Golf club moves to tees based on ability rather than sex

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 7, 2021 19:34

A Cheshire golf club has announced that it has ended its segregation of tees by sex and instead allows all golfers to choose where to tee off, based on their ability.

Hartford Golf Club said it has abandoned the tradition of men and women teeing off from different positions and, instead, players are invited to select tee boxes based on their distance and ability. It is hoped that this will help attract more women to the game.

Many golf courses have different teeing areas in which the closest one to the hole is for women only.

However, posting a picture of a sign at Rio Hondo Golf Club in the US, in which golfers play off the tee that most closely matches their ability, Hartford announced on social media: “We’ve moved away from gender tees like this Golf Club below & we base it more on ability but most importantly — game enjoyment! What do you think? Is this the way forward for golf?”

Image from Facebook

Those who regularly shoot more than 100 are encouraged to go off the reds, below 100 off the yellows, 90 off the whites and below 80 off the blues. Proponents of the trend, which began in the US but has quickly gained popularity in Britain, argue that it will help to maintain the pace of play by dividing members purely by preference.

The post divided followers, with some praising the move as forward-thinking and others accusing the club of virtue signalling.

“We’re just trying to be quite progressive,” said Paul Cunningham, who serves as the club’s retail manager and runs their social media accounts. “We want to push the game forward.

“Golf is changing, and I think for the better. We’re trying to get rid of a lot of those traditional, outdated rules.”

Sheringham Golf Club in Norfolk was among the first to introduce ‘gender-free’ tees and now has three sets for men and women. There is a further set of black tees, which are rated only for men on the advice of the ladies’ county association.

Neal Milton, the club manager, said: “It’s been a great success, particularly with our senior gentlemen and higher handicap ladies, who now have the opportunity to play a shorter course.”

Trentham Park in Staffordshire has also followed suit, introducing a black tee for a 6,390-yard course, blue for 6,188, and green for 5,255. Each of the layouts has been measured and rated for both male and female members, who have been given new scorecards.

The club said the change was made to allow longevity for ageing players who may feel they are losing length. It added that it would also benefit beginners who may have been self-conscious teeing off in front of the clubhouse by giving them the option of using the forward tee about 100 yards away.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 7, 2021 19:34
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25 Comments

  1. Kelly November 17, 15:22

    I personally don’t like the idea, I play off 10.1 WHS and regularly shoot 90-100 when I’m playing badly, but in comparison if I am playing well I can shoot around 75-80. Now here lies the problem, If I’m playing with people I know and I’m out of form so I play off the 90+ tees then shoot 75 everyone is going to label me a bandit/cheat etc.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Read November 16, 19:52

    This is how golf is played in Canada and I think you’ll find it more enjoyable for everyone. Good for pace of play, good for equalizing a match, and good for getting more people involved. Pick your most appropriate tee blocks and enjoy your round!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Peter November 15, 18:26

    The right thing to do !! Smart !! Many have been doing this and it is, making for a much more enjoyable experience !!

    Reply to this comment
  4. DMorre November 15, 11:58

    What is their average ability? D

    Reply to this comment
  5. KPallas November 12, 12:58

    This shouldn’t be such big news but it’s great to see progress!

    Reply to this comment
  6. D November 11, 13:29

    Nothing new. The facility has been available since the introduction of the USGA rating system. Many clubs chose to have dual rated tees.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Acxli November 8, 13:53

    The Leicestershire Golf club did this 2 years ago. Changed the red course to green and had it rated for both men and women.

    Reply to this comment
  8. AndyTaylorGolf November 7, 21:17

    That’s great, it’s a shame it hadn’t been done long ago!

    Reply to this comment
  9. Miyagi For Golf November 7, 17:22

    This is really good for young junior golfers who find it intimidating moving from pitch n putt or the range to a full sized golf course.

    Reply to this comment
  10. PF Concept November 7, 15:02

    This is really good for young junior golfers who find it intimidating moving from pitch n putt or the range to a full sized golf course.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Joe G November 7, 13:33

    I introduced this style of inclusive golf months ago at Manor of Groves Hotel, Golf & Country Club. It’s fantastic for those gents who ‘ thought they were never good enough to play off the yellow or white tees ‘.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Studley Wood November 7, 10:53

    We have done this for the last three years #studleywoodgolfclub we only have gold silver and bronze tees
    Most of our medals and Stablefords are off any tees!!

    Reply to this comment
  13. Green Golf November 7, 04:20

    Get Woke, Go Broke ️‍♂️

    Let’s Go Cheshire

    Reply to this comment
  14. RHall November 6, 21:16

    A very sensible decision – I trust more Clubs will follow their lead.

    Reply to this comment
  15. AinsCo November 6, 20:40

    GREAT Look forward to taking my first shot from the Red tees instead of my second

    Reply to this comment
  16. Loynd November 6, 19:22

    Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture I think this is a great move. I help people back into golf, both amateurs and professionals. For me it is all about the enjoyment

    Reply to this comment
  17. GMorgan November 6, 18:04

    this was done at S&A golf club. With all tees duel assessed for handicap, apart from the longer medal tees.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Tracey November 6, 17:15

    Personally, I believe this is the future of golf to make it more inclusive for all, enjoyment of the game has to be key, we are all get older, that’s a fact, so providing options and then communicating that’s it’s ok to play off a shorter course is the way forward.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Brand Addition November 5, 16:20

    Excellent, I’ll be off the reds then

    Reply to this comment
  20. Appoint18 November 5, 11:00

    Excellent sounds logical and will ruffle a few traditional feathers and systems

    Reply to this comment
  21. Golf NSW November 5, 09:45

    Well done Cheshire; we have been progressing golf clubs across NSW in recent times and it continues today; allowing players to choose the course they play on the day with fully integrated competition will undoubtedly grow the game for all

    Reply to this comment
  22. Carly S November 5, 05:37

    Excellent progress!

    Reply to this comment
  23. Duncan November 5, 03:21

    So World handicap system is working

    Reply to this comment
  24. MLB November 5, 01:11

    We have that in The Netherlands and it feels so much better and less discriminating

    Reply to this comment
  25. Magnus November 4, 17:35

    Brilliant idea! A lot of swedish clubs have done the same. More enjoyment for more players! ⛳️

    Reply to this comment
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