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Mandatory tee boxes?


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Lets be clear, the title of the thread is "mandatory tee boxes", but the photo is a recommendation.  Nothing mandatory there at all.  Its one reasonable way to recommend tees, there are others that might be better, and none are perfect.  Of course, " reasonable" has nothing to do with clickbait posts on social media.

Edit to clarify, I'm pointing the clickbait finger at @dallasgolfco, not at @Noble 90 golf

Edited by DaveP043

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3 hours ago, Noble 90 golf said:

9AE2BA3B-4CED-49CA-A2D2-C4E00D6FE195.png

I feel this should be the standard!

They're assuming everyone has an accurate hcp. 

Even if they do have an accurate hcp. there are a number of things that aren't factored in: A mid handicapper playing up north on bentgrass with wide open fairways goes to play a course down south that has tight fairways lots of water and Bermuda - hmm don't think they're going to play to their hcp. That actually happened to me. I played for 10 + yrs in the scenario and came down to Florida. Playing the same yardage as up north 5800 yds, slope rating up north is 123 and here it's 109 but I'm not scoring as well . Took me several months to get use to that narly Bermuda rough, greens and tight fairways. 

On the other hand, I do think there needs to be some way of urging occasional golfers  to select the right tee box.  

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Determining which tees to play from based on handicap is about as accurate as deciding on what time you should go to bed based on your age.  One doesn't necessarily correspond to the other.  

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In my opinion…. I feel that every golfer should be playing from the forward tees until they can par that specific course. So many people where I am tee off from the back tees and can’t barely get off the tee box. So many people have zero business playing inappropriate tee boxes for their level of play. It’s slows things down tremendously and shouldn’t be allowed.

Marginally better than average!

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9 minutes ago, Noble 90 golf said:

In my opinion…. I feel that every golfer should be playing from the forward tees until they can par that specific course. 

I don't think that is a viable option either.  

Let's start with the teal tees; where I personally doubt I would shoot even par due to short game issues.  

296 305 112 402 273 120 351 344 271 2,474   421 268 94 261 352 413 126 288 254  2,477      4,951

Based strictly on distances I am hitting driver on all the par 4s and getting close to the green.   As a result,  I can't tee off on a par 4 until the group in front of me has cleared the green due to how far I hit driver.    If I am doing this,  most players are doing this because even high handicappers can hit the ball far so the pace of play will be extremely slow and most tee boxes will be backed up.  

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We've covered this topic in other threads but I find using handicap as opposed to average drive distance to be a poor basis in deciding which tee to play. There was a course in Yuma we played that used handicap and it would have me playing length that does not match up well for me.  I've seen more use of handicap than distance, so maybe "they" know what's better, but I don't get it.

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1 hour ago, Noble 90 golf said:

In my opinion…. I feel that every golfer should be playing from the forward tees until they can par that specific course. So many people where I am tee off from the back tees and can’t barely get off the tee box. So many people have zero business playing inappropriate tee boxes for their level of play. It’s slows things down tremendously and shouldn’t be allowed.

I've heard others make this argument as well. I'll wager that a good many could play the most forward tees and still not shoot par consistently. But I get where you're coming from. 

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7 hours ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

Not to be controversial but this would not work for me. This would have me playing from the black and at my age I do not have that distance. Frankly never had it either. I would be hitting 5 woods into par 4’s on my second shot.

After a few rounds from the blacks my handicap would be going up and I would (by the chart) be moving up again. I think you have to play from where you are comfortable playing from and what gives you the most fun and scoring potential.

This is a great point, and I completely agree that golf is meant to be fun. With that in mind it should be played from tee boxes that make it the most enjoyable. I don’t think anyone will give you a hard time for being a good golfer and wanted to play a course from a shorter distance. In fact I think it would set a great example. I am the shortest hitter out of my friends and I always have to convince them to not play the tips. Normally I’m the one that’s winning these matches even when we play from back there. It frustrates me when they can’t consistently keep the ball in play from back there. With all of this in mind I think that you can always move up, but it’s more just discouraging someone from biting off more they can chew as far as course distance. Most of my friends think it’s a pride thing, and to me that’s the biggest misconception in golf.

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I get that handicaps can indicate tee boxes, but many loose strokes in different areas. For me it's mainly off the tee and there are both pros and cons to playing holes shorter..sometimes it's easier for me to play a little further back. Definitely an interesting take, however i think it is hard to blanket handicaps to tees X or Y. 

Play the tees which will allow you to enjoy the game the most.

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Maybe im reading it differently than most. As an example its not saying that if you are a 0 you have to play the black. It’s saying you need that handicap to play those but you can play form any of those tees with that handicap

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I really don't see anything wrong with this "suggestion."  The photo shows the course is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and likely gets its fair share of visitors and tourists.  As a member of a tourist-based golf club, I can tell you that many of our visitors and guests who typically push the higher end of that mentioned handicap range do not do their due diligence on the course layout, rush to the first tee and automatically want to play from the tips.   On the first tee, you do not know what lies in front of you.  Unfortunately, when it presents itself, there's no going back!   Not only does it often become a frustrating experience for the player, but it also backs up the course making it unpleasant for each group behind them.  

I agree that one's handicap may not be the best metric for suggesting the correct tees.  However, I have to guess the many of those golfers incorrectly playing the back tees either don't actually know how far they hit their clubs or would "misrepresent" their actual distance to golfing friends.  

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39 minutes ago, Golf2Much said:

I agree that one's handicap may not be the best metric for suggesting the correct tees.  However, I have to guess the many of those golfers incorrectly playing the back tees either don't actually know how far they hit their clubs or would "misrepresent" their actual distance to golfing friends

I don't think there's a single best way to determine the tees someone should play.  Using handicaps is pretty common, and does have some basis in reality.  Generally speaking, better players DO hit the ball further.  Better players are more consistently in play with longer second shots.  Recommending that higher handicappers play shorter tees is pretty sound advice.  This type of posting also gives a starter a tool to encourage players to move forward a.bit, a really good thing at a popular "tourist" course.  and again, its NOT "mandatory".

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On 12/25/2022 at 7:44 AM, DaveP043 said:

I don't think there's a single best way to determine the tees someone should play. 

 

... How far/accurately you hit your tee shot should be the only qualifier. And even then that takes into consideration a reasonably repeatable swing. I have stated this so many times but most courses are designed to be played with specific clubs. Meaning an undulating shallow green with a deep front bunker is meant to be approached with a short iron or mid iron at worst. If you have to hit a hybrid or fairway wood you are playing the wrong tees for that given hole. Conversely some longer par 4's have nothing in front with a large green designed for a fairway wood to roll on. I think all courses should have one or 2 holes like this as it adds a challenge and you can use every club in the bag. But even an open front is useless if you can't reach it with a good shot using a hy/fw wood. 

... One of my playing partners is a long hitting 80 yr old. Long hitting as in 180-200 with his good drives (occasionally longer with a good drive downhill) and 160-180 with poor drives. But several holes over 400yds from the gold (senior) tees and uphill to around 220, are just past his range. I talked him into moving up to the forward tees on those holes and it has increased his enjoyment. Yes he hits lots of hybrids and fairway woods and if he played every hole from the forward tees he would enjoy it even more but one step at a time I guess. 

... At 69 I can play the tips at my home course but I won't be shooting under par and I would be hitting fairway woods on at least 5 of the par 4's. That means getting up and down more than reaching greens which would get old quick. Ideally I like a challenge with plenty of holes I can reach with a mid iron, some a short iron and some a long iron or hybrid. The day I can't reach the longer par 4's from the 2nd in tee box with a hybrid, is the day I move up a tee box. 

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9 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I don't think there's a single best way to determine the tees someone should play.  Using handicaps is pretty common, and does have some basis in reality.  Generally speaking, better players DO hit the ball further.  Better players are more consistently in play with longer second shots.  Recommending that higher handicappers play shorter tees is pretty sound advice.  This type of posting also gives a starter a tool to encourage players to move forward a.bit, a really good thing at a popular "tourist" course.  and again, its NOT "mandatory".

My way of determining from which tees I should be hitting is that if I have to use a hybrid for my second shot on more than two par-4 holes, I move up one set of tees.  Unfortunately, on our winter golf tour, even when the weather is not horrendously bad, there are far too many pat 4s where I cannot reach the greens in two shots, and sometimes even if I hit a 4-wood. In addition, although I can generally reach the par-5 holes in three, it’s not really fun always having to hit a 4-hybrid or a 5-iron for those third shots!

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I really don't care which tees my partners play from as long as they play fast. Play from the tips or play from the forward tees - but lets finish in 3 1/2 hours. 

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15 hours ago, chisag said:

.. How far/accurately you hit your tee shot should be the only qualifier

 

14 hours ago, funkyjudge said:

My way of determining from which tees I should be hitting is that if I have to use a hybrid for my second shot on more than two par-4 holes, I move up one set of tees.

I have no problem with the methods used by individual experienced players, as long as pace of play is being considered.  But instead of telling us how you decide for yourself, put yourself in the shows of the golf course management.  How would you advise players to choose the best set of tees?  Would you poll players on the number of fairways they hit, and how far?  Would you be asking them what club they'd use for a second shot on a typical hole?  Or going back to one of the other standards being used, ask ow far they hit their 5-iron?  Again, Handicap correlates to all of those questions, lower handicappers in general hit the ball further, and hit the ball straighter.  Consequently, I don't think its a bad idea to base suggested tees on handicap levels.  

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44 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

 suggested tees on handicap levels.  

The key word is suggested. How many players outside of low and scratch golfers actually play to their handicap? 

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2 minutes ago, tony@CIC said:

The key word is suggested. How many players outside of low and scratch golfers actually play to their handicap? 

Even low and scratch handicappers only "play to their handicap" about 20% of the time.  That doesn't really make the use of handicap any less viable as a "yardstick" on which to base tee recommendations.  Again, its not perfect, but there's no single criteria that IS perfect, from a course management viewpoint.

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I actually just looked at the score card from one of the RTJ courses at Capital Hill.

Using round numbers the yardage is 7800, 7100, 6500, 6000, and 5000. In general I would be most comfortable in the 6000 to 6500 range. I could not imagine being back at 7800 and not needing a doctors care by hole number 16. 🤣

 On the PGA tour they play back as far as the course can handle roughly in the 7200 to 7300 range. The Champions tour plays 6400 to 6800 at age 50 and up. Keep in mind these are the best of the best. We should just play what we are comfortable with. As the sign said it was a recommendation.

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

 

I have no problem with the methods used by individual experienced players, as long as pace of play is being considered.  But instead of telling us how you decide for yourself, put yourself in the shows of the golf course management.  How would you advise players to choose the best set of tees?  Would you poll players on the number of fairways they hit, and how far?  Would you be asking them what club they'd use for a second shot on a typical hole?  Or going back to one of the other standards being used, ask ow far they hit their 5-iron?  Again, Handicap correlates to all of those questions, lower handicappers in general hit the ball further, and hit the ball straighter.  Consequently, I don't think its a bad idea to base suggested tees on handicap levels.  

I completely disagree with two of the points that you suggest to be true: 1.) Lower handicap golfers do not necessarily hit the ball farther (there are plenty of higher-handicap golfers who hit the ball a long way), and 2.) lower handicap golfers do not necessarily hit the ball straighter, although this may have more merit than the first point.  Because of this, I do not think that handicap level should be the determining factor for what tees a golfer hits from.

In my summer leagues, I play with or against plenty of 1 to 4 handicappers (9-hole handicaps) who can't hit a driver more than 220-230 yards on their best drives and who need to hit a 5-iron or hybrid from 150 yards out. Conversely, there are more than a few high-handicappers (10+ handicap for 9 holes) who hit their drivers 270 yards and their 8-irons 150-160 yards.  Based on what you posted, these lower-cappers would be hitting from the longer distance tees, while the higher-cappers would get to move up and hit from the shorter teeing areas. Accuracy is a somewhat different story, as it's a mixed bag. To achieve their lower handicaps, some of the shorter hitters are straighter, but not necessarily off the tee.  The things that the lower-handicappers are much better at is scrambling, wedge play, and putting, and these things do not translate into teeing distance selection.

Personally, I am a 15.1 handicap golfer (GHIN Handicap for 18 holes), and I play to a 7 to 8 handicap in my 9-hole leagues in the spring and summer. I will be 74 years old in March, and if I play from the senior tees I hear nothing but complaints because of the distances that I hit the ball.  Although I am gradually losing distance with all of my clubs, I still hit driver more than 240 to as much as 260-265 yards in warm weather and I hit a 7-iron (modern 30* lofted 7-iron, mind you) about 170-175 yards on a solid hit. I don't need to go to a hybrid until I am faced with a 190-195+ yard shot and my highest-lofted fairway wood (21* 7-wood) gives me 200+ yards of carry distance.  Based on my handicap level, it sounds from your post as if you would have me hitting from the forward tees, which really makes no sense at all.

Edited by funkyjudge

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12 minutes ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

I actually just looked at the score card from one of the RTJ courses at Capital Hill.

Using round numbers the yardage is 7800, 7100, 6500, 6000, and 5000. In general I would be most comfortable in the 6000 to 6500 range. I could not imagine being back at 7800 and not needing a doctors care by hole number 16. 🤣

 On the PGA tour they play back as far as the course can handle roughly in the 7200 to 7300 range. The Champions tour plays 6400 to 6800 at age 50 and up. Keep in mind these are the best of the best. We should just play what we are comfortable with. As the sign said it was a recommendation.

In addition to the recommended tee sign, they also need a please check your ego here box.  Great comment about the Champions Tour players and course set up. For a good many of us it helps keep perspective.  It's my contention that if one has to pull woods and hybrids out for second shots to have any chance at reaching all but maybe 2 to 4, par 4 holes, then their likely playing from the wrong tee. 

Now, who else is playing the TIPS?

 

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28 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Again, its not perfect, but there's no single criteria that IS perfect, from a course management viewpoint.

 

... Of course we could devise a near perfect criteria using approach shots, but understanding and enforcing it would be dam near impossible. First players would need to want to play the correct tees and that is never gonna happen with some. Secondly many players don't understand their own game, whether that means they think their average drive is 250 when it is closer to 210. 3rd a "handicap" isn't an average score as the typical public course player thinks and even then they over estimate their ability. 

... One of my 3 day a week playing pards won't move up to the "senior" tees (the second shortest of 4 tees) because at age 66 he doesn't consider himself a senior until age 70. He is a great guy and an excellent playing pard so I have never pushed, just suggested he would enjoy golf more if he moved up a tee box. His other main argument is he has reached all the par 4's in 2, although it takes his very best shots and he accomplishes it maybe 5% of the time. Yet he loves the game, plays fast, is excellent company and in the end it makes no difference which tees he plays because it is his enjoyment that isn't being fulfilled, not mine or my other partners. We often play a 2 against 2 for pride, not money and he is always my partner. If he shoots in the upper or the occasional mid 80's we usually win. But mostly he shoots in the low 90's and we lose by a few strokes. The rest of us play appropriate tees and if he moved up a tee box we would always win and eventually have to give our opponents strokes. 

... My suggestion of playing the course the way it was designed and being able to reach greens with short/mid and occasionally long irons with maybe a hole or two requiring a hybrid or even a fairway wood is the best way to enjoy the course and provide a challenge but still offer plenty of birdie/par opportunities if the player has some skills with their irons. But that doesn't mean it is the best method for determine which tees to play for the general public. So handicap as a starting point is as viable as any other method that is flawed due to the ignorance or stubbornness of far too many that play the game. As so many have already said, in the end if you keep pace and are pleasant company which tees you play is irrelevant. 

Driver:     :taylormade-small:    Qi10 10.5* ... AutoFlex Dream 7 SF405
Fairway:  :taylormade-small:    Qi10 5 wood ... Kai'li Blue 60R
Hybrids:  :ping-small:        G430 Hybrid 22*... Diamana LTD 65r  
Irons:       :titleist-small:           '23 T200 4-9i ... Steelfiber i95r
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2 hours ago, tony@CIC said:

I really don't care which tees my partners play from as long as they play fast. Play from the tips or play from the forward tees - but lets finish in 3 1/2 hours. 

 

 

... Hahaha you must belong to a nice CC. 😉  The two main courses I play here in Phoenix has produced a 3.5 hour round less than 1% of the time, and that is a generous estimate. I play 5 days a week and while we get plenty of 4 hr rounds with an occasional 3:50 or so, 4.5 is just about as common as well as some time in between 4-4.5 hours. Longer than 4.5 is brutal and playing twilite we usually don't finish. 

Driver:     :taylormade-small:    Qi10 10.5* ... AutoFlex Dream 7 SF405
Fairway:  :taylormade-small:    Qi10 5 wood ... Kai'li Blue 60R
Hybrids:  :ping-small:        G430 Hybrid 22*... Diamana LTD 65r  
Irons:       :titleist-small:           '23 T200 4-9i ... Steelfiber i95r
Wedges:  :taylormade-small:     MG3 46*/50*/54* MG4 58* ... Steelfiber i95r
Putter:     :cobra-small:    Sport-60 33" 
Ball:          :taylormade-small:     '24 TP5x/Maxfli Tour X 

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32 minutes ago, funkyjudge said:

I completely disagree with two of the points that you suggest to be true: 1.) Lower handicap golfers do not necessarily hit the ball farther (there are plenty of higher-handicap golfers who hit the ball a long way), and 2.) lower handicap golfers do not necessarily hit the ball straighter, although this may have more merit than the first point.  Because of this, I do not think that handicap level should be the determining factor for what tees a golfer hits from.

In my summer leagues, I play with or against plenty of 1 to 4 handicappers (9-hole handicaps) who can't hit a driver more than 220-230 yards on their best drives and who need to hit a 5-iron or hybrid from150 yards out. Conversely, there are more than a few high-handicappers (10+ handicap for 9 holes) who hit their drivers 270 yards and their 8-irons 150-160 yards.  Based on what you posted, these lower-cappers would be hitting from the longer distance tees, while the higher-cappers would get to move up and hit from the shorter teeing areas. Accuracy is a somewhat different story, as it's a mixed bag. To achieve their lower handicaps, some of the shorter hitters are straighter, but not necessarily off the tee.  The things that the lower-handicappers are much better at is scrambling, wedge play, and putting, and these things do not translate into teeing distance selection.

Personally, I am a 15.1 handicap golfer (GHIN Handicap for 18 holes), and I play to a 7 to 8 handicap in my 9-hole leagues in the spring and summer. I will be 74 years old in March, and if I play from the senior tees I hear nothing but complaints because of the distances that I hit the ball.  Although I am gradually losing distance with all of my clubs, I still hit driver more than 240 to as much as 260-265 yards in warm weather and I hit a 7-iron (modern 30* lofted 7-iron, mind you) about 170-175 yards on a solid hit. I don't need to go to a hybrid until I am faced with a 190-195+ yard shot and my highest-lofted fairway wood (21* 7-wood) gives me 200+ yards of carry distance.  Based on my handicap level, it sounds from your post as if you would have me hitting from the forward tees, which really makes no sense at all.

I see the same thing in my experience.  Near scratch golfers who aren't long hitters and long hitters who can barely sniff sub 90. Not saying driving, then secondarily hitting distance through the bag, is the best delineator, but it seems better than using handicap.

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40 minutes ago, chisag said:

 

 

... Hahaha you must belong to a nice CC. 😉  The two main courses I play here in Phoenix has produced a 3.5 hour round less than 1% of the time, and that is a generous estimate. I play 5 days a week and while we get plenty of 4 hr rounds with an occasional 3:50 or so, 4.5 is just about as common as well as some time in between 4-4.5 hours. Longer than 4.5 is brutal and playing twilite we usually don't finish. 

Yup I do belong to a private but not a high end $$$$ course. I think the 3.5 time is due to all of us liking to play fast. Before we joined this club my wife and I played at a public course nearby where a typical round was 4 - 4 1/'2 weekdays and 5+ hours on weekends. 

Edit: We also have 27 holes, so their booking system is setup so that you might start on any of the 9's without a back-up at the tee box  That also expedites the shorter rounds 

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One day when I'm rich, I'll own my own course and people will play where I tell them to play!

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2 hours ago, funkyjudge said:

I completely disagree with two of the points that you suggest to be true: 1.) Lower handicap golfers do not necessarily hit the ball farther (there are plenty of higher-handicap golfers who hit the ball a long way), and 2.) lower handicap golfers do not necessarily hit the ball straighter, although this may have more merit than the first point.  Because of this, I do not think that handicap level should be the determining factor for what tees a golfer hits from.

You may disagree, but statistics will prove you wrong.  In fast, you may actually have this backwards.  In this study published right here in My Golf Spy:

https://mygolfspy.com/the-distance-debate-how-age-and-handicap-affect-distance/

we find this quote:  "The best players are typically around 60 yards longer than the highest handicap group, and while the rates of decline are similar, better players are most typically longer players."

In another one, https://mygolfspy.com/study-accuracy-versus-distance/

we can read "Scratch golfers have a huge advantage over their fellow amateurs, hitting drives 68 yards further on average compared to 25 handicappers. Still, a scratch golfer is roughly 40 yards shy of the average PGA TOUR driving distance."

In that second study, the statistics show that Percent of Fairways hit is relatively similar across handicap levels, 46% to 50%. Of course, if you're hitting the ball 50 yards further, you HAVE to be more accurate (angular deviation) to hit the same percentage of fairways, so lower handicappers ARE more accurate off the tee.

My conclusion to this is that if you believe that recommendations for  tee selection can reasonably be based on driving distance, its also reasonable to base it on Handicap.  And let me be clear, there is plenty of scatter in the data, there are some poorer players who hit it miles, some scratch players who aren't long, but the general trend is very clear.  And these are RECOMMENDATIONS, I believe players should select the tees which will allow them to enjoy the course while playing at a reasonable pace.  If a 25-handicap can play from 7100 yards and keep up with the groups in front, have at it.  If a scratch player wants to play 5000 yards and shoot 65, go for it!. 

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There is a course here in Cincinnati (Glenview) that has a similar sign. Years ago they used to enforce it, as in the starter would require you to show a handicap card if you tried to play blue or black (tips). (I think they required 9 or better for blue, 5 or better for black.) Besides leading to many ugly scenes, it didn't work, as people would just move back to whatever teebox they wanted on number 2. I think that suggesting a teebox to people is a lost cause. They'll go where ever they want.

Moose, my cat, is Siamese

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