(Far left) WIGI Member/Event Guest Speaker Debbie Waitkus with Golf for Cause is joined by several course raters at the 2015 Golfweek Raters Event in the Dominican Republic.
WIGI Member Deborah Waitkus, CEO of Golf for Cause and Co-founder of the National Women's Golf Alliance (NWGA) provided a highly informative presentation to a group of Golfweek Course Raters at Puntacana Resort, Dominican Republic.
According to long-time golfer and seasoned Golfweek course rater Dr. Glen Rapoport D.M.D., Waitkus provided a dynamic talk. "Listening to Debbie's presentation brought to mind that her focus on assessing tee placements and/or tee additions is an idea that is applicable not only to women but to men as well," said Dr. Glen Rapoport, D.M.D. "She raised the question whether we need to be wedded to an elitist and sexist perception and that Golf needs to continually examine the strength and skill of its participants using a scratch or better player as a reference point. The fact that three sets of tees exist already attests that no one expects all golfers to play from the same teeing ground."
Waitkus suggested that one could encourage more play and retain more players if courses added or redesigned teeing ground areas, one's that fit an individuals skill and strength. Doing so, this would elevate the enjoyment factor with increased opportunities for making shots and improving one's score, especially for the new and/or returning golfer. Rapoport believes those who criticize the idea of adding tee boxes as "dumbing down" the golf course need to ask themselves why playing from the traditional tee boxes associated with a particular gender or level of expertise is the only measure of real golf. Waitkus makes the case that by adding scoring tees the course is more welcoming and the golf experience is more rewarding which leads to players developing the skills that encourages them to move back to longer tees.