GolfWeek magazine takes an informative and fun look at the golf course architecture of Jan Bel Jan, ASGCA (Jan Bel Jan Golf Course Design), including her designing for golfers of all skill levels, a.k.a. “Scoring Tees.”
In simplest terms, the Scoring Tees shorten the golf course; Bel Jan thinks the ideal 18-hole length for these tees is between 4,000 and 4,400 yards. But her idea is more fully developed.
She considers ball trajectory and angles of play, and what it would take for every player to get on, say, a par 4 with two well-played shots. Pace of play is a big consideration; she wants all players to reach a par 4 in two or three shots, not five or six.
Bel Jan was intrigued by the fact that college coaches sometimes have their players use the forward tees in practice. The reasons are three-fold: course management (“Just because you can drive the green, is that the smart play?” she asks); working on the short game; and learning how to go low.
If it makes sense for top amateurs, she reasons, why shouldn’t it appeal to all players?
“Now you’re talking about being able to play the game and you don’t have to be the longest hitter,” Bel Jan said. “It’s like a shootout.”
The complete GolfWeek feature article can be seen here.