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I play in a 18 hole senior golf league.  Players under 50 are allowed to participate do to the lack of senior golfers.   The league rules state that 70 and under play from the white tees, and over play from the gold.  Many golfers fall in the 62 to 70 range.  This group feels they are being penalized.  They feel they can't compete with the younger long ball hitters.  Super seniors at 80 can play from the reds.  My thoughts are that with my handicap at 18, my chances are slim that I can consistently beat a single digit to 12 handicap golfer.  I am going to propose at are preliminary golf meeting this spring, 62 and older hit from the senior tees, and under 62 hit from the whites.  Of course, super seniors hit from the red. Some of my friends feel we should follow the PGA senior tour, with everybody over fifty hit from the same tee.  Welcome feedback.

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You have to break at some age and someone is going to complain it isn't fair.  I would generally say that a 50 year old will hit it farther than a 70 year old.   I know distance isn't everything but that is how people evaluate things.   With honest handicap everything should even out; that is the  purpose of using them. 

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In my Tuesday league anyone 60 and over plays from the senior tees. But I know a 65 and 70 year old that hit it just as far as me, and I am 52.

Our league is just a casual captain’s choice so we just play more for the fellowship and score is secondary.

Ultimately though no matter what age you make the senior tees there will always be outliers that defy the normal “average” distance for their age. And you will always find younger guys that don’t hit it very far no matter what they try. That’s just one of God’s great mysteries.


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As Cnosil said.  Whatever he limit you set for the white/gold break someone is going to be feel disadvantaged. 

I paly in an annual tournament that takes a unique approach and I have not heard of one complaint in many years.  

The standard tee is the white.   But they have a "Rule of 70".  If your age plus your handicap =70 or higher you may move up one tee box.  So me I'm past years as a 55 year old and 20 handicap didn't have to hit from the longer trees. 

Same for say a 65 year old 5 handicap.  He may not have the distance to compete from the longer tees.  But has a fair chance now.

You could also institute a rule of 80 or 85 for those super seniors or very high cap 65 year old. 

An added bonus was, pace of play dramatically improved as well. 

 

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Am I missing something here?  (I am in UK, so not on a slope based or WHS type hcp system yet)

But shouldn't the handicap system sort that out?

Ok, no system is ever 'perfect' I know, but If the slope rating for the set of tees used is worked out properly surely that should even the chances for shorter hitters.  I realise that a short, but very accurate hitter may have difficulty actually reaching some fairways, but if they do play from shorter tees doesn't that just give them an unfair advantage?

Edit...  If the issue is one of carry required to clear deep rough or water etc then surely (knowing that a wide variety of players will be using the longer tees in club comps)  that is a course design/layout issue, not player handicap or age problem.

Edited by Pandaman
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The two best answers have already been given IMO.

1) No matter what age break(s) you set, some ages will feel disadvantaged. That discussion is a rabbit hole, it’ll come back up over and over at some frequency, and it creates some hard feelings, and a sense of self-serving for some.

2) More important. Presumably your league uses handicaps based on scores from the tees each age group is required to use, that should equalize everyone no matter what tee they play from. 

The seniors I used to play with were 75 and up gold tees, 70 and up red tees and everyone else white tees. The league I play in now is everyone from red tees, but HI’s equalize everyone just fine IMO. And play is faster with everyone hitting from the same tees.

Edited by Middler
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Just now, Middler said:

The two best answers have already been given IMO.

1) No matter what age break(s) you set, some ages will feel disadvantaged.

2) More important. If your league uses handicaps based on the tees each age group is using, that should equalize everyone no matter what tee they play from.

The seniors I used to play with were 75 and up gold tees, 70 and up red tees and everyone else white tees. The league I play in now is everyone from red tees, but HI’s equalize everyone just fine IMO.

I would agree with this except on closest to the pin contests.  If I have 175 yards into a par 3 from the regular tees, and a senior has 125 yards, that senior has a better shot at getting closer to that pin then I do.  I've witnessed that happen over and over again.

It's the same reason my Tuesday league split the closest to the pin and longest drives up for the regular and senior tee competitors.  We noticed that on the long drive contest specifically that a senior would win that contest every time, because they had an 80 yard advantage off of the tee on the longest drive hole.  And as I mentioned above, there are a few senior golfers in our group that can outdrive me straight up from the same tees.  Not that I am that long of a hitter, but when my best drive is probably 250, and the senior's average drive is 250, giving him an edge from the tee box just makes it too easy for him to win that sort of contest without even hitting a really long ball.

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1 hour ago, GSwag said:

I would agree with this except on closest to the pin contests.  If I have 175 yards into a par 3 from the regular tees, and a senior has 125 yards, that senior has a better shot at getting closer to that pin then I do.  I've witnessed that happen over and over again.

It's the same reason my Tuesday league split the closest to the pin and longest drives up for the regular and senior tee competitors.  We noticed that on the long drive contest specifically that a senior would win that contest every time, because they had an 80 yard advantage off of the tee on the longest drive hole.  And as I mentioned above, there are a few senior golfers in our group that can outdrive me straight up from the same tees.  Not that I am that long of a hitter, but when my best drive is probably 250, and the senior's average drive is 250, giving him an edge from the tee box just makes it too easy for him to win that sort of contest without even hitting a really long ball.

My comments were regarding individual and team scoring only, the OP didn’t mention...

...Closest to the pin is another kettle of fish. If you hit a 7 iron 175 and the senior hits a 7 iron 125 yards, somewhat neutral. But in the end I agree with your POV. IME winners came in all ages, it wasn’t always the older players from gold tees.

As for longest drive, that has to be by age/tee group. It’s absurd to lump everyone together for longest drive from different tees IMO, especially since the difference in yardage varies from hole to hole, some may be 100 yards or more, others much less. We only did longest drives once a year, and each age/tee group competed against their own only - e.g. there were three longest drive winners.

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I would agree with this except on closest to the pin contests.  If I have 175 yards into a par 3 from the regular tees, and a senior has 125 yards, that senior has a better shot at getting closer to that pin then I do.  I've witnessed that happen over and over again.
It's the same reason my Tuesday league split the closest to the pin and longest drives up for the regular and senior tee competitors.  We noticed that on the long drive contest specifically that a senior would win that contest every time, because they had an 80 yard advantage off of the tee on the longest drive hole.  And as I mentioned above, there are a few senior golfers in our group that can outdrive me straight up from the same tees.  Not that I am that long of a hitter, but when my best drive is probably 250, and the senior's average drive is 250, giving him an edge from the tee box just makes it too easy for him to win that sort of contest without even hitting a really long ball.

We don't have closest to the pin contests in our league play. However, one advantage of the guys playing forward tees is that on several holes at our Club, it takes water or other penalty areas out of play.

Our Club "rule" is that if your age and index = 105 you can play forward tees. And supposedly your strokes given are reduced for playing forward tees

I've played in league against guys who played the forward tees and it was quite annoying since I felt they had a strong advantage even with the stroke reduction. Supposedly our Club is going to look at this year's results and make additional adjustments - whatever that means.


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I'll be 69 on the 29th of this month and have had three knee surgeries/replacement, broke hip, and pinched nerves in my back.  I joined my old club (Lane Creek) and the bunch I'm playing with on Wednesdays are all playing from the senior tees except two players.  I currently  play the whites with a 58 year old who hits a long ball however there are four long par four holes that require I hit a hybrid on approach shots. They told me to move up with the old guys and I am considering mix tees.  Playing the whites on everything except those long par fours.  I don't feel right moving up to the senior tees where they are on the same box as the ladies.  It feels awkward doing so.  

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4 hours ago, ole gray said:

I'll be 69 on the 29th of this month and have had three knee surgeries/replacement, broke hip, and pinched nerves in my back.  I joined my old club (Lane Creek) and the bunch I'm playing with on Wednesdays are all playing from the senior tees except two players.  I currently  play the whites with a 58 year old who hits a long ball however there are four long par four holes that require I hit a hybrid on approach shots. They told me to move up with the old guys and I am considering mix tees.  Playing the whites on everything except those long par fours.  I don't feel right moving up to the senior tees where they are on the same box as the ladies.  It feels awkward doing so.  

My feeling exactly!  There is quite a difference between our "Men's tees" or Blue and our "Senior tees" or White.  Just doesn't feel right.  My wife normally plays from the forward or Red tees, but sometimes she plays from the White tees.

Interesting though... my scores are generally the same from Blue or White.  🙄

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I'm just gonna add today's experience to this thread, because I got schooled by an older guy, who if I had to guess was mid 60's at least, and played from the same tees I did all day, and was easily 40-50 yards shorter than me off of the tee box.  But I got schooled, old school style as we played a two man best ball match.  I played with some of the guys at my club who I know, and the older guy had had back surgery and is currently a 6 handicap, but before his back went out he was easily scratch or better.  Well, his game returned to form today, and he put on a clinic on the course.  Hit every fairway (easily) and I think he missed one green all day.  The highlight of the day for him was probably his approach shot on #16, which he stuck to within a foot of the hole from I would guess well over 160+ yards out.  But that highlight was basically what I witnessed all day long as he shot 69 and made it look easy.  

I had two birdies on my card, and I needed both of those birdies to halve holes with this guy.  I mean, he put a ridiculous clinic in how to hit iron shots to within 10 feet or better of the hole all day long.  Absolutely insanely accurate.  But again, he's middle 60'ish I would guess and has lost some distance off of the tee, and probably should be playing from one tee up, but honestly, what different does it make for him, as he just smooths every single shot he hits with an effortless swing that is borderline robotic.

My point for this thread is that sometimes it doesn't matter how far you hit it, because there are certain players that can score from any distance.  I mean, by the back nine it was just nuts as I drain a 15 footer for birdie on #17, only to see this guy drop his putt on top of mine from a few feet closer.  But when you are the closest to the hole on every green, you are bound to make some putts.  Heck, this guy should have gone at least 2 or 3 shots lower.  His only bogey of the day was a horseshoe lipout on #4.  Just insane to watch that demonstration of golf greatness, to which I can only hope to emulate on rare occasion.

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We have three Senior tournaments weekly here is SoOR and 50 and over play from  the senior tees. 80 and over from the tees in front of the senior tees. We have during the summer months 144 players at each tournament weekly. One on Monday, one on Tuesday and on Wednesday. If they had more room they could add more players as they turn away players at each tournament.

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Like @cnosilstated, if everyone is playing to honest handicaps, tee position shouldn't matter too much.  I do agree with you that 50 year old and younger players will generally have an advantage under the age/tee rules you stated - particularly on longer courses.

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Kinda know about the Senior Tee controversy. We are all Seniors here our particular group right now ranges 67 to 78 with me at 73.
I still play from the white tees and only one guy from the forward tees. Our oldest was 84 and he moved back to CT.
We let the guys play where they want, there’s no real money involved and actually we’re all happy to just be out there and hit the ball around no matter had bad it is sometimes.



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I can tell you about my team today.  I played the regular tees beside a guy not quite 40 and another in his 50's.  The guy 2 years older than me qualified to play the senior tees.  I was the short knocker ALL DAY long!  On average, the two younger guys were 75 yards ahead of me, and in some cases even more.  A humbling day 🙂

 

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38 minutes ago, Rickp said:

Our oldest was 84 and he moved back to CT.

Where in Connecticut does he live?  🙄🤨

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On 11/21/2019 at 5:05 AM, Golfspy_CG2 said:

The standard tee is the white.   But they have a "Rule of 70".  If your age plus your handicap =70 or higher you may move up one tee box.  So me I'm past years as a 55 year old and 20 handicap didn't have to hit from the longer trees. 

I'm never going to move up a tee because "I'm not going to let the old man in". 🙂  Also because it would be similar to my experience at fireman training a couple years ago (I'm a volunteer fireman).  It's a drill on coming down a ladder from a two story window.

The instructor has a 20 something blonde firewoman doing the demonstration several times while we watched (more like grimaced and silently call for mommy).  Then he says, "ok, who wants to go first... and, oh btw, we do have a safety harness available if desired".  Yea, right, like any of us are going to opt for the harness and become the talk at the evening BBQ. 😆  Just like moving up a tee, some decisions are fraught with repercussions.

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18 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

Like @cnosilstated, if everyone is playing to honest handicaps, tee position shouldn't matter too much.  I do agree with you that 50 year old and younger players will generally have an advantage under the age/tee rules you stated - particularly on longer courses.

In theory, underscore in theory, I agree.   Honest handicaps applied to an effective or adequate system should produce results where tee position  materially do not or should not matter.   Unfortunately, personally, that does not seem to be the case.    Typically,  handicaps at most courses, my index reflects a one to two stroke difference in handicap between the regular tees and the senior tees.  However, again typically, I shoot anywhere from three to four shot better from the senior tees (its all about distance or my lack thereof).     Accordingly, when I post scores from the regular tees, I feel like I am creating an inappropriate handicap for use in senior outings and events.  Conversely, if I do not post regular tee scores: one, I would not be posting all my scores as required, and two, creating an inadequate handicap for team events from the regular tees that would impact my partners.   Therefore, I no longer play in any outings, leagues or tournaments mandating regular tee play.    I limit my play  to senior events and casual play with my buds.  

As an aside, I'm in my old office today with computer access, so let me say HI to all my Spy buds.  I really do miss you.

 

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1 minute ago, TheWahoo said:

In theory, underscore in theory, I agree.   Honest handicaps applied to an effective or adequate system should produce results where tee position  materially do not or should not matter.   Unfortunately, personally, that does not seem to be the case.    Typically,  handicaps at most courses, my index reflects a one to two stroke difference in handicap between the regular tees and the senior tees.  However, again typically, I shoot anywhere from three to four shot better from the senior tees (its all about distance or my lack thereof).     Accordingly, when I post scores from the regular tees, I feel like I am creating an inappropriate handicap for use in senior outings and events.  Conversely, if I do not post regular tee scores: one, I would not be posting all my scores as required, and two, creating an inadequate handicap for team events from the regular tees that would impact my partners.   Therefore, I no longer play in any outings, leagues or tournaments mandating regular tee play.    I limit my play  to senior events and casual play with my buds.  

As an aside, I'm in my old office today with computer access, so let me say HI to all my Spy buds.  I really do miss you.

 

Does the one to two stroke improvement include adjusting for the shorter distance?  I don't keep an official handicap, so I'm not up at all on how the traditional GHIN or new world system accounts for course distance.

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