Friday, February 10, 2017

ASGCA Foundation launches Longleaf Tee Initiative

Partnership with U.S. Kids Golf Foundation encourages facilities to partner with ASGCA members, leading to greater player enjoyment and owner success

(BROOKFIELD, Wis.) – The American Society of Golf Course Architects Foundation has introduced the Longleaf Tee Initiative, a joint partnership with U.S. Kids Golf Foundation that increases course playability and golfer enjoyment. The program helps golf course operators strategically expand existing tee complexes and, as a result, increase rounds and improve pace of play. The goal is for all players to enjoy the game while maintaining the design integrity and challenge of the layout.

The initiative is modeled off of the learnings from the highly-successful renovation of Longleaf Golf & Family Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where it was introduced in 2016. With the assistance of Bill Bergin, ASGCA, Longleaf added multiple tee locations – as many as seven per hole – at yardages that encourage players to tee off from locations based on how far they carry their drive.

Results thus far include an increase in rounds played, greater player enjoyment and improved pace of play.

“This is no longer theory, it is proven data,” said Dan Van Horn, U.S. Kids Foundation founder and Longleaf Golf & Family Club owner. “Scaling our course with seven sets of tees makes golf more enjoyable for all players, and the club’s bottom line is much improved. The results were immediate and profound.”

How it Works
“Distinct signs on the practice range make it simple: hit a few drives, see where your ball lands, and play from the corresponding tees on the course,” Bergin said. “The charts and illustrations found in the pro shop, on the range, first tee and scorecard elevate this over other tee initiatives. It’s packaged in a way that encourages more players to play from the correct tees.”

“The beauty of this system rests in how it promotes fun,” said ASGCA Foundation President Clyde Johnston, ASGCA.

The Longleaf Tee Initiative is not a “cookie cutter” program. Since each golf course is unique, the implementation of the tee system will vary based on course design and layout.

“It is vital that courses work with an ASGCA member from the start,” said John Crowder, USKGF. “No two courses are the same. And to design and implement a system for all players – not just kids, women or older players – you need the expertise of a golf course architect.”

What they are saying about the Longleaf Tee System
“This will improve pace of play and increase enjoyment for everybody on the golf course. It’s going to be a benefit for everybody in the game.”
- Rees Jones, ASGCA Fellow

“It’s not about gender or age. It’s about playing from a distance that gives players a chance to have par on virtually every hole.”
- Dan Van Horn, U.S. Kids Golf Foundation founder

“At first, the amount of maintenance seems daunting. But the cost is negligible when weighed against the overall benefit for the golfer and the game.”
- Jason Friedman, superintendent, Longleaf Golf & Family Club

“ASGCA members must help clients determine what is best; whether building new tees or fairway cutouts, or simply using these ideas for better operations.”
- Bruce Charlton, ASGCA

On Twitter, follow ASGCA (@ASGCA) and U.S. Kids Golf Foundation (@USKidsGolfFDN).

ASGCA Foundation Background
The ASGCA Foundation was founded in 1973 to help fund the research of golf course design and to disseminate that information to those interested in designating green space for recreational purposes. The Foundation today is also dedicated to supporting the health of the game of golf by funding and administering programs that grow the game. The ASGCA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

U.S. Kids Golf Foundation Background
The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a stated mission to, “help kids have fun learning the lifelong game of golf and to encourage family interaction that builds lasting memories.”

Our foundation serves this purpose through educating and certifying coaches, by conducting local, regional, national and international golf championships and by providing tools and programs that allow golf courses to scale their designs, allowing for young and new players to enjoy golf without feeling unwelcome or intimidated.

ASGCA Background
Founded in 1946 by 14 leading architects, the American Society of Golf Course Architects is a non-profit organization comprised of experienced golf course designers located throughout the United States and Canada. Members have completed a rigorous two-year long application process that includes the peer review of four representative golf courses.

The average ASGCA member has spent nearly 30 years as a golf course architect, designing 42 new 18-hole courses and has worked on or consulted on nearly 150 projects in eight different countries around the world.

For more information about ASGCA, including a list of current members, log on to the ASGCA website at or call (262) 786-5960.

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