By bkuehn1952 on 7/11/11
I've said once or twice before, but I'll say it again. Brian "bkuehn1952" Kuehn epitomizes the Category name "oob Users Rock!". Enjoy bkuehn's latest submission!

No, this is not a discussion about “Tee it Forward” or how to select the proper set of tees at a new course. Rather, a recent Oob poll got me thinking about that little peg most of us use for the first shot of each hole.

Someone once mentioned in passing that the “Brush Tee” was non-conforming with the Rules of Golf. As most people, I accepted that as gospel and never gave it another thought. Eventually, however, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to do a little research. Turns out “Brush Tees” are conforming and they have the letter from the USGA to prove it.

Still intrigued but the little peg, my next stop was the USGA rule book (Definitions). As it turned out there is very little in the way of specifications for a conforming tee. The three limiting features are:
  1. The length must be 4 inches (101.4 mm) or less.

  2. The tee can’t provide a directional mark or help with alignment.

  3. The tee can’t influence the movement of the ball.
I measured one of the longest tees I had ever found and it was 4 inches so it does not appear that feature is going to be a big problem. I remember Chi Chi Rodriguez used to use a pencil to tee his ball high but for most of us, the limitation is not a concern.

I have never seen a tee that provided a directional or alignment aid. The ball pretty much obscures the tee. Besides, if one really wanted to have an aid to alignment, one can always use the mark on the ball to orient oneself, similar to how many of us line up putts. I have, however, found a tee that was designed to influence the ball’s flight.

A number of years ago I was following a single golfer around a local course. The player seemed very intent upon retrieving his tee, so much so that at times he was holding up play. Eventually I discovered why he wanted to collect his tee. Despite his best efforts, he eventually lost one of his tees, which I subsequently found. It turned out the tee had a plastic cup behind the ball. This contraption was obviously designed to transfer the driver’s energy to the ball without the influence of spin from a misaligned clubface. Frankly, watching this guy’s results I quickly came to the conclusion that the idea did not work very well, even if the USGA disapproved.

As a chea … frugal golfer, I tend to scrounge around the course as I play. A multitude of tee designs have passed through my hands but I have to admit, the old wooden peg still gets it done for me. I have finally converted to a “long” tee (not 4 inches mind you) several years ago. I always teed the ball high and stuck a standard length tee barely in the ground for many years. About once a year the ball and tee would topple over midway through my swing with usually disastrous results. The longer tee has eliminated that problem.

Aside from the “cup” tee, the strangest tee set-up I’ve found was a plastic tee with a spring-loaded hinge in the middle that was then connected to a smaller tee by a string. I presume the idea was to stick the small tee in the ground, thereby anchoring the larger tee so as to not lose it. The hinge prevented the larger tee from being broken. Obviously the system was not fool-proof since someone lost the set-up I found.

So what is the goofiest tee you have ever seen? What do you think about the so-called performance tees? Anyone do the “Laura Davies” and kick up a tuft of turf instead of using a tee? Share your stories!

This was written by Brian Kuehn, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not necessarily reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.

photo by Gracey (pogwebsite)

[ comments ]
Kickntrue says:
Evolve Golf Epoch Tees... game over. While I will eventually leave one around the teebox if I can't find it after about 20 seconds... i will look that long if it goes flying. I bought a box of 50 tees about 2 years ago for $5... still about 30 left.
birdieXris says:
I'm a fan of the zero friction tees. Not because they're helping me hit it farther or anything, but because they're darn near indestructible. I buy a pack of them at the beginning of the season and they last well into the next season usually. For par 3s i usually just find an old broken woody on the tee box or pull the laura davies. I see a bunch of people using the brush tee though. Haven't seen more than one or two people actually hit off it well, however.
Banker85 says:
I USED THE BRUSH TEES they are okay they bristles fall out and it gets hard to prop up the ball after a round or so. the 3 pronged tees were in my bag for a while but they start to bend and it takes too much manuvering to get ball to sit nicely. Nothing beats a plaing no paint wooden tee. I have used the epoch tees and they are good just not worht the price since i am a... poor ass!
dottomm says:
I just learned a lesson to save tee's this year. Might be old news to some of you.
When you push your tee into the ground. Wiggle it around in the grass to bore a larger hole. This gives the tee room to 'give' when you hit it. Usually the tee remains in tact. YMMV.
jrbizzle says:
I've used just about all but brush tees (found one, gave it away). If I buy tees, I go for the white wooden tees. On par 3s, or short par 4s, I find a broken tee, push it down to about 1/4" and use it for irons and hybrids so I can leave it when I'm done.

I have seen that little cup thing - older guy I played with last year.

This past week I played with an older guy who hands shook pretty bad as he teed the ball up, so he used a tee with a very large top on it which I had never seen before.
dartboss04 says:
i use zero friction and evolve 1 3/4" tees for par 3's and then two sizes of the pride golf natural wood slim pro's...standard for fairway woods and hybrids and a longer slim pro natural for the driver...

zero frictions and evolves are great for durability, but for some reason i like the classic wooden tee...particularly the sound...
Trav says:
The number of patents sought for golf tees is truly astounding. Amazingly, given the era, the first American to obtain a patent for tees was an African-American: www.ivy50.com/blackHistory/story.aspx?sid=1/13/2

For some very entertaining suggestions: golf-patents.com/categories/Tees.aspx
falcon50driver says:
www.jbscanada.com/Tee.htm The Wedge Tee. They're plastic. but they're nearly indestructable. I like to travel light. One of these tees usually lasts a year or more before I lose it.
mmontisano says:
i've seen the anchor tee you've mentioned, but the anchor peg doesn't work very well from what i can tell. the dude kept having to search the tee box after every swing.

i have those Epoch tees at 2 3/4" and the shorter height for irons. 2 years ago a golf club i played at was giving them out for free, so i took a handfull and have been sold on them ever since. they last forever and don't warp like the Zero Friction tees.
gpickin says:
I have been using the brush tees.
I only started 5 months back, and I was given one.
I used it a lot at the range... and it saves a lot of teeing up.
I found i was making better contact with the ball.
Not my swing is more consistent, I can play with wood tees as well, but I found the brush tee more forgiving for bad shots, where normally the impact on a big tee seems to interfere. Weird I know.
I use the brush for the range, and still like it for most rounds. Although using tees off the par 3's means sometimes i will play them for drives too.
perlguy9 says:
+1 on the Epoch tees. Love them.
Geoffre14 says:
How do you use that wedge tee? Aligned parallel or perpendicular to your target?
toothid says:
I've been using "stinger tees". They are a very thin (possibly bamboo) tee. They offer very kittle resistance and I feel that I get noticably better distance.
The down side is you are lucky if you get more than a hole or 2 before they break. I have tried to expand the hole by wiggling the tee in the ground but the teeing platform is very smaall and the ball will continuously fall of the tee.
Matt F says:
Zero friction tees here. I've cut down a couple for irons, woods and hybrids. They bend a bit but you can straighten them up again.
Bryan K says:
I used the stinger tees last summer. With the amount I was hitting the course and driving range, I went through 10,000 of them in one season. This year, I'm using the ones that have a painted stripe so I can tell how far down I push the tee with my driver. I still measure the ball against my driver face before teeing off, though, so this way I have two different fail-safe methods to make sure I'm not teeing too high.

I use broken tees I find around the tee box to tee with any other club. I only use full tees for my driver.
rmumph1 says:
Bryan- I do the same everytime I hit driver. I use the painted tees and measure my clubface against the ball. I used zero friction for awhile but went back to the wood tees. I have a bag of 100 painted wood tees and I can make that last this season. Only cost $5 bucks.
Torleif Sorenson says:
DottoMM: 1000 points for the wiggling idea. I've used the brush tees (although not nearly as much as I would like) and appreciate the consistent teeing height.
Kurt the Knife says:
i bought some refurbished balls from a korean company on ebay n they sent me this weird contraption that consisted of a spike with a neodymium magnet in the top, a tee-type thingy that had a similar magnet in the bottom (meant to be stacked togethr) and another little spike thingy that had a thread that went from its top all the way to the tee-like thingy that held them all together.
appears the idea is the magnets provide a break point (similar to the hinge type described above) and the extra spike kept them from flying away too far. Dang thing was too high and took about five minutes to set up. framed it in a shadow box in my shop.
bkuehn1952 says:
@KtK: I will have to keep my eyes peeled for that magnet tee. Haven't ever seen anything like it. Sounds cool but, as you discovered, useless.
mjaber says:
I have the brush tees. I've used them at the driving range, but never on the course. It just felt "off". I didn't get the feeling that the ball was going to stay on the tee, especially if the tee box wasn't level.

They are nice at the range though, since I don't have to keep setting a new tee after every swing.
mattshaver says:
'round here at the munis, the tee boxes are too hard for anything but a wooden tee.
robbie.dejarnette says:
A friend of mine uses a milled aluminum tee that he has leashed to a smaller tee so he won't lose it. The thing cost him almost $60 to make, so I don't blame him. Though I do point out I could buy enough tees with the $60 he spent to have enough to make a small wager, buy lunch at the turn, have a cold one after the round and not suffer for tees for several years!
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