Thank you! I was mostly concerned about my hips, and I am a medium mostly on my bottom half, and even though the chest size says it should fit….I think I’m going to have to pass, unfortunately.
Some new ladies options in the Pro shop!!!
And some new beachy washed pigment dye hoodies that are unisex!
And this cool Azalea and Mint unisex T - perfect for the Masters.
There’s a few things in here for you!
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Happy Mother’s Day to all the real MVP’s on the board! Thanks for keeping us mostly in check y’all! Hope to meet more of y’all soon!
I’m listening to an old Fried Egg podcast with Tom Doak, which includes a discussion about course set up for forward tees/women. For those interested: Yolk with Doak 32: New Year’s Resolutions and Unconventional Course Concepts with this conversation starting around 40:00 prompted by a great question from FTL’s @abbylieb.
One thing about playing a variety of world-class golf courses is that it gets you excited about golf course architecture (don’t know if you heard, but I’ve played in Scotland!!). And since I already have a lot of takes about golf course set up for ladies, I thought I’d try to capture some thinking here and give a chance for others to add any thoughts they might have.
Really this would be a fantastic topic for a roundtable discussion on something like the Fried Egg pod, but since Andy is busy with his move and Tasteful Layups isn’t up and running yet this is my best forum…
Course Set Up - The Good
Getting to hit every club in the bag and having lots of different clubs into greens. Easiest place to start is the par 3s - please don’t have every par 3 be a hybrid! - but should be applied to all holes.
The PNW Crew did a weekend in Walla Walla Washington where we played Wine Valley three times (the course fuqs). The set up is so good and offers so much variety that I ended up with a GIR throughout the bag over the course of the weekend. Not only does hitting into a green with anything from PW to fairway wood offer a unique test, achieving it makes you feel like a badass.
Again to praise Wine Valley (course fuqs), this course really understood this approach. Whenever there was trouble directly in the line of shot, there was always a bailout area that allowed for a sensible play if you’re willing to accept a detour to the hole. Played three rounds and didn’t lose a golf ball the whole weekend…One part good play, two parts course set up. When I get to play another weekend there (soon I hope!) I might take on more risks for a round. Especially if the ball-striking is firing! However, for women who may not have a lot of carry and play the ball primarily on the ground, this is key.
Short par 4s
Give us at least one par 4 under 250 yards! This is fun and gives poorer women players a shot at making a par.
Reachable Par 5s
That would be fun! Again, speaks to the variety and increase in options. After playing Wine Valley (course fuqs) I was trying to capture why it delighted me and the best answer I could give was “it asks you a question and there’s multiple ways to answer it”. This is where at least a reachable Par 5 on a course would serve well since it asks a question with multiple answers. Which speaks to…
Course set up that requires thinking.
It wasn’t until I played Cordova Bay in Victoria, BC (about 4800yards) that I first played “thinking” golf vs. “trying to hit the ball as close to the green” golf. It was delightful! Considering whether to go for a Par 5 in two vs. layup (I tastefully laid up of course), pulling fairway wood on a Par 4 tee, thinking about what side of the green to be coming in from. All made me feel like a golfer vs. a fairway wood hitter.
Playing Kingsbarns in Scotland I ended up approaching the entire round with a mindset of Sense and Sensibility, which let me prove to myself that I understand golf - That was a fun experience. More of this please! I think it’s a combination of variety of distances, trouble in places that requires thought, short enough forwards…basically a combination of all the “good”
Course Set Up - The Frustrating
Having the red tee markers share a tee box with the white tees
This just looks lazy and afterthought-esq.
Distance advantage that doesn’t factor in loss of other advantage.
You’ll often see on downhill tee shots that the forwards are insufficiently forward so that any distance advantage you’re getting is negated by the loss of height advantage. If average distance forward is ~30 yards on a flat lie, the distance should be greater than that if the tees are set up on a hill.
Tees on the wrong side doglegs.
Often which also gets called are tees set up in such a way that cuts the fairway in half. This doesn’t bother me as much because, if done right, it can feel like a legitimate driving test. But the dogleg one means auto-adding ~50 yards to the scorecard which, again, often negates the distance advantage.
Course Set Up - The Bad
Last to hit, first to hit phenomenon
(Often stems from the “Frustrating”). When forward tees aren’t set up well and I’m playing with all men, it’s often the case is that I’ll hit last (because I’m off the forwards) and then after my drive, I’ll be next to hit. This means scrambling to get my driver away and then running to catch up to my playing partners so that they’re not waiting on me to hit my approach. Doesn’t lead to good vibes during the round since you always feel behind and “in the way”.
Par 5 par 4s.
Par is irrelevant sure, but like the dude who uses “age is just a number” to only justify dating younger ladies, why is it always that a par 4 is three shots to reach vs. a par 5 being two to reach? For women trying to break 100/90/80 etc, this can be a frustrating barrier since you often start by essentially crossing 72 off the scorecard and writing in 75 or 76 because a handful of par 4s play as par 5s. Breaking 90 then becomes playing 13 over par vs. 17 over par. A harder task for sure!
Forced carries without any options (ex bail out option or drop zone).
My home course has a ravine in front of the 18th green to a slightly uphill green. There’s no drop zone up around the green so hitting into the ravine means that the next shot is about a 90-yard shot to an uphill target requiring at least 80-85 yards of carry. Course set up needs to be mindful that this is a very different “ask” depending on the player. For many, it’s a flip wedge. For me, it’s a pitching wedge or nine iron, clubs I (usually) hit high enough to navigate both the carry and the uphill. For some of the ladies I play with it’s a hybrid or even a fairway wood. On tournament days we don’t have net-double max (another rant all together…) and I feel so frustrated for ladies who routinely hit 2-3 balls into the ravine before finally connecting with a hybrid or fairway wood and finally getting enough juice on it get it over the crest of the ravine on the green side and up onto the green. While a drop zone on the greenside would be in an awkward place, at least it would be an option…
Having reasonably-length forward tees but they’re not rated.
This just de-legitimizes the option and says we don’t think actual golfers are going to play them. Also, for trying to achieve those milestones (sub 100/90/80 etc) you want to feel like you accomplished them on a “real” set up.
Course Set Up - The Ugly
- No bathrooms or bathrooms that aren’t amenable to lady problems.
Course Set Up - The Beautiful
Having a course arranged perfectly for a girls’ trip.
Again, acknowledgement to Wine Valley (Can’t have it go unmentioned that the course fuqs). On top of all the aforementioned praise of the set-up: the logo is sick, the pro-shop is well stocked with ladies’ gear, the area is surrounded by wineries, Walla Walla is delightful. Would make a perfect girls’ golf weekend and one I can’t wait to have!
Christine Fraser talked to Garrett Morrison on the main TFE Pod about a lot of this, extending to how design should account for kids, seniors, and neophytes alike.
Very well written.
Given that my weekend group usually includes my wife and my 70-year old mom, I’ve managed to pick up on a number of these things that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.
It also makes me extremely thankful that we lucked into the fact that the course closest to our cabin is owned by a couple that both play and their daughter is now the assistant pro, so its setup very well for the woman’s game. The fact that the course has most of these elements in play has greatly benefited me personally because its brought my wife into the game and has kept my mom still playing at 70. We could have easily had a course where that wasn’t the case and instead of golf promoting quality family time together, it could have been a cause of arguments.
Also this ties very well into a conversation I was just having with a buddy earlier tonight who’s girlfriend was talking about a Lawsonia trip for them, and I had to warn him that particular course is probably not very well suited to the woman’s game unfortunately.
This post fuqs
I will never not laugh at my mom constantly asking if 70 yards for her is a 7 or an 8 iron. “Mom, I can’t tell ya, I’m out of club choices at that range.”
Definitely 7i until she regularly misses long.
I hadn’t heard of Wine Valley and now it’s on the top of my list! Agree with all of this (bathrooms are my serious pet peeve) and of course pro shop selection. I was pleasantly surprised by Bandon Dunes. They had a wide variety and different products for women at each golf course’s pro shop.
Need to tee it up one of these days, @Sarah!
So well written! I’ve faced many of these issues as a woman golfer.
I’ll add a few more 1 course & 2 club related.
Course - The Bad:
- Placing forward tees in the blind landing area for the back tees. My club has a hole like this where the back tees have a blind shot and the landing are is right where the green tees are. Every time I play that hole I fear for my life if some scratch twosome on their souped up golf cart happened to catch up to me (who walks the course).
Club - The Ugly:
Women’s club meets on Tuesday mornings at 10am. I work so no way I’ll ever be able to participate in that. Men’s club meets… drum roll please… Saturday mornings. From 8:45am to 10am all tee times are blocked out and only men are allowed out. I don’t think I need to outline the issues with this picture.
There are separate lounges for the men and women at the club. The women’s is tucked away in the back corner and is just a room with couches (I call it the knitting room) which no one uses. The men’s is right off the 18th hole and opens up to a beautiful patio with fluffy couches from Restoration Hardware, a full bar, and a BBQ. Women not allowed to use that.
I read a book recently called The Unplayable Lie, the untold story of women and discrimination in American golf by Marcia Chambers (that Grueter for the rec!). It was written in 1995 where the main issues were those called out above and even back then, 27 years ago, these ideas and traditions were outdated and demeaning.
Those are the truly ugly!! I’m lucky that my “club” has men’s and women’s meetings both on Sunday morning! And since it’s a muni there’s no lounge. It drives me bonkers that the clubs think women don’t want to hang out and have some beverages! The post round beer was one of the best parts of my Scotland trip and I would have been furious if I was excluded from that!
God that’s gross. There are so many things even outside of golf that assume this. As a parent, so many possible activities for our kid were only available during the work week, with the assumption that a parent (or, I guess, a nanny) could chaperone.
Like, the idea that women work should not be quaint or unusual in 2022. Or, for that matter, in 1972.
In Philly area, GAP (Golf Association of Philadelphia) and WGAP (Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia) both run a GAP Match tournament in the spring over 3 weeks.
The women’s matches are played on Tuesday and Friday mornings.
The men’s matches are Sunday mornings.
This is the first year I was able to play in more than 1 match.
To be fair, the rest of the year both men’s and women’s GAP tournaments and open play days are pretty much exclusively scheduled for weekdays…
Terrible. And they have the gall to ask why there aren’t more women playing golf.
Our club is that way. In fairness, I know a lot of the retired ladies prefer it that way, but all of the female members with jobs obviously don’t. There’s a co-ed league setup on Wednesday evenings and Men’s League on Thursdays.
Don’t ever go to Torrey Pines (well, go, but play the North course?).
Fails on all of your criteria. A miserable, deliberately hard set up for anyone, regardless of the tees you play (deep bunkers, narrow fairways, deep rough) but on top of all of that in all the renovations they’ve had over the years they’ve never addressed forward tees. Still that 50s style where on most holes they are just a few paces forward of the white tees. Almost 5500 from the “forward” tees. Gross.
My wife and I were talking to the owner after a round the other day, and I mentioned this thread and was explaining to him how well I thought their course suited the woman’s game. He said they’re starting to do some master planning on redesigning one of their nines, and one of the meetings he has coming up is with a female golf architect to ensure the redesign covers all aspects of the game. He actually asked if my wife was around during the week (course is in cabin country) and wanted to meet with the architect as well.
I personally was just happy that he was talking about adding width, because its one of those courses that’s carved out of the north woods so its a little tight to say the least.
The course is objectively really not that great. I’d liken it to a good dive bar. Dated, rough around the edges, fairly claustrophobic, and with mediocre food, but somehow incredibly endearing.
That and being able to walk 18 Sunday morning in less than 3 hours with a 15-minute stop at the turn doesn’t hurt. Now if they could only do something about the mosquitos.