Tierra Rejada Golf Club's Players Course in California might be the ticket to growing the game
There’s been a lot of debate over why people leave the game of golf – expense, the time it takes to play and the difficulty of the game. I lean toward the latter, which is also related to time. The more difficult golf is for people, the longer it takes to play, which is why so many of the “championship” courses of today are frustrating for the average to high handicapper.
So initiatives such as “The Players Course” at Tierra Rejada Golf Club in Moorpark, Ventura County, Calif., make a lot of sense. Tierra Rejada is a challenging Bob Cupp design that plays more than 7,000 yards from the tips. But recently, the club launched its “Players Course,” by strategically placing tees in position to create a 5,600-yard golf course with generous landing areas, liberal local rules for lost balls and special pricing to help speed up the game and make it more fun.
Set ahead of the course’s normal forward tees, the idea is to make golf fun for players who don’t play much, seniors or just simply players who don’t have the skills to navigate difficult bunkers, forced carries of long distances. At the same time, though, they can experience the beauty of a well maintained course, which in this case includes views of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
According to the National Golf Foundation, golf gained 3.6 million new players in 2010, but also lost 4.6 million players, for a net loss of 1 million for the year.
“We want to do our part at the micro level to keep people in the game, and to encourage others to take up the game for the first time,” said Ted Kruger, developer and co-owner of Tierra Rejada Golf Club. “We already offer unparalleled customer service, great food and a spectacular setting. Now, with The Players Course, we offer something that people will want to return to over and over at a great value.”
For an annual fee of $125, golfers can join “The Players Club” at Tierra Rejada, which allows members to play The Players Course with a $49 greens fee (cart included) Monday through Friday and $80 greens fee (cart included) Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, with a twilight rate of $60. These rates are less than daily-fee courses of the same caliber in the area, some of which charge upwards of $200 per round.
The initiative falls in line with a national movement called “Tee it Forward,” championed by Barney Adams, the founder of Adams Golf. His efforts have gained support from the USGA, the PGA of America and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America in encouraging the great majority of golfers to play courses from a shorter distance.
“We’re beating everyone in the area to the punch,” Kruger said. “We think that what we’re doing with The Players Course will be a model for golf courses everywhere, not only for making the game more fun, but also as a way to speed up play and increase business. We’ve been told that Bandon Dunes in Oregon has created its ‘Royal Blue’ course for men and women with a length of about 4,000 yards. We might just be on to something with this.”
By the way: If you’ve played Tierra Rejada G.C., click here to let us know what you think.
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