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What Tee Box Should I Play From?

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.

Playing the right tees = speeding up the game!



8 thoughts on “What Tee Box Should I Play From?

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    Club head speed with driver 80mph play tees 2/3 of distance pros play. 7500 pro 5000 old guy with 80 mph speed

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    My Tuesday group uses the formula of multiplying your best drive by 28 to determine the yardage each player should be playing. We then pick the tees closest to that yardage. For me, it’s 210 X 28 = 5880 yds.

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      Great Idea! I will suggest this to our playing group, sounds good to me, thanks!

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      I am 70 years old and I have been playing golf for 63 years. When I began playing, my Dad (a teaching golf pro) would not let my brother or I play from a tee block unless we could “almost always” (means without the “occasional” poor shot on a hole) be on or beside the green in regulation on the par 4’s (2 shots) and par 5’s (3 shots). We played the front tees (usually Red and less than 5000 yards) for quite a while. We eventually advanced to the Mid-tees (usually White and less than 5800 yards). This continued until we got consistently better or played without Dad. For over 50 years of playing golf, we followed the advice from our Dad. We played to single-digit handicaps for many years. A few years ago, I started playing from shorter tees again and I am now playing combination tees that keep me around the 5500-yard length for the course. Many of my long-time playing partners, my own children and grandchildren have followed my Dad’s suggestion and continue to play and enjoy this lifelong game. Also, new technology has allowed some players to increase their playing distances BUT this often creates some accuracy issues that can be corrected when they play shorter lengths once again.

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      Like this idea. It would work for me and many of my friends.

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    Why are there senior tees for men but not women. Just like men, women lose strength as they age?

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    My club insists that we have to choose a tee box eg: senior, white, blue etc. and play all rounds from that box or our handicap will be screwed up. I think its absurd, what are your thoughts?

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    Problem with that is the color doesn’t correspond to a consistent distance across different courses. I go by total yardage instead.

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