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The Gogebic Country Club Golf Course
June 8th, 2022: This page is under construction and will be updated with additional course information soon.
New for 2022, the course and scorecard now have Green / White and Red / Green combination tees available to play, along with Blue, White, Red, and Gold tees.
- How to play the combination tees
There are 6 holes on the course that have Green tee markers available to hit from: 1, 5, 8, 9, 16 & 18
When playing a combination tee set, you hit from the Green tee markers on the 6 holes where they are available. On all other holes, you tee off from the other color in the combination. For example, if playing the Green / White tees, you would hit from the Green markers on holes 1, 5, 8, 9, 16 & 18, and hit from the White markers on all other holes. The method is the same for the Red / Green combination tees.
- Purpose and History
The story of how the combination tees came to be at Gogebic County Club is a lesson in both history and adaptation dating back over 100 years. When the original holes of the course were first built in the early 1920s, golf course architecture was not a well-defined science. It was very common back then to build just one tee location per hole. Players of all ages and skill levels were forced to tee off from the same location. This is how most of the first 9 holes at Gogebic Country Club were originally built. The second 9 holes at Gogebic were added much later, but because the first 9 did not have many tee locations, it wasn't necessary to build many on the new 9 either.
As decades passed and more people came to play golf, architects realized that a big part of peoples' enjoyment of the game comes from having a chance to score "par' on a hole (or even a birdie once in a while!). With this in mind, courses began adding more tee locations to create a variety of lengths for each hole. This allows players of all calibers to have a chance to score well on a hole and to be able to compete against players with different abilities than their own just by playing from a different tee location. There's one big problem with adding more tee locations, however; building new physical tee boxes, complete with irrigation, costs a lot of money!
Faced with this cost, the Gogebic Country Club has not been able to add a large number of new tee boxes throughout its history. This lack of tee boxes, however, forced many players to adapt and overcome in some creative ways. If it's impossible for a large number of players to have a chance at shooing par on a hole, why not just change the par of that hole? With this idea in mind, the Red tee set at Gogebic Country Club was born. If you check out the scorecard above, you will notice that the Red tee set is located near the bottom of the card, and more importantly, shows different par numbers for several holes. The Red tee's "modified" par numbers allowed players to play and enjoy certain holes much more, while still being able to tee off from the same physical tee boxes that were built for the "original" pars. Hole #9 has an original par number of 4 and plays 419 yards uphill. The one physical tee box on #9 only allowed the Red tees to be moved up a short distance, leaving the hole at 400 yards... which is an extremely long par 4 for many players. Therefore, hole #9 was modified to play as a par 5 from the Red tees, a much more reasonable proposition.
The modified Red tee pars worked very well to alleviate many of the problems caused by too few physical tee boxes at the course. However, it didn't solve all of the problems. As time went on, new tee locations were added to the course, including the more recent, shorter, Gold tees. Normally, a player moving through different ability levels over time can simply move from one set of tees to another as their abilities change. However, because the Red tees had been modified to play as different pars, players had issues trying to move up from Gold to Red or down from White to Red. For example, a junior who plays the Gold tees will play hole #1 as a 310-yard par 4. As the player ages, they need to move up to the next set of tees, which historically would have been the Red tees. However, this would mean making a massive jump from a 310-yard par 4 to a 420-yard pay 4 on hole #1. The reason, of course, is because the Red tees were modified to play as a par 5 on that hole. The junior player could, of course, now start playing hole #1 as a par 5, but if they played the hole as a par 4 in the past from the Gold tees and will likely play it in the future as a par 4 from the White or Blue tees, it doesn't make sense to play it temporarily as a par 5. A new solution was needed.
One solution to solve the problem above would be to move the Red tees up to new locations and simply change the modified pars back to the original pars, leaving only one set of pars for all tee sets. This option was discussed. However, the unique, modified pars of the Red tees have been part of the Gogebic Country Clube for decades. Many members and players have played almost their entire lives using the modified par numbers of the Red tees. It was decided that the unique tradition of the Red tees was too valuable to lose.
Enter the Combination tees. The purpose of the combination tees is simple: to allow players to move up from Gold tees, and down from White tees, while still playing the original par numbers for each hole. Green tee locations were added to certain holes to create appropriate hole lengths for the original par numbers. Now, our junior golf could move from the Golf tees up to the Red / Green tees instead of the modified Red tees. Hole #1 would go from a 310-yard par 4 from the Gold tee to a 360-yard par 4 from the newly available Green tee marker of the Red / Green combination tees... a much more reasonable yardage jump.
The Red / Green combination tees, with its 6 new Green tee locations, were first added in 2021 as an experiment. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Furthermore, after the season ended, it was discovered that many players who currently played the White tees were using the Green markers on the 6 available holes to alleviate imbalances in the White tee hole distances (again caused by too few physical tee boxes), thus creating a Green / White combination tee set of their own. When it came time to order new score cards for the course in the spring of 2022, it was decided that BOTH the Red / Green and Green / White would be added to the new cards.
In the end, adding the two new sets of combination tees adds variety to the course, makes it easier for players to move through the different tees over time, and helps with tournament and league tee spacing. The total cost of adding these new tee sets was nothing more than the cost of a few blocks of wood and a can of spray paint, but the value that was added is tremendous. The next time you play Gogebic Country Club, be sure to give the new tees a try!
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