To help ensure inclusive golfing experiences for all ages and abilities, the club also plans to introduce orange tees for young children and newcomers.
Hermon (Maine) Meadow Golf Club is accommodating its senior members by adding length-appropriate tees, the Bangor (Maine) Daily News reported.
The tees are designed for players age 70 and up. Blue tees are the farthest back, white tees are in the middle and red are forward tees.
John Snyer bought the club last year and has received positive response from members.
“I love them suckers,” said 87-year-old Arthur Knapp Monday after shooting an 86 from the new gold tees. “I earned them.”
When most seniors began playing golf, Snyer said, red tees were called ladies’ tees—and he found that many players refused to adjust to them for that reason.
“The seniors, they won’t play the reds… and we know because they’ve always been the women’s tees,” Snyer said. “So we can call it the forward tee all we want; they don’t want to play the reds because they’re red. So you put out some golds and they say, ‘Hey, we’re great with that. No problem. They’re the senior tees. I’ve earned the right to play off here.’”
The distance between the red and gold tees can be as little as five yards.
Snyer intends to take the idea even further, using orange tees for young children and newcomers. He said those tees are typically 150 yards from the green and are on one side of the fairway.
“We have quite a few grandfathers who will bring their grandson or granddaughter out. If they’re not good golfers, it’s pretty tough,” Snyer said. “So we [he and the club’s golf pro, Thea Davis] came up with the idea, we’ll put these tees out that cut the course down in size. The grandfather can hit from whatever he wants to hit from. Then they can drive up, the kid can hit from the shorter distance, and they’re out there golfing and having a good time.”
With the color-coded tee system, Snyer hopes to open Hermon Meadow to a new range of golfers, where everyone can have fun.