Road Hole Shorts

Golf Design, golf, golf, GOLF

A Pet Peeve

As an architect of golf, I’m a target – its true – for gripes, complaints and just plain old swearing fits.  Fortunately, I also get my share of accolades.  If you don’t think you need to have a thick skin to do this gig, you’ve only got one oar in the water.  Honestly, I want to hear peoples unfettered opinions.  If you can’t take input on your work, you won’t be around for long and you certainly can’t push the envelope and come up with much of anything that’s original. 


How many times have you seen someone in a foursome hit a “Star Trek Shot” from the tee.  Then when one of the other players misses the fairway to the same side, he throws up his arms and exclaims, “well of course you hit it that direction, the tee ‘aims you that way’.”  This is about the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.  Learning how to aim your shot is a basic skill taught in your first golf lesson.  When you hit from the fairway do you depend on the mowing pattern to line you up? 


Now, that being said, there are two basic configurations that most architects are using these days:  symmetrical and asymmetrical.  Most often symetrical is a rectangular shape.  It may have rounded or “squared-off” corners, but essentially it is rectangular (which happens to include squares – for those of you…well you get the idea).  Symmetrical tees are often designed to align with the middle of the fairway.   Occasionally they are aligned to  aim shots away from an object – say a nasty neighbor that built his house 75 years after the course was built.  Asymmetrical tees are free form and they are not aligned with anything in particular although they most often are designed to fit into the landscape.  This usually will mean that the tee requires less earthwork and has a more “natural” appearance.  Often the tee “pad” is bench-cut (into the uphill side with the fill going to the downhill side) so that the tee’s axis is aligned parallel to the natural slope.   They also tend to be less expensive to maintain because you don’t need to be as meticulous with the edges and corners.  This was a concept that developed early in the last big golf course building boom.  It was considered contemporary and “new”.  More recently, we have gone back to the more rectangular shapes.  Because they sit on the landscape without regard for the natural landforms they have a more dramatic appearance, but they are also more expensive to build and maintain.

So, there you have TEES 101 and my particular pet peeve.  I’m sure someone out there doesn’t agree with me. so let’s hear it.


1 Comment»

  cartoonsbysheila wrote @

I’m into pet peeves and pet hates too – big time! If you’re interested, you might check out my cartoon blog at
Cheers, Sheila


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