124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2



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.

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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