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The Country Club of Jackson

The Loop

The Loop

Another option in the shorter tees movement?

June 16, 2011

The U.S. Golf Association and the PGA of America, by way of equipment executive Barney Adams, garnered a lot of attention recently by announcing an initiative to get golfers to play their games from a more reasonable (a.k.a., shorter) set of tees. The Tee it Forward program includes a recommended chart for course lengths based on driver distance.


The announcement sparked an e-mail to me today from Chris Mile, president of Miles of Golf in Ypsilanti, Mich., one of America's 100 Best Clubfitters. Mile actually researched the question more than a year ago, and came up with a unique formula that is at once sophisticated and simple. His answer: Take your driving distance and multiply it by 28. Read through his post here to get the details, but what it really does is offer serious golfers a starting point for rethinking their tee choice on their home courses or when they schedule a round at a new course. (By serious golfers, I'm not talking low-handicappers exclusively. Think of it more as golfers who appreciate a fair challenge without signing up for a torture test.) Mile has thought this question through from the perspective of a golfer who knows the game of golf asks of us many varieties of questions (true/false, multiple choice, fill in the blank and essay), yet he also has seen in his award-winning shop how far average golfers don't hit the ball.

It's worth a read. My favorite line: "Shouldn't the length of the course be adjusted by your handicap? NO. There are tons of examples of high handicap golfers who can hit it a ton. Are they going to like playing a real short course? The same for a low handicap golfer who is a short hitter. Will he or she enjoy hitting fairway woods into most par fours?"

--Mike Stachura