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PGA & USGA Expand Tee it Forward Initiative
The PGA of America and United States Golf Association want golfers to have more fun by "teeing it forward" all year long. Following the successful pilot launch of Tee it Forward in July 2011, the associations are encouraging golfers to continue to play from distances that match their playing skills. More than 1,900 facilities registered in 2011, with an average of 123 golfers per facility (a total of nearly 237,000 nationwide) playing from forward tees during the promotional period.
Additionally, a survey of more than 3,000 consumers who experienced the program showed that 70 percent found their rounds of golf more enjoyable and more than 90 percent said they would recommend Tee it Forward to a friend. The survey also found nearly 50 percent of respondents saying the program helped them play faster.
"These golfers told us that they found golf more enjoyable by playing courses at shorter lengths than usual. At the end of the day, that's what we want . . . golfers to have more fun, which, in turn, hopefully means they will play more and stay in the game," said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. "This initiative also generated incredible buzz through traditional and social media, as well as at golf facilities across the country."
The PGA partnered with the USGA to support Tee it Forward in 2011 and both organizations are once again teaming up to make this a year-round promotion. "Simply put, Tee it Forward can make golf much more fun for millions of people, while contributing to the growth of the game," said USGA President Jim Hyler. "We are encouraged by the results of our pilot, and believe this new approach to the game is really beginning to catch on with golfers of all skill levels."
Tee it Forward was brought to the forefront by industry veteran Barney Adams, retired founder of Adams Golf. Adams was a strong advocate and ambassador for Tee it Forward in 2011 and will continue in that role. "I've been around the game for more than 30 years and continue to be amazed as golfers make it much harder than it should be by playing golf courses at distances that don't come close to matching their abilities," said Adams.
"By playing from forward tees, amateur golfers have the chance to play the course at the same relative distance as a touring professional would over 18 holes. We need golfers to be hitting eight-irons and wedges into par-4s like the pros . . . not fairway woods."
While it was highlighted during a specific time period in 2011, Tee it Forward is now being promoted as a year-round initiative. Courses can set up additional tees to provide golfers with more options or simply encourage golfers to use existing forward tees to potentially have a more enjoyable experience on the course.
The PGA and USGA will be developing educational and promotional materials to be distributed to golf facilities across the country. World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Nicklaus, PGA Tour player Dustin Johnson and the LPGA's Paula Creamer are on materials that carry the Tee it Forward message. Both organizations will also leverage PSAs and other promotional opportunities around their respective championships to support the initiative.
For more information, visit http://www.playgolfamerica.com/index.cfm?action=teeitforward.