TIME TO BUILD BESPOKE WOMEN’S GOLF COURSES
I’m not young enough to have witnessed two of the greatest women swingers of a golf club, American, Glenna Collett Vare and English woman Joyce Wethered; both consistent powerfully-accurate hitters of a golf ball, and each possessing the deft touch of a surgeon on and around the green.
Before becoming a golf writer and author, I taught groups of women; juniors, middle-age, and senior citizen golfers.
While senior editor of instruction at GOLF Magazine, I got to work on instructional articles with two Hall of Famers, Nancy Lopez and Julie Inkster, and actually had the opportunity to play with Jan Stephenson, the two time major championship winner of the LPGA and U.S. Open titles.
So I know what average women amateur golfers of different ages, and average women pros are capable of doing.
I can say proudly that I had great success teaching women amateur players, but I got to tell you, other than a couple of women who were strong enough to swing stiff-shaft men’s clubs and hit drives as far as 230 yards, the average woman student of mine hit their best tee shots about 165 yards, and best fairway club shots, such as the # 3 club, 150 yards. As for irons, the average length for hitting the 5-iron, 120 yards, 6-iron, 110 yards, 7-iron, 100 yards, 8-iron, 90 yards, 9-iron, 80 yards.
All things considered, then, it is absurd, that having played golf all over the world, women’s golf courses, averaging around 5800 yards, are just too damn long. This is not fair. I mean really, it is painful to watch women try to play Par-4 and Par-5 holes, knowing if they do not hit their very best shots, they will not reach greens in regulation, and face a birdie putt.
If it weren’t for the Par-3 holes on the typical golf course, four in all, measuring on average around 130 yards, that give them half a chance to score par and bring them back to the course, we would even have less than the 25 percent of the 25 million golfers in America represented by women.
In studying this situation, and finding the courses in England and France, fairer to women than in America, but still too long, I believe courses should start to be custom built just for women; fair and challenging public and private courses that should measure between 4000 and 4300 yards – tops!