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How Do You Determine What Tees to Play?

Determining Which Tees to Play  

49 members have voted

  1. 1. At a new course, how do you typically determine which tees you'll play? Which factor is most dominant most often?

    • Yardage (adjusted for par if necessary)
    • Rating/Slope
    • Peer Pressure (what others are playing)
    • Something Else

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I’m glad I started this topic. I thought the first choice might be the most popular one, but I didn’t see it being quite as dominant as it is now. I’ve heard from many players that they’ll look at the rating or slope (the slope isn’t a particularly good measure as it’s relative, so that’s always puzzled me). I thought “peer pressure” might be a bigger percentage too.

Maybe those other things are factors, but they’re not the dominant factor. Heck, if you do “A” 40% of the time, and the others a combination, even two others 30% either, you should vote “A.” So maybe that’s why the poll is skewing heavily toward yardage.

Thank you for voting. Continue on.

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I switch for variety.  It is fun to play from the front tees once in a while.  It is fun to play from the tips.  It is fun to play from the middle.  Some holes are easier from farther back (I can't reach the hazard from the tee) and some are more difficult from closer (Yikes...a 67 yard par 3).  It is all golf...no matter where you play from.

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I voted "something else". If the course happens to have handicap suggestions for each set of tees I will start with that. Then I usually ask the people in my group if they're regulars, what tees they play and why. If there is a starter who is knowledgeable about the course, I'll ask them the same thing. If neither of those options are available to me, then I primarily use the course rating to get a sense of the difficulty.

Yardage is tough for me to go by because I have good distance for my handicap, so playing tees with the "right" yardage sometimes results in a challenge that isn't commensurate with my golfing ability.

Occasionally if I'm with a group of three people playing the same set of tees, I will just join them at whatever tees they are playing. Not really peer pressure, more just for the social aspect of the game.

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18 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

If a par 4 is longer than 450 I just say "to hell with this" and move up a tee. 

I do the same thing but with par 3's. I'm good up until about 210. Anything longer than that probably means I'm playing the wrong tee box.

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I look at rating (relative to par) and slope. I like the rating to be within a stroke of par. And then I like a slope from 125-140 on top of that. That tends to give me the best balance of having fun while being somewhat challenging. The course rating matters more to me than the slope, but a really high slope will turn me of.

I don't use yardage that much because I play at altitude. So if I'm traveling, looking at the yardage isn't going to be as helpful as looking at the rating and slope to me. Sure, I could take off distance from the yardage for elevation, but the course rating will already do that for me, so why bother.

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Generally speaking, I'll go up to the shortest set of tees that could still be considered "manly" and then move up one.

In all seriousness, I'll look for around 6,000 yards most of the time. Never really have paid a lot of attention to ratings and slopes, but I do sort of know which courses are the mean ones and try to avoid them. 

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