Tee It Forward? Those who do are having more fun on the golf course
One of the biggest campaigns in golf is Tee It Forward, which urges golfers to be realistic about their choice of tees and play from where...
Special to The Seattle Times
One of the biggest campaigns in golf is Tee It Forward, which urges golfers to be realistic about their choice of tees and play from where they have a better chance for pars and birdies.
For a lot of men, that means swallowing some pride and moving up to a new set of tees, such as going from blues to whites or even whites to reds. Perhaps they can be comforted by this story as told by Broadmoor Golf Club member Gary J. Taylor:
"I was playing Broadmoor one day in 1994 and I looked around and was surprised to see Byron Nelson (then 82) and his wife playing the course. Byron had won the 1945 Seattle Open at Broadmoor and he was in town (for his stepson's wedding) and wanted to play the course again. What stuck in my mind was that his wife was teeing the ball up for him and he was hitting from the red tees.
"I thought, 'If Byron Nelson can play from the red tees, why can't other people move up to where they belong?' "
Nelson made history at Broadmoor in 1945 by shooting 259 (62-68-63-66) for four rounds. It stood as a PGA scoring record for 10 years until Mike Souchak shot 257 in the Texas Open.
The national Tee It Forward campaign said the feedback it received from golfers in 2012 showed that among golfers who moved forward :
*56 percent played faster
*56 said they were more likely to play golf more often
*83 percent hit more lofted clubs into greens
*85 percent said they had more fun.
Scott Alexander, the man generally credited with leading Gold Mountain Golf Complex outside Bremerton to its national reputation, resigned as director of golf during the winter after 28 years.
Alexander, a volunteer coach for the UW men's golf team, said it was time for a change and that he wanted to concentrate on his golf-cart business. The business rents carts to golf courses and events.
Gold Mountain added the John Harbottle-designed Olympic Course in 1996. The course was the site of the 2006 U.S. Public Links Championship and the 2011 U.S. Junior Championship.
The course will be the site of the 2015 West Regional for NCAA men.
• The Washington State Golf Association's Parent-Child Tournament, set this year for July 19 at Lake Spanaway Golf Course in Pierce County.
There are no strict requirements for parent-child teams. Teams such as grandparent and child are welcome provided that each player is from a separate generation. The "child" can be natural, adopted or a stepchild. Some teams have school-age children and some consist of a senior golfer and adult child. Both players on each team must have an established GHIN handicap index at a WSGA member club, whether public or private.
The tournament is played in Chapman format, with each player teeing off, playing the teammate's drive for the second shot, then each team deciding which of its two balls to use for alternate-shot play the remainder of the hole. There are awards for gross and net scores.
• One golf death that escaped notice last year was the passing of Walter Estby of Mount Vernon at age 106. When Estby was 98, Golf Digest said he had the best swing in the nation for someone over age 90.
"Walter has a swing that most 48-year-olds would envy," the magazine wrote.
Estby played golf past age 100 but had stopped playing a few years before his death.
• Many golfers don't realize that the former Oakbrook Golf and Country Club in Lakewood southwest of Tacoma is now a public course.
Oakbrook is a daily-fee course and also one of three courses in the new RMG Club (Ryan Moore Golf) that offers subscribers various discounts at The Classic outside Spanaway, McCormick Woods in Port Orchard and Oakbrook.
Oakbrook, site of the 2001 Washington Open Invitational, is 6,680 yards from the tips. From white tees, the course is 6,290 yards with a rating of 71.1 (what an expert would shoot) and a slope of 126 (113 is a "standard" course). The course is par-71 for men and par-72 for women and is flat and walkable.
Oakbrook, which indeed has a lot of oak trees, opened in 1966 and underwent a remodel by Jack Speidel that was completed in 1994. The club had been suffering a steep decline in members in the last recession and members agreed to sell to RMG.
• In addition to hosting the one-day LPGA Legends Tournament "Swing for the Cure" at Inglewood Golf Club on July 28, the club will host its second annual Military Appreciation Day on June 8.
Sixty active duty military personnel from local Navy bases will be hosted to an afternoon of golf, refreshments and dinner by Inglewood members.
In addition, individual Inglewood members will also be making donations to the Wounded Warriors Project at American Lake Veterans Golf Course outside Tacoma. The club donated used equipment to the course last year and plans to do the same this year.
• After low fan turnout and disappointing sponsor support last August, Peter Jacobsen has decided not to hold a pro golf exhibition event in Portland this summer. He hosted the Umpqua Bank Challenge last year and is weighing whether to attempt future events. Jacobsen told The Oregonian that fans are interested in only seeing the biggest names in golf and that it is hard to get them to commit to a non-PGA Tour event in the summer.
• Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish is ranked the No. 82 course by Golf Digest on its list of top 100 courses in America for 2013-2014. Sahalee has been on the list for 38 years and its highest ranking was No. 48 in 1989-90. Chambers Bay is No. 25 on Golf Digest's list of "America's 100 greatest public courses."