Longleaf Tee Initiative
The Longleaf Tee Initiative – a joint partnership between the American Society of Golf Course Architects Foundation and with U.S. Kids Golf Foundation – increases course playability and golfer enjoyment for players of all ages and skillset.
Golf course operators, teaming with an ASGCA member, strategically expand existing tee complexes, which increases rounds, and improves pace of play and the facility’s bottom line. The goal is for all players to enjoy the game while maintaining the design integrity and challenge of the layout.
The initiative is modeled off of the renovation of Longleaf Golf & Family Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina. With the assistance of Bill Bergin, ASGCA, Longleaf added multiple tee locations – as many as seven per hole – at yardages that encourage players to tee off from locations based on how far they carry their drive.
“This will improve pace of play and increase enjoyment for everybody on the golf course.
It’s going to be a benefit for everybody in the game.”
Rees Jones, ASGCA Fellow
“It’s not about gender or age. It’s about playing from a distance that gives players a chance to have par on virtually every hole.”
Dan Van Horn, U.S. Kids Golf Foundation founder
How it Works
“Distinct signs on the practice range make it simple: hit a few drives, see where your ball lands, and play from the corresponding tees on the course,” Bergin said. “The charts and illustrations found in the pro shop, on the range, first tee and scorecard elevate this over other tee initiatives. It’s packaged in a way that encourages more players to play from the correct tees.”
The Longleaf Tee Initiative is not a “cookie cutter” program. Since each golf course is unique, the implementation of the tee system will vary based on course design and layout.
Additional implementations of the Longleaf Tee System are being implemented at Medinah No 2 in Illinois (Ree Jones, ASGCA Fellow and Steve Weisser, ASGCA), and Sugar Creek Country Club in Texas (Jeff Blume, ASGCA).
“It is vital that courses work with an ASGCA member from the start,” said John Crowder, USKGF. “No two courses are the same. And to design and implement a system for all players – not just kids, women or older players – you need the expertise of a golf course architect.”
“At first, the amount of maintenance seems daunting. But the cost is negligible when weighed against
the overall benefit for the golfer and the game.”
Jason Friedman, superintendent, Longleaf Golf & Family Club
“ASGCA members must help clients determine what is best; whether building new tees or fairway cutouts,
or simply using these ideas for better operations.”
Bruce Charlton, ASGCA