Scoring Tee Initiative at Duran will give players more options


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Duran Golf Club is trying to put a little fun back in the game.

The club will begin introducing a new Scoring Tee Initiative this summer based on recommendations by the PGA of America and the National Golf Foundation to help amateur golfers with slower swing speeds and drive lengths than the pros.

“Basically, when Tiger Woods came on the scene, they started lengthening golf courses because these guys were overpowering the golf courses,” Duran Head Golf Professional Matt Morrison said.

“It started at Augusta National. They started adding so much length to it, they called it ‘Tiger-proofing’ the golf course.”

Augusta wasn’t the only one. Soon golf courses were being designed all over the country for the bigger hitters.

“At the same time, your average amateur, those golf courses got too long for them,” Morrison said. “We got into situations where they just became accustomed to not being able to reach the green in regulation, taking three shots to get on a Par 4, having to hit a driver on a Par 3, things like that.

“The game isn’t as enjoyable that way. You don’t have putts for birdie. You don’t have good opportunities for pars.

“What this initiative does is it informs the golfer what tee box they should be playing in relation to their swing speed, and basically how far they hit the golf ball.”

Under the new initiative, Duran will look to develop a new set of tees that fall in the 4,300 to 4,500 range, which are more than 800 yards shorter than the current women’s tees. The new tees will be identified by roman numerals instead of the traditional colors that golfers use.

Duran General Manager David Tomczak said the club will look to phase in the new initiative during the next two years, beginning this summer on six to eight of the longest holes on the Championship Course.

Using a TrackMan device provided by Duran’s Director of Instruction Justin Blazer, golfers will be advised of their swing speed and other data to let them know how far they hit the ball. There also is a chart that recommends the tee from which they should be hitting.

“Most people have never been told what tees should I be playing,” Tomczak said. “They just (think) I guess if I play pretty well, I should be playing the blue tees. If I’m not (playing well), I should play the white tees. Those are the only options I’ve got.

“We believe we’re going to see a lot of men moving up to play more forward tees, but even the new scoring tees that we have.”

Duran tested out the new options last month and asked golfers to take a survey to give their feedback.

Tomczak has asked players to give the new scoring tees a try at least once.

“People that move up to the tee will probably shoot a score that they’ve never shot before,” he said. “That’s not a bad thing.”

Make no mistake, though. Golfers will not be forced to play from the new tees if they don’t want to, and the overall course will not be compromised.

“We’re not shrinking the golf course,” Morrison said. “It’s not like we’re moving the greens in. We’re still a championship golf course with a quality set of black tees. It’s a challenging course.

“We’re just adding some other options, and trying to inform the consumer of where they should be playing. That was one of the misconceptions, that Duran was turning into a shorter course. We still have those options to challenge the better players in the world, too.”