UNF GolfPlex first course in Florida to house British automatic teeing system

Jordan Harirchi

(Photo by Andrew Noble)

By: Jordan Harirchi, Assistant Sports Editor
The UNF golf complex became the first course in Florida to install the automatic teeing system known as the Power Tee.
The Hayt Golf Learning Center, also known as the GolfPlex, had the Power Tee installed in the beginning of March and is the 11th location in the U.S. to house the system.
Inventor and CEO of the Power Tee, Martin Wyeth, came up with the idea for an automated teeing system based on the golf fundamentals of repetition and rhythm. It was hard to see corrections in positioning when a player had to retee a ball and completely reconfigure his or her positioning.
“When you’re learning how to play, and you hit the ball and it goes wildly off to the right, you have to alter your shot and hit it entirely different,” Wyeth said. “[With the Power Tee,] you can just get yourself in the right position to hit some decent golf balls.”
The first Power Tee was installed in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s, Wyeth said. The system has been installed at over 200 courses and learning centers in Europe. The first system wasn’t installed in the U.S. until August 2009, when the Tom Barber Golf Center in Moorview, Calif., installed 50 of them.
Josh McCumber, the director of marketing and an instructor at the GolfPlex, said it was he and his father, Jim, who decided installing the Power Tee was the best option for the GolfPlex. Similar to Wyeth’s reasoning, McCumber said the system is great for players who want to work on ball position, alignment, rhythm and tempo.
“People don’t pay attention to where they’re going,” McCumber said. “The Power Tee forces you to go in one direction. You can hit three or four balls without altering your grip.”
Fifteen Power Tees were installed at the GolfPlex. The installation of the Power Tees fulfilled the need to replace the old practice tee mats and opened up a lot of space for the GolfPlex, allowing the facility to offer practice stations with both natural and artificial grass teeing stations.
“We gained about 10 stations,” McCumber said. “We gained more area for us to hit on busy days.”
Many handicap players come to the complex, and the systems make teeing much easier for them, McCumber said. It’s also easier for teaching children.
The system adds to the uniqueness of the GolfPlex, McCumber said. Being the first in Florida to use the system is also great public relations for the facility, he added.
The systems are rented on a day-by-day basis, and the GolfPlex has a lease agreement with Golf-Tech Ltd., the Power Tee company. McCumber would not disclose the details and amount spent each day on the systems.
Scott Schroeder, head coach of the UNF men’s golf team, said the systems, positioned in the front of the range, would not directly benefit the golf team because it practices on the back of the range.
The unique system will look to bring more attention and traffic to the complex to bring more revenue for facility improvements, Schroeder said.
“Hopefully it’ll make the facility more successful, which makes for a better facility,” Schroeder said.

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