Combo tees good alternative for players, courses

Jean Harris


Combo tees good alternative for players, courses

Do you want new ways to play your local golf course? Are you bored with the same layout and distances? If so, the answer is combo tees. This can be accomplished at your course using two or more sets of tees to add variety to your game.

Choosing a combination of tees is a matter of coming up with a distance you want to play the course. Some possibilities include using a different set of tees on Par 3's, less difficult Par 5's and the longest Par 4's.

Combo tees allow golfers to move forward or back allowing for changes in their ability. As we get older and don't hit the ball as far, combo tees give you an option of not moving forward on all tee boxes. It is a better transition for your game and ego.

The financial impact to a golf course is minimal. The head golf professional and greens committee just need to update their score card and indicate what color tee to use on each hole.

They will need to notify the USGA and get the new tees rated. However, you can use "unrated tees" under USGA Handicap Rule 5.2. Included in this rule is a table that tells you how many stroke adjustments (rating and slope) one must make when posting scores from these tees.

A majority of private golf courses in the area are already using these tees and are very happy with the response from their members.

Callawassie Golf Club has done a lot with combo tees. They have three 9-hole courses, five sets of tees, and have come up with four alternatives for all three courses. They have named these combo tees after water themes, largest to smallest: Ocean, Lake, River and Creek.

Assistant golf pro Monica Franklin says that "playing different tees with different yardages helps you use all the clubs in your bag. On the shorter course you will use more irons, and on the longer courses you will use your woods and hybrids."

Sun City is looking into combo tees. Bruce Marshall and Cyndi Whalen are heading up a committee that has come up with combo tees for the Hidden Cypress Course. They are gathering input from players using them.

Marshall is excited about the response. "Feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive," he said. "It provides golfers with fresh and interesting playing opportunities without building new tee boxes. Aside from having more fun by playing the appropriate tees for their ability, it helps speed up play."

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at Brown Golf Management courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris @gmail.com; www.golfdoctorjean.com