What Colour Is Your Golf Swing?

You may have noticed lately that at some golf courses the starter and will a point of asking, or sometimes even suggesting which tee box golfers will be using during their round. With the growing popularity of golf and more golfers on many Niagara courses, you should soon expect to be advised about hitting from the proper tee boxes, But there is more to this trend than accommodating the masses.

Because slow play has become a concern for course managers and players alike, it only makes sense to take practical steps to speed up play and shorten the time it takes for a round of golf. There are many proven ways to speed up play, but enforcing the use of the skills- appropriate tee boxes – be they red, white, blue, gold or black – mightverywell be the simplest and most effective.

Slow play is not the only reason that every golfer should play the course at a length in keeping with their own abilities. Shorter hitters teeing oft from markers too far back will necessarily take more shots, encounter more hazards, incur more penalties, lose more balls, spend more time searching for balls, and require more time to complete their rounds. How much fun can that be? Scores balloon, handicaps soar and sandbaggers are born.

Here’s the thing – many players automatically play the white tees, for example, without giving a thought to the length of the white course. That’s a mistake. Here in Niagara, for instance, the white yardages range from 6,494 yards at International (R&B nines) to 6,181 yards at the Links of Niagara at Willodell (about the Niagara average), and down to 5,312 yards at Water Park. A mid-handicapper might struggle with the length of one course off the whites but master a shorter course playing from the same set of tees.

Instead, each player should play from the tees that most closely correspond to their comfort zone. That may very well mean playing the whites at course A, the blues at course B, maybe even the blacks or reds at course C. Although it seems a good idea, there is no standardization of tee colours with corresponding course lengths. Course handicap and slope ratings are calculations intended to equalize courses based on their length, contours, hazards, greens, trees, etc. – on a scorecard or in a computer, not on the course!

Working at stretching your game a bit by playing somewhat longer, more challenging courses or from tees a bit further back should not come at the expense of golfers playing behind you. While real improvements can only come en the course, the place to practice is the driving range. Choose a golf course that is in, keeping with your handicap, length off the tee, and the pace at which you play. By doing so, the game will be more enloyable. more clubs and shots will come into play, course management skills will improve, a round of golf will take a little less time, and friendly competitions and handicap play can be more fairly conducted.