Golfers arrive at a golf course to play a round of golf and are told where to tee off from. If you are a woman, you play off the reds, Any man having a casual round, you’re off the yellows.
The whites or blue Championship tees are for men’s competitions only. It doesn’t matter your ability, age or physical strength, that’s where you have to play from. Well that has all changed at a progressive golf resort near Crewe in Cheshire.
Back in May 2021, Wychwood Park removed their colour tee markers from the golf course. Now the blues, whites, yellows and reds have been replaced by the slope of the golf course.
The tee markers now say the 151s, the 148s, 138s and the 132/147Ls. Outside the Pro shop is a recommendation board for all golfers to take guidance from. The recommendations on the board, are based on a golfers handicap index and their average driver carry distance. The Resort doesn’t force a golfer to play from these tees, the golfer is now given a choice based on a recommendation.
Ian Orrell, the Golf Operations Manager at Wychwood Park explains why they made the change. “The course here at Wychwood Park is a challenging, championship golf course. We were finding that some golfers really enjoyed the golf course but found it tough. When making recommendations to groups to play the forward red tees, eliminating long carries and providing a more enjoyable challenge, we got the same answer. “We can’t play from the woman’s tees!”
Something had to be done. The language used had to altered to remove the stigma that was associated to playing from the forward tees. The solution was to scrap the whole concept of gender based tees marked by colour and we replaced them with what are now called enjoyment tees.”
Slowly but surely the resort have seen more and more golfers wanting to play from the forward 132 tees. On the flip side they also get the low handicappers wanting to play from the 148 and 151’s. They have seen visiting woman golfers dropping back to play the 138s. All because a golfer ENJOYs that particular challenge. A golfer should play from where they will get the most fun, after all that’s why we all play the game.
Tom Peters, a visiting golfer has seen the benefit. “I think it’s brilliant. I’ve never been able to get on the green in two on the long 4th hole. I was always around 50 yards short. After playing from the 132 tees today I got on the green with my second shot. It was a great feeling to have a putt for birdie rather than having to get up and down just to make par.”
The Wychwood Park golf team are continuing to make the former host of The European Tour Qualifying School, more accessible, inclusive and fun for all levels of golfer. “Our mission is to provide an outstanding experience that allows all golfers to enjoy their golf to the full.” Ian continued to explain. “The change of language and the new tee system has gone a long way to achieve this and we are already seeing very positive results.”