I was paired up this past month with three lovely mature women. Avid golfers and members of the Oasis Golf Club. They all hit from the red tees, which have traditionally always been where women of all ages tee off, right? So when I teed off the blue tees at 65 years old, the comment was, “How come you don’t hit from the gold tees like the other older members of this club?” I told them it was because of my length off the tee, plus I score better from the blue tees. Made me feel a bit macho, but I got to thinking. As men age, they have developed gold tees for 62 and older, but for women, they have no other option than the same old red tees! What’s up with that? Shouldn’t there be a set of tees for aging women who can’t hit it as far as they once did?
As I watched these three women, it became apparent that they needed tees further forward on most of the holes, because they just didn’t have the power to hit the greens in regulation. That’s not the case with LPGA professional ladies. They typically hit from specially placed tees that create a total course length of about 6,200 to 6,400 yards. For majors, they look for a bit more meat on the bone at 6,600 to 7,000 yards. The men, however, shot for over 7,200, which makes sense given their incredible length tee to green with every club, 9 irons 170 yards, drivers over 370 yards, and so on. So I ask the question. What’s fair for women as they age, and does the USGA need to address this lack of consideration for women, especially if they truly want to increase the number of women still playing this awesome game? I think everyone would agree, it’s a lot more fun hitting greens in regulation.
Some courses change up the colors, but they usually always have a set of red tees so as to not confuse the women or the men. Even if a man likes the length of the red tees, his male ego wouldn’t allow him to play the red. That would just not be acceptable among his male counterparts. His buddies surely wouldn’t be sympathetic. The comments and heckling would be nonstop! Thus the gold tees for older men.
Here’s a possible solution from a question about LPGA pros or ladies who want to play unrated tees for their sex or age.
All courses in the world are rated for both men and women. If you want to hit from an unrated tee, it is likely you’d use the chart for women playing from unrated tees to make the necessary adjustments. The chart (one for men too) is in section 5.2 of the USGA handicap manual.
For example, a women plays from the middle tees, which are not rated for women. The women’s USGA course rating from the forward tees is 71.6 with a slope rating of 119. The middle tees are 396 yards longer than the forward tees. She enters the 387 to 404 yard range, which corresponds to adding 2.2 to the USGA course rating and 5 to the slope rating of the forward tees. She will post her score with the USGA course rating of 73.8 (71.6 + 2.2) and a slope rating of 124 (119 + 5).
If a lady wanted to move up 20 yards on every hole (or 20 x 18 holes = 360 yards less than the red tees), she would subtract 2.2 from the red tee 71.6 USGA course rating and 5 from the slope rating of 119. She would post a 69.4 course rating and 114 slope rating. Something to think about, ladies, if you’re struggling to hit the greens in regulation and still have a legitimate handicap. Similarly, you can use the chart if you want to change it up on certain holes.
Still confused about which tees you should be playing? Here’s a tip. Take the average length you hit with your 5 iron and multiply that by 36. That’s the overall course yardage you should be looking for to have a better chance of hitting greens in regulation.
If you like this idea, let me know. I love hearing from fellow golfers who enjoyed or disagreed with any of my articles. If you have an idea for an article, I’ll consider sharing it. See ya on the links.