Tee It Forward including PGA Family Course

To help golfers have more fun on the course and enhance their overall experience by playing from a set of tees best suited to their abilities, The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association have partnered to support Tee It Forward, a new national initiative for golf facilities nationwide.

Tee It Forward encourages all golfers to play the course at a length that is aligned with their average driving distance. Golfers can speed up play by using tees that provide the greatest playability and enjoyment.

Tee It Forward is not necessarily about creating a new set of tees.  It is about changing the mindset of golfers in a positive way, encouraging golfers to consider setting aside playing from 6,500-6,700 yards and moving up to a length of 6,000-6,200 yards or moving from 6,000-6,200 yards to 5,700-5,800 yards.

The 6,700-yard course that many amateur golfers play today is proportionally equivalent to a PGA Tour player competing on a course measuring 8,100 yards, 700 yards or longer than a typical PGA Tour layout.  Tee It Forward gives golfers the opportunity to play from distances that are properly aligned with their abilities.

Jack Nicklaus is a proponent of Tee It Forward.  "I love the game of golf but I will be the first to tell you that there are things about our game we need to improve," Nicklaus said. "Now The PGA of America and the USGA have come together to develop ways to that can make the game more attractive and more enjoyable.  Tee It Forward is the first of many initiatives we have discussed together, and I think families around the country will enjoy alternate formats like this to make the game more fun.

"All of us deeply involved in the game constantly encourage golfers of all skill levels to play the proper tees, but too often golfers want to bite off as much of the golf course as they can. What ends up suffering is their scorecard and their overall enjoyment. This program should help stimulate people to play the proper tees and maximize the golf experience."

Do you wish your approach shot to the green was just a bit easier? Would you rather hit an iron into the green versus a fairway wood or hybrid? If you want to play faster and have more fun, move up a set of tees and Tee It Forward!

Many amateurs are regularly hitting approach shots on a par-4 hole from 185 to 205 yards. The fact is most bogey golfers only hit approach shots generally with any accuracy from within 170 yards. When you Tee It Forward, you have the potential to hit approach shots from 145 to 165 yards. You will be hitting more lofted irons that will help you play faster and have more fun!

Join your friends and look forward to a new, positive experience on the golf course and move up a set of tees and Tee It Forward!

Tee It Forward received great response in 2012 from golfers nationwide who reported:
  • 56% played faster
  • 56% are likely to play golf more often
  • 83% hit more lofted clubs into greens
  • 85% had more fun
  • 93% will TEE IT FORWARD again
This chart is a guideline to help golfers align their average driving distance with the course length best suited to their abilities.
Your Driver Distance Carry Only Recommended 18 Hole Yardage Recommended Tee Markers
275 6950 Black
256 6587 Black
250 6466 Blue or Black
238 6250 Blue
225 6033 White on Championship
212 5766 White on O'Sullivan
200 5500 Red
175 4867 Red or Forward Gold
150 4183 Forward Gold
125 3600 Forward Blue or Forward Gold
100 3016 Forward Blue

PGA Family Course

For most young players and new golfers, the existing forward tees are too long. The PGA Family Course program was designed so that players can have the opportunity to make pars and birdies by playing from a yardage that enables them to reach each green in regulation.

The PGA Family Course uses two sets of tees that scale the golf course for players whose driver carry distance is 150 yards or less. It is essential to help players of all ages and ability reach the green in regulation and have the chance to make par, while improving pace of play on the golf course.

At its core, the PGA Family Course program uses two sets of tees designed to enable golfers with shorter driver carry distances to enjoy the same golf experience as players with longer driver carry distances. In this way, the program is a step toward involving the entire family in the game, including many younger and non-traditional golfers, who may have previously found golf too time-consuming and intimidating.

Who plays from the PGA Family Course Forward Tees?

  • Young Players -- This program was designed with kids in mind. When kids are first learning to play golf, they often lack the physical ability to hit shots long enough to effectively manage the golf course.  On course experience is essential to players learning the game and crucial for the retention of beginner golfers. Kids shouldn’t be limited to the driving range or the practice green, and these tees make playing golf possible for these young players.
  • All Golfers can Enjoy Playing from the PGA Family Course Forward Tees -- The PGA Family Course should not be limited to young golfers. All golfers, especially beginners, will enjoy the experience of playing quicker and shooting low scores. Further, more experienced golfers can use these tees as a way to hone aspects of their approach game or play a faster round.
PGA Family Course on our O'Sullivan course has received a USGA Course RatingTM and junior and new golfers can begin to post scores from these tees and establish a USGA Handicap. The posted scores will be recognized as official as long as the golfer adheres to the USGA Rules of Golf and USGA Handicap SystemTM.

Since only one fairway marker indicates the teeing ground, the USGA has a modified definition of the teeing ground to include the Forward Tee markers. The USGA defines the teeing ground as:

“The USGA believes to help clarify the acceptability of scores for handicapping purposes using this scenario, that two club-lengths from a tee-marker in any direction, no nearer the hole, would be appropriate to define the teeing ground. Also, if the shorter tee (Family tee) qualifies for a USGA course rating then the player (child or parent) would have an acceptable score for handicap posting purposes. The two basic premises (Section 1-1) behind the USGA Handicap System still stand, and the club handicap committee has the authority to make any adjustment if they encounter any issues with the player’s Handicap Index not reflecting their potential ability as noted in Section 8-4c.”

The PGA Family Course Yardages on the O’Sullivan
O'Sullivan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Red 381 364 439 216 162 281 477 190 257 2767
Forward Gold 289 249 301 153 112 194 305 124 184 1911
Forward Blue 223 199 237 119 89 155 251 108 141 1522
Par 4 4 5 4 3 4 5 3 4 36