|PGA of America President Practices What He Preaches on the Tee|
|Allen Wronowski and the members at Hillendale Country Club in Phoenix, Md., TEE IT FORWARD regularly.|
PHOENIX, Md. – As President of The PGA of America, Allen Wronowski has made growing the game of golf a priority. Under his leadership, The PGA has launched a player development program that is being embraced by the entire golf industry – TEE IT FORWARD.
"Golf is a game that can be played and enjoyed for a lifetime," said Wronowski, whose full-time position is PGA Director of Golf at Hillendale Country Club in Phoenix, Md. "Our goal nationally – and mine personally at Hillendale – is to make the game accessible and fun for everyone."
Throughout the month of June, The PGA and United States Golf Association (USGA) are promoting TEE IT FORWARD, an initiative to encourage golfers to play from the appropriate distances so they have shorter shots into the greens. According to Wronowski, golfers at Hillendale have been doing this for some time.
"When I first came to Hillendale in 1979, we had three sets of tees: blue, white and red," he said. "Of course, everyone had pre-conceived notions about these tee areas: red were for women, white were for senior players and blue were for the men. Well, not all golfers fit in these boxes.
"About 10 years ago, we did away with the red tees as this color seems to have a stigma in the industry. Today, we offer our members six different distance options ranging from a 2,000 yard family course up to 6,900 yards for the big hitters," added Wronowski.
The response from members has been overwhelmingly positive. Sharon Smith has been a member at Hillendale for more than 40 years and says the new tees have been well-received by her group.
"Before we added the gold tees at the shorter distance, I had a tough time getting a par. Now, I have opportunities for par throughout the round and the game is so much more fun," she said. "When we first added the gold tee, our women's group was split. Some still played the white tees. However, within a month, they saw how much better those of us on the gold tees were playing – and how much fun we were having – and now we all play from the gold."
Wronowski himself is enjoying the benefits of TEE IT FORWARD.
"There was a time when I could play courses from the back tees but now I have no problem teeing it forward. Like everyone, I like having a better chance at pars and a birdie or two along the way," he said.
During June, more than 2,400 registered facilities around the country are actively promoting playing from forward tees and hosting special events designed to encourage golfers to play from shorter distances. Participating facilities and more information can be found at PlayGolfAmerica.com/TEEITFORWARD.