Nancy Lopez isn’t shy about teeing it forward

Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez

Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez


Here’s music to the ears of fans of the Tee It Forward initiative: Nancy Lopez has your back. The Hall of Famer has been a proponent of the program almost since its inception. But perhaps even more important, Lopez is leading by example. That is, one of the greatest players – female or male – in the history of golf isn’t shy about teeing it forward.

“Equipment has done a lot, but I’m my age (56) I’m not as flexible as I used to be,” Lopez told me this week at The Max A. Mandel Golf Course in Laredo, Texas. “I used to be able to hit it 275 yards easily; now I’m swinging hard and hitting it 230 yards – even with the equipment.”

Lopez, who won three majors and a total of 48 events in her 27-year career on the LPGA Tour, said she routinely played 6,500-yard courses.  These days, however, she plays distances that remind her of the days when she routinely hit driver and a short iron into par fours.

“I just move up to wherever I want to play it – wherever I can hit a 7-or 8-iron into a par four,” Lopez said. “I got where I was hitting 4 hybrid and I didn’t want to do that.  I used to hit all par fours with wedges – now I’m not and it’s aggravating. I want to put myself back in the frame of mind when I was hitting 8- and 9-irons into par fours.

“I don’t even play where there are tees sometimes. It’s fun to play like that.  I just want to be able to enjoy the game and have birdie putts and have sensation of hitting greens and getting it close instead of hitting a 4 hybrid and having a 70-foot putt.”




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