A Rose By Any Other Name
I found myself in a conversation with another golfer the other day about which set of tees "amateur" golfers should play. And it hit us that the whole "Tee It Forward" idea is a great one, but how can you choose a set of tees objectively when they are named "Championship", "Mens", "Seniors", "Ladies", etc. That is so completely meaningless. How many guys under 65 do you know that would allow themselves to play "Seniors" tees? Or even worse, "Ladies"? Even though their distance profile would indicate that's where they should be.

And why should a solid lady golfer who can hit tee shots 230-260 be moved up to the "Ladies" tees that might not measure 5200 yards or so? She won't be challenged.

And I'm only 3-1/2 years from 65, but I find our regular "Mens" tees my preferred challenge, but like to go to the back tees often as well. I certainly don't want to turn our country club into a driver/wedge course.

To this argument my friend suggested that the tees be marked by handicap. But to that I replied that there are a dozen or more golfers at our club alone who are longer than me, but can't stay within ten strokes of my scores.

I'm a firm believer that the tees that will give you the most enjoyment could be "coded" by your distance profile and drop all the sexist designations. After all, there are laws against discrimination by age or sex, right? What if we launched a movement to code the tees by your distance profile? Each course's scorecard could offer a guide to "How to get the most enjoyment out of your round at "Rolling Hills". Then it could offer this: "Select the right set of tees to match your distance profile".

Your five iron distance Tees
185 or more Black
165-185 White
150-165 Gold
135-150 Red
Under 135 ???

Something like this should go hand in hand with the "Tee It Forward" initiative.

What do you guys think? Would you move up a set of tees ... or back ... if the names were different?
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[ comments ]
ally1957 says:
someone this web site posted a formula 5 iron distance x 36. play the tees nearest that yardage however on my course that would be ladies tees
So thats not going to happen!
But it does give an indication of how easy or hard you might find the course playing from the mens comp or even championship tees.
I think the yardage guide would be an improvement with no reference to age or sex. The most important issue when selecting a tee is the will of the group. If you have some who hit it far and some who don't, it becomes contentious to have a match with some hitting it forward and some not. So everyone hits from the back tees or everyone hits from the whites. The long hitters would feel shortchanged if they could not use their distance advantage.
Nate Overtree says:
Occasionally I will will play from the red tees on my home courses (5200-5400) using nothing longer than a 6-iron (avg. 165). The net result is faster play and about two shots below my index. Not because the course is shorter, but because the ball stays in play more. I also makes the three longest holes more manageable, since I don't come to the tee thinking bogey is a good score and par would be great.
Gordon 1955 says:
In the UK we do not this problem as the majority of courses just have 3 sets of tees and they are restricted to:
White - Mens Competition Tees (only used for official club competitions).
Yellow - Mens Tee of the Day (all pay and play, societies, roll ups, social golf use this tee).
Red - For Ladies (all games, including competitions).
I have played golf where there are tees further back but they are "reserved" for professional golfers and elite amature edvents - not for us mere mortals.
I find golf a big enough challenge trying to reach long 4 par holes in 2 good hits so why would I want to play from tees where reaching the green in 1 on a par 3 or 2 on a par 4 becomes almost impossible? Just my tuppence worth.
LaineyT says:
I'm not a fan of choosing the tee box based solely on how far someone drives the ball. That method doesn't take into account a player's accuracy. I don't drive the ball much farther than 150 yds but I do consistently advance the ball and stay on or close to the fairway so I decide which tee box to play by checking out the course ratings and determining beforehand if I'm likely to reach the fairway with my drive. Eg. if the white or gold tees require a drive over large water hazards or ravines etc, making it unlikely that I'll be able reach the fairway then I'll stick to the reds for that golf course.
Theoldskier says:
I agree with Lainey. I'm a senior golfer with an index that stays between 10 & 12, but still hit my drives 225-250 and at my home course can reach the par 4's in 2 and the 5's in 3 if I'm playing decent. When I play other courses I decide which tee box based on the lengths of the holes and whether I think I can reach in regulation.
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