Men and women race based on ability, not gender, at Hartford Golf Club in Cheshire.
The traditional yellow tees for men and the shorter red tees for women were abandoned in an attempt to attract more people to the sport.
“It makes the game easier,” explains Paul Cunningham, director of golf at Cheshire club.
“For beginners, getting started with the course for the first time can be intimidating.
“They come out of a driving range where the ground is fairly level and you have a large open space to hit the ball.
“Playing shorter holes gives you a better chance of scoring that par five and getting a little more fun, and I hope you come back and play more.”
The club replaced gender tees with colored tees – the shortest (closest to the hole) is purple, further back is blue, then red, then yellow, and finally the white tee which is reserved for competition.
During Sky News‘s visit to the club this week, several men went red – a move that would be frowned upon in more traditional clubs.
“It was awesome,” Cunningham said, as a man kicked the ball about 250 yards from the green.
“Shorter holes but relative pars mean beginners can play a 200-yard hole but it’s still a par five.
“It’s all about accessibility, getting people to play the game, getting decent scores, and then going back to the longer tees and increasing the challenge.”
He added: “We saw a lot of people – men and women – playing on red tees, even purple tees.
“On social media we’ve had a lot of good comments about it. We think it’s the future of golf.”
For the first time, the male-to-female ratio of golfing participation in the UK has changed exponentially, with the number of female golfers tripling during the pandemic.
From what you wear to where you play, golf still has some of the strictest rules – and arguably the most absurd.
You cannot use a digital device to check the direction of the wind, but you can use other objects like smoke from a cigarette.
There are penalties if your ball gets lodged in fruit, but none for a ball hitting an opponent.
Golf enthusiasts say there is a certain charm to the system, but there are a growing number of clubs looking for a change.
British golfer Inci Mehmet recalls the reaction of clubs to her mother’s dress code.
“When my mom picked me up from the golf club and she wore jeans or sneakers she was frowned upon or told to wait outside,” she told Sky News. “So it was a little hard.”
She added, “The golf course has an elite umbrella and it comes with a privilege tag.
“It is difficult to join most clubs because not only do you have to pay for membership, but more often than not you also have to pay membership fees, which can sometimes be higher than your membership.
“So that’s an instant hurdle, unless you have around £ 1,500 set aside.”
Mehmet, who at 20 in 2016 was Britain’s top ranked player, says she welcomes the decision to ditch gender-based tees.
“Having that kind of genre title may or may not be a hindrance for everyone, but it can definitely stop some,” she says.
“Yellows tend to be around the 6,000 yard mark. White traditionally around the 6,500 mark. So if you’re going to play on the 6,500 tees, they should be called 65.
“They shouldn’t be a flush or anything. And that gives the opportunity for the seniors, who aren’t hitting the ball as far as they used to be, to play from the 6,000 tees you can just call the ’60s.
“So not only are we getting rid of the genre, but now we are adapting to your abilities or maybe on the contrary, maybe you are on the wrong way, but that’s okay because you can still enjoy the sport . “