Tee It Up
By Snyper on 10/18/10
Matt is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. His column will appear each Monday on ClubSG. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions of Matt in the comments. Don't hold back- because Matt won't.

It seems that there are a lot of companies competing for your business in just about every aspect of the game of golf. For me, the most surprising area of competition is the business of making tees. I mean, it's a tee! All it does is hold up your ball for a few seconds until your driver does its job. That is not a very complicated task. Well, turns out that even in its simplicity, there is still a few dollars to be made.

The most basic and still the most common tee is still the good old fashion wooden tees. They vary in height from an inch and a half to over four inches. And, of course, they are made in just about every color you can imagine. Fancy colors can look nice and the fluorescent ones are easy to find for reuse, but those colors also end up all over your driver and can be a pretty big pain to remove. However, the natural wood grain tees can be a lot tougher to locate. The best color for me is white. It can be removed from clubs pretty easily and is also easy enough to see when lying in the green grass. In fact, for me, a white, wooden tee at about three and a half inches is the prefect way to start each hole. My only complaint about wooden tees is that they break very easily. In normal conditions, I probably only make it three or four holes with the same tee before it either breaks or is lost. On dry days, wooden tees seem to break on almost every shot. Knowing that these are common complaints by golfers who use wooden tees, some creative minds started to come up with solutions.
The biggest problem with plastic tees is that they don't have the strength of wooden tees and can be impossible to use when the ground is hard.

The first solution was the plastic tee. Plastic tees were developed and produced in the same fashion as the wooden tees, but they lasted much longer because they wouldn't break when used. However, they have their own set of problems. The biggest problem with plastic tees is that they don't have the strength of wooden tees and can be impossible to use when the ground is hard. Once a plastic tee starts to lose its strength, it bends every time you try to use it and becomes much more of a hassle than a help. The last thing I want to do after making a bogie is fight my plastic tee until it sits at the right angle to hold up my ball. Though plastic tees do last longer than the wood tees, the lack of strength combined with a hard feeling on impact is enough deterrent to keep me away.

The biggest break through in the plastic tee world is probably the zero friction tees. These tees have three prongs that support the ball instead of the traditional bowl at the top of the tee. The idea is that with less surface area contacting the ball, there will be less friction holding the ball to the tee when the club impacts it. Gotta tell ya, I’m not buying it. Though I don’t believe that I’m going to gain any yardage, I will say that these tees do feel softer on impact than the typical plastic tees. But, the vertical strength of these plastic tees seems even less. Plus, they are also more easily broken as the prongs are not very strong and will not last forever. So, if I have to use a plastic tee, I would probably prefer the zero friction, but the softer feel is still not enough for me to make the switch.

Probably the strangest thing in the world of tees right now is the brush tee. I just can't decide what my problem is with this thing, but I am not a fan. They do create just about the softest feel imaginable at impact, but having no friction at all just seems wrong. They look pretty goofy and I can't help but feeling like a beginner every time I try to use one. I don't know, maybe I'm just too cool for them, but I cannot force myself to use the brush tee.
I don't know, maybe I'm just too cool for them, but I cannot force myself to use the brush tee.

Perhaps the coolest looking tee that I have seen is the Tomahawx tee. This thing is designed with the base of the tee shaped as a blade. The idea is that the blade slices through the ground on impact so that the tee does not break. It actually makes sense and seems like it would work. Of course, the company claims that their tee also gives you more distance because of the lower amount of friction, but I’m still not buying that. I will, however, give them that their tee looks awesome and seems as though it would at least increase the life of the tee. I haven’t tried one yet, but I have full intentions of giving them a shot at some point. The only downside of the Tomahawx tee is that they are also plastic. I’ll try not to hold that against them until I have a chance to try them out.

There are a lot of crazy tees in the market right now, but I still prefer the traditional wooden tee. I’m curious as to if any of you have found one of these new designs that you really like. All you have to do is a quick Google search and you will find all sorts of strange designs that claim to increase your yardage and be unbreakable, but has anyone actually tried a design that they prefer over the traditional style? If so, I’d love to hear about it. I’m always up for trying new things, but I have yet to find a tee that impresses me enough to make a switch. I have yet to see a tour pro tee it up with anything other than they standard tee, which kind of surprises me. You would think it would be a small sacrifice to make a little money by using a different tee, but I have yet to see it. When I see the big boys breaking out the brush tee, maybe then I’ll consider updating my selection. Until then, I’ll stay with the old school.

* Matt's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.

photo source

[ comments ]
JohnKay79 says:
I’ve tried every tee on the market… Even the Zero Friction tee that has the round piece on it that allows you to set the height and have it be consistent…

And I got to tell ya… I love the brush tee! Wooden tees not only break, but there is no way to be 100% consistent with the height of the tee. Same with most plastic tee’s. The Zero Friction with the round setting piece breaks pretty easy for a plastic tee… The notches probably make it weaker. And the Tomahawk tee is cool, but I lost all of them! Sure they don’t break, and they are supposed to just go straight down after impact, but somehow I sent all my flying into never-never-land.

The brush tee solves all the issues. Consistent height, long lasting (been using the same brush tee for 9 rounds), soft feel and I get to be different than everyone else…
Golfguy3 says:
Tomahawx tees do seem cool, and i am looking to try them myself. I hear ya' on the strength issue with plastic tees. I currently use the Evolve Epoch tees, and even with their "thickness", (which is why I gave them a try), the longer ones at 3.25" bend pretty easily with the slightest firmness in the tee box.

Although I was pretty much done with the plastic tees at this point, I noticed that Tomahawx Tees claim to be unbreakable. On their website they have a "Teed for Life" guarantee that if you break one, just fill our a short form on their website explaining how/why it broke, and they will replace it for free.

Seems cool. I'll try them and see how it goes.
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