One day last week it was relatively cold (50 degrees F), with overcast skies and a chilly 15 mph wind. Add to that the fact that the course had been completely aerated and we had a soaking rain the day prior; it was going to be a long day. It seemed like a good time to experiment with the “Tee It Forward” idea. While I ordinarily play a set of tees measuring 6,560 yards (par 71, 71.6/120), today it was going to be 5,606 yards (67.1/111).
A few years back another site had held a “Tee It Forward Challenge Weekend.” The idea was for everyone to move up and see if anyone could beat their personal best or break “70”. I wasn’t able to participate and sadly, none of the participants were able to record a P.B. or a score in the 60’s. After a long delay, I was finally going to accept the challenge.
As I stuck my tee into the ground between the Gold/Red markers on the first tee, it was clear the course was almost completely empty. That was good. Frankly, the idea of having several dozen people watch me play from the forward tee area was mildly embarrassing. On this day it looked like I was going to have few witnesses.
The first thing that struck me was how one’s perspective changes from the forward teeing ground. Many of the angles are different and my typical aiming points had to be adjusted. It was fun figuring out the best way to play a totally new tee shot.
It also became clear that despite shortening the yardage, one still needed to hit a decent tee shot and an accurate approach. Scoring was not automatic. The hole may be shortened 20-100 yards but one still needed to play good golf.
At one point I caught up with a 4-some who offered to allow me to play through. Great, now I was going to need to walk past them to the gold/red markers. I thanked them, smiled, and said, “I shouldn’t hold you up too long as I am playing the Ladies Tees.” They all chuckled and one remarked that they probably should do the same. Having watched them for a bit, I silently agreed.
I wish I could report that I set a course record or achieved a personal best. Too many poorly struck approaches and a couple of three putts derailed anything like that. I did manage to beat my course handicap of “8” but not by much.
Will I do it again? Most likely yes. It is a nice change of pace, like playing alternate shot or a 2-person scramble. I can’t see moving to the “gold” or senior tees on a permanent basis, yet. Despite the relatively good final score, it did not feel like much of an accomplishment. I hope I recognize when it is time to make a permanent move. I do not want to become the old guy who plays a set of tees where I can’t reach any of the holes in regulation.