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Determining your Tee Box ?

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I’m sure this has been discussed but I did a search and couldn’t find it . So.... what should determine which TBOX a player should use ? Skill level , age, distance off the Tee? I play in my company’s golf league and this is always a hotly debated subject . We have single handicappers from the Blues that are in their 60’s but think they should hit from the whites because of their age and loss of distance because of it . We have guys in their 20’s that hit it FAR but wild . One guy says “unless you are a scratch golfer from the whites you shouldn’t move back to the Blues “. I have a friend who’s motto is “ I PLAY FROM THE TIPS” , I’ve never seen the guy break 90. Thoughts?

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First off, "I PLAY FROM THE TIPS" guy should be just a guy, not a friend. Ditch him and find better playing partners.

I take my advice from Jack Nicklaus and play one up. As a 6 handicap, I could probably grind through a round from the tips and shoot in the low 80's but personally I like playing from the Blues and being able to enjoy the round I paid for. Most men though young and old should be playing from the Whites for nothing more but pace of play. From the whites, you're more likely to have short irons and wedges in which means more greens hit. More greens hit = Faster Pace of Play. 

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38 minutes ago, Powermaker said:

I’m sure this has been discussed but I did a search and couldn’t find it . So.... what should determine which TBOX a player should use ? Skill level , age, distance off the Tee? I play in my company’s golf league and this is always a hotly debated subject . We have single handicappers from the Blues that are in their 60’s but think they should hit from the whites because of their age and loss of distance because of it . We have guys in their 20’s that hit it FAR but wild . One guy says “unless you are a scratch golfer from the whites you shouldn’t move back to the Blues “. I have a friend who’s motto is “ I PLAY FROM THE TIPS” , I’ve never seen the guy break 90. Thoughts?

I've seen a simple suggestion of taking your 5-iron distance and multiply by 36.  I just found another that suggests driver times 28, which will give you a longer yardage, at least it does for me.  Another way of evaluating it is based on experience.  If you can't get to just about every green in regulation with normal length shots, you should consider moving forward.  If you're hitting wedge into nearly every green, you should consider moving back.  The last thing is whether you have fun, and can keep up with the normal pace of play.  If golf is a slog because you're hitting driver-3 wood all the time, move up.  If your group is always slowing down groups behind you, lagging behind the group ahead, move up and see if that helps your pace of play.

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Average Drive Recommended Tees
300 yards 7,150 - 7,400 yards
275 yards 6,700 - 6,900 yards
250 yards 6,200 - 6,400 yards
225 yards 5,800 - 6,000 yards
200 yards 5,200 - 5,400 yards
175 yards 4,400 - 4,600 yards
150 yards 3,500 - 3,700 yards
125 yards 2,800 - 3,000 yards
100 yards 2,100 - 2,300 yards

 

This was from the PGA

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Lots of good suggestions above for picking the tees you generally play from.

That said, I think it's valuable to play from varied tee boxes every once in a while. Sometimes I'll move up to a shorter set of tee boxes, and occasionally, I'll move back to the tips. I just recently played a round from the tips at a local course where I rarely do so, and it was a really fun, challenging experience. It forced me to focus hard to hit quality shots and I ended up scoring pretty decently (i.e. I shot the calculated course handicap for my 6-ish index). Good for working on skills that sometimes get neglected when you always play from the same tee boxes.

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Agree with stated postings above.

What I did about 4 years ago was challenge myself to improved course management. At first I was tempted to just move up a tee-box. I tried that and while I enjoyed a few more birdies I was erratic month to month regarding scoring.

Finally I said enough,  and I took some advice from an older gentleman that use to be scratch legit. The gentleman said "can you play par golf for 10 consecutive rounds from front/red tee's -- shortest tee box"? I played par golf until I could do it 20 rounds. Then I moved back to the gold tees and did it.

I am consistently around par from white tees (~6600 yards avg). My goal (realistic) is the blue tees (one box short of tips/black).

Everyone has different goals and I agree there is most likely a correlation with distance (the farther you hit -- lower you can score) but if anything its not so much that I can shoot par now, its that in tournaments (best ball/scramble) people ask me to play due to my improved short game.

Not long off the tee but straight but I have seen most recently the long guys still can score off the fairway that are long --- provided they have the short game. The ones that don't ask me to play in tournaments. So in my book its a win win. Just my experience to date. 

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39 minutes ago, aerospace_ray said:

I am consistently around par from white tees (~6600 yards avg). My goal (realistic) is the blue tees (one box short of tips/black).

Ray, your profile says you're a 12 handicap, and you score consistently around par from the white tees?  Something doesn't quite add up.

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Yeah, that's from years ago. I should update that or folks think I sand bag :)

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Thanks for the responses guys. Some useful information here . So I’m not seeing anything regarding age ? The second longest driver in our league is 62 and still KILLS it . Since he is over 60 he gets to play from the whites by league rules ,and a lot of players complain about it [there is money involved]. I say ,a rule is a rule and kudos to him for aging well ,lol .

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In my opinion, age has nothing to do with which tees you should play.

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There are indeed other threads on this topic, but it's a common question so don't worry about it. My response has always been centered around skill, enjoyment and as @DaveP043 suggested, pace of play. I currently play tees in the 6800 yard range. I could move up 500 yards and I could move back 200-300 yards without seeing much difference in my scores. I hit the ball well for my handicap, but I miss a lot of greens and struggle to get up and down. 

50 minutes ago, Powermaker said:

Thanks for the responses guys. Some useful information here . So I’m not seeing anything regarding age ? The second longest driver in our league is 62 and still KILLS it . Since he is over 60 he gets to play from the whites by league rules ,and a lot of players complain about it [there is money involved]. I say ,a rule is a rule and kudos to him for aging well ,lol .

I was in a work league a couple years ago and my buddy was asked to move to the back tees based on his personal skill level so as to be fair to other competitors. Sounds like this is what should happen to the guy you mentioned above. Work leagues are typically meant to be fun and it's on the organizers to make it so.

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6 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I've seen a simple suggestion of taking your 5-iron distance and multiply by 36.  I just found another that suggests driver times 28, which will give you a longer yardage, at least it does for me.  Another way of evaluating it is based on experience.  If you can't get to just about every green in regulation with normal length shots, you should consider moving forward.  If you're hitting wedge into nearly every green, you should consider moving back.  The last thing is whether you have fun, and can keep up with the normal pace of play.  If golf is a slog because you're hitting driver-3 wood all the time, move up.  If your group is always slowing down groups behind you, lagging behind the group ahead, move up and see if that helps your pace of play.

Jeez, 270* 28 is 7560y! I would probably shoot 100 from that far back. 5i * 36 is pretty much where I'm comfortable (6660y), but I'll shoot a damn 85 from anywhere between 6000-6700. PB of 75 was from just shy of 6500y.

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I would have to say age and pace of play.

This was a subject of contention in my league until the members voted to adopt rules that specifically addressed it.

I assume your work league is structured, which would include by-laws, as is mine.  In such, the rules of the league were adopted from a full member vote.  The league's by-laws clearly spell out which Tee Box is to be used by whom, and all handicaps based accordingly.   

In my current league, the rules dictate that once you aspire to a certain age, you are given the option of playing (for the sake of pace/staying competitive) from the White Tees.  However, you must begin the season from there, have your handicap based from those Tees and remain there throughout the season... including playoffs if applicable.  

A portion of league members will always find a reason to complain or an excuse for their off play, etc... Personally, I enjoy the good natured banter that encompasses my golf league night.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Powermaker said:

Thanks for the responses guys. Some useful information here . So I’m not seeing anything regarding age ? The second longest driver in our league is 62 and still KILLS it . Since he is over 60 he gets to play from the whites by league rules ,and a lot of players complain about it [there is money involved]. I say ,a rule is a rule and kudos to him for aging well ,lol .

In our club completions we use the "80 rule."  If the sum of your age and your Handicap Index is 80 or more, you are allowed to play from the more forward tees.  This addresses to some extent the issue of older good players.

Edited by DaveP043
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21 hours ago, Powermaker said:

I’m sure this has been discussed but I did a search and couldn’t find it . So.... what should determine which TBOX a player should use ? Skill level , age, distance off the Tee? I play in my company’s golf league and this is always a hotly debated subject . We have single handicappers from the Blues that are in their 60’s but think they should hit from the whites because of their age and loss of distance because of it . We have guys in their 20’s that hit it FAR but wild . One guy says “unless you are a scratch golfer from the whites you shouldn’t move back to the Blues “. I have a friend who’s motto is “ I PLAY FROM THE TIPS” , I’ve never seen the guy break 90. Thoughts?

My own opinion... nothing more.

If you can hit the ball at least 230 yds. somewhat accurately off the tee, and you can hit the ball decently with irons and advance the ball............... play from where you like. I wouldn't play from the "tips" because I would rather enjoy the round, rather than chase the ball in bad lies and bad angles into a green. Distance has it's advantages on long holes... and not just because of length, but because of angles of approach to the green. If I was a consistent 260 - 270 yard driver... accurately, I would play from the tips... on some courses. That isn't my game anymore, unfortunately.

 

I play the white tees at my home course... "avareage" player tees. Blue tees are the tips, which I can play with no problem, because my course is short, but some of the blue tees present problems with OB and trouble for a bad tee shot that usually ends up at least one stroke worse than if I'd played from the whites. I usually play with other guys, so white tees it is. I do have one guy that we strictly play blue tees whenever it's just us...... one of us getting a free beer after the round...lol.

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I find that almost all guys at my club play from the blues, many of them probably shouldnt

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I find that almost all guys at my club play from the blues, many of them probably shouldnt

I see guys at the 17th at my club playing the tips, about 200 yard par 3 hitting driver.


For me, I look at the score card and check out the par 3 lengths. Whatever tees give me 130-180 yard par 3’s is perfect as I want to hit an iron and have a chance to be relatively close, at least on the green. 190,200,210 yard par 3’s, forget about it. Don’t want to have to be hitting a wood into a par 3 especially because at those distances the rest of those tees probably measure 7000 yards.

Playing persimmon woods 6500 yards is the perfect length for me.


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Not that everyone would follow any guidance on which tees to play, but similar to what Tom posted above.

https://golf.com/instruction/what-golf-tee-box-should-i-play-from/

Tee.jpg

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I would say errant shots aside, if you reach every par 5 in two with a short iron or wedge you might consider moving back. If you need a wood to play your tee shot on a par 3, move up. I play my 2 usual muni’s from the tips, but if I’m at a harder course or a course I’m not familiar with, I’ll move up.


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2 hours ago, deejaid said:


I see guys at the 17th at my club playing the tips, about 200 yard par 3 hitting driver. emoji849.png


For me, I look at the score card and check out the par 3 lengths. Whatever tees give me 130-180 yard par 3’s is perfect as I want to hit an iron and have a chance to be relatively close, at least on the green. 190,200,210 yard par 3’s, forget about it. Don’t want to have to be hitting a wood into a par 3 especially because at those distances the rest of those tees probably measure 7000 yards.

Playing persimmon woods 6500 yards is the perfect length for me.


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There is a par 3 on my course that is probably the hole I hate the most, 200 yards, uphill from the blues. Blasted a 3H yesterday, but came in a little hot, landed on the green and rolled off.

1 hour ago, Micah T said:

I would say errant shots aside, if you reach every par 5 in two with a short iron or wedge you might consider moving back. If you need a wood to play your tee shot on a par 3, move up. I play my 2 usual muni’s from the tips, but if I’m at a harder course or a course I’m not familiar with, I’ll move up.


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Man, you have to be a bomber to hit every par 5 in two with a short iron or wedge. The shortest par 5 on my course from the whites is 460, so you need to hit over 320 to have a wedge in. 

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Follow my golf journey to break into the 80s

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Fujikura and Nippon fan. Connoisseur of grips.

Updated 7/14/2020
Driver:taylormade-small:SIM Max 10.5 - Fujikura Ventus Red 5S Velocore (the real one)
Hybrids:taylormade-small: SIM Max 3H, 4H - Matrix Ozik 85S
Irons:callaway-small:Mavrik Max 5 - AW - Nippon Neo 950GH S
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