Charlotte discusses the advantages of shorter golf courses and explores the potential benefits for both men and women.

Golf has arguably never been through as much of an evolution as it has over the past few years. And as we continue to come up with new ways to drag the game into the modern world, one question often comes back to the fore: Should golf courses be shorter?

It’s a conversation that often sparks a lively debate, and it’s particularly relevant from the perspective of women golfers. The majority of golf courses have, after all, been designed by men, for men. So women often face unique challenges playing them.

But there are potential benefits of making golf course shorter for both men and women. Or at the very least, offering more tee boxes so that everyone has the option to play a shorter course if they want to.

Enhancing enjoyment and playability

For a lot of golfers – both men and women – the sheer length of traditional golf courses can be daunting, and a lot of tees often favour longer hits.

That leaves many people struggling to make carries or reach greens in regulation.

It’s frustrating. It makes the game even harder. And it puts people off.

Shorter courses, or even just additional forward tees, are an easy fix to transforming that experience, making golf more enjoyable.

Focus on skill, not distance

On long golf courses, your ability to score becomes less about skill or strategy and more about how far you can hit it.

This is an argument I have all the time with my husband.

I play off the yellow tees because it’s “fairer” (his words, not mine, I’d like to add). However, when I do that, I end up hitting driver off every tee and a wood or long iron into almost every hole.

That doesn’t make it impossible to shoot somewhere near my handicap, but it does make it very boring. And it means I focus more on how far I hit it rather than how I hit it. It’s a sheer test of power, knowing if I’m too far back off my drive I won’t reach the green.

Playing courses that better match your driving distance shifts that, and makes playing a much more engaging and rewarding experience.

Promoting inclusivity and accessibility

I’ll be the first to admit that golf is still a pretty exclusive sport, despite all our efforts to make it not so.

And the design of golf courses plays a significant role in that. Because the bottom line is, courses are often intimidating for beginners.

By creating shorter courses or more flexible tee options, we send a powerful message of inclusivity. These changes acknowledge the diverse range of abilities and physical capabilities among golfers, making the sport more welcoming to everyone – regardless of gender.

Time efficiency and practicality

Finding time for a full round of golf can be challenging, especially for people who have full time jobs, young families and just a load of commitments as we all do.

Shorter courses offer a practical solution to this problem.

Embracing change for a better future

While tradition is an integral part of golf, embracing thoughtful changes can enhance the game for everyone. Shorter golf courses, or more flexible tee options, present an opportunity to make the sport more inclusive, enjoyable, and accessible.

But this shouldn’t be viewed as merely a convenience for women. Shorter golf courses would positively impact both men and women and ensure overall growth and diversification of the sport.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your opinion! Email me at [email protected] and in the meantime, read more of my opinion articles just like this one: How is Gen Z shaping the future of golf?