Looking forward to summer and some fairway run

By Paul Gueorgieff
Editor, Golfer Pacific NZ

Does your golf game struggle in the winter?

Mine certainly does and so does all of those I regularly play with.

Obviously winter conditions are much, much harder than summer conditions.

But there’s another reason our club members struggle in the winter.

Our course measures 5878 metres from the men’s regular tees. These are not the championship tees, they are the tees used every day of the week by men and we are only par 71.

Earlier this winter our regular Thursday group of 20-30 players were asked if they wanted to play off our women’s tees. Virtually nobody said yes.

I was amongst the majority of sticking to our regular tees. In fact, I dreaded the thought that the vote would go the other way to play off the women’s tees.

But why? Surely it would be a good idea to play off the women’s tees in the winter?

Our men’s veterans’ group plays off the women’s tees during the winter. 

A few years ago the colour of our women’s tees were changed from yellow to grey and club officials referred to the women’s tees as the grey tees.

Unfortunately that did not alter the fact that the grey tees were still the women’s tees.

So why did I vote against moving from the men’s regular tees to the grey tees during the winter? I suppose it was the macho in me because I know the grey tees are really the women’s tees.

In other words you can change the colour of the tees but we still know what they actually are.

Three of our par fours measure 385m, 387m and 396m. I simply cannot reach them in two in winter conditions and it’s the same for most of the players I play with.

Recently there was a PGA Tour event in Texas where the players were having to hit as much as a three wood to reach a par four. Cold and windy conditions were being blamed.

I thought you poor guys having to play in cold and windy conditions. We get that for three months or more in Wellington.

So given that I cannot reach at least three of our par fours in two and given that I have to endure three months or more of cold and windy conditions, why did I vote against playing off the women’s tees?

The macho aspect is part of the answer but most of the answer is not wanting to lower my standards. That may sound stubborn — and it probably is — but I want to play the men’s course not the women’s course.

A friend of mine has told me in the past that he does not like my course. I asked him why. His reply was that he never scores well. I thought I know why — because the course is long, even from the regular club tees.

But when it comes to length I sometimes wonder what is being achieved when the pros are hitting driver, seven iron on a par five. 

I suppose it underlines how good the pros are but surely such holes should be made par fours in tournaments that are on the likes of the PGA Tour or the European Tour. I would love to be able to hit driver, seven iron on a par four, let alone a par five.

Anyway the long months of winter make me look forward to summer more than ever with the hope of a little fairway run and reaching those long par fours with a superb drive and superb three wood.