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Do You Play the Correct Tees?

Correct Tees?  

132 members have voted

  1. 1. Per the chart in the first post, do you typically play the "correct tees" for your driver carry yardage?

    • Yes, I do.
      91
    • No, I play shorter tees.
      22
    • No, I play longer tees.
      19
  2. 2. In your estimation, what percentage of golfers play tees too long for them?

    • 0-15%
      3
    • 16-30%
      18
    • 31-50%
      33
    • 51-70%
      45
    • 71-85%
      29
    • 86-100%
      4


93 posts / 10000 viewsLast Reply

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I've always agreed with @Groucho Valentine and @lastings.  How far you hit it isn't the most important factor in deciding what tees to play from.  Your skill is much more important.  For example, on a 75 rated, 7000 yard course a scratch golfer playing to his handicap should shoot 75.  That's true whether he hits it 240 or 300.  So the shorter hitter isn't taking any more strokes or holding anyone up more than the longer hitter.  Maybe at certain distances that analysis breaks down and your handicap doesn't describe your game perfectly.  But in general I think ability is more important than length.

One related point regarding less skilled golfers is that they pretty much all average way less distance than their good drives.  Even if a hypothetical player is right that he can hit it 250, when you count all of the miss hits he actually averages 220.  Such a player should play from the 220 yards tees even though he would probably look at the chart above and choose the 250 yard tees.

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43 minutes ago, allenc said:

I've always agreed with @Groucho Valentine and @lastings.  How far you hit it isn't the most important factor in deciding what tees to play from.  Your skill is much more important.  For example, on a 75 rated, 7000 yard course a scratch golfer playing to his handicap should shoot 75.  That's true whether he hits it 240 or 300.  So the shorter hitter isn't taking any more strokes or holding anyone up more than the longer hitter.  Maybe at certain distances that analysis breaks down and your handicap doesn't describe your game perfectly.  But in general I think ability is more important than length.

One related point regarding less skilled golfers is that they pretty much all average way less distance than their good drives.  Even if a hypothetical player is right that he can hit it 250, when you count all of the miss hits he actually averages 220.  Such a player should play from the 220 yards tees even though he would probably look at the chart above and choose the 250 yard tees.

Further, even if your on course average is something like 250 yards or more, you should still play the shorter tees until your scores dictate otherwise.

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7 hours ago, David in FL said:

It's interesting that according to the polls, 85% on this site believe that they play tees that are appropriate, or even shorter than they should...

...but over 90% believe that between 30% and 100% of other golfers play tees that are too long for them.

;-)

As @klineka said, it's only really "interesting" if you think the voters here are representative of golfers as a whole.

Otherwise, you can pretty easily explain the difference in percentages.

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Im not trying to argue this, just asking..............is there any consideration that you should play a tee-length based on slope rating? I know the distance is buried into the slope in a way, but than considerations for other things a golfer finds tough would come into consideration right?

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The chart is spot on for my game, while I still love a challenge, I'll play further back on occasions.
I also feel as long as I am able to score consistent and have occasional scores in the 70's my game belongs at our Blue Course (71.0/130 - 6471 yards)  Hopefully I'll have many years to move up to the shorter courses in the future, with the good Lord's willing....   :whistle:

 

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52 minutes ago, cutchemist42 said:

Im not trying to argue this, just asking..............is there any consideration that you should play a tee-length based on slope rating? I know the distance is buried into the slope in a way, but than considerations for other things a golfer finds tough would come into consideration right?

No. That doesn't make much sense. Slope is just the difference from the bogey rating to the scratch (course) rating. If you wanted to play a "120 slope" course, you'd have to play from 4000 yards at some courses, and a 67.9/130 course will play quite a bit easier than a 72.2/125 course for a bogey golfer.

You could choose a set of tees based on the course rating, perhaps… but 90%+ of a course rating is length, too.

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54 minutes ago, iacas said:

No. That doesn't make much sense. Slope is just the difference from the bogey rating to the scratch (course) rating. If you wanted to play a "120 slope" course, you'd have to play from 4000 yards at some courses, and a 67.9/130 course will play quite a bit easier than a 72.2/125 course for a bogey golfer.

You could choose a set of tees based on the course rating, perhaps… but 90%+ of a course rating is length, too.

Yeah gotcha.

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13 minutes ago, cutchemist42 said:

Yeah gotcha.

Cool.

Off the top of my head, yardage would be about 75% of my decision, if I was looking at playing with some mid- and higher handicappers. The other 25% would be how "difficult" the course is - how wide the fairways were, how many trees there are, etc. That stuff is factored into slope and course rating, but it's a very small part of it. Most of it's the yardage. So I'd probably just evaluate it based on the eye test.

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I'm playing exactly the right tees :) and I'm glad to get confirmation of that from this great tool.

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Based on your chart, I am playin from the correct senior tees on the longer courses I play.  My drive is a fairly consistent 185-195 range with a usually good roll.  Yes, moving to senior Tess has improved my scores; but not so much that I am not  still challenged in ANY round.  My caution right now is joining a senior league which requires playing from the white tees, which will add up to 8-10 strokes.  But as this is my first year back to the game and my driver is with a regular shaft, and my ball speed is still a bit low, I MAY wait a year.

Thanks for giving us your charts.  I have printed a copy for my "Use these clubs" playing guide.  When I go to the DR tomorrow, I will try these combinations.

 

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We have a bizarre situation at my club, which got on board with the USGA move up campaign. So one guy moves up and starts dominating the net events, then another, then a stampede. So now we have a ridiculous number of guys playing off the forward tees for the wrong reason. Once the early movers’ indexes adjusted, they moved back and started over. Problem is slope ...

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According to the charts provided, my buddy and I have hit it right. Mid-5,000's is where we live now, and this was brought home to us with a vengeance last year.

We'll get together with my buddy's Sis and her friends and scramble. There's the 2 of us against 3 or 4 of them. One time we played an older course where many of the senior tees are shoehorned into the same tee box as the lady's tees. Well, the girls started chirping pretty good. "Hey, where's our advantage?!"

At the turn we struck a deal. My buddy and I would play the white tees on the back 9. The course ate us for lunch! The last hole is a long, uphill par 4. I hit maybe my best drive of the day, tagged (for me) a 3 wood second shot, and still wound up 10 yards short of the green!

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Bumping this topic to add: I think as more juniors get into golf, they're learning to play from the right tees. They're learning that as their skills change, they move back (or stay forward). They're learning that playing a course that's 3500 yards for 18 holes is cool… when you drive it 110. There's nothing wrong with playing a more forward set of tees than your older sister or brother, or your parents. Etc.

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Just noticed this topic because of the bump.

Based on my driver distance, I play tees shorter than I should. I don't think that many people play the incorrect tees, I'd say <20% of people play the incorrect tees, so my vote was 16-30%.

With scores in the 85-89 from shorter tees, I don't think length is what is limiting my scoring. The three main courses I play tip out at around 6900 (73.2, par 72), 6300 (71.3, par 70), and 6000 (69.5, par 71) yards, so playing the longest tees still only gets me in my best target length for one course. I've played from the tips once at the 6900 course, it wasn't a train wreck but I still prefer the middle tees at around 6400-6500 yards. The other two courses I stick to middle tees most of the time, as this suits my overall ability best. I think the time to transition to the back tees will be obvious when (or if) that happens.

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I voted yes and 0-15 on players using the wrong tees. We vary the tees just to change things up but I try to focus more on the tips now because my son will be playing in college. We played last weekend from 7118 and he realized that, with his distance, that's where he needs to be.

For the 0-15, I just based that off what I see on my courses. I would say if anything, players play tees that are too short because want the wedge shots in so they can score better and it makes their drives seem like they went farther.

Edited by TN94z

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I guess I play tees that are too long based on the chart. My average drive is 190 to 200 total yards, but my irons and fairways are longer than the chart. My group plays tees that are 6250. While I'm often the shortest off the tee, I'm usually in the fairway. Also, I'm pretty accurate and chip and putt really well. Although my buddies are longer, I often out score them over 18 holes. I just turned 70 in January. As I age, I will probably move up to tees that are 5800 to 6000 yds. Hopefully my group will move or I can find a new group.

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2 minutes ago, Hoganman1 said:

Hopefully my group will move or I can find a new group.

What's wrong with them playing from a set of tees back and you playing the next tees forward? It's unlikely that is would cause a significant difference in pace of play.

Even if you are sharing a cart with someone who is playing from the further tees back, you can get your club and start making your way up towards your tee while they are getting ready to hit, then stand off to the side on the cart path while they hit, then as they are walking back to the carts, you can be getting ready to hit your tee shot and hit as soon as they drive up to you. 

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9 minutes ago, klineka said:

Even if you are sharing a cart with someone who is playing from the further tees back, you can get your club and start making your way up towards your tee while they are getting ready to hit, then stand off to the side on the cart path while they hit, then as they are walking back to the carts, you can be getting ready to hit your tee shot and hit as soon as they drive up to you. 

Or alternatively, drop the person off at their tee and drive up to yours, and they can walk to the cart as you’re teeing off?

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