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dagolfer18

Forward Tees At Your Home Course

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I’m planning on playing tomorrow, and I may or may not decide to play the front tees, just to do something different. That got me thinking: have you ever played the forward tees at your home course? If so, how was it? What were the major differences between them and the tees you normally play?

I’ve played the front tees on a few occasions, all in team practices. We played the back nine from the red tees once my freshman year, and I shot 46. This past season, we played holes 1, 2 and 9 where we played two-man teams, worst shot scramble from the reds. That was one of my favorite things we did during practice. We also did a 6-hole competition, playing the aforementioned loop twice. I shot +3, which was only two off the winning score.

In terms of differences, it’s about a thousand-yard difference between the whites and reds (6063 white, 5044 red). Although it doesn’t make a huge difference on a lot of the holes, it will take a club or two off my approach, which is good because I’m usually stronger with the shorter irons.

No. 4, Par 5. 345 red compared to 478 white. Although I don’t have to hit over the lake with the tee shot, I would still need to worry about trees on the right, OB left, and a bunker about 220 from the red tee. In a way, it may be a tougher hole from the reds than the whites because of how precise the tee shot has to be. In home matches here, we’ll sometimes play this hole from the reds, as a par 4. 

No. 9, Par 5. 372 red compared to 442 white. Dogleg left hole, with a bunker at the corner of the dogleg. You can easily carry that bunker from the red tees, while shorter hitters need a good drive to get past it from the whites.

No. 13, Par 4. This one is huge. 300 red compared to 421 white. A very tough par 4 from any tee but the reds. Still no pushover at 300 yards, but you can hit a 200-yard tee shot and it won’t hurt you at all. The same length tee shot from the whites will leave you with a difficult downhill lie for your second shot, so you need at least 220 or 230 from back there.

No. 16, Par 5. 465 red compared to 523 white. From the white tees, the hole goes gradually downhill after the bunker on the right, which is 240 out. Most of my drives are a little bit short of that trap. From the reds, I can probably land my tee shot on that slope and get a bit of extra roll, leaving me 220, at most, into the green with a well-struck drive.

No. 17, Par 4. Another huge difference. 256 red compared to 355 white. Not a tough hole from any tee box, but the reds make this a definite birdie opportunity, since I can get close to or on the putting surface with my tee shot. Because the hole is a dogleg, it’s probably only 240 or so on a straight line. I’ve driven the green before.

No. 18, Par 3. Only 94 red compared to 157 white. This epic finishing hole has you hitting over a lake. It’s a mid or long iron from the back two tees, but only a wedge from the front two tees, meaning it’s an easier shot for me.

If I play the reds, I think I could shoot low 80s, maybe high 70s if I have my A-game.

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I play the forward tee at my club at 5900yd/73.3/140. My husband usually plays the regular tees at 6900yd/72.2/142. He played the forward tees a few times and he did not find it any easier nor did he magically shave off strokes to break 80 (he is normally in the mid/high 80s). He was disappointed because he expected a shorter course to be easier but it required him to use clubs that he normally wouldn’t  use and he got into hazards that normally weren’t in play. Eventhough he was playing the same course, teeing forward was a completely different game for him.

I have played at my previous club a few times - forward tee was 5100yd/68.4/127. I expected to play better but didn’t for the same reasons as my husband.

Edited by FlyingAce

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I usually play the 5700 yd tees. I tried my old course at 5200 yds and played my 6i off the tee just to make sure I was in the short grass on every tee shot. I could have played bomb and gouge, but I was waiting for a lesson with my driver. I really didn't score any better. Golf is hard. I did have a 9 hole stretch of +7. It seems I usually get one of those. I just wish I could hold that for the entire round. Alas I need a new spine.

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I play a combination of tees depending on the hole. If a par 5 is 475 from white and under 400 from forward tee I’d play the longer one to make it more of a 3 shot hole. When I look at a hole I decided knowing how far I hit the ball so I’m hitting a 8 or less iron into a par 4 and not 3 woods. It makes the game a lot more fun for me. 

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Lately, I've been playing with some older guys from the gold (senior) tees at Miami Shores instead of the white (regular) tees. Lately, I've adopted a much more casual approach to the game after some very serious struggles the past couple of years, so I figure why not.

It's a pretty substantial difference with the whites at 6068 and the golds at a mere 5313. Basically, it all boils down to whether I hit a half-decent tee shot or not. That has been the biggest problem for me lately. A good drive from the golds and I'm hitting 9I or wedge into the green. Otherwise, it's the usual banging balls out of trees that ruins holes from any distance.

It does make for a somewhat faster round traffic permitting, so I've enjoyed it.

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12 hours ago, dagolfer18 said:

...have you ever played the forward tees at your home course? If so, how was it? What were the major differences between them and the tees you normally play?

I have not played the Forward tees at my home course.  We have played the forward and/or senior tees a few times in 2020.  Recently I played a couple Tournament rounds from forward tees (two different courses with par 71/70, about 5,200 yards with a Men's course rating/slope around 65.0/113).  The round at Fox Creek, tee to green was excellent and I rolled the putts well for a 72 (6.3 differential). The next day at Whispering Willows, I had a few loose shots and 4 more putts for an 80 (16.1 differential). 

Having played both courses at yardages around 6,100 yards, the differences are about what one might expect.  Off the tee there are a number of holes with doglegs or penalty areas that require shorter but still accurate tee shots. Other holes allow one to hit as far as possible.  For a long hitter driving some par 4 greens is possible and all the par 5's are potentially reachable.  Almost every approach shot is with a much more lofted club.  Errant shots still find trouble, just closer to the green.  One typically will hit more greens in regulation and on average be closer to the hole.

What I found was every bogey is magnified.  At 5,200 yards one needs to make pars and birdies to have any hope of shooting a differential under one's index.  If one is not putting decently or a bit loose tee to green, one is going to embarrass oneself [see Day 2 above 😉].

Edited by bkuehn1952

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I've played the forward tees at my home course a few times. It's a good change of pace and good practice. It can also be a good confidence booster, to know that you can mentally can break through those barriers you set for yourself. I would like to do it more often, but I don't get to golf enough to make me feel like I can do much practice like that on the course.

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I've recently had a desire to play the front tees from time to time when I'm out alone and just looking to do something different.  I typically play from 6418 yards (69.5/130) but the forward tees are just 5223 yards (63.7/107).  My goal is to shoot even par from those tees... then (if I ever achieve that) move back another set and see how close I can get to par.  I've only played 2 full rounds from those tees and my scores have been 82 (+11) and 78 (+7) in those rounds.  

For the most part... it just makes the course shorter where I play.  There are a few holes where I need to hit less than I'd hit from my tees just to avoid hazards, but... that only comes in to play on maybe 4 of the holes.  It gives me a lot of practice with my wedges, which helps my overall game as well, so... I look at it as a sort of drill.  

CY

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At my most regular course the back tees I play are 6013 (par 70 / 68.8/114). The next tees up (Yellow) are 5472 (70 / 66.1 / 110). I play the Yellow tees occasionally to prepare for a senior event. These tees are supposed to play 3 strokes easier - I find that I average about two strokes better. 

3 hours ago, bkuehn1952 said:

What I found was every bogey is magnified.  At 5,200 yards one needs to make pars and birdies to have any hope of shooting a differential under one's index.  If one is not putting decently or a bit loose tee to green, one is going to embarrass oneself [see Day 2 above 😉].

Completely agree with @bkuehn1952, bogeys magnified. Also, you would think that you should be able to play three strokes better by making fewer mistakes - some of this is doable as your approaches will be closer, but you are still going to make mistakes so in the end you also need to make more birdies to pick up the full rating differential. I've finally decided the best approach is:

  1. Play par 5's aggressively as now all three are reachable in two (only own is typically reachable in two from the back tees).
  2. Any par 4 where driver now brings difficulty into play, club down off the tee. I typically now use driver 3-5 times less a round from the Yellow.
  3. Middle of the green even more than usual - avoid bogeys.

 

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Unfortunately at my home course the difference between tee boxes is not very much. 

I have played from the forward tees at other courses, and the only difference was club selection for my second shot. 

Scores were usually about the same, or at least with in 2-3 strokes when playing from my normal tees. On a few occasions the shorter tees were poorer scoring rounds for me. 

Pace of play was pretty much the same also. 

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23 hours ago, gbogey said:

Play par 5's aggressively as now all three are reachable in two (only own is typically reachable in two from the back tees).

Pretty much the same deal for me. From the white tees, the par 5s are fairly short at 478, 442, 444 and 523, but I can only plan on reaching the ninth hole (the second par 5) in two shots because of hazards. I have the distance to reach the other two sub-500 ones, but hazards prevent me from doing so.

For those same holes from the reds, the yardages are 345, 372, 397 and 465. I can definitely reach the first three in two shots, and probably the fourth because it plays downhill, so I think playing the par 5s aggressively is a good idea. I don’t think I’d make worse than five on any of them on a good day.

The par 3s can also be taken advantage of. From the white tees, they measure 140, 150, 165 and 157, the longest of which is a hybrid because it’s an all-carry approach (that’s also the same hole I birdied yesterday). From the reds, they are 109, 120, 134 and 94. The longest of those is a stock 9I for me, but it’s no more than a wedge on any of the others.

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Just a random thought that I wish courses would change up the colors of their tees - in order of shortest to longest: blue, white, pink, brown.

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1 hour ago, colin007 said:

Just a random thought that I wish courses would change up the colors of their tees - in order of shortest to longest: blue, white, pink, brown.

I prefer taupe, flat black, mauve and sepia or burnt umber.

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18 hours ago, colin007 said:

Just a random thought that I wish courses would change up the colors of their tees - in order of shortest to longest: blue, white, pink, brown.

Come join our "Club Without Real Estate".  We have our own set of tee markers we place on the courses at which we play our tournaments.  The "Back" tee color is "Pink"

Our Executive Director of Golf claims the color was chosen because "pink" was one of the paint colors on sale and also "pink" is not a common tee color so our senior membership won't be more confused than usual.

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