Recently a group of Players Capital Group senior partners showed up at a golf course in North Carolina hoping to get in a round the day before some important meetings were to begin. The course was crowded, so the starter paired them with two other golfers at the first tee box. Introductions were made and the new foursome waited for the players in front of them to clear the fairway.
According to golf etiquette, a tee was tossed in the air and it pointed to PCG Managing Partner Howard Stevens, who was now designated to hit first. The process was repeated twice more to determine the order of play, with the two other fellows third and fourth.
Then a curious thing happened. One of the other gentlemen asked “How old are you guys?”
The guy says “We’re in our sixties too! You guys can play from the senior tees! You’ve earned it!”
Howard ignored him, teed up from the blues and hit his usual 300 yarder right down the middle. Another partner, Jeff Brubaker, drove the ball not as far but still landed in the fairway.
They were dumbfounded to watch the others get in their cart and drive at least eighty yards ahead to tee up at the senior tees, which were only five yards behind the ladies tees.
At the next hole, there was an awkward moment when Howard teed up from the blues again, but they ignored the implicit challenge and continued to play from the senior tees. Howard whispered to Jeff “Maybe they should just play from the ladies tees”.
Later that evening they talked about what they had witnessed. Howard explained “I am a scratch golfer now because I have never played from anywhere but the blue tees. I took up the game after I retired from the NFL, and I wanted to be not just a good golfer but a great one. Playing from the tips forced me to develop accuracy I couldn’t have gotten any other way.
And a phrase was born into our company culture that remains today. “Come on man, play from the blue tees!”
When you go the extra mile you are playing from the blue tees. Play every hole from the blue tees and it soon becomes a habit…and you get better!