees, or color associations like white, red or blue; there are now simply multiple tee locations to begin each hole at a yardage based on how far any person hits their drive.

Building extra tees is not cheap but the benefit is there will be more rounds played providing more cart rentals and food and beverage sales. This has been proven out by the courses that have implements the Longleaf Tee System.