England’s oldest golf course may also be the country’s first to ban plastic tees.
The Royal North Devon Golf Club, near Bideford, was founded in 1864 and is regarded as the “St. Andrews of the South.” The club decided to only allow wooden tees starting Jan. 1.
“We have all seen golf tees lying around the course, both wooden and plastic. The simple fact is that plastic tees are more likely to harm the birds and animals we share our wonderful course with. The greenkeepers will also tell you that they can do a great deal more harm to their equipment than a wooden tee,” the club announced on social media.
The Telegraph, which broke the news, notes that tees have always existed in golf, but the first reusable tee was invented in 1892: a rubber-topped peg dubbed the “perfectum.”
Many golfers prefer plastic tees, since they are more durable than wood. I’ve also seen all sorts of plastic tees designed to help players hit the ball straight. (Based on the name “perfectum,” it seems like that’s been the goal of tee designers for 127 years.)
Based on personal experience, they don’t work.