Shorter courses better for game, says AdamsBETHESDA, Md. – If Barney Adams thought it was tough selling golfers on his revolutionary “Tight Lies” fairway woods in the late 1990s, wait till he gets going with his latest venture.
Adams, founder and CEO of Adams Golf, contends that most golfers are trying to play too much golf course and that they’d enjoy the game more if they moved up on the tees. That is, play a shorter course.
The snorts you hear in the background will be Adams’ biggest problem. Those are the guys saying, “What? No wimp-out in me.”
“Right – the infamous male ego,” said Adams, at Congressional Country Club for the U.S. Open, discussing the “Tee It Forward” program, embraced by both the PGA of America and the U.S. Golf Association. They organizations will propose the program for golf facilities across the country July 5-17.
“So our No. 1 job is education,” he added, meaning that golfers would have to accept the notion that they will enjoy golf more and shoot better scores if they would play a course more realistically in their reach. The golf equation is simple: Playing a course of more suitable length means better scores, fewer lost balls and an improved disposition. To say nothing of infusing some health into a game that has been wilting for years.
“Most amateurs play a course that’s from 800 to 1,500 yards longer than the equivalent of what the tour pros play,” Adams contends. He said that golf statistics show that the average male amateur hits drives of 230 yards, and the average male tour pro 300 yards, and that the average tour pro hits irons 20 yards farther than an amateur. From this foundation, Adams created what he called the concept of “Tour-Length Tees.” Applying his math, he figured that an amateur playing a 6,700-yard course was the equivalent of a tour pro playing at 8,100 yards – 700 yards longer than a typical PGA Tour course.
“Given the 1,400-yard course advantage of a tour player,” Adams wrote in the PGA Magazine in January, “his 7,400 [yard course] is my 6,000. We should consider promoting courses of 6,000-6,400 yards for the vast majority of our golfers.”
Adams referred to an experiment he devised to test his thesis on an aspiring young tour pro he declined to identify. Using his figures, he had the pro play from a tee 90 yards behind him. The pro, then, was having to hit 260-yard approach shots into par-four holes. The pro, he said, quit after four holes.
A similar study for women golfers, he said, suggested they should be playing courses of 4,000 to 4,600 yards. The reaction underlined the ego problems he faces with his program.
“Women,” he said, “were even more insulted at being asked to move up.”
Adams’ program of shorter courses would seem to run counter to the standard promises manufacturers of more distance in golf clubs and balls, and thus would hurt sales.
Adams said his proposal was for the good of the game, but as to sales and profits: The happy golfer plays more and buys more.
Return to Latest News archives