Golf can be Fun for Everyone in the Family…
By Lisa L. Miller, PGA Master Professional, Linn County LIVING WELL Magazine
PGA golf professionals at your local golf course are always looking for ways to make the game of golf more fun. Everyone’s time is limited for their recreation and golf can be the one game that your family can enjoy together. Mom and dad, kids and grandparents can play together, keep up with the pace of play so all golfers can enjoy their round and they can learn a lifetime sport.
Celebrate Family Golf Month (July) by utilizing the new TEE IT FORWARD program from the PGA of America and the USGA. The idea is for all golfers to experience any golf course on a “tour-equivalent experience.” Your approach shots into greens should utilize the same clubs that a PGA or LPGA tour professional would use during their round. It is all based on how far you consistently drive your golf ball. The chart below is a guideline for selecting tees most appropriate for your game:
|DRIVER DISTANCE||RECOMMENDED 18-HOLE YARDAGES|
|275||6,700 – 6,900|
|250||6,200 – 6,400|
|225||5,800 – 6,000|
|200||5,200 – 5,400|
|175||4,400 – 4,600|
|150||3,500 – 3,700|
|125||2,800 – 3,000|
|100||2,100 – 2,300|
**Total yardage can be found for all tees on golf course scorecards. Ask your PGA professional for further clarification.
TEE IT FORWARD allows each member of your family to play on similar courses resulting in better, faster and more fun golf experiences! TEE IT FORWARD will also help you play the course as it was designed.
Some other suggestions for speeding up play include simple ways to be ready to play and using good etiquette on the course. Consider:
- If you’re in carts, try to put players with the same shot tendencies together. If you frequently play with the same group of people, you know who tends to slice and who tends to hook. Put the slicers in one cart and the hookers in the other so your round will move a lot faster.
- Begin reading the green and lining up putts as soon as you reach the green. When it’s your turn you should be able to step right up and putt.
- When leaving the green, get in the cart, drive to the next tee, and then put away your clubs. Always mark your scorecard after reaching the next tee.
- When using a cart, never park the cart in front of the green. Park it only to the side or behind the green.
- If you are searching for a lost ball and are willing to spend a few minutes looking for it, allow the group behind to play through. If you are playing a friendly game where rules aren’t followed closely, just forget the lost ball and drop a new one.
- On the tee, pay attention to your partners’ drives. If they lose sight of their ball, you can help direct them to it and avoid any searching.
- Don’t bother marking lag putts – go ahead and putt out if it’s short enough.
- Use the groups ahead of you to gauge your pace. If the group that teed off directly in front of you is pulling away, you need to speed up!
- When chipping around the green, carry both the club you’ll be chipping with plus your putter so you don’t have to return to the bag.
- When waiting on the tee for the group in front to clear the fairway, don’t be strict about order of play. Let the short hitter – who can’t reach the group ahead anyway – go ahead and hit.
- Try playing ready golf, where order of play is based on readiness, not on who’s away.
The bottom line is this: as soon as it’s your turn to play, you should be ready to step right up and make the stroke. You probably don’t like waiting on other groups, so don’t make other groups wait on you. And remember to TEE IT FORWARD during Family Golf Month and in the future! Cedar Rapids municipal golf courses are “official host facilities” of the TEE IT FORWARD program.
PGA Master Professional Lisa Miller is director of golf and the golf operations manager for the four public courses of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.