The Niggle: Are gender-free tees a good idea?
Gender in golf over the years has been a contentious debate amongst many.
And when you are sending your female playing partner 50 yards away to play her tee shot the gender issue is raised once again.
Gender specific tees have been around for years, but would it not be more appropriate to have tees that are based on ability and not gender?
Should there be gender free tees or should Golf clubs stick with tradition? Let us know in the comment section at the bottom of the page…
The NCG team gave their views on the topic..
SC: I’m very much in favour. Firstly, golf is a social game. We all come together to play and then we send women and girls 100 yards down the fairway. What is that all about?
Secondly, if tees were ranked on ability rather than gender, I think everyone would have more fun.
Why should a junior have to play a competition off the whites? You might think it’s the best way to motivate them to get better but will they enjoy playing on a course that’s just too long for them?
With each tee having been rated, and having a different standard scratch score, we can all play off the tee that suits our game at the present moment.
What I also really like about gender free tees is chance to play different ‘courses’ at the same venue.
I’ve never played off the reds at my club but, if I did, I bet it would ask a few different questions than just going round the whites I’ve played hundreds of times on automatic pilot.
TL: Gender free tees are a great idea in my opinion. Handicaps will work themselves out and then there is no divide.
JB:I agree with Steve and Tom that it’s a great idea.
I haven’t got a handicap but I would presumably be off 28 if I was able to play in a proper competition. I would feel at a disadvantage if anyone of a lower handicap, regardless of gender, was playing their tee shots further forward than me.
I think the idea raised by Steve of tees being ranked on ability rather than gender is definitely the way to go.
JS: But then we couldn’t laugh at people who fail to hit it past the ladies tee and joke that they’ve got to buy everyone a gin and tonic or something.
Being serious, gender-specific tees are one of the worst things about golf. I enjoy playing golf with my mum but sometimes it feels like we’re not even playing the same course.
On the 16th and 27th at Moor Allerton you can’t even see the ladies tee from the men’s tee.
Almost as bad as the golf clubs that have separate men’s and women’s entrances to the clubhouse. Re-enforces the stuffy, sexist stereotypes that DO still exist as clubs up and down the country.
I also think it’s rude when the only female player in the group has the honour but still has to tee off last.
As TL says, the handicap system should take care of things. Also different stroke indexes could be used to account for longer holes.
Imagine playing in a fourball with better players than yourself who were all playing off the whites but insisted you play last off the yellows on every hole?
JU: I would tend to agree that gender free tees are the way forward. Although golf is a fairly traditional sport and nobody ever seems to like change this is certainly something that should be embraced.
Rather than being judged on your gender you are judged on your ability – how it should be.
The handicap system is already in place to level out competition and for someone like myself who struggles to put a whole round together giving another 80/100 yards to someone who is much better than me can seem quite daunting!