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tee. They must also plan where to land

their tee shots so as to give themselves

the best approach into the green.

Is the name ‘scoring tees’ important?

Yes, because the label ‘scoring tees’

is all-inclusive. There are many golf

courses that already have a set of

formal tees between 4,000 and 4,400

yards, but they’re titled ‘speed tees,’

‘fast tees,’ ‘forward tees,’ ‘short tees,’

‘ladies’ tees,’ ‘fun tees,’ etc. All those

labels tend to exclude certain golfers. If

somebody says ‘let’s play the fast tees,’

you might feel that you must play fast.

That puts a lot of pressure on a short

hitter or less skilled player.

Colored tee markers are a traditional

feature of most golf courses, but this can

present difficulties, too. Twenty years

ago I did a presentation for the USGA

about the stigma of the red tees or short

tees for women, and the stigma still

exists. Some clubs have moved away

from using colored tee markers and use

unique names for their teeing grounds

based on topographic features or


kinds of trees

or historical names

associated with the golf course.

At Pelican’s Nest there are seven

different sets of tee markers. Roman

numerals are used. The Scoring Tees

have their own designation, the ‘S’ tee,

with their own scorecard and ratings

for men and women. The fact that the

club honors the Scoring Course with its

own name and scorecard emphasizes

that this is an official ‘course within a

course,’ that it provides an alternative

challenge, and that it is age-, gender- and

skill-neutral. By creating these formal

teeing grounds, the club proclaims ‘we

want you here’ whether you are a junior,

super-senior or scratch player.

How would clubs go about

introducing scoring tees on

their course?

Every golf course is different—in the

past year, I’ve played eight courses in

Ireland, four in England and a variety of

courses in the U.S. All but one course

had forward tees of 5,100 to 5,800

yards—those long courses are not fun

for players who have slow clubhead

speeds, whether juniors, novice adults

or distance-challenged experienced

golfers. So the first thing I would do is

to look at the scorecard and see if the

total yardage from the forward tees

is more than 5,000 yards. If it is, it is

too long for ‘scoring tees.’ The ideal

scorecard for the shorter hitter will

be somewhere between 4,000 and

4,400 yards. If more than 50 percent

of the female golfers at your club have

handicaps over 25, the length of the

course they commonly play is too long.

It’s also important to put yourself in the

shoes of shorter hitters and observe how

The scoring tee on the ninth hole of the Hurricane

course at Pelican’s Nest sits behind a fairway

bunker, 230 yards from the center of the green.

The hole plays 443 yards from the tips