November 22, 2022 by Charlie Eisenhood in Opinion with 0 comments
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Q: I’m a 3rd generation mason with 40 years in the trade. I want to have a conversation about tee pads — why we are seeing so many slips, players putting towels down, and something we can do to prevent it.
The solution for at least two courses that I will use as an example is simple, yet the idea encounters resistance. There is an old way of thinking that is getting in the way of progress.
I think of all the bad shots or near misses we have witnessed over the past two seasons due to slippery tees. As a simple example, let’s talk Brewster Ridge and Maple Hill, specifically from 2021.
The problem is they used a residential paver like a class 3. However, these are highly absorbent, more porous pavers that get saturated and then slick. It can take them a very long time to dry.
But architectural pavers are either class 4 or 5. They are more dense, absorb less moisture, and offer a good non-slip surface for use in public spaces where liability is a concern. If courses that chose to use pavers would just install the appropriate paver on tee pads that don’t get a lot of sunlight and therefore never really dry out, we would see a massive reduction of slips.
As I offer this info, I am met with hasty resistance rather than acceptance or even willingness to look into it or try one tee and test it: why?
Before someone gets seriously injured, we should start a dialogue about using professional building materials when building tees.
The only change is simply a different paver to be installed, one designed for heavy foot traffic in all weather conditions. We currently use these outdoors in major cities, open public spaces, roads, walks, etc…The cost is only slightly more per paver: everything else is the same..
The benefits outweigh the added cost in more durability, reduced injuries, and fewer errant shots during competitive rounds.
It’s time for final touches in our sport, a more professional look and feel. We seek media coverage, greater sponsors, etc., but we need to invest in our infrastructure to create standards that we stick by to make the game we love even better.
Mailbag: Teepad Surfaces, Ratings Shrinkage, McBeth Merch, Ricky at Majors is only available to Ultiworld Subscribers
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