STAFFORD, Va. - The leaders of some of golf's most influential organizations gathered on Tuesday, June 5, to TEE IT FORWARD at Augustine Golf Club in Stafford, Va. Participants included PGA of America (PGA) President Allen Wronowski; United States Golf Association (USGA) President Glen Nager; Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) President Skip Avery; National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) President Linda Rogers; and Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Past President Bob Randquist.
The group was playing to promote their respective organizations' support of TEE IT FORWARD, which encourages golfers to have more fun by playing from tees that better align with their ability. While Augustine Golf Club can be played at more than 6,700 yards, the yardage was moved up to approximately 6,000 yards for the men and 4,000 yards for Rogers on Tuesday.
"What a great day…the fact that the leadership of all of these great organizations took the time out of their busy schedules is indicative of the importance of TEE IT FORWARD," said Wronowski. "Not only was the company great, but, as expected we all hit shorter clubs into every hole. We all had a wonderful time."
Initially introduced in 2011, TEE IT FORWARD is now a year-round initiative led by The PGA of America and USGA with a special focus in June. During June, more than 2,400 registered facilities around the country are actively promoting playing from forward tees and hosting special events designed to encourage golfers to play from shorter distances. Participating facilities and more information can be found at PlayGolfAmerica.com/TEEITFORWARD.
"It is very exciting to see the deep support and commitment from the major organizations in golf for TEE IT FORWARD," added Nager. "By working together, we can help more and more golfers realize how much more enjoyable golf can be when you are hitting shorter irons into greens rather than long irons and woods."
The PGA of America and USGA are encouraging golfers to share their comments about TEE IT FORWARD. Between now and July 31, 2012, golfers can go to PlayGolfAmerica.com/TEEITFORWARD to post their comments and be entered for a chance to win the grand prize of two weekly grounds tickets for the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club. First runner-up receives two tickets to the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club and second runner-up wins two tickets to the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.
Comments from the participants at Augustine Golf Club included:
"PGA Professionals recognize the importance of making sure golfers have a good time and want to come back to the course. We are actively talking to existing golfers, new golfers and those returning to the game about playing from tees that ensure they will hit shorter irons into greens and have a great experience."
President, The PGA of America
"Values and traditions are woven into the fabric of the game of golf and will always be paramount to the USGA. However, having fun on the course is equally important. TEE IT FORWARD is just a great way to play the game."
"As a golf course owner who took up the game later in life, I really recognize the value of TEE IT FORWARD. Professionally, we need initiatives like this to attract and retain golfers. Personally, I find golf more enjoyable when I play from distances that match up with my ability."
"Golf can be a difficult enough game without making it even harder by playing from tees that are too far back. There's nothing wrong with golfers reach a par 5 in two shots or hitting a 9-iron into a green where they used to hit a 5-iron. Happy golfers make happy members."
"Golf course superintendents recognize how critical it is for our industry to grow the game. The experience golfers have on the course is paramount in this effort. We can do this by lowering the rough, opening up the fairways and setting up favorable pin positions. Positioning tees for TEE IT FORWARD is something that can be done very easily and has a very positive impact on a golfer's round."
Past President, GCSAA
TEE IT FORWARD is a national initiative led by The PGA of America and USGA to encourage golfers to play from appropriate distances and have more fun on the course. More information can be found at http://www.PlayGolfAmerica.com/TEEITFORWARD