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Back or Front Tees in a Handicap Tournament?

Back tees or front tees in a handicap tournament?  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. What tees would you play in a tournament?

    • Back tees with a 12 handicap (7078 yds, 72.1/134)
      2
    • Front tees with a 8 handicap (5434 yds, 68.8/121)
      19


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Back tees with a 12 handicap (7078 yds, 72.1/134)

or

Front tees with a 8 handicap (5434 yds, 68.8/121)

  • Tournament round in a field of 80
  • individual stroke play
  • skins (gross birdies and net birdies)
  • closest to the pins on par 3's

Playing in a handicapped tournament, I was wondering what tees would have the best advantage.  Which tees do you think would result in the better score?

My opinion, I think playing the front tees would reward with better chances for skins and closest to the pins.  It would allow me to go for all the par 5's as well.  Overall scoring might be at a disadvantage because you only score as good as your scoring clubs.  So I would favor the front tees.

I've always played the back tees, but would play the middle tees with others for company on the box.  But I was wondering if anyone has ever played the front tees and found themselves able to bring their handicap down significantly because of that.

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Neither.  Too long and too short.

There’s not a set of middle tees in the 6,400 range?  

FWIW, my club doesn’t give a choice.  Unless you voluntarily flight up to a higher flight, you must play the tees that you most often play.  As evidenced by your GHIN postings.   The reasoning is exactly as you mentioned. It’s completely unfair for people to be competing in a skins game from 5400 yards and they are capable of playing from over 7000… 

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Quote

Neither.  Too long and too short. 

There’s not a set of middle tees in the 6,400 range?

There is, but I'm not really asking what you currently play.  I'm more interested in which of these tees would produce the best advantage, as if one is definitely better than the other.

Quote

FWIW, my club doesn’t give a choice.  Unless you voluntarily flight up to a higher flight, you must play the tees that you most often play.  As evidenced by your GHIN postings.   The reasoning is exactly as you mentioned. It’s completely unfair for people to be competing in a skins game from 5400 yards and they are capable of playing from over 7000… 

Yes, I'm thinking I need to ask our league to mandate specific tees people should play from.  We have 3 flights which are all based on handicaps. 

I've played the 6000 tees before and I feel more at ease.  When I play the back tees I always feel I have to give it extra.  I think that affects how I play throughout the round.

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We never get a choice either.

My Association tees off everyone under 60 years from the Whites (Regulars), 60-80 on the Golds (senior) and 80-and-over on the Reds (Ladies). Nobody plays from the tips.

Given that one of our courses is over 6700 from the whites, I always thought it would be more humane to allow us hacks to go off the golds. But that's how they do it.

 

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45 minutes ago, edomingox said:

Back tees with a 12 handicap (7078 yds, 72.1/134)

or

Front tees with a 8 handicap (5434 yds, 68.8/121)

I would gladly give up 4 handicap strokes if it meant I got to play on a course that is 1600 yds shorter. That's a no brainer IMO.

I don't really see what the advantage would be of playing the 7,000 yd tees. Yes your score would be 4 strokes lower, but each hole would be on average 88 yds longer.

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30 minutes ago, edomingox said:

There is, but I'm not really asking what you currently play.  I'm more interested in which of these tees would produce the best advantage, as if one is definitely better than the other.

Easy.  The best advantage would be for someone who’s capable of playing from 7,000 yards to play from 5,400 and give up 4 strokes.  So much so that, if they’re given the choice, I’d be surprised if the entire field didn’t opt to play from the forward tees.

 

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I have always taken a stand on events where all players play from the same tees.
When you have seniors also playing, they should play at forward tees. (strokes are adjusted as per USGA guidelines)

Since the OP wants suggestions on a diff of playing the long course versus short course.
Yes a player has an advantage when players are playing a short course over the players at the long course.
Yes a players handicap will go lower when playing a short course.
Yes a players score will be lower a majority of the time (pending on course difficulty)

Allowing players to play forward without guidelines creates animosity of the field of players. 

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I think the math is faulty.  Someone with a 6.8 index playing a set of tees with a 134 slope would be an "8".  The same person would be a "7" on the forward tees with a 121 slope.  If the field is playing mixed tees, then anyone playing the Forward tees loses 3 handicap strokes (72.1 - 68.8 = 3.3 rounded to 3) or the players on the Back gets 3 more strokes (USGA Section 3-5). 

Back to the question, "What tees would you play in a tournament?", I would play the Forward tees because they are closer to what I normally play than the Back yardage.  Ultimately, I might not play in an event that only gave me those two choices.

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With skins (for birdies) and closest to the pin on par 3s involved, its a no-brainer to play the forward tees.  Whether it will do much to a player's total net score depends on the strengths of each individual player, and the design of the golf course.

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I'd play the front tees with the 8 HC. At 7000 yds, I'm pretty sure those extra 1600 yds would add up to far more than 4 strokes over the course of a round. 

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All our senior tournaments are played at 6600+/- yards.

We let the young men play the 7000 yard stuff, and the ladies play the 5000 yard stuff. 

In answer to the OP's question, with my hndcp, I would play the 7000 yard course.  

Edited by Patch

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13 hours ago, Patch said:

In answer to the OP's question, with my hndcp, I would play the 7000 yard course.  

Why would you play the 7000 yard course when you have the option to play the 5400 yd course which would give you much better opportunities for skins and closest to the pin not to mention the likelihood that you would shoot a lower score?

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Because some people think they're macho when they play further back.

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2 hours ago, klineka said:

Why would you play the 7000 yard course when you have the option to play the 5400 yd course which would give you much better opportunities for skins and closest to the pin not to mention the likelihood that you would shoot a lower score?

 

1 hour ago, TRUCKER said:

Because some people think they're macho when they play further back.

Or they like giving me their money!   :-D

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4 hours ago, klineka said:

Why would you play the 7000 yard course when you have the option to play the 5400 yd course which would give you much better opportunities for skins and closest to the pin not to mention the likelihood that you would shoot a lower score?

At our course the womens' tees are at 5200-5400 yards. I am not that old yet, to want to play from those shorter tees.. Call it my latent, male ego if you wish. 

Also on a 5400 yard course the other players would have the same advantage for those skins, and cttp awards. The shorter course would bring more players into play for those awards. There would be less competition for me on the longer course.

 Plus, I would most likely shoot the same score regardless of which yardages I played. Just the way my game plays out.n

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6 minutes ago, Patch said:

Plus, I would most likely shoot the same score regardless of which yardages I played. Just the way my game plays out.n

I find this really hard to believe. I would bet a good chunk of money that if you played 50 rounds from 5400 yds and 50 rounds from 7000 yds, your average score would be lower from 5400 yds

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Hands down the shorter course.  Unless the course design is set up in such a way that the front tees are a lot harder (unlikely but not impossible) the lesser distance makes the game easier.  You can hit shorter clubs for every shot, and most golfers are more accurate with the shorter clubs than the longer clubs. Plus the yardage difference is quite a bit for only 4 strokes.  The only people who would and perhaps should pick the back tees are ones who are long and accurate with their driver and woods/hybrids

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Would play the shorter course yardage by far, especially if there is closest to the pins.  Skins in my experience tends to favor the lucky.

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