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!