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The Fallacy Of Gold Tees


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12 hours ago, saevel25 said:

I feel like that is a unique case to your area. In Ohio, you can see a tangible difference in tee selection. We don’t have courses with a lot of required tee shot landing area.

You may be right, but I do know some friends in Louisville, Ky, where I grew up, who feel the same way as I do. That's sort of why I started this thread to ask. One fact was brought up that I felt was sorta of a key...

I think that key might be the age of the course. The courses around here are pretty old and weren't designed with senior tees in mind. So, all they could do is stick them in the ground somewhere. Most seem to choose putting them near the white tees instead of closer to the reds.

Secondly is a matter of money. I do know one course near Orlando that went through the actual construction of new tee boxes to install senior tees. Imagine the money that cost... The private owner of Killian Greens or the county, that owns Palmetto, aren't as likely to spend that money.

In the case of Killian Greens, the course closest to me, the difference between white and gold tees was only 230 yards total over 18 holes on the day we measured. (Measured by GPS) About 40 yards of that is on one hole.

Palmetto, the course near me, is an older course and they can't help the fact that lakes and water management canals are in play on 14 holes. More than anywhere I know, the gold tees are of no benefit at all. Like I said originally, there's not a single tee shot that allows you to hit over a hazard, where from a white tee you would play short. I don't have a card here to photograph and show you all the map, but I'll see if I can get one over the weekend.

Best wishes to everyone for a great weekend! Fairways & Greens!!!

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Having tried that recently, I found myself in the lake and sand traps that I couldn't reach from the white tees on some of the par 4's. It was a little confusing to me, but still enjoyed the round. I'll stick with the white tees for now.

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I played today at a course (Devils Ridge, Metamora, MI) with four different unique tee boxes.   It something rare in my area.  I played with an older couple and the three of us each played from different tees and the distances were pretty appropriate.      

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Here's the thing. If, at my age which is 66, you can still hit the ball as far as you did in your 20's, play the blues! If you can only hit it as far as you did in your 40's, play the whites! If you hit the ball as far as most mid 60's players do who weren't former PGA pros, play the golds! 

It took me a couple of years to talk my buddy into playing them, because he was doing the typical male thing. Fooling himself. He thought he was still cranking Drivers out there 260-270, but it was more like 220-230! Long par 4's began to play like par 5's! 

Once we moved up a tee box, golf became much more fun, and much less a slug fest! The only complaint I might have is with some older courses which were designed with only blue, white, and red tees in mind. It's asking them to spend money to design specific tee boxes for Seniors, and many refuse to do so. At least around here. What they do is cram the Senior tees right in behind the lady's teed on their tee box! 

I don't like that! It doesn't give the women very much advantage. I don't hit the ball very long anymore, but I can still hit it a lot longer than a woman my age! 

I don't care if the course builds a special tee box for Seniors. Just find a place and mow it close. Put a couple of golf tee markers there. We'll play it. 

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Our gold tees are in front of the women's tees.  A short driving woman should also be playing the gold. They have course and slope ratings for both sexes for white, red, and gold. 

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16 minutes ago, geo63 said:

Our gold tees are in front of the women's tees.  A short driving woman should also be playing the gold. They have course and slope ratings for both sexes for white, red, and gold. 

Interesting... That's the first time I've heard of that.

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10 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

The only complaint I might have is with some older courses which were designed with only blue, white, and red tees in mind. It's asking them to spend money to design specific tee boxes for Seniors, and many refuse to do so. At least around here. What they do is cram the Senior tees right in behind the lady's teed on their tee box! 

That's precisely what my home courses have done. In fact, a lot of older scorecard references don't even list the golds. None the less, I find the golds to be a significant difference when I play them.

On that note, I'm really happy the club championship is done and over. No more reason to kill myself on Kittyhawk's white tees. Will be very nice to start hitting some 8-I and 9-I shots into greens.

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26 minutes ago, geo63 said:

Our gold tees are in front of the women's tees.  A short driving woman should also be playing the gold. They have course and slope ratings for both sexes for white, red, and gold. 

Interesting, every course around here has the women's\red tees forward of the senior's\gold tees. It does make sense to have handicaps for everyone for every tee, could help take some of the stigma away from moving up for those that need it. I have kicked around the idea of moving forward when I practice, but length isn't really an issue for me so moving forward wouldn't really be beneficial. I actually prefer moving back because it helps me learn to use longer irons for approach shots and par 3s. I wouldn't play back if in a group that were all playing forward, and I also wouldn't play back if I was having an exceptionally bad day off the tee. I think it's good to play different tees, either forward or back, when playing your main course so that you can mix things up and have different shots/distances into greens.

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1 hour ago, geo63 said:

Our gold tees are in front of the women's tees.  A short driving woman should also be playing the gold. They have course and slope ratings for both sexes for white, red, and gold. 

'super seniors' maybe ?

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My old home course in PA had 6 sets of tees and did not really breakdown between men and women except for the red tees, which were fifth of the sixth.   The sixth set were juniors or beginners.

If you were a woman who hit the ball further than a casual player, then you most likely were playing the fourth or third set of tees.  Men technically had 4 sets of tees, but it was strictly by distance, and how far you hit the ball.   And they had hybrid tees of different sets of tees for people in-between, so it cut out some of the trouble if you were struggling on the higher set.

It was very smart, and I don't see many courses doing that.    We had a number of women who played from the third set in, and a couple who could play from the first/second set.   Also some older gentlemen who played from the fourth.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/15/2019 at 8:36 AM, DennisMiller said:

Interesting... That's the first time I've heard of that.

Same here! I have never seen that in my life. There is one course where they have a set of silver tees out in front of the ladies. I don't know if they are for super seniors or for kids.  

On 8/15/2019 at 10:18 AM, burr said:

'super seniors' maybe ?

My buddy mentioned the other day, "Where are the 'Senior women's' tees!"  Pretty soon we're going to need about a dozen tee boxes per hole! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m 65 and drive about 225. I have really enjoyed golf more since I started using the senior tees. I now get to use all my clubs again. Who wants to hit hybrids and fairway woods into par fours. Move to the senior tees and shine up the 8 and 9 iron.

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On 8/4/2019 at 12:47 PM, DennisMiller said:

I guess gold tees forward of the so called member's white tees are a recent thing for players in my age group... (70 yrs old)

Has anyone actually benefited from playing gold tees?  I tried them on 4 different courses around the Miami area, but found while the course was shorter, in most cases, I still had to play the same shots into greens. In other words, I still had to play short of the same hazards that I did from white tees. Instead of hitting driver, I might have had to hit a 3 wood or a hybrid. I've never found one case when I could effectively hit my tee shot over the hazard I used to play short of.

I've gone back to playing the white tees...

Anyone else?

The hazard placement might be intentional. How far do you hit driver? I've found that from the whites (regular casual tees), most hazards that are meant to get in the way (fairway bunkers, lateral water hazards starting point, etc.) tend to be in the 230-260 yard range to clear, depending on the hole. If you play from the senior tees, they tend to be 200-230 to clear. I guess what I am getting at, is that if your driver carries 230, you kind of land in that in between slot from the golds, which is exactly what the course design intendeds. Ideally, the hazards are still in play from all tee boxes if people are playing appropriate tees. The course is generally supposed to offer a challenge, not just get easier as you move up.

Obviously if you are someone that is hitting 260 yard plus carry on the driver, and you move up, those hazards generally aren't in play at all. Ever notice how on the PGA tour there is generally a tough spot right where the pros land driver? I would bet, that on those courses from the regular and senior tees, those same hazards effect the players that are playing the appropriate tees.

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On 9/16/2019 at 9:41 PM, Bonvivant said:

The hazard placement might be intentional. How far do you hit driver? I've found that from the whites (regular casual tees), most hazards that are meant to get in the way (fairway bunkers, lateral water hazards starting point, etc.) tend to be in the 230-260 yard range to clear, depending on the hole. If you play from the senior tees, they tend to be 200-230 to clear.

I hit my driver between 200-220 usually. The 10% difference is a matter that I haven't been hitting the ball so consistently lately, but I'd say I'm usually good for 200-210 yards.

The problem as I see it, after reading a lot of this thread and talking with friends near my age here locally is this. We're playing on courses that are pretty old, so they weren't designed with even a glimmer of thought about gold tees in mind. They didn't put the hazards in positions with any thought that someday, an older generation would have forward tees and wish to avoid the hazards to some extent.

So, as long as I continue to play those courses, playing the gold tees would mean still playing short of a hazard with less than driver and still having the same second shot over the hazard as I would hitting driver from the white tees.

In other words, there is no immediate cure and I need to point out it can't be helped. These design issues usually have to do with the Florida Water Management Authority canals. When there are storms, they open gates in dams that let water into the Everglades or out to sea, whichever makes the most sense. These canals are a sophisticated design that protects our neighborhoods from flooding, so there's no way they could ever be moved for the sake of one generation of old golfers.

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We just returned from road trip where I played on a dozen or so different courses. For the life of me, I can't remember seeing any gold tees. Bandon may of had some. Maybe they used another color. . 

Most of the courses I played, had just blue, white, and red tee boxes. With almost all of them, there was just a few feet difference separating them.

Usually I just look for the 6500+/- yardage tee colors on the score card, and go from there. 

Alot of courses are not boldly colored, except for signage on a pole, listing the yardages.. Tee boxes are sometimes just marked by big rocks, all the same color. That 6500+/- yardage, is what I play at my home course.  . 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Courses, and players, need to stop associating the tee color with gender or age. The reds are ladies, golds are seniors, etc. Its all bs. I know plenty of guys over 60 that are single digits and can carry their driver 260. Look at the yardage, think of your handicap, and pick a tee that way. Not every course has their tips be blue anyways. Their tips may be black, the next tee up is blue, then white. That's why I like when courses number the tees or name them. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/10/2019 at 12:51 PM, dagogolfer25 said:

Courses, and players, need to stop associating the tee color with gender or age. The reds are ladies, golds are seniors, etc. Its all bs. I know plenty of guys over 60 that are single digits and can carry their driver 260. Look at the yardage, think of your handicap, and pick a tee that way. Not every course has their tips be blue anyways. Their tips may be black, the next tee up is blue, then white. That's why I like when courses number the tees or name them. 

Uh, why? The fact that, or not, that you know those people, means nothing at all! That's what the rest of us of are doing out here! We look at our games and pick our tees accordingly! 

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