While playing the many Senior Opens this year I have always found it fascinating listening to the many different opinions and how we Seniors know best when it comes to organising an open tournament. One of the rules suggested by a playing partner was to choose which tee-box colour you can use for your round and I immediately thought whoa, have you lost whatever marbles were left in that ageing head of yours. However this got me thinking, is this such an outlandish suggestion after all?.
Is this choose your tee colour actually a workable solution to Seniors with limited mobility?, after all why walk 6500 yards from the back tees when you can walk 5500 yards from the front tees, lets see.
- Increased Accessibility: Allowing golfers to choose their tee boxes accommodates players of various skill levels, ensuring that golf remains an inclusive and accessible sport.
- Enjoyment and Challenge: Players can select the tee box that best suits their skill level, making the game more enjoyable and challenging for them. This can lead to greater satisfaction and encourage continued participation in golf.
- Faster Play: Players who choose tee boxes appropriate to their abilities are more likely to maintain a steady pace of play, reducing congestion on the course and helping tournaments run smoothly.
- Customization: It allows golfers to tailor the game to their personal preferences, enhancing their overall experience. Some players may enjoy the challenge of longer distances, while others prefer a more relaxed round.
- Inclusivity: It promotes inclusivity for golfers of all ages and physical conditions, allowing seniors, juniors, and those with physical limitations to enjoy the game without feeling excluded.
- Personal Responsibility: Golfers take personal responsibility for their tee box selection, encouraging them to assess their abilities honestly and make appropriate choices.
- Competitive Imbalance: Allowing golfers to choose tee boxes can create a competitive imbalance, as some players may intentionally select easier tees to gain an advantage over others.
- Rule Uniformity: Golf is traditionally known for its strict adherence to standardized rules, and allowing tee box selection by individuals can be seen as deviating from this principle.
- Potential for Misjudgment: Players may overestimate or underestimate their abilities, leading to frustration, slower play, and potential disputes on the course.
- Record-Keeping Challenges: It can complicate record-keeping and statistics, as players may play from different tee boxes, making it difficult to compare scores accurately.
- Longer Rounds: Inexperienced players opting for longer tees might slow down the pace of play and disrupt the flow of a tournament, leading to longer rounds.
- Inconsistent Challenge: Selecting tee boxes based on personal preferences can lead to inconsistent challenges for players in the same tournament, potentially affecting the fairness of the competition.
In conclusion, allowing golfers to choose their tee boxes has its merits in terms of inclusivity and enjoyment, but it also presents challenges related to competitive fairness, rule uniformity, and pace of play. Decisions regarding tee box selection should carefully consider the goals of the event and the overall experience of the participants while maintaining the spirit of fair and consistent competition.
Whilst I do think this would be a non-starter the suggestion was brought about because a course I played at in Glasgow had the Senior Open off the back tees with a yardage over 6500 yards, this might be okay for the young guns hitting a golf ball 250-300 yards off the tee but is it absolutely necessary for this length of course for a Senior Open. I know the handicap allowance is supposed to be the great leveller but for a 75 year old walking that distance it is going to be a lot harder than for a 50 year old. So is the solution not to allow self determination but play off the shorter tees.
Is this a crackpot idea, let the world of golf know!.
PS; watch out for the next Seniors cunning plan to fix golf