I am still banging on about forward tees – I only started playing golf once my children had finished their education – frankly I could not afford to play golf while they were at school. While I had been interested in golf it was a distant dream – that is until the raw material storeman in the company said to me he was retiring and did I know anyone that would like some golf clubs. (blades @R200).
That evening when I got home I asked my wife if it would be okay if I took up the game! She had been long suffering as I had organised many company games of soccer and cricket with suppliers and customers.
Long story cut short I dragged my neighbour off to the Papwa Sewgalum municipal course and so our little group grew – we played medal format.
Finally after many games I broke the 100 stroke “barrier” during 1989 and then dipped under 90 during 1990. Friends that I knew through business then started with invites to sponsored games – not having an official handicap I was told to play off 18!
When playing I would get a par and perhaps followed by a one over then a birdie – eyebrows would be raised, leading me to join a club.
At that stage there were only two clubs that would take members immediately – Bluff National Park and Umkomaas – we joined Bluff because of it being closer to home.
My golf improved as I was now playing in Saturday competitions and there was always someone that would tell me or show me how to improve my shots.
At that stage I had bought new irons and I was using an 8 iron from 150 metres out and my drive were 190 to 200 plus metres.
Now that I am in my 70’s – my drives are 170 to 180 metres and I am playing a 4 iron or rescue club from about 150 metres.
The point I am trying to make is that people with arthritis and inflammatory joints cannot keep up with the young bucks.
In a recent game I experienced a youngster driving his ball into a strong north easterly wind 320 metres on a par 4 – 378 metres – while I drove mine 160 metres from the forward tee listed as 311 metres.
Hence my request that people over 70, should not have to adjust their handicap when playing off the forward tees as that should be the tee which they are handicapped at.
Admittedly, there will always be the old timer who will want to play off club tees but that will be his provocative.