Many amateurs fear moving to the back tees because of the added distance to every tee and approach shot. Personally, I am not fussed about this aspect of the challenge and relish the opportunity to put stress on my game. So, a few days ago I stepped back to the tips at Osprey Links Golf Course to practice playing longer distances. Unfortunately, my experiment did not go as planned, but it was great fun regardless.
Moving back to the blue tees at my home course only adds 205 yards to the length of the back 9. However, those 205 yards do change the challenge because the back 9 is very tight on all but the two par 5s. The biggest change is on the 17th hole, the extra 33 yards really changes the shot. This is what the blues tees look like:
Generally, I would find 3032 yards (back 9 distance from the blue tees) rather shortish, However, for some reason a couple of days ago I had to really grind to shot a 6-over 41. I hit the ball great off the tee, but my approach shots were less than stellar. It was not that hitting from 120 yards (made 2 of 6 from this distance) to the green is a challenge, but I seemed to pull everything left. The funny thing is that a 120 yard approach shot is in my wheel house. But, alas not a few days ago.
Moving back to the tips is part of my strategy to be more aggressive. By hitting from the blue tees, I provide a greater opportunity to play more aggressively. I am a bit farther back from the green, have different approach angles and can cut a few more corners when possible. For that reason my experiment of moving back was a success.
I have had the opportunity think about my round from the tips and I realized that my club selection was very good. I was hitting the ball to the pin most of the time, but everything went left. Not because I was pulling anything, but because I was setting up that way. I am not sure why, however with this information, I knew I would be ready for the next round from the blues.
The reason I can move back to the blues at Osprey Links is because it is still in a good playing distance for me. If the back nine at my home course was closer to 3500 yards, I would rarely move back. It would not be realistic for me to play that long, especially on a tight course. So, a bit of advice for you grateful golfers, when selecting a tee to play ensure that you have the game or else it will be a long day. This video should be helpful:
As amateurs, we should never fear moving tee boxes. In my case, I can easily play all the tee boxes at Osprey Links. The blue tees at 6400 yards fits perfectly to my game and as such I can move forward or back depending on my mood. Moving tees never scares me, but I am cognizant of playing a distance that is reasonable and fun. Not just for me, but for the playing partners as well.
Playing from the tips a few days ago was great fun (regardless of my score). I plan on playing it more this year and hopefully it will improve my game enough to lower my handicap.
Do you play different tees? If so, how do you base your decisions.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!