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How do I convince my golf buddies it's time to change tee boxes?


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We are in the process of renaming our tees from "colors" to 1,2,3,4,5,6....6 were played by Nationwide Tour years ago and nobody is playing them now.  1 is the forward most tees.  I play 4 mainly.  I like the number system rather than color.  There is no gender distinction (although many still refer to the tees as ladies (1,2) seniors (3,4) and mens (4,5).  And since we are still in the process, calling the tees by their color is still quite common.  

The guys playing the #5 tees tend to be a bit egotistic and really don't want to associate with anyone not playing gross games and from their tees.  Many of them won't play in our Thursday MGA game because they don't want to give strokes to the higher handicap players in a net game.  Silly, but .... The group that I am part of plays the #4 tees and we accrue points throughout the year to determine positions for the Ryder cup style tournaments, so on Thursday and Saturdays I always play #4.  On other days, I'm free to play whatever tees I desire and in our Wed and Fri groups, we have players playing both the #3 and #4 tees.  Some flip back and forth between the tees, but nobody really cares which tees you decide to play (adjust handicap as needed), although most of the guys I play with will likely give you the business if you decide to move up to the #3 tees.  

I'm at an age and my game has me at that point where I'm finding the #4 tees playable, but an issue because of the need to hit woods or hybrids into many of the par 4s.  For now, I'm sticking with #4, but toying with the idea of when I'll make the move forward.  It's a frequent discussion with many of my peers as to when we'll make the final call to do it.

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Wedges: Edison 53* and  57* KBS PGI 80 Graphite +1/2 inch 2* upright

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17 minutes ago, CarlH said:

We are in the process of renaming our tees from "colors" to 1,2,3,4,5,6....6 were played by Nationwide Tour years ago and nobody is playing them now.  1 is the forward most tees.  I play 4 mainly.  I like the number system rather than color.  There is no gender distinction (although many still refer to the tees as ladies (1,2) seniors (3,4) and mens (4,5).  And since we are still in the process, calling the tees by their color is still quite common.  

I like the numbering system rather than colors; wish our course used 1-4 tees.  I would think that the 1 tee should be the back tee... the first tee you come to.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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4 hours ago, cnosil said:

This is really the problem.  If we keep assigning gender to tees the male ego won’t let them play the correct tees.   For the LPGA ladies and other low handicap ladies they typically play a little farther back than the red tees so are they still playing the Ladies tees and we should play even further back?  Men are just idiots and have way to many biases when it comes to golf.  

Hilarious, the “problem” is assigning gender to red tees, as has been done for generations, and not the “male ego?” 

Where I play the red tees show WOMEN'S on the scorecard, with only Women's rating and slope shown. We can all play whatever tees we choose but that doesn’t change the fact that red tees are typically for women. If old men want to kid themselves and call the reds “forward tees” they’re welcome to their vanity. I’m 68 yo BTW.

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1 hour ago, Kenny B said:

I like the numbering system rather than colors; wish our course used 1-4 tees.  I would think that the 1 tee should be the back tee... the first tee you come to.

As long as they're in numerical order....LOL

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Driver: :callaway-small: Rogue ST Max (10.5* set at -1 and neutral) -- Mitsubishi Tensai Blue 55g R shaft

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On 11/21/2022 at 11:36 AM, Bulldog said:

At our home course, there are three tee boxes - blue (6565 yards), white (6026 yards), and red (5286 yards). We play the white tees.  You know what's coming...  Some of the guys can hit drives in the 230 - 245 range (I'm fortunate to still being that group).  Some struggle to get 200 yards on their drives - let's call them limited hitters.  Golf can be frustrating, but it's especially hard when you have no chance of getting a green in regulation.  It also leads higher scores and to slower play.

 

... As always, every golfer is different. I have a regular group of 3 other guys and I have convinced the 80yr old in our group to play a combo of gold (sr) and red (ladies) and he is enjoying his rounds much more after moving up. One of the others in my group is 67 and he should be playing a combo of silver (mens) and gold (sr) but for some reason he refuses to move to the Sr tees until he reaches the age of 70. The 3rd member is 62 and longer than I am so we both play silver. As long as I can shoot under par from the silvers I won't be moving up. There are 4 holes that are long for me not only by yardage but 3 of them play uphill and only my best drives reach the flat area, and you can't see the green unless you reach it. I will hit anything from a 7 iron to a 3 hybrid depending on wind, so usually a 4 or 5 iron. the 67 yr old very rarely reaches these par 4's in 2 and would move up to the golds but is just stubborn and to be fair he rides in a cart due to a bad hip and plays fast so that is never a problem. 

... I do think a lot depends on your ability and for the most part, the higher your index the shorter you need to play within your playable range. It's one thing to be very accurate and consistent with a 4 hy but quite another if your 4 hy can go left-right, hook-slice and short of the target more often than not and you have to play it or a fairway wood on al the longer par 4's. Like everyone else, I think renaming tees is essential to appeasing the male ego and agree a numbered system would be ideal. That said, I will have no problems playing the ladies tees when they become the appropriate length for my game. 

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2 hours ago, chisag said:

... I do think a lot depends on your ability and for the most part, the higher your index the shorter you need to play within your playable range. It's one thing to be very accurate and consistent with a 4 hy but quite another if your 4 hy can go left-right, hook-slice and short of the target more often than not and you have to play it or a fairway wood on al the longer par 4's. Like everyone else, I think renaming tees is essential to appeasing the male ego and agree a numbered system would be ideal. That said, I will have no problems playing the ladies tees when they become the appropriate length for my game. 

I have never liked a player's index as a measure of which tees to play.  It's the same here with our Men's Club and one reason why I don't play with them.  Not all high index players are short hitters, and not all short hitters are high index players.    Based on my index I should be playing the Blue tees (where the Men's Club plays and where I played for the past 7 years), but I cannot compete from there with others with the same or higher index because they outdrive me by 50-80 yards.  Into the wind I can't reach two par 5's, two par 4's and one par 3 in regulation.  It's tiresome playing FW all the time after a good drive.  Our Men's Club allows players to play from the White tees if your handicap + your age is 90+.  Assuming I can maintain the same index for 8 more years when I'm 83, I get to move to the senior tees (where I play now).  Of course, I can always just play worse and get there next year!!  😂

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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26 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

I have never liked a player's index as a measure of which tees to play.  It's the same here with our Men's Club and one reason why I don't play with them.  Not all high index players are short hitters, and not all short hitters are high index players.    Based on my index I should be playing the Blue tees (where the Men's Club plays and where I played for the past 7 years), but I cannot compete from there with others with the same or higher index because they outdrive me by 50-80 yards.  Into the wind I can't reach two par 5's, two par 4's and one par 3 in regulation.  It's tiresome playing FW all the time after a good drive.  Our Men's Club allows players to play from the White tees if your handicap + your age is 90+.  Assuming I can maintain the same index for 8 more years when I'm 83, I get to move to the senior tees (where I play now).  Of course, I can always just play worse and get there next year!!  😂

 

... Index, swing speed and age should all just be starting points. Exactly why I added "within your playable range."  I play with higher index guys all the time that drive it farther than I do. I have always felt the criteria for tees should be computed from the green backwards. What club do you have to hit most of the time to reach the green? Since most holes are designed for a specific approach shot, what tees you play are paramount to playing it the way it is designed.

... For instance, my old home course had a slightly uphill par 4 that is 340yds from the mens tees. A 90* dogleg left and a very deep bunker in front of a green that slopes back to front. Hitting in the front bunker with deep rough around the sand is almost a sure bogie. Hitting long leaves a very difficult downhill chip. Add to that the green is very narrow so a 2 club green depth at most. It is designed for a short iron approach. I played with way too many that had anything from a hybrid to fairway wood approach making the green almost impossible to hold. Moving up a tee box at 315yds would at least give them a mid iron in. But the 7th hole is 431 and all uphill so only one bunker to the left of the big green that allows you to roll the ball on with a fairway wood. Again, moving up to the next tees at 407yds gives shorter off the tee players a chance to roll on in 2. 

... I am a huge believer in combo tees and for many that means making your own. Just chart the course and pay attention to the hole and what kind of approach shot is required and then play the appropriate tee. Obviously a mens club could include combo's but of course most don't. 

 

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I play with a group of mostly retired guys.  We will have anywhere from 5 to 18 people on any given day.  We have a laptop with a program that randomly selects the teams and we play a modified Stableford system where everyone has a number of points to make based on historical play.  Everyone puts in $5 ($10 on holidays and weekends) and $2 for scats (the only birdie on a hole).  So the money is pretty small.  Everyone under 60 plays from the regular tees, everyone from 60 to 69 plays from the senior tees and everyone 70 and older plays from the front tees (ladies or beginner tees).  If your ego won't let you move up when the time comes, you are only hurting your team.  And a 70 year old has a much better chance of making birdies from the front tees than the senior tees.  All this is to say, start playing a team game that makes everyone's score count and I bet you'll find folks see the light.

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We have five sets of tees (back to front, Gold/7,005, Blue/6550, White/6150, Silver/5600, and Red/5200). There are also defined combo tees between every set of tee boxes (Red/Silver, Silver/White, White/Blue, and Blue/Gold). The most popular tees are by far the combo tees. I'm still happy to play Blue, Blue/White, or White, depending upon who I'm playing with, and the time of year (in the winter, we often have NEGATIVE roll, even on drivers....).

Creating these combos has taken a lot of pressure off of people who were playing too far back. We even contest our club championship from the Blue/Gold combo tees (we have some pretty good senior players who can still compete from 6850, but not from 7000+)

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I think gender bias greatly contributes to the issue.   Here's what's my guys see on the scorecard :

Hole                            1         2        3        4...18      Total Yardage

Blue                          399   378    335       ...           6565

Combo                     372    349   335       ...           6293

White                        372   349    307       ...           6026

Men's Handicap       3        7          9          ...

Bob                                                                                             

Charlie                                                                                        

Tim                                                                                             

Steve                                                                                          

Red                           334    319     283        ...          5286

Ladies Handicap      7          9        13          ...

So, according to the scorecard, the red tees are the ladies tees - period. The GM is a great guy.  I'm going to talk to him about it and ask for his advice.  Adding a set of senior tees would be great.  I'm not sure how feasible that would be. 

 

 

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On 11/21/2022 at 1:36 PM, Bulldog said:

I'm the coordinator of a golf group that plays once a week.  We have 18 guys in the group.  Most, including me, are retired and 65+.  Week play a local course three weeks in a row, then take field trip to other courses in the area on the fourth week.  

At our home course, there are three tee boxes - blue (6565 yards), white (6026 yards), and red (5286 yards). We play the white tees.  You know what's coming...  Some of the guys can hit drives in the 230 - 245 range (I'm fortunate to still being that group).  Some struggle to get 200 yards on their drives - let's call them limited hitters.  Golf can be frustrating, but it's especially hard when you have no chance of getting a green in regulation.  It also leads higher scores and to slower play.

Last winter, I broached the subject of changing tee boxes to make the game more enjoyable.  That conversation didn't get very far.  One week, on a windy day when the fairways were damp and soft, I said, "Let's play the red tees today."  So we did.  At the end of the round, the torches and pitchforks came out.  Some thought it was OK to play the red tees when the weather was bad, especially hitting into the wind on a long par 3, but several made it clear that they were not happy, including some of the limited hitters.  Over time, I kept chipping away at the issue and was able to convince the group that, at least, we should shorten two holes - a 402 yard par 4 and a 541 yard par 5.  So, now we play the red tees on those two holes. No complaints! So, I suggested playing a modified red/white tee box combo, but they said that would too confusing to keep track of on the course. 

So, here's my analysis - male ego.  The red tees are the "ladies tees".  So, do I continue on the quest to make golf fun again, or close my eyes when I see a 192 yard drive on a 395 yard par 4.  I have a few ideas to try, but maybe some of you have better suggestions.  

 

I basically ran into the same thing on loosing distance due to age and a back injury. My course has 5 sets of tees. We have Blue White Gold Green and Red. I had been playing the gold which are "age apporiate" for me at 5643 at sea level. I found I was hitting like a 7 wood into par 4s sometime a 3 wood into par 4s after a good drive. I had been playing the Super Senior green tees at 5120 at sea level with the persimmon woods and found out I was in better position there than with the modern from the gold tees. On 2 of our par 5s I could not hit the drive far enough to set my second shot over the hazard. Would have to lay up and have 160 165 into a par 4 for a 3rd shot. That is not fun IMHO. I started playing the Green Tees with the modern stuff and had more reasonable shots into greens with scoring opportunities. I talked to the owners of my course who are both PGAA pros and told them I was playing from the green tees from now on and if anyone objected I would no longer play the shootouts or 9 and dines. To put things in perspective I only hit a driver around 210 220 anymore and maybe 225 when I nut one. One of the guys produced a USGA chart reccomending yardages in relatonship to driver distance. My distance the reccomended yardage is 5320 so at sea level it levels out for me. My pros told me to play from the green tees if I desired and anyone with a problem should see them. Our membership is sorta tight knit and all the members know what I have went through and no one has a problem. We did have a question from an outsider the other week and one of my fellow members stepped in and told him that I was lucky to even be playing and not to worry about what I was doing. Most of the time if we have any problems it is caused by outside non members. My fellow member also told the guy if he was that serious that he should find another venue to play in and or keep his butt in North Myrtle Beach. I was going to quit until I was at least 70 and "eligible" to move to the green tees. But now I have ammo from both the USGA and PGAOA to support my decision not that I cared to begin with

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8 hours ago, Bulldog said:

I think gender bias greatly contributes to the issue.   Here's what's my guys see on the scorecard :

Hole                            1         2        3        4...18      Total Yardage

Blue                          399   378    335       ...           6565

Combo                     372    349   335       ...           6293

White                        372   349    307       ...           6026

Men's Handicap       3        7          9          ...

Bob                                                                                             

Charlie                                                                                        

Tim                                                                                             

Steve                                                                                          

Red                           334    319     283        ...          5286

Ladies Handicap      7          9        13          ...

So, according to the scorecard, the red tees are the ladies tees - period. The GM is a great guy.  I'm going to talk to him about it and ask for his advice.  Adding a set of senior tees would be great.  I'm not sure how feasible that would be. 

 

 

At your course, ladies cannot play from the white, combo, or blue tees? 😁

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Had they not stuck "Ladies" and "Seniors" labels on the tees and recommended tee boxes as per driving distance capabilities we would have less problems. Tee boxes have nothing to do with gender or age.

However, people will be the same in the fact that they don't want to admit or believe they can't hit the ball as far as they think or feel embarrassment moving forward.

Edited by Muckinfiddle
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Hate yourself, not the game...

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I'm 71 and golf was becoming less fun hitting from the whites so I had a little talk with myself and thought to put my ego aside and give the forward tees a try. That move changed my entire outlook on the game and my abilities. This forward tee move persuaded my playing partner to move as well but it took him awhile to move forward but we shaved several strokes off our scores and made this great game a whole lotta fun again. I strongly suggest you take the steps forward and once your buddies see your scores go down and how much fun you're having maybe they'll toss their egos aside too. Good luck and enjoy the game again.

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This is very good discussion. We have 5 set of tees at my home club and we do not call red tees as ladies tees, just Red Tees. Many Seniors enjoy playing from it. I'm 61 with HC of +1 and I play mostly from white tees but will play from blues or gold tees if my playing partners wishes. I did shoot some outrageous scores(a 60 & couple 61's) from Red tees that was fun though. I don't care which tees as long as golf is enjoyable. My drives carries around 250-260 yds.

Blues 6950, Whites 6250, Gold 5600, Reds 5300, Lavender(for Senior Ladies) 4700.

Yes, I do see few golfers that has a big "Male Ego" that refuses to move up. They often tend to bog down the pace of play.

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I'm 65 and have some back issues. Rather than quit, I moved up a set of tees. My average drive now is about 192 total. I read on this website named milesofgolf.com how you can decide what set of tees you should be playing from. The formula is your average drive x 28. So 192x28=5376 yards. So I play the tees that are the closest to that. I'm having FUN again, which is what you're supposed to be doing when playing golf, and I'm also scoring well again… why? Because I'm playing the appropriate set of tees. In my foursome we have a young man who, I'm not kidding, gets it out there 300-315 yards regularly and somewhat accurately, he plays from the back tees, another gent who plays from the middle tees who hits it around the 230-240. I play from the tees one set back from the forward tees (5500 yards). We always have competitive matches because we all play from the right tees according to our distances. It's nothing but vanity that keeps us from playing the right set of tees. In my opinion I think getting rid of the gold and red tees and making them different colors would help psychologically reset golfers minds and make playing the forward tees more palatable. Perhaps you can share that milesofgolf.com website to your members and seeing the formula for the proper distance will give them a valid reason to go their appropriate tees. Good luck spreading the word! 

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Why does everyone have to play from the same tees?   That's why you have handicaps, to offset things like that.  As long as each player consistently plays from the same tees, the handicap will even things out.

We have a group of about 30 or 40.  Our course has 4 sets of tee boxes (blue, white, yellow, and red), and generally where you tee from is based on age.  I'm over 70, so I go from the yellow, over 80 goes from the red.  Some guys have moved-up earlier than their age would normally dictate because of some physical issues; they may have a slight handicap advantage for a couple of weeks, but that goes away pretty soon.

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Yes, we old guys need to get over it. Recently a few courses in my area have recolored the tees; so what were the white tees, now are the blue tees - it seems to work on a lot of people. This is the opposite of 25 years ago when blue tees were recolored to white tees. Moving to forward tees does create a new set of problems, like bunkers and hazards that were not in play before coming into play. Shorter may not be easier until you learn the lines.

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The tee problem with your group is very simple to solve.  The general rule of thumb (and they should make it mandatory), is NO ONE plays from the Blue Tees unless there handicap is 10 or under!  If your buddies were actually good golfers (I mean knowledgeable), they would already be abiding by this unwritten rule (which used to be posted on some courses on the first tee box).  End of story, end of discussion.

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