In his running advice column, Mr. X, answers a question from “Getting Old”.
***This question was paraphrased from a conversation at a golf course during a post senior-league meeting … also known as the 19th hole. Mr. X received permission to post this question from the originator and share the discussion with LG’s readers.***
Q: Dear Mr. X,
I’ve been playing golf since I was a little kid and that’s a long time. Just this season, I’ve noticed I’ve lost a lot of distance off the tee, but I’m not ready to move from the senior tees to the women’s tees as some of my friends have suggested. I know it’s just an ego thing, but my friends and I all play from the senior tees on my course. On some holes, the loss of distance is no big deal, but on others it’s no fun anymore and I’m thinking of giving up the game. I’ve been playing golf for over 40-years and play to a current 18.8 handicap index from my set of tees.
A: Getting Old,
First, getting old is a problem we all hope to have some day, because the alternative sucks. Whereas Mr. X can 100% understand your hesitance to move forward to a set of tees that some have designated as “ladies”, like most things in life, times have changed.
Tees are no longer thought of this way and are what they have always been … simply yardages set on a golf course, where golfers can enjoy the game, at their skill or distance level, for their entire lives. You may no longer have the fastball you once did, be able to run the mile in under six minutes, but you can still make eagles, birdies, and pars in golf because the greatness of our game allows it.
We all lose distance as we get older, but the thought of moving up a set of tees shouldn’t drive you away from a game you’ve loved your entire life. Moving up a set of tees is definitely something to consider and by the way … not be ashamed of. Also, keep in mind with today’s equipment and ball fitting options, you may be able to sneak some of that distance back into your game. Modern equipment, with lighter flex iron and wood shafts, lower compression golf balls, and clubs designed specifically to get the ball airborne faster, are all great options to help you regain a little distance.
Even though you see the move forward to the red tees as a gender barrier, understand this move will not significantly affect your handicap by USGA numbers and will still provide you plenty of challenge. Using the USGA’s Course Handicap ™ Calculator and playing the silver tees at your course, your handicap is an 18.8 with a course rating of 68.2 and slope of 122 – meaning you play to a 20-handicap from your current set of tees. Moving up a set of tees, your new course rating would be 65.8 with a slope of 110, and your new course/tee handicap would be 18. It’s important to understand, two strokes is all we’re talking about in the larger picture and hopefully this will make the decision easier. So … move up a set of tees the next time you play and begin to enjoy our great game once again!
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