FORE September/October 2011 : Page 51
HANDICAP HINTS Moving on Up BY FRANCES NEE, r SENIOR DIRECTOR OF HANDICAP AND MEMBERSHIP ecently the United States Golf Association and the PGA of America announced its Tee It Forward initiative. The idea behind the concept is to encourage golfers to play a set of tees that matches their capabilities, which would increase the enjoyment of the round. Far too often, golfers will play from the back tees because that is where their buddies are playing from or society and ego dictates what tees a golfer is to use. The SCGA has always encouraged clubs to allow their members to play from a set of tees that creates a challenge but not a level of frustration. When golfers are allowed to play from differ-ent tees (especially in competitions), not only will the pace of play improve, but the players will enjoy the round more. If you make the golfer play from tees where there are numerous forced car-ries, it creates a long day for the entire foursome, and maybe even the field behind the golfer. It is important to remember that if you decide to Tee It Forward, make sure the tees that you are playing have been rated for your gender so you can accurately post your score and deter-mine your correct Course Handicap. A female golfer cannot move back to the middle or back tees and post to the men’s rating if a ladies rating is not available. The same holds true if a man moves up a set of tees. If there is not a rating for their gender from the tees played, golfers would need to consult tables provided by the USGA Handicap System, calculate a temporary rating and SCGA.ORG then post their score. These temporary ratings should be used only occasionally. If you find a set of tees that needs a per-manent rating for your gender, please have the course contact the SCGA Course Rating Department. The reason for the different ratings for men and women is because the profiles for them are different. As yard-age of the course has a great impact on the Course and Slope Ratings that are calculated, it is important to under-stand the definition of the male scratch and bogey golfer as well as the female scratch and bogey golfer. For rating pur-poses, a male scratch golfer can hit tee shots an average of 250 yards and can reach a 470-yard hole in two shots (at sea level). A female scratch golfer can hit tee shots an average of 210 yards and can reach a 400-yard hole in two. On a course of standard difficulty, a male bogey golfer has a Course Handicap of approximately 20 and a female bogey golfer approximately 24. He can hit tee shots an average of 200 yards and reach a 370-yard hole in two. She can hit tee shots an average of 150 yards and reach a 280-yard hole in two. Now that you have decided to Tee It Forward, can you still compete with your buddies who continue to play from the back tees? Absolutely! Sec-tion 3-5 of the USGA Handicap System must be applied in order for the players to equitably compete against one an-other. First, players will determine their Course Handicap based on the Slope Rating of the set of tees being played. Next, look at the Course Rating of the sets of tees being played. Take the dif-ference in the Course Ratings and add the rounded difference to the player’s Course Handicap of those playing from – PLAYING A FORWARD SET OF TEES CAN INCREASE YOUR ENJOYMENT OF THE GAME the higher-rated set of tees. Example: Say the back tee Course Rating is 73.2 for men and the middle tee rating is 70.9 for men. Players on the back tee will add two strokes to their Course Handicap (73.2 – 70.9 = 2.3, rounded to 2.) Based on their driving distance off the tee, by moving forward, golfers have the opportunity to play the course at the same relative distance as the profes-sional golfers you see on TV. To put it in perspective, a 6,700-yard course to-day is equivalent to a PGA Tour player competing on an 8,100-yard course. Here is the recommended yardage golfers should evaluate playing based on their driving distance. Driving Distance 275 250 225 200 175 150 Recommended 18 Hole Yardages 6,700-6,900 6,200-6,400 5,800-6,000 5,200-5,400 4,400-4,600 3,500-3,700 So remember, move up, have fun and don’t forget to post your score! Don’t forget: If authorized by your club, you can now post your scores on the SCGA’s new mobile site. See mobile.scga.org 51 S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 011 | FORE Magazine |
Moving on Up
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