We’ve been beaten over the head for years about playing the right tees.
It’ll make the game more enjoyable, they said. It’ll will increase your chances of playing your best, they added. But the problem is most of us wouldn’t have the first clue whether or not we’re actually doing that without some on-course tinkering. That means we actually need to experiment.
Up and down South Carolina’s Grand Strand, several courses can nudge you in a direction you’re maybe not use to without either destroying your scorecard or making the course too easy. No, these test cases are all about getting you accustomed to a different distance.
TAKING A FEW STEPS FORWARD
The Avocet Course at Wild Wing (top photo) is proof positive that we’ll lead by example. Since the difference from whites to yellows here is all of 356 yards, we used Avocet as our guinea pig not all that long ago. The score card looked relatively familiar, save for a few of the longer Par 4s.
Closer to the beach, Myrtlewood Golf Club’s Palmetto course shaves just 507 yards off from the whites to the golds (and fewer than that from the blues down to the whites). That’s a shade over 28 yards per hole, and 92 of those come on the Par 4 15th.
Willbrook Plantation Golf Club (pictured right) is a fantastic third option for this endeavor. While the whites chime in at 6,292 yards, the golds are just 463 yards shorter. Yet, nearly one-fifth of that difference is on the Par 5 15th. The rest of the way, it’s a steady diet of mere yards.
In each of these cases, the shorter tee boxes didn’t change the feel or design of the course. Hazards still came into play in similar fashion and the angles on specific shots didn’t change more than a few degrees.
CHANCING IT BACK THERE
Moving up is an easy decision, at least when compared to the thought to moving back to a further tee box.
And while any of the three above courses could also be solid choices for dropping back, we have suggestions on three others that fit the bill.
Thanks to the blue tees (between the standard whites and championship blues), Wachesaw East inches players back by just 321 yards. That’s a laughable difference of just 18 yards per hole. And for those going from golds to whites, it’s a change of just 470 yards.
If you’re feeling brave, Blackmoor Golf Club is a great place to test yourself incrementally. From the 6,217-yard whites, the jump back to the blacks is an increase of 397 yards. And if you’re curious about the ultra-creative and popular Par 4 No. 8, it’s only an extra 20 yards through the chute.
It was clear from the get-go that Tom Jackson wanted water, not sheer distance to play the biggest role at River Club. (pictured right) As such, he only boosted the gold tees to the whites by 433 yards and the whites to the blacks by 437. The largest difference between the top two tees? Just 37 yards, on the Par 3 No. 14.