How Long is Your Golf Tee?

As with all things in golf, the length of the golf tee is regulated. The rules lay down that it can be no longer than a specific length to conform with rules of golf. To be honest, I have never thought about this rule before, nor have I heard of anyone being called for being in violation of the rule. So, I would assess that for most of us, it is a nonissue and one that may never be used.

According to Appendix IV – Devices and Other Equipment, the length of the golf tee can be no more than 4 inches in length. This particular text from the appendix applies to Rule 11 and is stated as follows:

1. Tees (Rule 11)
A tee is a device designed to raise the ball off the ground. A tee must not:
• be longer than 4 inches (101.6 mm);
• be designed or manufactured in such a way that it could indicate line of play;
• unduly influence the movement of the ball; or
• otherwise assist the player in making a stroke or in his play.

To be totally honest, I did not know this rule until I read it recently. But apparently, I am not alone:

I cannot imagine using a golf tee over 4 inches. Given my swing, I would go right under the ball and scuff the top of my driver. Not a good thing in my opinion!

I did a quick search at Golf Town and they do not sell golf tees longer that 4 inches and one package suggested that it was the max length, but they never really came out a stated it. Regardless, I could not buy a tee longer that 4 inches. That should have been an indicator to me, if I was actually thinking about it.

There you have it, a golf tee cannot be longer than 4 inches. If you are wondering (which I am sure most of you are), if a player does use a tee longer than 4 inches, they are disqualified from the golf tournament.

Rule 11-1: If a player makes a stroke at a ball on a non-conforming tee, or at a ball teed in a manner not permitted by this Rule, he is disqualified.

Moving forward, this is a rule I will have to watch. Although I am not sure I have ever seen or will see a player using a tee longer than 4 inches, it is something to pay attention too. I think this would be difficult rule to enforce unless the player actually admitted to using a non-conforming tee.

Have you ever used a tee longer than 4 inches? Have you ever heard of anyone being disqualified for using a non-conforming tee?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

4 thoughts on “How Long is Your Golf Tee?

  1. Your reply to Brian brings up another question. Wouldn’t marking a line on your ball do the same thing? We do it for putting in general, but it achieves the same goal on the tee by helping you align yourself and your swing.


  2. Jim, question about the fourth bullet (“otherwise assist”). Do you think the rule prohibits a player from using two tees on a shot? I.e. throw one down and tee up behind it using the first as an alignment aid? I would guess not, but you are allowed to tee up behind a broken one laying on the ground and use it for the same purpose.

    Thanks for the thought provoker.



    • Brian

      I would call someone who threw a tee on the ground and used it as an aid. That, in my opinion, is improving you ability to make the shot. However, if it is already on the ground, it is all good. It boils down to intent and taking action to improve you aiming or swing. It seems like a grey area, but one you are taking specific action and the other, you are using what is legally already on the course. Hope this helps.


      Liked by 1 person

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