Tee It Forward starting to gain traction

PGA.com

Series: Golf Buzz

As Tee It Forward hit the one-year mark in July, the National Golf Foundation conducted a survey of 700 golfers about their familiarity and perceptions of the program.

For those not aware, Tee It Forward is a national initiative to encourage golfers to play courses at lengths better suited to their game – meaning at shorter yardages than they typically play. Tee It Forward wants golfers to be able to hit their approach shots into the greens using a similar club to what elite players might use in the same situation, which for most of us means moving up to forward tees to hit or drives.

About two-thirds (66%) of what the NGF designates as “Core Golfers” are aware of the Tee It Forward program, according to the survey, and among them, 40 percent have actually tried Tee It Forward. The demographic group most aware of the program and most likely to have tried it, the NGF says, is golfers age 60 and up.

As you might expect, the more committed golfers are more aware of the program – 73 percent of what the NGF calls “Golf Nuts” know about Tee It Forward, while 63 percent of “Hooked Golfers” are aware and 42 percent of “Casual Golfers” know about it.

The program also has had more success at private clubs than at public facilities, and that makes sense seeing as how club members are more likely to be avid golfers.

More than half (55 percent) of the surveyed golfers who had tried Tee It Forward said it made their round more fun – and of the women who were surveyed, 61 percent said it made their day more enjoyable.

Judging by this survey, Tee It Forward is off and running, especially at private facilities. The big challenge ahead is getting it implemented at more public courses and reaching less-than-avid golfers. The good news is, those casual golfers are likely the ones who could most benefit from playing from forward tees.

Have you tried Tee It Forward yet? What did you think? I'd like to know.

More on Tee It Forward:

--PGA and USGA step up to new set of tees

--Adams knows how to make golf more enjoyable

--Golfers move up, have fun teeing it forward

--PGA and USGA urge golfers to Tee It Forward in 2012

--Nicklaus, Johnson and Creamer encourage golfers to Tee It Forward

--Golf Association of Philadelphia enjoys success with Tee It Forward

--Steve Eubanks: Tour players make the case for Tee It Forward

PGA.com