Tiffany Greens – Beautiful AND More Playable Then Ever

Tiffany Greens has been one of Kansas City’s most compelling and beautiful golf courses since it opened in the Northland in 1999. Designed by Robert Trent Jones II, Tiffany Greens gives golfers a new look on every hole over rolling terrain, zoysia fairways, and large greens.

Built as a championship course that hosted the TD Waterhouse Championship, a Senior PGA Tour event during the first four years, Tiffany Greens is becoming more playable for a wider range of golfers. The course this year has moved up the forward tees so more golfers, such as juniors, seniors and women, can reach greens in regulation.

Research showed that the forward (red) tees at Tiffany Greens were too far back, said General Manager Kyle Hurst. Reaching the green in regulation was difficult for golfers who played from these tees, he said.

tiffany greens opening

“The complaint we have heard most often is that the course is too hard and there are too many forced carries,” Hurst said. “This is a game after all. We are supposed to be having fun.  We are putting the forward tees in places to make the experience more enjoyable and fair so golfers with a wide spectrum of swing speeds and driving distances can reach greens in regulation and putt for pars and even birdies.”

The course has moved the forward tees to temporary fairway positions. After some period of evaluation, tee boxes will be built to accommodate the tees, Hurst said.

“The better players can still play back, and the course will give them all the challenge they could want,” Hurst said.

Ground crews at the course, under the guidance of Superintendent Randy Cox, have also made the course more playable by mowing rough shorter, Hurst said. The biggest change has been to cut formerly high native grasses back so that balls hit there can be found and played more easily. Changes in the tees and the rough are already starting to bring more players to Tiffany Greens, Hurst said. “Play is trending up,” he said.

tiffany hole 04

The course was already known for its wide fairways, giving long hitters some freedom to swing away and have leeway if tee shots wander left or right. “That’s one thing that sets us apart, when you stand on the tee, you feel confident that you can swing away due to our wide mowed areas,” Hurst said.

Approach shots to the greens, often guarded by bunkers and water and with elevation changes, still make pars and birdies a challenge. Another change being made on the course this year involves the bunkers. Most of the 42 sand traps are being resized and redesigned to help prevent washouts during heavy rains.

“When it rains hard, the sand comes down and the mud comes down with it,” Hurst said. “Having the bunkers more clean and consistent is what golfers want.”

tiffany hole 14

Tiffany Greens, near Kansas City International Airport at 5900 NW Tiffany Springs Parkway, is a par-72 layout that measures 6,977 yards from the furthest-back tees.  It has five sets of tees in all. Few courses have a more dramatic opening hole, a par-5 that measures 510 yards from the back. The tee shot will be short of a small lake that the fairway bends around in a dogleg right. Players have a choice of laying up left of the water or going for the green or a landing area just in front of the green.

The first hole sets the tone for the rest of the course, which never gets tiresome because of the variety of layouts and often-present water hazards. The front nine traverses the quite countryside and does not take golfers back to the clubhouses like most front nine configurations, but food and drink are usually available from beverage carts.

Most of the back 9 winds through an upscale neighborhood of homes and six of the holes do not border any other back 9 holes. Tiffany Greens’ large clubhouse and deck overlook the golf course and make a popular 19th hole for players.  The clubhouse has a bar and dining area surrounded by windows fronting the course.

tiffany hole 16

Tiffany Greens has ballroom space that can host receptions and other events for up to 200 people, under the supervision of Food & Beverage Manager Krissy Power. The club also has a side room that can accommodate up to 50 guests and a pub that holds up to 90 people.

Guests interested in holding an event at the clubhouse are encouraged to contact Power at 816-880-9600, ext. 224, or write

The course has a new PGA Head Golf Professional this year, Doyle Harris, who oversees the golf side at Tiffany Greens, including merchandise, tournament and league play.  Harris comes to   Tiffany Greens from Elgin Country Club near Chicago, where he was also the club pro.

Tiffany Greens has various levels of memberships, green fee rates and league competition that are detailed on its website, Tee times are available online or by calling 816-880-9600. For more information about memberships, tournaments and leagues, contact Harris at 816-880-9600, ext. 206, or via email at or Hurst at 816-880-9600, ext. 223, or via email at

Driver Tech for Your Game

When did golf become so darn… techy?

Sure, golf has always feigned the appearance of a sophisticated, erudite game, but check out the diction being used by some of golf’s most trusted names: “titanium Exo-Cage,” “ultralight triaxial carbon crown,” “acoustic engineering,” “turbulators,” “Vortect technology.”
The list goes on, all the way to biomimicry and “geocoustics.”

Most in your Sunday morning crew didn’t study astrophysics in college, so after parsing through that mumbo jumbo technological jargon, here’s what you need to know: The innovations Callaway, Titleist, Srixon, Ping, and Taylormade, among others, are introducing to golf technology are working immensely in your favor.

From 1980 to 1993, the average driving distance on the PGA Tour increased a whopping three yards, from 257 to 260. By 2017? That number was just 10 yards shy of the coveted 300-yard threshold – and that’s an average. As of the beginning of Masters week 2017, there were 35 players on the PGA Tour averaging better than 300 yards off the tee.

This can be attributed to a wide variety of factors – balls, player improvement, course maintenance, weather – but club technology is inarguably chief among them. So whether you’re a layman or one of the aerospace experts working with Callaway, all you really need to know is this: It’s easier to make a little white ball go a long, long way.

big bertha fusion
Callaway Big Bertha Fusion

Perhaps the most reliable name in golf when it comes to the big stick, Callaway’s Big Bertha, is back and easier to hit than ever. How this is done is actually fairly rudimentary. Callaway simply restructured where the weight of the club would lie, moving the heavier materials to the perimeter of the club and the lighter aspects to the face.

What this allows is a driver that still maintains force – or that signature “pop” off impact – while being maneuverable along the face of the club, making for a bigger hitting window for the user. Essentially, it’s a mid- to high-handicapper’s dream, as the Big Bertha has always touted itself to be. What’s different is that the crown is made of a material – Callaway calls it a “titanium Exo-Cage and ultralight triaxial carbon crown” – that is 65 percent lighter than standard titanium, portending higher swing speeds yet also increased forgiveness.

The shape and look of the club is a bit wonky, far from the typical half-moon you would find on most drivers. It’s sharper, more of an egg-like look. Callaway claims this increases aerodynamics and a more efficient and faster movement through the swing.

big bertha epic
Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic

This isn’t just the Big Bertha. Nor is it the Great Big Bertha. It’s the Great Big Bertha Epic. A name can be just that – a name – but when adding a descriptor like “epic” onto one of the most successful club lines in golf, well, Callaway must mean business with its latest version of Big Bertha.

The Epic features what Callaway calls “Jailbreak technology.” There is a fair amount of scientific jargon in terms of what this technology does and how, exactly it does it, but what the average golfer needs to know is this: It “changes how the head and face behave at impact to promote more speed across a larger area of the face for increased average distance,” per Callaway’s website.

The Epic isn’t so much trying to differentiate itself from previous lines of the Big Bertha as it is from the XR 16, of which it is 64 percent lighter, a cut-down due to a carbon crown as opposed to titanium.

The end result is higher ball speed and a slightly higher launch, but with less spin – all of which promote more carry and more distance off the tee. Not bad, huh?

titleist 917 D3
Titleist 917 D3

Similar to Callaway, Titleist is touting a lighter club face for increased forgiveness without sacrificing power. But what Titleist seems to have focused on in regards to the D3 is reducing spin off of impact – which results in more distance – and a lower launch angle. With less spin, the ball will be more likely to cut through the air, and a lower launch angle will reduce the amount of drives that seem to balloon off impact.

Where Titleist differentiates itself is in its movable weight. Virtually every manufacturer offers a driver with customizable features, but the D3 has a neutral and a top-heavy setting that golfers can toggle between, depending on their preference, as opposed to the standard “draw, neutral, fade” options offered on most other drivers.

The neutral setting is designed for forgiveness, as the weight will be lower on the club. The top-heavy option is exactly as it sounds, keeping the weight back so the golfer can maximize control of the ball flight.

srixon z565 driver
Srixon Z565

Where Titleist zigged, Srixon zagged. Titleist sought a lower launch angle with its D3, and Srixon, in the Z565, aimed for a higher launch with a draw bias. Now, is the draw bias going to fix that massive slice that keeps calling out of bounds home? No. It’s simply a club with a heel-favored sweet spot, which encourages a nice, right-to-left (for righties) ball flight.

What appears to be the main objective of the Z565, however, is forgiveness. Srixon expanded the face of the club, creating almost a wrap-around effect, which provides better performance on off-center impacts. Four grams of weight, in fact, were removed from the crown and restructured throughout the club, lowering the center of gravity and thereby creating a more forgiving club face.

An appeal for the Srixon, for some, is that it went back to basics when it comes to club aesthetics. It has become vogue for drivers to be decorated with logos or designs, shapes, “speed tracks,” or any other visually pleasing appeal (we’re looking at you, Ping and TaylorMade). Srixon reversed course, going with the standard black top with a chrome face.
No frills. Just hit the ball and watch it fly.

ping g driver
Ping G

Dragonflies and drivers. They don’t seem to be the most likely of duos, and yet that’s exactly what Ping has done with the G. PING claims that its engineers “analyzed the dragonfly’s intricate wing pattern to design ultra-thin crown sections for extreme CG and maximized MOI.”
To translate: Engineers took a look at how a dragonfly’s wings work and mimicked that movement with its driver to optimize its center of gravity and forgiveness.

As you might expect, a club that was loosely based off of an insect has a unique look to it, with curves and ridges on the crown that make the club more aerodynamic. As has been PING’s modus operandi, however, the latest model is one based on forgiveness, as its massive clubface suggests.

The G is light and large, with an emphasis on reducing spin and the launch angle, which should appeal to golfers of all handicaps.

taylor m2
TaylorMade M2
It is no coincidence that the man leading the PGA Tour in driving distance, Dustin Johnson, plays TaylorMade. TaylorMade has long been synonymous with woods, and Johnson’s 316.2 yards per drive – four yards longer than No. 2 Luke List – are a testament to that.

Johnson, however, is bombing away with an M1, though it’s only a matter of time until he makes the upgrade to the M2, which offer a similar look with slightly different features. The M2 boasts what TaylorMade is calling “Geocoustic sole shaping,” in which the club’s “sunken sole shape enables a larger clubface,” and a larger clubface invariably leads to increased forgiveness. But where many drivers might sacrifice distance for forgiveness, the M2 kept power at the forefront.

The M2 has a lighter crown with a sturdy base, making for a low center of gravity and thereby increasing distance. Similar to the Srixon, the M2 also features a draw bias with its heel-based weight, another aspect designed to maximize distance off the tee.

Dave Pelz – Games To Make You A Better Putter

Find the Right Putter for Your Game

In a round of golf, more strokes are played with the putter than any other club. Most people know they need to practice putting, but the challenge is with how and what exactly to practice. In his book, Dave Pelz’s Putting Games, Dave Pelz outlines how golfers should go about assessing their overall putting skills and playing a number of games (or drills) focused on improving areas of weakness. For this edition of the KC Golfer Magazine Pro Tip, we spent some time with his book to give you a feel for how it can make you a better putter.
His book starts off with explaining that there are seven areas of putting and not all amateur or professional golfers are weak or strong in the same areas. He says it is therefore important to know exactly which of these seven areas you need to practice:

  • 3-foot putts
  • 6-foot putts
  • Makeable putts (10 to 20 feet)
  • Breaking putts (with at least 6 inches of break)
  • Intermediate putts (20 to 30 feet)
  • Long lag putts (35 feet or more)
  • Three-putt avoidance

Dave Pelz explains that it will do your game little good to routinely practice 3 foot putts if you cannot lag a long putt to stop within a reasonable distance of the hole. He also points out that most amateurs can benefit more by avoiding three-putts than they can by making more putts of any length. As a former NASA research scientist, Pelz backs these claims and others with extensive research through observing, charting, and tracking players of all skill levels.

Dave Pelz’s Putting Games, therefore, is not a book about the putting stroke or how to putt. He says to check out his book, Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible, for that information. This book focuses on assessing your game and employing the games that make putting practice fun and effective. While there are six chapters, the heart of the book is centered on three chapters covering Performance Games, Games for Stroke Mechanics, and Games for Touch and Feel.

Performance Games are those that help a golfer assess their abilities and identify strengths and weaknesses in their golf games. These games should all be played to get a well-rounded assessment. With some help (a friend to retrieve balls and help with measurements) and a wide open practice green, you can move through all the Performance Games in about an hour. Otherwise, if you have to share the surface with other golfers or need to do your own measuring, charting, and retrieving, it might be best to split the Performance Games across a couple of sessions or more. Each of the seven games assesses your performance against each of the seven areas described earlier. Once armed with that knowledge, it then becomes a matter of selecting and playing the specific games from either of the other two sections to improve your putting.

Games for Stroke Mechanics are particularly useful for golfers needing to improve their short (3- and 6-foot) and makeable putt performance. The games focus on four stroke fundamentals, as Pelz calls them. Those four fundamentals are:

  • Putter aim (practiced through the Aim Game)
  • Matching your path to your intended line (Path Game)
  • Putter face angle (Face-Angle Game)
  • Ball contact (Impact Game)

Games for Touch and Feel are more focused on the mental side of putting. They involve the ability to see the line on breaking putts and having the right feel and confidence to stroke long putts the correct distance to leave a short, high percentage second putt. These games help golfers improve in these areas:

  • Imagining the speed on breaking putts of 6 – 10 feet (Short-Touch Game)
  • Controlling distance on putts from 10 – 30 feet (Makeable-Touch Game, Intermediate-Touch Game, and Feel-for-Speed Game)
  • Lag putting to minimize second putt distance (Lag-Touch Game)
  • Learning to optimize putting rhythm (Rhythm Game and Preview Game)

Pelz is quick to point out that on long putts, there are too many factors like wind, surface imperfections, and the like which influence long putts. And so, he has a scoring system based on putts that finish at or beyond the hole and within a specific range. He uses a 34-inch range to score a long or lag putt as in the “Good Zone.” He then provides a scoring map for these kinds of putting games with different scores based on the distance from the hole that a putt finishes.

Throughout the book, Pelz provides details on how well a professional golfer performs on a given game and contrasts that with amateurs of varying skill levels. That provides a solid benchmark against which a golfer can assess themselves as well as goals to which to aspire. He ends with some words of caution of games NOT to play. Those games, Pelz says, provide the wrong kind of feedback and ingrain poor habits. In particular, he calls out the game “Aces” – a game that rewards long made putts but doesn’t factor in leave distance. He also says putting to a small diameter hole, something some golfers feel improves their touch, can be counterproductive by encouraging golfers to die their putts at the hole rather (which leads to short putts too), rather than stroking them firm enough to reach the hole and finish within a very high percentage second putt length of 17 inches.

Overall, the book is entertaining, simple and straightforward with some good principles based in Pelz’s own golfing research. As the author of numerous books and articles and a teacher who has worked with almost 200 golfers on the PGA and LPGA Tours, Pelz knows what he is talking about. He has several games and drills that can be performed in small areas – perfect for improving your game at home through the off-season.