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9wood

Are you playing the correct tees?

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20 hours ago, David in FL said:

I'll bet anything you like, that half the courses in your city aren't over 6,100 yards from the most forward set of tees.  It just means that you would be playing a more forward set of tees.  

However, I've always believed that simplicity aside, driver distance alone isn't necessarily the best judge of playability for most golfers.  A course that gets a lot of its length in longer par-3's and 5's can still be very playable for people of modest length.  I tend to look at the par-4's.  If there are more than one or two that a golfer cannot reach with a good (not heroic best ever) drive and a 5-iron, that set of tees is probably inappropriate.  As an example, a solid drive for me is in the 240ish range.  My 5-iron is 180.  If I see more than 2 par-4's over 420 or so, I should probably move up a set of tees.  Using these guidelines, there are courses with 6,700 yard tees that I can play comfortably, but I can also identify a course with 6,200 yard tees with which I'm likely to struggle.

This is how I gage a new course I haven't played.

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7 hours ago, daa1969 said:

I try not to get too hung up on charts, if you dig deep you will see all kinds like if your a 10 hndcp you hit x amount of greens and so on, theres too many variables in golf, for instance, i generally hit more greens than it says i should, but i have way too many putts, one could maybe use them as a purely basic guideline, but clearly not the absolute rule. Maybe your swing speed says you hit your driver x distance, but how often are you hitting it flush? i do agree whole heartedly with the basic concept of the chart on playing right tees, theres no denying that a great majority of us play too far back, just think how many times you have been behind that guy that barely cleared the forward tees with his drive but is now waiting for the green to clear at 285yds, i myself seem to always be behind this group of guys, where i'm waiting for them to hit their 3rd shot before i can even tee off. You may feel like your not holding things up but the reality is you probably are, every little bit adds up, it creates a chain reaction, why do you think sometimes you go out and its 3hrs and sometimes its 5hrs, the course is the same, its just the players that are different!

This is why Game Golf is a simple way to tell.

I don't even know my actual swing speed, because it changes depending upon conditions. However, I do know the median value for how far I hit on the course while playing. That's what you want for determining the tees you want to play, and it doesn't get easier than spending 20 seconds to calculate (driver*28+5i*36)/2 and count how many par 4 are above (driver + average of the longest iron with the lowest standard deviation)? If greater than yardage estimate or more than 5 par 4 are greater than your longest most comfortable iron distance plus driver play up.

Game Golf gives you density distributions and you can kind of eyeball the standard deviation pretty readily. The longest iron with the lowest standard deviation is going to be your longest most comfortable iron.

Prior to using game golf I used a simple metric based upon the irons I used for my approaches and the course markers (100,150,200). Then kind of fudged a number close to this value.

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I have to go along with looking at the par 4's in addition to the total length of the course.  One difference is that I use hybrids in place of the 2 thru 6 irons and hit them better than I ever hit the irons.  So if I have a couple of holes that might be a driver and 3h I am OK with it.  But if there are more than 2 or 3 par 4's that I have no chance of reaching I will move up.  

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17 hours ago, Lihu said:

No one is trying to shame anyone. All the suggestions for playing a short enough tee box are just to improve your golf, which it will. Almost everyone in my area is on board with tee it forward, and pace of play has improved and more golfers are playing better golf.

As far as pace of play is concerned, if you take 3 shots or more every par 4 there is a likelihood that there are people waiting for you on the tee box. So, pace of play is very likely delayed, and even a minute or two delay can back up a course.

Perhaps not intentionally.

But I think we all know the tees in front of the whites are or were called "ladies tees". I don't care how many shots it takes to reach the green, I'm not ever playing from there LOL

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22 minutes ago, Lihu said:

This is why Game Golf is a simple way to tell.

I don't even know my actual swing speed, because it changes depending upon conditions. However, I do know the median value for how far I hit on the course while playing. That's what you want for determining the tees you want to play, and it doesn't get easier than spending 20 seconds to calculate (driver*28+5i*36)/2 and count how many par 4 are above (driver + average of the longest iron with the lowest standard deviation)? If greater than yardage estimate or more than 5 par 4 are greater than your longest most comfortable iron distance plus driver play up.

Game Golf gives you density distributions and you can kind of eyeball the standard deviation pretty readily. The longest iron with the lowest standard deviation is going to be your longest most comfortable iron.

Prior to using game golf I used a simple metric based upon the irons I used for my approaches and the course markers (100,150,200). Then kind of fudged a number close to this value.

To be honest, I think you make it a lot harder that it is.  Maybe for someone without a lot of experience, a chart or something is handy (although if he's that new, he should probably be playing pretty far forward anyway).  For me, I know from experience what my comfort zone is and I try to stay there.  I only have to play a too long a course once to know that I'm not having much fun there from that length, and acceptable length can vary a bit from one course to another.  

I don't like playing what I know is just a layup on a par 4 hole because even with my best drive, I can't clear the trouble in front of the green with my approach.  I have that hole on a local course and I hate it,  That hole would only be playable as a par 4 from the red tees which are more than 100 yards uphill forward from the whites - I've had some weak (but still normally acceptable) tee shots that barely made it past the red tee.  

I'll just get the scorecard, look at the length of the different tees, then look at the slope.  I'll try to find a combo that seems to be in my comfort zone for length and difficulty.  On a tricky or difficult course (i.e high slope number), that could be slightly less than 6000 yards, since I don't have an ego to soothe by hitting driver all day.  I'm happier knowing that I have a chance to keep my ball in some sort of scoring range, even if I'm playing 5W from several tees to keep the ball in play.

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On average, are holes that are disproportionately longer have less protected greens? I mean relative to how difficult the course is in general.

In my limited experience, there are holes I don't mind going after with a longer club - even my 5w. Others I would be foolish to attempt with anything longer than 7i.

Back on topic, I'm going to try and play from the forward most tees at least once this year. If for no other reason, I hate being part of the macho BS that is so common in golf....

...that and I don't hit very far.

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11 minutes ago, gregsandiego said:

Perhaps not intentionally.

But I think we all know the tees in front of the whites are or were called "ladies tees". I don't care how many shots it takes to reach the green, I'm not ever playing from there LOL

That's totally your choice of course, but 2 years ago I played the ladies tees for some months. It was still 6000 yards. I was right up there with the 50-80 year old ladies. The only difference was some of the holes were par 5 for them. Many of them were "curious" as to why I played there. :-D

I even played further up than the "ladies" tees, I also played from the children's tees on the shorter courses which are moved up to 5000 yards or less. I even played a 3900 yard course.

Two things happened to me. First was that I learned to relax while playing, second, I learned to tee off without my driver.

As I learned to swing faster, I moved back progressively using mixed tees, but that was over many dozens of rounds.

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It depends for me. On vacation, I play to have fun, so I'll play one tee up from what I'd play if the course was my home course.

In practice, I'll play the tees I think will challenge my game and grow my golf "muscles."  Just like weight training, one would never only do 1-rep maxes or 20 rep sets. 

I'm in league at work and our monthly tournament is my "max" day. Whichever tee box they pick, I try to really play well. 

Ego is never a consideration for me. I'm quite comfortable in my skin in general, and this is golf, a hobby, and not a sport I expect to be dominant because I didn't pick it up until age 24.

Edited by jgreen85

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13 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

 

To be honest, I think you make it a lot harder that it is.  Maybe for someone without a lot of experience, a chart or something is handy (although if he's that new, he should probably be playing pretty far forward anyway).  For me, I know from experience what my comfort zone is and I try to stay there.  I only have to play a too long a course once to know that I'm not having much fun there from that length, and acceptable length can vary a bit from one course to another.  

I don't like playing what I know is just a layup on a par 4 hole because even with my best drive, I can't clear the trouble in front of the green with my approach.  I have that hole on a local course and I hate it,  That hole would only be playable as a par 4 from the red tees which are more than 100 yards uphill forward from the whites - I've had some weak (but still normally acceptable) tee shots that barely made it past the red tee.  

I'll just get the scorecard, look at the length of the different tees, then look at the slope.  I'll try to find a combo that seems to be in my comfort zone for length and difficulty.  On a tricky or difficult course (i.e high slope number), that could be slightly less than 6000 yards, since I don't have an ego to soothe by hitting driver all day.  I'm happier knowing that I have a chance to keep my ball in some sort of scoring range, even if I'm playing 5W from several tees to keep the ball in play.

I have far less experience than you and am just getting to know my true distances, and I'm essentially doing the same thing as you only using a more analytical method because I lack your extensive experience. However, it still only takes me about 20 seconds to determine what course length I should play.

16 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

On average, are holes that are disproportionately longer have less protected greens? I mean relative to how difficult the course is in general.

In my limited experience, there are holes I don't mind going after with a longer club - even my 5w. Others I would be foolish to attempt with anything longer than 7i.

Back on topic, I'm going to try and play from the forward most tees at least once this year. If for no other reason, I hate being part of the macho BS that is so common in golf....

...that and I don't hit very far.

I haven't found this to be the case, but I'm sure course designers don't want everyone to hate them. . .

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12 minutes ago, Lihu said:

That's totally your choice of course, but 2 years ago I played the ladies tees for some months. It was still 6000 yards. I was right up there with the 50-80 year old ladies. The only difference was some of the holes were par 5 for them. Many of them were "curious" as to why I played there. :-D

I even played further up than the "ladies" tees, I also played from the children's tees on the shorter courses which are moved up to 5000 yards or less. I even played a 3900 yard course.

Two things happened to me. First was that I learned to relax while playing, second, I learned to tee off without my driver.

As I learned to swing faster, I moved back progressively using mixed tees, but that was over many dozens of rounds.

Geez, now you are freaking out the old ladies and kids too...:~(:whistle:

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Just now, Valleygolfer said:

Geez, now you are freaking out the old ladies and kids too...:~(:whistle:

Believe me, they would much rather be behind me than in front of me. :-D

 

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'Right-sizing' courses to fit our true ability comes from understanding your game in a few ways:

1.  Trying to get 4 people in a group to agree on anything is difficult.  One guy always wants to play from 'the tips' whether he should be there or not.  Consequently, more times than not, that's where the group plays from.  Always on Saturday morning/early afternoon as well.  People who don't belong there can bunch up an entire course.

2. Understanding your true yardages with your clubs.  I know my 'bombs' off the tee go 225-230.  Most of the time it's 200-210.  I 'right-size' course yardage based on that and usually play tees that measure 5800 - 6200 on the long side.  Pretty good test for me at 6200, pars and birdie opportunities on the short side at 5800.  More fun for me when I keep it right around 6000.

3. What kills most double-digit handicappers are the long par-3 holes.  Check the cards: courses that play 6400, most par 3s holes measure 170+ yards.  I've been in groups where par 3 holes take longer to complete than the 4s and 5s because missing par 3 greens means finding water, other hazards, (all carry to green) and traps and other greenside ugliness are in play.  If I'm playing a course on the long side of my range, I MAY move up a tee box on the par 3s to give myself a better chance of competing against the course on those holes based on hdcp and playing ability ... or lack thereof.

Quick story about 'teeing it forward.'  My buddy and I had a couple of work colleagues visit us. We set up a Friday afternoon golf deal for the four of us.  Our league plays blue tees at our home course that measure just under 6200 yards.  We're used to the setup from the blue tees.  We decide to move up to the white tees with our guests.  The feeling we both got was like 'shame on us,' and almost like we were CHEATING!!!

Do what you can to keep it fun, guys and girls.

dave

One more comment on the idea of 'right-sizing' courses.

It wasn't until fairly recently that MOST courses became accurately measured.  Many have been laser measured with accurate course and hole yardages reflected on cards.  We also have GPS measuring capability during the round using our digital technology tools.

Before the technology was available, most courses had 150 yard markers that were either shorter than 150 (most times) or longer.  So many were just not accurate.  Standard course and hole yardages were probably incorrectly stated on the card as well.  My guess is that course yardage was probably OVERstated more then UNDERstated.

My first encounter with this issue was at Firestone CC.  My 7-iron was a go-to 150 club years ago.  First hole, I found myself just inside a 150 marker there.  Pull out the 7-iron, hit a laser that comes up you guessed it, 10 yards short of the green.  Guy in my group was a member there who quickly pointed out that, '150 yards is a TRUE 150 yards.'

dave

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1 hour ago, Lihu said:

That's totally your choice of course, but 2 years ago I played the ladies tees for some months. It was still 6000 yards. I was right up there with the 50-80 year old ladies. The only difference was some of the holes were par 5 for them. Many of them were "curious" as to why I played there. :-D

I even played further up than the "ladies" tees, I also played from the children's tees on the shorter courses which are moved up to 5000 yards or less. I even played a 3900 yard course.

Two things happened to me. First was that I learned to relax while playing, second, I learned to tee off without my driver.

As I learned to swing faster, I moved back progressively using mixed tees, but that was over many dozens of rounds.

I see your point.

My solution is to alternate the big courses with executives. In San DIego we have some courses that are a good compromise, with just a couple holes that even need a driver.

 

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What I notice about playing the blue tees in contrast to the white tees.

When I play the blue tees, fewer players in front of me are slowing me down

When I play the white tees I get held up quite regularly by players in front of me

Can't imagine what sort of hold up I would have if I were to play the red tees.

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On 4/2/2016 at 7:11 AM, 9wood said:

Below is a useful chart found at pga.com to help golfers select the proper tee boxes based on their drive ability

 

tee it forward chart.jpg

I might be in rare air here. If this chart is a true reflect on what I should be playing I should be playing over 7k yard courses. Those are hard to come by and when they are most of the time they don’t have tees that far back. When I play with my buddies on our bigger courses in the area we tend to always play tips which avg. out to be close to 6600- 6800. Which seems close but we are all close to 300 off the tee.

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1 hour ago, golf_guy86 said:

I might be in rare air here. If this chart is a true reflect on what I should be playing I should be playing over 7k yard courses. Those are hard to come by and when they are most of the time they don’t have tees that far back. When I play with my buddies on our bigger courses in the area we tend to always play tips which avg. out to be close to 6600- 6800. Which seems close but we are all close to 300 off the tee.

 

I guess you could use inferior clubs and balls in order to fit you into the chart :-P

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3 minutes ago, 9wood said:

I guess you could use inferior clubs and balls in order to fit you into the chart :-P

what fun is that tho. lol its always fun going to a short course or retirement course and playing with like 5 clubs. lol

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4 hours ago, 9wood said:

What I notice about playing the blue tees in contrast to the white tees.

When I play the blue tees, fewer players in front of me are slowing me down

When I play the white tees I get held up quite regularly by players in front of me

Can't imagine what sort of hold up I would have if I were to play the red tees.

 Does that mean when you play the blues you are holding up people ?

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Note: This thread is 1357 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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