Should more clubs embrace genderless tees?


The debate about whether golf clubs should introduce genderless tees is growing.

In recent years, more and more clubs around the world striving for greater diversity, equity and inclusion have replaced the traditional red (women), yellow and white (men) markers with ability-based options.

Sheringham Golf Club in Norfolk, England was an early adopter, in 2013, and around 30 more UK venues have followed suit.

Genderless tees at Scotscraig GC

More recently, Golf Australia has encouraged clubs in Melbourne and across the state of Victoria to re-rate their tees, and Golf New Zealand has published a guide to implementing inclusive tees, outlining benefits such as improved pace of play, greater diversity and inclusion and more enjoyment.

“There is no requirement for men and women to play off designated tees anymore,” said Emily Davidson, formerly Participation and Inclusion Manager at Golf New Zealand.

“Everyone can choose a tee that will best suit their game, it’s all about choice.”

However, such clubs are still in the minority.

The others are missing a trick, according to Phil Grice, a leading golf consultant based in the UK.

“Apart from possibly darts, and maybe snooker, what other sport do you have a level playing field for men, women, and juniors?” said Grice. “What a phenomenal opportunity has been missed for us to open up.

“It was such a step change. In removing the traditional red, yellow, and whites, then you move away from the stigma that women are at the front.”

Liam Greasley, General Manager of Scotscraig, near St Andrews, Scotland, agrees.

"The addition of gender-neutral tees showcases our dedication to creating an inclusive environment,” he told The Scotsman. “We believe this change will improve the golf experience for players of all skill levels and genders.”

Earlier this year, the presenter and influencer The Jazzy Golfer sparked a debate on social media when she revealed she had been stopped from playing from the yellow tees by a male member of a South London club.

The Jazzy Golfer on genderless tees

Questioning why many golfers and clubs are not more open-minded about which tees they play from, she said: “I’m sure we all know golfers at our clubs who would benefit from playing a more forward tee but don’t because of the stigma associated with ladies’ tees.

“The World Handicap System has been around for a while now & as the scoring system has evolved, our language and our sport has to too!”

“I think it’s team woke”

Not everyone shares this view, however.

One response to the Twitter post said: “At our club they are ladies’ tees, and if a man tried to play off them, then he would be put in front of a firing squad.”

Another member of 13th Beach Golf Links in Australia cancelled his membership and accusing the club of being “woke” for switching to genderless tees.

Lachlan Clarke told Sky News: “There’s been zero consultation and I don’t think it’s going to improve golf at all. I think it’s team woke."


Has your golf business introduced genderless tees? Why / why not?

Share your stories with us by writing to