WHEELING, W.Va. - The three girls participating in this week's high school golf State Tournament aren't interested in playing from the same tees as their male counterparts.
The subject was broached this week at Oglebay Resort's par 71 Robert Trent Jones Course, which played at 6,686 yards for the boys and 5,669 yards - or 85 percent - for the girls.
In the mid-1990s, the PGA of America - made up of male and female golf professionals with chapter, section and national events in which the women compete - adopted the 85-percent rule to, in essence, even the playing field.
"They came up with an average distance and the women were at 85 percent," State Tournament Director Scott Davidson said. "The goal, like on a par 4, was that if the average man hit an 8-iron into the green, the average woman should also be hitting an 8-iron into the green.
"The girl actually should be ahead of the boy off the tee, but hit the same shot into the green with the same club."
Some of the questions involve weather conditions and how they affect the longer tees, as well as fairway hazards, including bunkers.
It didn't make much difference on Tuesday, with Ritchie County's Sydney Snodgrass shooting a 9-over 80, Westside's Katelyn Sanders shooting a 22-over 93 and Parkersburg South's Adeena Shears firing a 16-over 87. The only girls in the field combined for 47 over par.
The question becomes, what would those numbers be if they played the same distance?
Wheeling Park Coach Don Headley wanted clarification on the 85 percent, how it was carried out and its effect on high school players.
"Are we comparing it to the small percentage of great golfers?" he asked. "Is it because they're girls or is it because they don't hit it as far? If you take an average female golfer and put her on the up tee and the average male on the back tee, the average female has a huge advantage.
"If you use the rule with our state, it's made for (the girls) to compete with the No. 1 kids."
Shears, who shot a 72 in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Championships at the Robert Trent Jones Course last month, reached the green in two on the par 4 No. 1, which played at 411 yards from her tee. Washington's Patrick Burgess, Princeton's Jared Porter and Huntington's Fisher Cross, who were in the same group, fell short of the green. Shears wound up three-putting for bogey.
She said that's about par for the course in terms of the advantage of being closer off the tee.