Playing From The Tips
By Kickntrue on 10/2/07
By Matt Snyder, oobgolf contributer

You may not give it a lot of thought before you decide, but one of the most important decisions of your round and of your game as a whole is made on the first tee of each round. That decision that set of tees from which you will be playing your round that day. A lot of times, people make this choice for no reason or all the wrong reasons. "I don't hit the ball long enough to play 'back there'." "I may shoot 105 today, but everyone around the first tee will think I'm good because I'm playing the tips." Or how bout this, "I'm playing the front tees because I can't wait to brag about my score in the clubhouse at the end of the round." The nice guy says, "I'll play wherever you guys want to play." Those are all reasons we use to determine the answer to this important question, and they are all the wrong reasons.
Playing the back tees is a great way for a mediocre player (10 -20 handicapper) to make himself better. If you are playing the middle tees, you are lying to yourself.

First of all, I don't even want to hear about your score if you played the front tees. Keep it to yourself! You can tell me how you played, and I'll listen to you talk about your round, but don't tell me what you shot! If you are someone who likes to make your scores known to everyone you see, then you shouldn't be playing a watered down version of the course. You should be playing the course at its most difficult setting. If you're good enough to talk the talk, walk the walk. Now, that is not to say that no one should ever tee it up from the whites. There are several good reasons to play the front tees. For someone who is just starting to learn the game, the front tees are a good option... for a while. For someone who is older and just can't hit the ball far enough to have any fun at all playing the back tees, by all means, play the front tees. If you truly do not care about your score or your game in general, and you just want to have fun with your buddies, the whites are for you as well. But like I said, if you are going to play the white/front tees, understand what goes along with that decision.
Often times we go to play a 'nice' course and we are overwhelmed. Well, part of the reason is that we don't even challenge ourselves at our home course.

Now, to all of you 'middle tee' people, what is the point? If you hit the ball far enough to play the middle tees, you hit it far enough to play the back tees. Distance is not an issue for you. Perhaps you choose neither the front nor the back because you see it as a compromise. "Well, I'm a little embarrassed to play the front tees, but I'm not good enough to play the tips." NOT TRUE! Playing the back tees is a great way for a mediocre player (10 -20 handicapper) to make himself better. If you are playing the middle tees, you are lying to yourself. The challenge of the back tees will increase your skill level much more quickly than staying at the middle length tees. The course is designed to be played from the back tees. Anything else is a watered down version of that course. Playing an easier course does not make you a better player. Challenging yourself by playing the tips makes you better because it makes you hit every type of shot. You can't avoid the long irons or fairway woods. Sometimes you're going to have to lay up on a par 5. That one hole that is short enough for you to hit a fairway wood off the tee, you now must use a driver. Obviously, when you first make the switch to the back tees, your scores will probably inflate slightly. You will, however, watch them fall quickly as you learn to manage your game. At that point, you know that you are playing the course at it's best and that your score is not tainted; it's legit. This will also help you with the transition from your 'home' course to other 'nicer' courses. Often times we go to play a 'nice' course and we are overwhelmed. Well, part of the reason is that we don't even challenge ourselves at our home course. We avoid hitting shots we aren't good at by playing the middle or front tees. But at other courses, we may need to hit those shots despite the tee box we choose to play from. So make yourself better. Work for a more complete game and stop compromising at the middle tees. Come on back and join us at the tips!

Lastly, let's talk to you 'low handicappers' (0-9). There is absolutely no excuse for you to be playing anything but the back tees everywhere you go! You should be ashamed of yourselves for ever teeing it up from anything but the tips. It's obvious that you play enough golf and care enough about your game to be challenging yourself by playing the course as it is designed to be played. Your scores from any other tees should mean nothing to you or anyone you care to share them with. As previously stated, those tees have their place, but they are not for you. They are for those who do not have either the physical strength to enjoy a round from a longer distance or those who do not care about their score or their game and are just out to have a good time. You, my friend, fall into neither of those categories. Your handicap assures us of that. Hopefully, there aren't many of you out there to which this applies. But if you are one of the few, it's time to change! It's time to take a step back and play the game 'for real'. Come on back and experience the tips. Don't be scared, you'll be a better golfer for it.


[ comments ]
volleyhart says:
I'll take you up on that challenge ...
4/17/07
 
klangdon says:
Be careful what you ask. With golfers in the 20 handicap range playing the back tees your going to see play times slow down...
4/17/07
 
Cal says:
^ What Kevin said.

Most mid handicappers don't know how to think their way around a course, they mostly just try and bomb it and play it from wherever it lands. They don't lay up, they don't chip out sideways, they don't think - hence the handicap.

They should use the whites, and learn to play to their strengths, and find out what their strengths are - then give themselves an extra challenge by playing from the tips.
4/17/07
 
Snyper says:
The pace of play beeing effected by the tees that you play is a common misunderstanding. People who play slow have slow habits i.e. looking for balls for 10 minutes, taking forever to line up a putt, a four hour pre-shot routine...those are the things that effect pace of play the most. Those people are as slow from the whites as from the tips. Their slow play does not mean they should sacrafice their game to compensate for their bad ettiquete. Their playing partners are responsible for encouraging them to change their bad habits.

Making the game easier by ignoring your weaknesses does not make you a better player. If they are a midhandicaper and they want to get better, they need to move back and learn to play the game the right way from the get go.
4/17/07
 
golfray says:
Gee I wonder why those ignorant golf club designers even put those pansy white tees on golf courses. Even a 13 year old girl can hit 300 yards.
4/18/07
 
chipotle mg says:
this is very interesting. nice post.
10/2/07
 
duecebomb says:
go big or go home is the underlying statement here i think...
10/3/07
 
TaylorFade says:
It was my understanding that the tees are handicap dependant. Usually, 0-9 = tips or back tees, 10-19 = middle, and seniors or 20+ cappers get the whites.

But anyway, I don't mind playing the tips. All of the fairway hazards are designed for the middle tees anyway, so I can't even reach the fairway bunkers from the tips.

I see no reason to play the tips if you can't break 90 from the blues.
10/6/07
 
monsterzues says:
I agree with the story. I was challenged to play the NCAA tips at the AF Acadamy blue course and enjoyed every challenge that came my way. My score was affected a little bit, but what I learned from it will stay with me for every round yet to come. It was the first time I was challenged with a 600 yard hole. It was a true game of golf, one of the first that I had really experianced. It actually taught me to think about every shot. I will take your challenge from now on, my group doesn't mind me playing the tips. Good story and good points.
3/26/08
 
birdiemaker_72 says:
What about more bang for the buck?...we should all stretch the joy out as long as possible
4/15/08
 
whomsley says:
This past Memorial Day Weekend I played TPC at Sugarloaf with my uncle-in-law who is a member, carries a 4 club handicap and 42 year veteran of the sport. We were joined by an 8 year member of the club. I have only been playing for 3 years and all agreed to play from the blue tees. This was my first official round playing from the tips and I had a blast. As challenging as it was I kept up with these two gentlemen just fine, outdriving them on some holes and finishing with a sense of accomplishment.

I played this morning from the tips at my home course and will play no other way from this point forward. Tip to tip is how the game should be played, unless of course, you are just starting out or nearing the end of your golfing career.
5/28/08
 
Smskelton says:
Great Post. I hope all the players at your club take you up on it. After that, bring them to Tucson and play Starr Pass. Just don't forget to bring three dozen extra balls and a flashlight to find their way in after dark when they've lost all their balls in the desert. Just let us know when your coming so we can make sure we're somewhere else that day.
6/5/08
 
chief says:
I have played from the tips twice this year.I find it to be quite refreshing.If nothing else, it is a good lesson for mygame.
7/13/08
 
ToddRobb says:
The group of about six guys that I play with on a regular basis all carry a 10 handicap or less. We only play the tips wherever we play. Every now and then we have a single from the walk on list join us. The funny thing is we usually "peer pressure" the guy into playing from the tips. We always make sure to mention that "they can play the white tees if they want to".
I have yet to play with someone that was "peer pressured" into playing the tips, play well.
7/14/08
 
ToddRobb says:
continued:
In my experience, it turns out to put more pressure on their game they're not used to. That being said, I always thought that if you are a 10 or more that you should NOT play from the tips. For the mere fact of why make the course MORE difficult. The harsh reality is, in my opinion, most golfers are NOT actually trying to get better. Most would love to play "good golf", but few have the time, energy, desire, etc.. to actually try to improve their game. That's why the average American golfers score is around 100. I feel that you should plan on enjoying your round of golf,if you get enjoyment out "challenging" yourself, by all means tee it up from the tips.
7/14/08
 
Kickntrue says:
I think courses play a large role in what tees you end up playing with their "recommendations" which have mostly to do with pace of play. I don't think pace of play has anything to do with how long the course is you are playing- it's in the little things. My scores have improved dramatically once I started playing the tips- and my long iron play has become a ton better independent of scoring.
9/9/08
 
birdieXris says:
I love playing from the tips, nomatter where i go. Even when i'm out with better golfers and there's what i like to call the "death tips" i want to play them and they say "no way, are you serious?". Why is everyone so afraid to play a course longer than 6500-or 6800? Not that there are many around here.

then it's into the clubhouse for some tenderloin tips. mmmm.
9/9/08
 
TimmyBede says:
You make a good point but youGÇÖre leaving out one important point. Golfers should know the course lengths they are comfortable with. Most courses I play are 6,200 GÇô 6,600 yards long from the back tees. If the course is over 6,800 yards from the back tees I might play from the middle tees. There is no reason for me to play Bethpage Black or Red that measure over 7,000 yards from the back tees. The middle tees at these courses are MORE then challenging. I say, know your limits.
9/9/08
 
turk944 says:
I think if you are a good player (<10) you can play from the tips regardless. I tried playing them for a while as a high handicapper and it wasn't much different in most cases. I just got frustrated trying to play a 615 yard par 5 at the course I used to play a lot. I think the total distance should be a good gauge as to what tees to play from. One course I play regularly, the tips are only 6,250 vs one that plays almost 7,000. I once read a good gauge was take your 6-iron distance and multiply it by 35 or 36 to see what a good set of tees would be. I don't remember where I heard this, so I may be way off, just an idea.
9/9/08
 
turk944 says:
sorry, its 5i distance x 36
9/9/08
 
El Presidente says:
Unless you are making a living from playing golf...play from whatever tees you enjoy the most. The USGA makes no recommendation as to what tees to play from based on anything including ones handicap). The USGA does, however, adjust ones handicap based on the difficulty (from 10 criteria including distance).
In my golf experiance of 30+ years I have found that the only people who think everyone should play from the tips are long hitters who are envious of a shorter hitter with a lower handicap!
9/9/08
 
TheBrownCrayon says:
So I'm a little confused...Everywhere that I play there are 4 sets of tees; Red, White, Blue, Black. MAYBE a gold. So are we throwing out the Red tee? I almost always head to the Blues out of habit whether there is one behind it or not. What are we calling middle tees?
9/9/08
 
kidputter says:
I play from both the middle tees and the tips. My Tuesday league and Sunday league are based on handicap. Greater than 9 play the tips. Otherwise it's the middle. My handicap is a 14 in both leagues. My Saturday league, only the seniors play from the middle. May handicap there is 16. Length only comes into play for the 2nd shot. Instead of middle iron it's a long iron. After that the game is pretty much the same.
9/9/08
 
falcon50driver says:
Listen to the President
9/10/08
 
mantajim says:
The 'senior' tee at my home course have a slope of 135, higher than a lot of courses 'tips'. Should this have a bearing on which tees to play?
One fellow in our group plays the senior tee during the week and the 'men's' tees on the weekend. He scores about the same on both but usually better from the men's. This lowers his handicap, and so we usually take his money during the week.
9/10/08
 
mantajim says:
...continued...
Our senior playday has a different format each week, about once ever two months we have 'Beat the Pro' in which we allow one of the assistant pros to play with us from the 'senior tees'. We usually hear things like 'This is so different, I'm not sure how to play this, or I think I can reach the green from the tees.' They usually play fine, but it has pushed them outside their 'box' and caused them to think about the 'new' course they're playing.
Why restict yourself to any one tee, by playing them all, you have 3 slightly different courses to play. This will have the effect of challenging you to play all your clubs better.
I play from them all and when I play well from the tips it does feel good.
9/10/08
 
Werepuppie says:
I play from the tees with a slope rating closest to 70 but not over the first time.If I break 100 I go back a tee etc.The thing is tees seem to be based on distance you can hit.Par 4s are not designed to be driver 3 wood.I hit a good drive around 250-270.i cannot even reach many par 4s from the tips,so what is the point?
7/8/09
 
mmontisano says:
i play whatever tees have a slope rating of 130 or closest to it. until i get better, that's my limit and i know it. whether it be 6800 or 6000, i'll have a good indicator of where my game stands.
7/8/09
 
Kickntrue says:
When this article was first posted- I was very much in the "tips" camp, and I do think it can help improve scores, but now I think I'm more in the "slope" camp. It sometimes seems like an arbitrary number- but picking a slope to play does seem to keep things consistant.
7/8/09
 
mjaber says:
I've been playing golf for about a year and a half. I started playing from the white tees, which are one up from the tips on the local courses here, and will continue to do so for the near future. Everyone I play with also uses the whites, regardless of how long they have been playing. If my game improves to the point where I am consistently in the "bogey golf range", I will consider a move to the tips. Until then, I don't see a reason to frustrate the group behind me by trying to play beyond my current skill level.

I've been tempted, on occasion, just to give it a try, and I might, if I'm off as a single on a quiet day at the course. It would be a one-off thing for the time being, though.

It's your game, play to your skill level, and your strengths.
7/8/09
 
jpleboeuf says:
I'm sure you realize you come off as condescending and holier than thou in this post. I think you're forgetting why most people play the game, to have fun. I play the middle tees almost everywhere I go. This means I'm usually playing courses in the 6400-6500 yd range. I like to have a mixture of short, birdieable holes, medium length driver - 7-9 iron holes, and a couple driver - 5 iron holes. I like to be able to go for a par 5 or two. If I played courses at 7000 yds I'd be hitting driver - long to mid iron into all but a couple par 4s, and not be able to go at any par 5s. Sounds like a hell of a good time!
7/8/09
 
jpleboeuf says:
Also, I agree with werepuppie who said that par 4s are designed to be reachable in two. If there is even one par 4 on a course where a person can't even reach with two perfect shots, then he's not playing the tees that were designed for him.
7/8/09
 
klangdon says:
jpleboeuf, i agree entirely about it being about having fun. To say you should always play from the tips is like saying you should never play an executive course. The reality is its a heck of a lot of fun to fell like your a pro on a few holes, and you can't always do that from the tips.
7/8/09
 
Jake Bogardus says:
OK I really disagree with this post. While I play the tips most of the time, I will also play up a tee at times. Truth is it really doesn't matter where you play from. This is why the handicap formula is the way it is, if I want to shoot even par from the whites I end up with approximately the same handicap as I do if I shoot 3 over from the back. Also playing from different tees allows you to experience the course in different ways and gives you a nice variety. I can play the white tees and work playing more positioning golf hitting long irons and fairway woods off the tee. Then I can always move back and hit my driver more.
7/8/09
 
Lerxst says:
Wow I cant believe the seemingly "Shooter McGavin" egotistical article I just wasted time reading. What a bunch of testosterone. I play what yardages I can realistically hit, and yes it would slow down play for me if everyone would insist that I played the "tips" (just another word for "Im so pro"). Why? Because I cant reach the green in two on a par 4 from there - so what will I do? Try to hit the ball as far as I possibly can, and guess where it goes? Then I'll be off in the jungle looking for my ball slowing down my play. Nope. Ill play whatever I feel I can hit wheather it be white, blue, or "Pro". Whatever. When I get to the point where Im not feeling challenged, then I may change my tee selection. Until then "Shooter" - go meet yourself on the 9th green at 9:00 sharp.
7/8/09
 
k-von says:
I can think of better ways for budding golfers to improve their game than spending six hours and three sleeves of balls while flailing from the tips. I'll continue to hit from the whites until my handicap clears 20 and I'll continue to jeer anyone worse than me fooling themselves by playing from the tips.
7/8/09
 
jp24 says:
I agree with the President. I hit it between 260-290 rarely ever hitting it over 300 in the air without wind behind me. I'm a 19 handicap and hardly ever go for the green in two on Par 5's. If you add 40-50 yards to a 500 yard hole you're reaching in three from the whites you've taken the wedges out of your hands on your 3rd shot and now you are probably hitting 7 or 8 iron. If you want to practice your long iron play by all means hit from the tips. If you want to enjoy golf and score or at least try to score then any tees that you're comfortable with work.

By the way "peer pressuring someone to play from the tips, nice?" Why would you do that, do you feel better about your games if you watch someone who doesn't normally play from the tips and probably doesn't belong back there shoot 115? Just a question. I'd pop off back, if you pay for my round you can suggest where I should play from, cause I'm a smart@ss.
7/8/09
 
jp24 says:
I love golf that's why I'm getting my children involved in the game. I however find little joy in shooting a 100+ ever. To me spending the money on golf should be enjoyable and challenging but if you can't break 90 from the whites or blues you have no business hitting from the tips on a regular basis. If you do hit from the tips more power to you and I'm jealous that you get to golf more than I do. Maybe I should play from the tips then when I do shoot 100 at least I'll be able to say I played from the tips, "That's why I SUCK!" Yea that's the ticket, now I have a disclaimer.
7/8/09
 
skirchner says:
Well here is my take on this issue. I play the middle tee during my weekly league and when a side bet is on-line and thats part of the bet. Other than that I agree with you. Play the back tees and improve your game. Also if you want to know where you stand in your game play two-ball worse ball. I am a 5 handicapper from the back tees and if I play two-ball worse ball I have hard time breaking 85. Try you will see. Just try to hit two drives straight down the fairway back to back. OR even worse sink a 25 footer and it does not count talk about demorilizing.

Just my thoughts
7/8/09
 
aaronw409 says:
You know, the pros don't play from the tips on every hole in PGA tournaments. They might even play some holes from different distances each day of the tournament, just like different pin positions. Sometimes I play the front 9 from the middle and the back 9 from the tips or vice versa.
7/8/09
 
GolfSmith7 says:
Besides a golf specific workout program the thing I contribute most to dropping my handicap from 20 to 11 is playing from the tips. I discovered that in think more about strategy I relaxed more and thought less about swing mechanics and just let my natural ability take over. Mind you I have only being playing Golf for 3 years this month. I practice and my goal for the end of the summer is to have a single digit handicap. So tips all the way if you are truly into Golf.
7/8/09
 
jpleboeuf says:
I'm surprised to see so many people agreeing. It's funny that I rarely see anyone playing from the tips when I'm actually on the golf course. You guys play at night?
7/8/09
 
jerdman says:
I love playing the tips and you're right jpleboeuf, I rarely see anyone else playing from them regardless of how short the course is. I think this article is directed at those with the distance that don't man up and play it back. Alot of the affordable courses I play are only 6200-6500 yards and thats all the short variety I need. But I'm always on the lookout for a good deal on more challenging courses like the 7500 yarder we have here in Columbus. That course is long, but none of the holes were out of reach. If its a real struggle to reach the green in regulation then you should play the appropriate set of tees, but when I'm being driven into when I'm by the green and the guys behind me are playing the whites, thats where we have a problem.
7/8/09
 
aaronw409 says:
In Birmingham, AL there is a course called Ross Bridge. The tips are 8000 yards. Anyone game? There is a Champions Tour event there and they don't even play it from 8000 yards. I think its fun to play from different tees, especially if you play the same course on a regular basis. But to say that anyone who doesn't play from the back tees is not "truly into golf" is ridiculous.
7/8/09
 
onedollarwed says:
The poster is flat out wrong on one count: Many courses are NOT designed to be played from the tips. In NE particularly you have a lot of older courses. Some of the courses try to make themselves legit (Host tour events) by adding yardage any way they can. They start adding tee boxes further and further back wherever it is possible. Some of the tee boxes are in terrible locations and at bad angles. There is a par-3 island hole in Cranston RI. Typically (because the island is shallow to the tees) Red is 75, white 105, and blue 125. Anyone with a low ball flight (seniors, kids) can't land it on the green. Now they're building a tee box way back at like 200+ yds and at a weird angle. Just adding difficulty does not a good hole make. Why did they do this? Because there is all sorts of property in that area, and they want to reach a minimum yardage for the whole course.
7/8/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Also, if you're right, why are there sometimes 4 or more sets of tees at courses? Is this some kind of conspiracy against the common man?
Otherwise, I completely agree, and usually play from the farthest back. Occasionally I'll defer to 3 other players' tee selection out of loneliness
7/8/09
 
aaronm04 says:
While I agree that low handicappers should be using the tips, to say that everyone should and that good scores, in your view, can only be had from there is pure snobbery. The other tees are there for a reason and at my club, I see a LOT of groups playing from the back tees who shouldn't be. They are not good golfers, not long hitters, and wind up slowing down pace of play because of it. If you hit more shots, you will play slower. Even if everything else you do is fast.

Golfers *should* challenge themselves. That doesn't mean they should always play from the hardest tee when they are not at that level.

The game is hard enough. Play to your level (tees), develop some confidence, and move up as you improve. And HAVE FUN. No matter what the golf snobs say.
7/8/09
 
carv712 says:
I've seen enough courses with 4/5 par holes - Either a long par 4 from the middle tees or a shorter par 5 from the tips. Seems like Snyder is saying to play the tips to get the most challenge from the course. Does this mean playing the long par 4 from the middle or the easy par 5 from the back?
7/8/09
 
RJSchuchman says:
Not sure if some of you have read the same article I did?? Snyder clearly states, several times, in fact, that there are instances when you should NOT play the tips: "Now, that is not to say that no one should ever tee it up from the whites. There are several good reasons to play the front tees. For someone who is just starting to learn the game, the front tees are a good option... for a while. For someone who is older and just can't hit the ball far enough to have any fun at all playing the back tees, by all means, play the front tees. If you truly do not care about your score or your game in general, and you just want to have fun with your buddies, the whites are for you as well". What he's getting at is: don't brag about shooting 74 from the middle or lesser tees....If you can play from the middles, and score well, you can most likely play from the tips! Every situation/course is different. If you can play the middles, challenge yourself to play the tips---if you want to improve your game.......
7/8/09
 
jbird899 says:
I alays play from the tips, its definately more challenging. If I have to play from the whites (league play or other cometitions), I can hear my brother in my head saying "you p****!".

For a even bigger challenge, try playing from true tips. Go to the back tees and tee it up one club length away from the end of the tee box regardless of where the tees are on the box.
7/8/09
 
cjgiant says:
@RJSchuchman - was about to say the same thing... although the tone of the article does come off as a bit condescending/snobbish, the underlying point is as you state.

And playing different tees at different times is a great way to improve your game. I say play the reds once in a while, or only use irons from a shorter tee. And feel free to tell me you shot par, but just be sure to clarify it.
7/8/09
 
OutOfBounds says:
I'm a hack who has a lot of fun when I play from the whites or mids. That is until I get stuck behind a foursome of 22-year-olds with Taylor Made visors, calloway bags, and cigars who are "playing the tips today". Oh Boy, they look the part, but they are slowing everyone down because they are looking for three out of their four tee-shots from the black tees that made a hard right into the woods at the red tees. The tips are there for those who can play 'em. If you can't, please move up. I'm with the guys who say "If you can't reach even one par-4 with two great shots when playing from the tips - please move up" Likewise, if you can't hit a findable tee shot because you had to come out of your spikes to reach a par-4 in two, please.....you guessed it...MOVE UP.
7/8/09
 
Snyper says:
There seems to be a little confusion about the post. It doews not say that everyone should be playing the tips. It says that if you want to get an honest measure of your game or if you are working to improve your game, play the tips. If you don't care about your game, IGNORE THE POST! Does it not clearly state examples of people who should play the whites??
7/9/09
 
Snyper says:
It cracks me up to hear the driving distances that people list for themselves as anywhere from 260-300, but they claim they can't reach par 4's in two! Um, if you hit it over 260, you've got 140-160 into most par 4's. If you hit it 260 off the tee, you can't be talking about anymore than a 7 or maybe 6 iron from those distances. So what's the problem?? Well, truth be told, most of us are a little confused about how far we actually hit the ball off the tee. And I do believe that you are suppossed to hit the green on a par 5 with your 3rd shot, not your 2nd. Again, play the reds if you want to get home in 2 everytime. But like the post says, DON'T BRAG ABOUT YOUR SCORE!

If you simply play golf to have fun and do well, then you should roll the ball everywhere, take every gimme, and play the farthest forward tees that they offer. Now, how many men are going to head up to the "women's" tees? Hmmmm...wonder why?
7/9/09
 
jpleboeuf says:
Snyper,
I guess the reason your post rubbed me the wrong way is because I am capable of playing from the tips, but for a few reasons I don't. The main reason is because I play mostly with my dad and a few of his friends, most of which drive it about 230. Secondly, I enjoy playing the occasional drivable par 4 and reachable par 5 and I like being rewarded with a short iron or wedge when I hit a great drive. Also, the gold tees at alot of the courses I play measure about 6500, and I don't think that's an unfair test of my game.

I guess I just don't want to spend my 4 hours of golf a week hitting 180 yard approach shots and laying up. I'll admit that.
7/9/09
 
JWHpurist says:
I played many rounds with my father,(30 yrs. my senior), he played from the mid or senior tees while I played from the Tips for challenge and improvement, (still do). We had great fun, no injured feelings, and usually finished 18 in 3 hrs when we were 1st. flight. An example of a sensible approach to this topic. JWHpurist
7/9/09
 
aaronm04 says:
I think what Snyper is getting at is sandbaggers. People who sandbag it on the reds and then brag about their score. There's a world of difference between sandbagging and realistically assessing your game.

I'm not a long hitter. I'm a 12 handicap. I play from the whites, sometimes from a mix of blues and whites(on the scorecard as a different set of tees), rarely from the blues. I've never hit a par 5 in two (came close once because of a big wind behind me). I struggle to reach the green in two on long par 4's. There is one par 3 on my home course that is further from the tips than I typically hit my driver.

While it may not be up to your lofty standards, I'm no less proud to shoot good scores from the whites. And you won't hear me bragging about them. It's not my style.
7/9/09
 
KPK704 says:
I agree with Taylorfade. If no one is behind you, sure T it up from the back once in a while, but not at 6:30 with 20 groups behind you. Us good players who have put our time in and have practiced hard and receieved lessons should not have to be held up by guys overstepping their boundaries! If you can't break 85-90 from the T you are on step forward. Playing a 7,200 yard course and having forced carries when you hit it 250 tops does you no good but balloon your score because you should not be playing back there anyway. These courses are designed to challenge a specific player not a 15-20 handicap playing the Tips who cannot hit a consistant solid shot. People forget that the object of this game is to score! You have to learn how to score and post a number consistently. We as human beings have fears of success, fear of shooting a low low number, until it becomes second nature. If you shoot a 79 or 84 from the whites move back to the blues and someday when you shoot a 79 - 84 again move back...Simple
7/9/09
 
Swingem says:
As much as any equipment I've purchased, or time spent practicing, I feel that playing from the tips has made a big difference in my game. I hit the ball longer, use more clubs in my bag, and manage the course better. Granted, a 20 hcp should not be playing the tips, but if you have some game and want to improve, moving back can help. For me, driver-wedge to every par 4 is dull. From the tips my long irons have improved, my short game around the greens has improved, and I am very aware of strategy regarding layups and missing in the right places. As a result my index has improved and I score as well and often better than I did from the blues. Just to mix it up, sometimes we'll play practice rounds from the whites and leave our drivers and 3 woods in the car. The payoff in game improvement has been considerable.
7/9/09
 
lazorbeam says:
Where should you be playing from...? Wherever you want to be. If you want to improve your game there are several people that have said that playing from the tips will help with that. I tend to agree. If you dont care about improving then play from where you want to, just dont brag about it when you break 80, because, remember you dont care, so why should I. I like the rule, multiply you average 5 iron times 36. find the tee that is in that neighborhood, and play from there.
7/9/09
 
mjaber says:
Using this line of thinking, does that mean someone who runs a great time in a half-marathon shouldn't talk about it because it wasn't a full marathon?

Just because I don't play from the tips doesn't mean I don't care about my game. It means that my game and my ability does not match the challenge of playing from the tips.

Perhapds this would be of interest. lifepast50.ca/topic-list/golf/averagegolfer/

If I'm under 100, I'm going to talk about it. If you're not interested, because you've been in the 80's all your life, that's fine with me. There are (according to the estimate at the link above) about 20 million golfers who will be happy for me.
7/9/09
 
Snyper says:
Ummm....if you run a half marathon in 2 hours, you shouldn't say you ran a marathon in 2 hours. However, if you start the half marathon with a 3 mile head start because your "ability" isn't up to the challenge of a full-length half marathon, then you shouldn't brag about your time.
7/9/09
 
osbourne says:
Play whatever tees you like! Your short game is still going to determine what you shoot!
7/10/09
 
eggdog17 says:
funny reading this today. i walked on and played with a pretty decent player. i topped my first drive and shot and 8. the next hole i out drove him by about 15 yards and shot par. i was playing whites, he was playing blues. after every decent drive he kept telling i should be playing from the blues. the problem is i'm inconsitent (shot 93). i can bomb it pretty good, but lack that all important consistancy with irons, short game and driver. long story short, i told him my best score was and 81. he said "white tees?", responding yes, so he said that score doesnt count. so i have an oobgolf handicap of 18, does it count since its mostly from the white tees?
7/10/09
 
eggdog17 says:
oh yeah, for the last par 5 hole, i joined him on the blue tees. pushed drive into bunker got it out to 170 with a 6I. chuncked a 5I punch shot under a tree. perfect GW 6 foot from the hole; got par. my new buddy got double boogie. so maybe i should try the tips more often.
7/10/09
 
free816 says:
i play to 6800 tops, doesnt matter where the tees are. ive played a eagle pointe in hilton head from the tips. 7200 is not fun. my hdcp is 7.4
7/10/09
 
gdouglas says:
I'm a 20 handicapper and typically played from the middle tee's until recently when I was joined by a 60 year old guy who was hitting from the tips. As ToddRobb says, I was peer pressured to play from the tips and after the first couple of holes, I settled my nerves and played really well. (funny but true)
I realized that I had to hit clubs that typically only get used on the range and that gave me more confidence for rounds to follow. My game has improved, although my handicap does not reflect it, but I know what I need to work on to continue to improve.
Great article and feedback from the community.
7/10/09
 
Agustin says:
There's a reson why each set of tees have their own Slope and Rating. If you really wnat to see how you did, don't look at the score, look at your differential. The club I belong to enforces what tees you play from according to your handicap (or age in the case of seniors). 0-3 course hcp play from the Yellow tees (7,167 yds); 4-7 course hcp play from the Blue tees (6,854). The rest play the white tees (6,449 yds). Seniors have a choice to play teh gold tees or the one according to their handicap. Same with the Ladies and the Red tees.

Everyone here believes that to play the back tees you need to earn the right to do so by having the appropriate hcp.
7/10/09
 
Agustin says:
One more thought... If you want to improve your game got to the range often, don't forget to focus on the short game and take a class here and there... For most of the Mid to high handicappers lower scoring and overal game improvement is a product of achieving consistent ball striking and a good short game. Neither is obtained by moving to the back tees.
7/10/09
 
Swingem says:
Holy-Headscratcher! there are some things that I want my club to enforce (pace-of-play, quality of the cart-girls, etc.) but where I can play from is not one of them. If a 20 hcp wants to bring along a couple dozen balls and join me on the blacks I'm glad to have the company, as long as they can keep the pace of play. Realistically most mid to high hcps may not get more from the game by playing from the tips, but for those that already have solid skills and are looking to knock another couple of points off of thier index, moving back to the next set of tees will present new challenges, and ones that you'll never get at the driving range. The driving range is a great place for building and maintaining certain skills, but it is not golf.
7/10/09
 
boomermike says:
Sam Snead said every golfer should play from the forward tees until he shoots par or better, THEN move back. Then again, how could the winningest player in the history of the PGA tour possibly know as much about the game as the GENIUS who wrote this article. To put it another way...you know how Sam Snead would spell "Matt Snyder"? I-D-I-O-T. Seriously, Snyper...my dog could stick a pencil up his butt, wiggle over a sheet of paper, and the result would be more insightful than this column. Worst golf advice ever published...ever. Ever.
1/14/11
 
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