Picking The Right Tees To Have Fun At A Golf Course

I have to say that I was quite surprised by the thought process that lead to this post. I thought I had found the perfect lead in with yesterday’s article on Course and Slope Rating. I figured that these two stats would be the driving factor for most golfers when selecting the tees to play at a new golf course. I could not be so far off base, but thanks to the many Grateful Golfers who responded my Twitter poll, I was set me straight!

First my poll:

What most of the players took from my poll was what tee to use when playing. There was absolutely no indication that “not” playing a golf course was an option. It really came down to which tee they were going to play and everyone, with no exception, used only one variation of one criteria. They all focused on yardage.

When discussing yardage, here are the main points that most of the golfers said:

  • a specific distance they liked to play. That ranged from 6400 to 6900 yards. This distance suited their game best
  • picked the tee boxes where the par 3s played under 200 yards
  • played the tee boxes so there were no more than 2 par 4s over 400 yards
  • No one mentioned par 5s, but I find that any yardage over 575 is too long for my game

Using yardage to select a tee box is fundamentally solid, however I would suggest the Course and Slope ratings are important as well. If a course is 6500 yards and in your wheel house for yardage, might be far to difficult for your skills. So, it would be important to Tee It Forward!

Truthfully, I use course and slope ratings plus yardages. I think that 6500 yards is my best yardage depending on the other ratings. I think anything above 135 for slope rating is starting to test my skills. Anything above 140, I think it is time for me to move forward. I do not care about the course rating because I generally try to play to par.

Selecting the proper tee for your game is more challenging than showing up and always playing the tips. I like to play a longer course, but not at the expense of struggling around the links for four hours. It is important to find the right mix of distance and difficulty to truly have fun when playing a course for the first time.

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


4 thoughts on “Picking The Right Tees To Have Fun At A Golf Course

  1. Jim, before playing a new course, my eye goes straight to the scorecard’s yardage. And the item first up is distance on the par-4s. Too many over 400 puts the most pressure on my game because it requires two solid shots to get close. On the long par-3s it only requires one good shot. Most enjoyable for me are courses in the 6,000- 6,700 range.



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  2. I made a decision when I started tracking my handicap to play from the men’s tee box rather than from the back. I just thought that if I could get good enough to break par from there, then it would be time to push to the back tee’s. I’ve broken par twice now, but I am still playing the men’s tee box almost exclusively when it’s my decision unless I’m with a group that just wants to play from the back. I do that because I still don’t think I’m ready to “graduate” quite yet. But when I’m lucky enough to get a chance to play a course I’ve seen the pro’s play, like Copperhead here close by, then I prefer playing from the tips even though it generally beats me up. But there’s a special thrill to birdie a hole like number 14 there from the tips. 590 yards, double dogleg. Tee shot is downhill and the final approach shot is slightly uphill. I haven’t seen the pro’s hit in from the top of the flower bed like I did😂, but I got a birdie and I’ve watched a whole lot of pro’s get beat up by that hole and a few do what seems miraculous and hit the green in two. Getting your own birdie somewhere like that while playing from the same tee box the pro’s use will leave you feeling good even though you might have totally botched it most of the rest of the day. I hit that shot over a decade ago and I can still see it better than I can my hole in 1.
    Our courses here at the complex open in the morning. I’m not sure if I’ll try to get out the 1st day or not. It’s going to be a nice day to play though. Maybe I’ll just ride my bike over by the course first and see how crowded it is on day one. It’s better not to push things too fast and if lines are forming, it’s probably best to have a little patience.


    • Kevin,

      Selecting the proper tees is important because it is good for our game. I play te white tees mostly now, but will move.back tot he tips if there is tournament coming. I do this for practice. Getting beat up from the tips all the time is not fun, especially when I know I do not have the game for it. This we are in agreement, I do like the graduate thought process, makes perfect sense. Great to hear your courses will be opening today! Have fun and stay safe.

      Cheers Jim


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