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Reconciling moving tee markers with handicap scoring

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I am a relative newbie to the game so apologies if this is a basic question/s. I searched for clues on it but could not find much info.

When entering your score into a handicap system, you need to also specify the tees that were used (back, middle, or front). The slope/rating for each is different and therefore has an impact. As an example,  a par-3 hole distance for the middle-tees is listed on the scorecard as 207. The distance for the back tees on that same hole is listed as 233. I believe that these distances are measured from the ‘plates’ in the tee area ground to the ‘center’ of the green (generally speaking)?

So when the tee markers are moved around and not aligned with the ‘plates’, is that so they will derive the same expected distance (for the given tees) based on flag/hole location movement? So in other words using the example above, would the distance between the middle tees and the flag be 207 and the back tees and the flag be 233? Yesterday I played a course where on several holes the middle and back tee markers were together. That would seem to contradict the above assumption. Also, if the middle/back are teeing off from same spot, then how is this reflected when entering the score (per above). The total distance difference between middle and back tees (according to the score card) is supposed to be ~600 yards…?

Thanks in advance for feedback on this..

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I am a relative newbie to the game so apologies if this is a basic question/s. I searched for clues on it but could not find much info.

When entering your score into a handicap system, you need to also specify the tees that were used (back, middle, or front). The slope/rating for each is different and therefore has an impact. As an example,  a par-3 hole distance for the middle-tees is listed on the scorecard as 207. The distance for the back tees on that same hole is listed as 233. I believe that these distances are measured from the ‘plates’ in the tee area ground to the ‘center’ of the green (generally speaking)?

So when the tee markers are moved around and not aligned with the ‘plates’, is that so they will derive the same expected distance (for the given tees) based on flag/hole location movement? So in other words using the example above, would the distance between the middle tees and the flag be 207 and the back tees and the flag be 233? Yesterday I played a course where on several holes the middle and back tee markers were together. That would seem to contradict the above assumption. Also, if the middle/back are teeing off from same spot, then how is this reflected when entering the score (per above). The total distance difference between middle and back tees (according to the score card) is supposed to be ~600 yards…?

Thanks in advance for feedback on this..

A "properly" set up course keeps approximately the same total yardage as stated on the card for each set.  Sometimes that means lengthening one hole to compensate for shortening another one.  My home course does it as recommended - that is, they move the tee up in the box when the hole is cut toward the back of the green, and the move the tee back when the hole is front.

Some variability is irrelevant, since 100 or so yards plus or minus from the card yardage won't change the rating.

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Yeah usually close to card yardage and typically staggered. Pretty much a necessity to keep the boxes in decent condition. However I have seen a few courses that were really far off. A popular course here usually plays quite a bit shorter than card yardage and I have no doubt it's and deliberate attempt to speed up the pace of play.

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Yeah usually close to card yardage and typically staggered. Pretty much a necessity to keep the boxes in decent condition. However I have seen a few courses that were really far off. A popular course here usually plays quite a bit shorter than card yardage and I have no doubt it's and deliberate attempt to speed up the pace of play.

Not only to speed play, but also to fool the players into thinking that they are playing the full length rather than being honest and publicizing what they are doing.  I've known a few courses which don't seem to care what the card says, they just set the course up with no plan.

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Not only to speed play, but also to fool the players into thinking that they are playing the full length rather than being honest and publicizing what they are doing.  I've known a few courses which don't seem to care what the card says, they just set the course up with no plan.

Riverdale was honest about it when I asked. They had the gold tee markers pulled with "tee closed" signs on the boxes. Both the whites and blues were significantly shorter than card yardage. Slow play can be a problem there. It's the closest course to me and I rarely go. Shame because it's a cool course.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Not only to speed play, but also to fool the players into thinking that they are playing the full length rather than being honest and publicizing what they are doing.  I've known a few courses which don't seem to care what the card says, they just set the course up with no plan.

Riverdale was honest about it when I asked. They had the gold tee markers pulled with "tee closed" signs on the boxes. Both the whites and blues were significantly shorter than card yardage. Slow play can be a problem there. It's the closest course to me and I rarely go. Shame because it's a cool course.

Yes it's a nice one.  I played it at least once almost every year from the year it opened.  I have a good friend who designed and made the sign for the Dunes course, and part of the deal he worked for payment was a break on green fees for several years.  We generally went together once a year - from unincorporated south Jeffco to the Adams County Fairgrounds is an hour drive on a good day, so I didn't do it often.

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A "properly" set up course keeps approximately the same total yardage as stated on the card for each set.  Sometimes that means lengthening one hole to compensate for shortening another one.  My home course does it as recommended - that is, they move the tee up in the box when the hole is cut toward the back of the green, and the move the tee back when the hole is front.

Some variability is irrelevant, since 100 or so yards plus or minus from the card yardage won't change the rating.


Thanks for your response. If I am following correctly, the "total" yardage when it is all said and done should be fairly close to the total on the scorecard (for those tees). Regardless if on several holes there is no distance difference between middle and back tees (tee markers together for those holes).

It sounds like my other assumption that the "207" distance or "233" distance are maintained may not be necessarily true though. In other words the distance number on the scorecard does not equate to the distance between the tee-marker and the flag?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

A "properly" set up course keeps approximately the same total yardage as stated on the card for each set.  Sometimes that means lengthening one hole to compensate for shortening another one.  My home course does it as recommended - that is, they move the tee up in the box when the hole is cut toward the back of the green, and the move the tee back when the hole is front.

Some variability is irrelevant, since 100 or so yards plus or minus from the card yardage won't change the rating.

Thanks for your response. If I am following correctly, the "total" yardage when it is all said and done should be fairly close to the total on the scorecard (for those tees). Regardless if on several holes there is no distance difference between middle and back tees (tee markers together for those holes).

It sounds like my other assumption that the "207" distance or "233" distance are maintained may not be necessarily true though. In other words the distance number on the scorecard does not equate to the distance between the tee-marker and the flag?

There is certainly no Rule that would make such a thing necessary, but that would be a course I wouldn't play again if I didn't like how they were setting it up.  If they are truly messing with the course to the extent that the rating is going to invalid and your handicap will be adversely affected, then then I'd ask if there was an unpublished rating for way the course was set up.  If not then I wouldn't return a score if I thought that it would impact my handicap.

I can't imagine having to play a course which set up a par 3 hole at 233 yards when I planned my round based on the card telling me that the longest par 3 was 207.  For me, 207 would be the longest I'd consider, and I'd be more than a bit upset to find that they had gotten that free with the setup.

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My home course does it as recommended - that is, they move the tee up in the box when the hole is cut toward the back of the green, and the move the tee back when the hole is front.

Hmmm, I think if I played one course often, I'd hope they would go against this recommendation and be more creative.  I get that they have to keep the overall yardage the same, but I'd prefer more variation in the individual holes.  It would be OK if they occasionally made that Par 3 play 250, and other days 175.  On those respective days the following par 5 that says 520 on the card can be 470 and then 560.

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The course he's talking about is older without enough room to accommodate a 75 yard change. At least that is the way it was when I was there years ago. Here some of the new courses have as many 5-6 tees with combo ratings for those wanting to mix it up. But they typically don't vary hole lengths that much. The span at our course is 10-15 yards of the plaques at the most. But they don't move the markers up if the hole is cut back and vice versa, it appears random with regard to length and just an effort to allow tee boxes to heal. The markers are always on the same box.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

My home course does it as recommended - that is, they move the tee up in the box when the hole is cut toward the back of the green, and the move the tee back when the hole is front.

Hmmm, I think if I played one course often, I'd hope they would go against this recommendation and be more creative.  I get that they have to keep the overall yardage the same, but I'd prefer more variation in the individual holes.  It would be OK if they occasionally made that Par 3 play 250, and other days 175.  On those respective days the following par 5 that says 520 on the card can be 470 and then 560.

If I ever saw a 250 yard par 3 I'd never play that course again. :blink: That said, I'm also not interested in a 250 yard par 4.  For me, a course has a lot more than just length to make it fun to play.

I played the same course as my home course (not exclusively) for nearly 30 years, but I never played 2 rounds that I could identify as being very similar.  I watched the course grow from a muni built on a tight budget in 1972 (I first played there in 1975) to a really pleasant parkland course that gives players good variety with reasonable playability.  The greens offer a decent challenge without being convoluted.  Bunkers are well placed but also aren't a dominant feature on the course.  Trees are situated where they will confound the errant shot but the course is not cut out of the primeval forest (this was once just high prairie).  Water is in play on 8 holes, but it won't bring on an attack of hydrophobia.  Holes play to just about every point on the compass, so you get wind from all directions during a round.  This is the layout from Google Earth.

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As others have indicated, the reality is that the total course length needs to be close to the rated length - the length of individual holes can and should be varied to create a course at the rated length.  Most courses have a front, center and back rotation of hole locations on greens - the average of front, center, back is center, so the hole locations for the day is irrelevant for the yardage, the difference can only originate from the tee locations versus the "plates", the starting measuring point.  The course should be set up so that the distance from tee markers to plates is close to zero.  This means that you can be shorter ( a minus number) on several holes but would need to longer (a positive number) on several holes to make the total of plus and minus close to zero.

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As others have indicated, the reality is that the total course length needs to be close to the rated length - the length of individual holes can and should be varied to create a course at the rated length.  Most courses have a front, center and back rotation of hole locations on greens - the average of front, center, back is center, so the hole locations for the day is irrelevant for the yardage, the difference can only originate from the tee locations versus the "plates", the starting measuring point.  The course should be set up so that the distance from tee markers to plates is close to zero.  This means that you can be shorter ( a minus number) on several holes but would need to longer (a positive number) on several holes to make the total of plus and minus close to zero.


Thanks again for clarifying this. I guess one of may takeaways from this is not to pay TOO much attention to the listed scorecard distance for individual holes. It's only a starting reference point. I played at a course today that had special signs on many of the tees with exact tee-to-flag distances listed for each tee (as they were set up today). Have not seen that before. Since I don't use a range finder, this was helpful to know..

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