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Article on Course Length, Tee Choices - the Whole "Tee it Forward" Idea


bkuehn1952

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As a 71-year-old with an aching bad back, my club fortunately offers a set of green tees which is between the gold tees (seniors) and the red tees (ladies). The greatest thing I ever did was moving up to the green tees and finally I’m back in the 80s again. I was self-conscious at first but it’s really a good thing playing from about 5400 yards at my stage of life.

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Makes sense we see more older players play forward tees .. last game I played of the BLUE tees ..the haggle against couple good older players one 60's one 80's the latter two lower HC than myself!!! ..but because of my length I had massive advantage .. sometimes he would need two shots just to make it past my first then still have to use a wood to the green Vs my 7i - 8i etc ...

And thats why its much harder for me to compete with a skilled older guys when we play the Silver tees (mix yellow/white) then the short game really comes into the picture 

Go Foxy Go

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Years ago, we had a set of tees that were kind of haphazardly put together and called them Senior tees. Nobody would play them, particularly some Seniors who were mildly insulted. We also had a very penal set of Ladies tees, making our track just about the most difficult for women in the entire Philly area. After a study and a restoration, we put together a set of five tees, some of which required them to be built anew but got rid of the names (Junior, Ladies, Senior, Member, Tips) and used colors (gold, red, green, white, blue). There are a number of combo tees between the white and green tees but the overall difference between the whites and the greens is about 500 yards and makes a big difference in play for this 70-year-old. I still play the whites often to stay in touch because that is where all the tournament play is, but I do enjoy the greens and they are still very challenging. In fact, there are a lot of bunkers and trouble areas that I can't reach anymore from the whites that are well within range from the greens. Play it forward!

Edited by phan52
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Bill M

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On 6/16/2023 at 8:41 PM, iacas said:

That we should rate sub-3500-yard tees or whatever so that an octogenarian can compete in handicapped events. He can… from a set of rated tees. Have him move back to a whopping 4500 yards or whatever. The course rating system starts to break down at ridiculously short yardages because a scratch golfer hits it defined distances, and at those yardages — 197-yard par fours and the like — stuff gets weird.

That's the extreme - it's the extreme end of what the course rating system is built to handle.

Handicap the match yourself at that point. Tee off wherever you like.

No, I'm not hung up on it. I just understand how the course rating system works, and how it starts to break down at short yardages. I think the minimum is 3000 yards, and even there… the course rating gets really low. Stuff starts to get weird.

Umm, but I never stated we should rate sub-3500 tees, nor what distance tees should be rated from.  My points were, again… simply that playing from the fairway doesn’t solve everything, and having family tees doesn’t hurt the game.  The family tees I’ve seen, as I recall were roughly 4,000 yards.  Could have been a little shorter, could have been a little longer.  And they were rated as I recall.

Yea, I barely know anything about rating courses.  I still don’t believe anything I’ve stated is extreme.

And yea, my old buddy does play from 4,400-4,600 yards (at elevation).  But not every course has tees at that distance (e.g. Soldier Hollow Gold, Thanksgiving Point).  And I’m not stating every course should either.  All I’m stating is it doesn’t hurt the game when they do.

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9 hours ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

Umm, but I never stated we should rate sub-3500 tees, nor what distance tees should be rated from.

You kinda did. Lots of tee boxes "in the fairway" would equate to about 3500 yard tees, or less, and even if they're 4000 or so, the course rating system breaks down a little when you a bunch of get sub-270-yard par four tees, etc. That's the "extreme" I keep talking about.

Yes, it's great if players can play from short official "tees," but there's also a downside or cons that you seem to be ignoring. Among them…

  • Mowers (maintenance) hate them.
  • Golfers might run over them pretty frequently (because they're just things in the fairway).
  • The ratings are goofy.
  • Kids don't care, and unless you have like five different sets of "family tees," they're going to be "between" tee boxes a lot of the time anyway.
  • They cost money. Particularly if you don't want them to be lesser.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
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I typically play from tees that result in total course yardage around 6500.  If I play with someone who insists on the tips (for whatever reason) I’ll usually still play forward by one set and it doesn’t cause a huge issue.

To something @iacas raised earlier, tees don’t care whether you’re male or female. So “ladies tees” is such an outdated term. Our club has four sets of tees cleverly marked I - IV.  I’ve played from all of them at one time or another and I really like doing it because it gives you such a different look at the course. Course management becomes a lot more fun.

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In a scramble I played a few weeks back, we donated money to play up a set of tees on most holes. On one par 4, I was pin high left of the green and a few others we had pitches less than 20 yards. It was certainly fun, but I would say that those tees were too short. I’m thankful that I’m not ready for the senior tees yet. =]

- Shane

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On 6/23/2023 at 7:53 AM, iacas said:

You kinda did. Lots of tee boxes "in the fairway" would equate to about 3500 yard tees, or less, and even if they're 4000 or so, the course rating system breaks down a little when you a bunch of get sub-270-yard par four tees, etc. That's the "extreme" I keep talking about.

Yes, it's great if players can play from short official "tees," but there's also a downside or cons that you seem to be ignoring. Among them…

  • Mowers (maintenance) hate them.
  • Golfers might run over them pretty frequently (because they're just things in the fairway).
  • The ratings are goofy.
  • Kids don't care, and unless you have like five different sets of "family tees," they're going to be "between" tee boxes a lot of the time anyway.
  • They cost money. Particularly if you don't want them to be lesser.

No, I didn’t.

And I already stated maintenance would be a negative, so I’m not ignoring there are potential cons.

With my limited knowledge of course rating, my understanding is that distance is a big factor.  So I understand you’re point about a breakdown and I’ve always assumed that’s the reason the USGA has a 3K minimum yardage to rate a course (or at least they did at one point).

 But I still believe my statements are reasonable and not extreme.  And no worries if you disagree.

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1 minute ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

No, I didn’t.

You did, because you wanted tees in the fairway rated, and those tees are often going to be really, really short.

1 minute ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

 But I still believe my statements are reasonable and not extreme.  And no worries if you disagree.

The yardage (and thus the course rating) is extreme.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

You did, because you wanted tees in the fairway rated, and those tees are often going to be really, really short.

The yardage (and thus the course rating) is extreme.

No, I didn’t stated I wanted tees in the fairway rated.  I asked you the question to understand if you were suggesting rating them or not.  And to prove the point that teeing off from unrated tees in the fairway wasn’t the answer to everything.

Anything else you’d like to pretend I stated?  Haha

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1 minute ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

No, I didn’t stated I wanted tees in the fairway rated.

Oh?

On 6/13/2023 at 8:00 PM, Denny Bang Bang said:

Related to the above, adding a shorter set of tees (family tees, junior tees, whatever the course wants to call them) so the tees are rated would be helpful in some circumstances.

I'm done if you are.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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Just now, iacas said:

Oh?

I'm done if you are.

Shorter sets of tees don’t have to mean they’re in the fairway.  The family tees I’ve seen have been off to the side of the fairway or short of them.  I still don’t see where I suggested rating fairway tees.

Sure, we can be done.

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Just now, Denny Bang Bang said:

Shorter sets of tees don’t have to mean they’re in the fairway.  The family tees I’ve seen have been off to the side of the fairway or short of them.  I still don’t see where I suggested rating fairway tees.

Oh boy. The "family" tees are in the fairway. If they were on an existing tee box, they'd just be the forward tees. I've yet to see a course with "family" or "junior" tees that aren't in the fairway.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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10 hours ago, iacas said:

Oh boy. The "family" tees are in the fairway. If they were on an existing tee box, they'd just be the forward tees. I've yet to see a course with "family" or "junior" tees that aren't in the fairway.

That’s been my observation as well

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