PHILADELPHIA – The Golf Association of Philadelphia announced earlier this year that it would adopt the TEE IT FORWARD initiative for its spring and fall net championships, and feedback from the spring tournament was nothing but positive. The opportunity to play from tees appropriate for each player's driving distance increased participation, improved scores and enriched the experience for many golfers.
"The spring net championship was certainly a successful event for us with the new TEE IT FORWARD initiative," said Mark Peterson, executive director of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. "We had 35 percent of the event's competitors tell us that the tournament was more enjoyable than in past years."
The organization's net championships are designed to bring golfers of all skill levels onto the course, and TEE IT FORWARD was the perfect tool for leveling the playing field this spring. It will be used again at the fall event, and there are plans for summer events at various area courses to encourage golfers to give TEE IT FORWARD a try.
"We view the TEE IT FORWARD initiative as having both an educational and enjoyment aspect," Peterson said. "If we can get golfers to understand the concept behind it, we think they will embrace it and that will lead to a better overall experience for them on the course."
At the spring championship, three tee options for players with average driving distances between 200 and 250 yards were available. The course played between 5,200 and 6,400 yards depending on tee selection.
Richard Saylor of Coatesville Country Club won the event, which included members from 145 clubs spread across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The tournament has been played regularly since 1946, but adopted TEE IT FORWARD and Net Stableford scoring for the first time this spring.
Saylor hit eight of the first nine fairways en route to a lifetime-best score on the front nine. He finished with an 18-hole score of 39, two points ahead of Frank Andrusiewicz of Makefield Highlands Golf Club. Saylor, a resident of Coatesville, was a first-time participant in the tournament.
The Golf Association of Philadelphia was founded in 1897 by members of Aronimink Golf Club, Merion Cricket Club, Philadelphia Country Club and Philadelphia Cricket Club. The purpose of the association is to preserve, protect and promote the game of golf.
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 PlayGolfAmerica.com/TEEITFORWARD.