Over the weekend I read an interesting article about Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Olympic golf medalist and stellar golfer Bruce Jenner) hitting the links and playing from the ladies tees and the apparent uproar this has caused. A few moments later I read yet another op-ed piece suggesting the LPGA women should scoot back to the blacks to both humble the men and give the ladies a “true professional golfer” challenge… without being a beast of a woman, LPGA pro Brittany Lincicome can outdrive plenty men on the PGA Tour. In all honesty it made me a little agitated reading these not because it was a slam on women but… Why do golfers get so worked up over tee boxes? Who the h*** cares?
We wrack our brains for ideas to speed up play and yet one simple solution has already been completed years ago – multiple tee boxes. The sad truth is each tee box color has been associated to an age and/or gender when in fact with a little education, and ability to set your pre-conceived notions and egos aside, golfers could see the true beauty behind these options.
Here’s what the majority think:
- Red Tees: Women’s tees, farthest forward with shortest distance to the hole, and least challenging.
- Gold Tees: Senior’s tees, not quite the shortest distance to the hole but second in line, meant to help the elderly who still play have a better chance at shooting their old hay day scores.
- White Tees: Men’s tees, middle to high handicap, typically the middle option of all the tee boxes, and used by most men.
- Blue Tees: Men’s tees, mostly used for championship or tournament play, and for low handicap male golfers.
- Black Tees: Men’s touring professional level tee distance, furthest from the hole, and the most challenging option. Sometimes referred to as the “tips”.
- Green Tees: Can’t forget these as they’re commonly used for Junior players and are the shortest distance – not all courses will have this tee box (which is why I placed it last)
Here’s the reality:
- Red Tees: Man or woman who is a high handicapper or new to the game… start here. Man or woman who doesn’t hit a long ball, play here. Juniors who seem to have golf skill and hungry to advance their game, play here.
- Gold Tees: Most courses don’t even have this option but for those that do erase the “senior” thought from your brain. Man or woman who is a middle handicapper, play here.
- White Tees: Man or woman with a middle to high handicap who can hit a solid 200+ yard drive, play from here.
- Blue Tees: Quite possibly tees used for club tournaments but regardless, this is a great challenging option if you’re interested in adding some extra yardage to your game. Not necessary but worth some fun.
- Black Tees: Unless you are a scratch or close to scratch golfer stay away and don’t waste your time. There is nothing fun about feeling like crap, feeling like your drive distance sucks, and throwing on an extra handful of strokes just because you think you’re Bubba Watson. Just don’t.
- Green Tees: Again, might not be at your favorite course but if you do… this is a fun way to create an executive style course. Shorten the Par 4’s to 3’s.
So… for Caitlyn Jenner, purely my opinion, but who cares if you’re a man or a woman… play at the appropriate handicap/skill level tee boxes. Quit trying to make a social statement. For the LPGA players, keep at the tees you’re currently at. No one is asking you to hit the gym hardcore and get man arms. Finally, for the guys who think they’re hot sh** playing from the “tips”… nobody cares. You’re slowing down the group behind you because you don’t belong on tour. If you’re playing by the “pants down if you don’t hit your drive passed the reds” and you are guilty and must hit your second shot with your pants around your ankles… then you REALLY don’t belong on the tips.
Playing the right tees = speeding up the game!