I played from the red tees today. Not the Ladies’s Tees, the red tees. Yes, it is primarily women who play from the red tees, but also seniors and people like me who want to try something new. So let’s just call them the red tees.
But why would I want to play from there? It’s really too easy, isn’t it? Not really that fair. Kind of like the varsity football team playing the junior high 7th-graders?
You see, you get a shorter course from the red tees, but it’s a different course. You have to hit your tee shot to different places. You have to hit different shots into the green. You’re hitting shots you don’t usually hit from places you don’t usually play from. That makes it a different game, and not necessarily an easier one. And you still have to putt.
It took me about six holes to adjust my thinking to a new shorter course. What club to use off the tee to set up the club I wanted to use into the green. The red tees were placed in some pretty nasty spots — there wasn’t always a clear look at the fairway, or hazards got brought into play that kept the driver in the bag. In short, the way I played every hole had to be thought through fresh.
Shorter doesn’t mean easier. You can still hit your drive into the weeds. You can still clank an iron into a water hazard. You can still three-putt. You can get caught up between both getting to greedy and being too conservative, and get bitten each way. You still have to hit good shots to score, and you will still pay for the bad ones.
Playing a shorter course doesn’t mean that you’ll hit very shot pure. It means you have to manage your mistakes in a different way, and find out how to think your way around an unfamiliar golf course. In short, it will open your eyes about how you make your way around a golf course, and expose deficiencies in your game you didn’t realize were there.
I predicted I’d shoot a 78, shot a 79. It was great fun the whole day. I recommend you try it.