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Tee Restrictions by Handicap


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Should Courses Limit the Back Tees to Low-Handicap Players?  

78 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Courses Limit the Back Tees to Low-Handicap Players?

    • Yes, "seeing the whole course" is pointless when you shoot 115.
    • No, tee choice does not factor into the speed of play.


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2 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

While I agree with the consensus that slow play is mostly caused by slow players, regardless of any other factors, I still have reservations about high handicap players hitting from the tips.  

No matter how you stuff it, even the worst hacker is more likely to hit a GIR from 100 yards than he is from 170 yards.  If not a GIR, then he is likely to have a shorter chip.  That will result directly in fewer strokes and a short time on the hole.  

That assumes that the ball is at least marginally playable off the tee shot.  Even if not the same theory still applies.  If he hacks a 200 yard drive from the 440 tee and puts it in deep rough, then he's still 240 away, and at least 2-3 shots from reaching the area around the green - he has zero chance of reaching the green.  If he plays from the 350 yard tee, he's only 150 out after the bad tee shot, and he has a chance, however slight, to get near the green in one more.

I understand that there are a lot of variables in any such formula, but the generalities apply.  Shorter takes less time if all else is equal.

I agree, high handicappers should not play from the tips.  I don't play from the tips, I play from the mens tees and sometimes from the tees in front of them.  I'm not a masochist and I much prefer the opportunity to shoot decent scores.  

Today we had a single join us that played the tips, he was fairly long but wild.  On a few drives I out drove him by a good distance and he kept telling me i should be playing from tips, I was close to telling him that in actuality neither of us should be playing from the tips but that would have been rude.    

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I voted with "strenuous" no.  Slow play is caused by slow players, no matter the handicap, tees chosen, or the ratio of the two.

It's not a guarantee, but it goes a long way toward helping.

I disagree BIG TIME with this statement. There IS a difference between golf skills and pace of play. I play very often with my wife, who never broke 100 and I can tell you two things: 1. As 4+ HCP

7 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

While I agree with the consensus that slow play is mostly caused by slow players, regardless of any other factors, I still have reservations about high handicap players hitting from the tips.  

No matter how you stuff it, even the worst hacker is more likely to hit a GIR from 100 yards than he is from 170 yards.  If not a GIR, then he is likely to have a shorter chip.  That will result directly in fewer strokes and a short time on the hole.  

That assumes that the ball is at least marginally playable off the tee shot.  Even if not the same theory still applies.  If he hacks a 200 yard drive from the 440 tee and puts it in deep rough, then he's still 240 away, and at least 2-3 shots from reaching the area around the green - he has zero chance of reaching the green.  If he plays from the 350 yard tee, he's only 150 out after the bad tee shot, and he has a chance, however slight, to get near the green in one more.

I understand that there are a lot of variables in any such formula, but the generalities apply.  Shorter takes less time if all else is equal.

I don't disagree.  Part of the reason I don't worry about this tee restriction deal, in addition to the fact that I don't think it's THAT much of a cause of slow play, is that I don't find it to be much of an epidemic either.

Whenever I play the tips, or even tees that are one up from the tips on longer courses that are maybe still in the 6700 yard range, it's pretty obvious that they don't get used often.  The par 3 boxes are free of divots compared to the white tees, and it's a lot harder for me to find a broken tee lying around.  Also, frequently the stupid ball washer is usually up by the white tees. :pound:

At local munis, where the difference is 10-20 yards per hole max., sure there are a lot of hackers on the back tees, but those are also courses where it doesn't really matter much.  But on the nicer and tougher courses, it seems to me, by and large, that people recognize that tougher doesn't necessarily equal more fun and they don't torture themselves or those behind them.

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32 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

I don't disagree.  Part of the reason I don't worry about this tee restriction deal, in addition to the fact that I don't think it's THAT much of a cause of slow play, is that I don't find it to be much of an epidemic either.

Whenever I play the tips, or even tees that are one up from the tips on longer courses that are maybe still in the 6700 yard range, it's pretty obvious that they don't get used often.  The par 3 boxes are free of divots compared to the white tees, and it's a lot harder for me to find a broken tee lying around.  Also, frequently the stupid ball washer is usually up by the white tees. :pound:

At local munis, where the difference is 10-20 yards per hole max., sure there are a lot of hackers on the back tees, but those are also courses where it doesn't really matter much.  But on the nicer and tougher courses, it seems to me, by and large, that people recognize that tougher doesn't necessarily equal more fun and they don't torture themselves or those behind them.

Yeah, and most of the time if you see someone up on that back tee it's just because they are taking a picture.

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If I play a 350 yd par 4 and use a 4 iron from the tee and hit it 200 yds., I'm hitting a 7 iron for my 2nd shot.... usually from the fairway. If I play a 500 yd par 5 and hit my 4 iron, then a 6 iron (175), I have a 9 iron shot left to the green. This is the longest par 5 I'll see from the senior tees. Until I can control my driver, that's where I'm playing. If I hit a bad tee shot, I can still recover and par if I get lucky, most likely bogey, at worst i'll DB unless I go brain dead and try to make up the distance. Yes, I'll hit bad shots. We all hit bad shots. I just find I don't hit as many of them.

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There was a promotion being advertised on TV and in golf magazines a few years back called "Tee It Forward" and Jack Nicklaus was a spokesman for it. Essentially, it just stated that if you move up a deck you will have more fun and it will speed up play. I am TOTALLY in favor of this. Even scratch players can benefit from playing the white tees here and there. As a shorter hitter (but still a relatively skilled golfer), I find it a lot more fun shooting 75 on a course playing 6000 yards than I do playing the same course at 6800 yards and shooting 85. To me it's a no brainer!

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Geico add where the Caveman pulls up to the range and asks about playing from the tips comes to mind.

I know that at places like Pebble they either don't put out tees at the Championship markers or if they do they strictly enforce handicap requirements. And I believe that many of the Clubs in Scotland or Ireland that allow guest play enforce requirements there as well either by handicap verification or by requirement of a letter of introduction for a certified PGA or RNA member.

Would think it makes sense since visitors usually have no idea how hard a course might really be until they start playing it. 

On the other hand, some courses overdo things a bit in terms of setting the course up for daily play.  When I played Chambers Bay in 2013, all of the par 3's were playing at around 120-130 yards which seemd a bit short - one thought that there should have been at least one of those holes in the 160-170 yard range to at least require something more than a 9 or 8 iron to play.

My experience with the resort courses in Hawaii is that they put out all of the tees at all of the various levels (except perhaps Kapaula Plantation where some the "Exhibition" tee positions used in the PGA tournament that make a couple holes 500-yard+ par 4s are not used).  But at Mauna Kea, for instance, you can try the "Gary Player" tee at about 270 yards on #3 - just hope you don't have the wind in your face on that 250 yard carry over the lagoon!

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A person I was playing with said that a well designed course will often put the fairway bunkers and doglegs, etc. in strategic positions based on where your drive should land. This means that to really play the course you want to be at the tees where you are put to a risk/reward test - like trying to bomb it and carry or challenge the trouble versus playing shorter and having a longer approach shot. In this way you are getting to play the course as designed versus the shorter hitter who always plays back and never reaches any of the trouble.

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6 hours ago, Coronagolfman said:

Geico add where the Caveman pulls up to the range and asks about playing from the tips comes to mind.

6 hours ago, Coronagolfman said:

all of the par 3's were playing at around 120-130 yards which seemd a bit short

I wish my course did this once in a while I might even make a few birdies.

But maybe Chambers Bay did this because greens were so backed out it was the only way for most plays to hold them?

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I'm gonna guess GIR stats for amateurs from 120-130 aren't very high. Certainly not automatic range still a challenge. 

Tees up on par 3's is a good idea. If there is a back up its often on par3's. We have 5 at 179-160-210-165-188 I see guys miss the greens by 30-60 yards on the longer holes. On a bad day I play for bogey on the 210 laying up. I hit GIR on that hole maybe once every 20 rounds. 

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1 hour ago, Dave2512 said:

I'm gonna guess GIR stats for amateurs from 120-130 aren't very high. Certainly not automatic range still a challenge. 

Tees up on par 3's is a good idea. If there is a back up its often on par3's. We have 5 at 179-160-210-165-188 I see guys miss the greens by 30-60 yards on the longer holes. On a bad day I play for bogey on the 210 laying up. I hit GIR on that hole maybe once every 20 rounds. 

210 for a par 3 is pretty extreme, longest par 3 I've played was 230 but that was when I played the back tees. Typically most par 3s around here play 110-170 depending on the tee and flag placements, which is a good spread in yardage I think. Having all the par 3s playing 120-130 is pretty short though. I'd be hitting my 50* or PW, possibly even SW depending on wind on all of those.

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8 minutes ago, Jeremie Boop said:

210 for a par 3 is pretty extreme, longest par 3 I've played was 230 but that was when I played the back tees. Typically most par 3s around here play 110-170 depending on the tee and flag placements, which is a good spread in yardage I think. Having all the par 3s playing 120-130 is pretty short though. I'd be hitting my 50* or PW, possibly even SW depending on wind on all of those.

I bust my face on Kittyhawk's Falcon all the time. Executive course but tons of holes ranging from 200-230 and one that's a stupid 256. Birdie is out of the question on many of these for my ilk.

Love par-3s that are 140 or less. That's when even I have a chance.

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11 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

I bust my face on Kittyhawk's Falcon all the time. Executive course but tons of holes ranging from 200-230 and one that's a stupid 256. Birdie is out of the question on many of these for my ilk.

Love par-3s that are 140 or less. That's when even I have a chance.

I like some shorter par 3s myself, but the ones that stretch out a little to mid irons give me a good way to test myself. I don't want to have to play par 3s that are 170+ yards all the time, but one a round or so is good with me.

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From 120-130 I might hit the green 6 of 10 times and that may be optimistic. My birdie frequency is just 4%. If our course had four par 3's in that range I'd be happy with par on half on a good day all but one. 

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While I see the point, and it makes sense sometimes, I don't think this is a case of one size fits all (or rather one rule fits every course).  I know my limits, as a newer golfer, so I don't play from the 7300 yard tees at the course at school.  But back home there's a course where the regular men's tees are at 5400, and the back tees are at 5800.  It's a short course, and allows me to use my length.  I have no issues getting the distance and accuracy, and it helps even up playing against my dad (who I outdrive by 40-60 yards most of the time).  My issues is around the greens, and that's going to exist whether I tee it up at the ladies tees or the tournament tees.  Luckily, in the last month I've found a way to avoid my issues around the green, which is to just hit the damn green in regulation (amazing how that works).

If it's a pace of play issue, have marshals.  I know I play quickly.  Looking for a ball?  3 minutes max, then drop 50-ish yards back of where you wish you were (so if you drive the ball 250, drop at 200).  Obviously, this works when you're playing for enjoyment, not so much for competition but it keeps the course moving.  I also take 2 practices swings maximum.  The worst people on the course are the people that take 10 practice swings, and then put it down the fairway (or slice it 2 fairways over with a lob wedge).  While high-handicappers are generally the slower players, I've seen some good players be way too slow too.  Like on a busy day, playing with 4 people, and they each have to walk the whole green to line up their 8 foot putt, one at a time.

Golf is a game about honesty and self-policing.  Maybe we should just hope that if someone shouldn't play from the back tees, that they won't.  And if you have a friend that tries but shouldn't, go ahead and tell him to quit being a doofus and move up.

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I voted yes but since most golfers do not carry a handicap it really isn't enforceable.  But I do think when selecting tees you should consider your skill level as playing the tips when your firing a 120 score does take longer.  Not to mention it is a lot more fun to shoot 85 than to play 110. 

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7 minutes ago, ghalfaire said:

I voted yes but since most golfers do not carry a handicap it really isn't enforceable.  But I do think when selecting tees you should consider your skill level as playing the tips when your firing a 120 score does take longer.  Not to mention it is a lot more fun to shoot 85 than to play 110. 

I think it would make sense that golfers without a handicap are simply forced to play the 36 or 40 HC tees.

I still voted no on this topic, even though it doesn't really change what tees I would play anyway. I have friends who like to play for social reasons and we talk and play, and the longest times for conversations are while waiting at the tee boxes. Of course, I could move up with them, and I do on occasion. It really doesn't matter to me.

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On 4/18/2016 at 8:30 AM, Dave2512 said:

This is what efficient course here do during peak times. I am certain the motive is less about golfers enjoying a stress free round than getting as many people through the courses as they can ($$).

  • Tees are moved up on weekends. Even if people choose the wrong tee relative to their skill it's still shorter than card yardage.
  • Pin placements are easy on weekends.
  • Ranger's with tee sheet monitors pace, one on each side.
  • Courses are mowed Thursday so rough is short on the weekend.
  • Two bev carts, one each side.
  • Starter controls first tee no exceptions. Show up late he will either direct you to drop in the fairway or try to switch your time if a group is ready to go. Seriously I've seen singles miss their time and the answer was go catch your group.

This is really good stuff.  If everyone plays shorter and the greens are set up easier, everyone gets around the course faster.

John

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I stated a few weeks back that I was a big fan of the "Tee It Forward" promotion and I thought everybody should try moving up a tee box from time to time to see how they liked it. I didn't mean to suggest that golfers should be forced to play a particular tee box by anyone. You have the right to play a course at any yardage you want! For example, if you are able to play a track that the Tour players play on (or have played on in past years), it gives you a great deal of perspective to try playing the tips just to see how GOOD those guys truly are. I tried that at the Golf Club of Houston (home of the Shell Houston Open) last year and it was an amazing experience. I played pretty solid and ended up shooting 88 (44-44). But that isn't an every day scenario. Golf is meant to be fun. And while challenging yourself on difficult courses can be fun and rewarding, so can allowing yourself hit shorter irons into greens, attacking some of the par 5's in two and trying to reach the occasional par 4. You learn how to "score" by playing courses within your abilities. And it also speeds up play! Teeing it forward is a win-win in my books!

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