If you’re wondering “what golf tees should I play from?”, then this article is for you!
Generally, you want to determine your average driver or 5-iron distance, then look at the corresponding tee yardage recommendation.
To this end, I’ll be explaining 5 ways you can figure out your ideal set of tees.
How to Choose the Correct Golf Tee to Play From
The following are 5 methods to help you determine the right golf tees to play from.
Method 1: Playing With 3 Tee Box Options
If you’re playing a golf course that offers just 3 sets of tees, then your decision will be a lot more straightforward. Here are the guidelines in such a case:
- The back tees or championship tees are suitable for low-handicap golfers, especially men.
- The member tees or middle tees are suitable for:
- Male golfers with a medium or high handicap.
- Female golfers with a low handicap or long hits.
- Senior male golfers with a low handicap or long hits.
- The forward tees are suitable for:
- Female golfers with a medium or high handicap.
- Senior male golfers with a medium or high handicap.
- All sorts of beginners.
Method 2: USGA and PGA of America Recommendations
The USGA (United States Golf Association) and PGA of America (Professional Golfers’ Association) released a guideline for tee yardage recommendations based on the player’s playing style and average driving distance rather than gender or age.
According to Driving Distance
All you need to do is determine your average driver distance, then look at the corresponding recommended yardage tees to play from:
|Average Driver Distance||Suggested Yardage Tees|
|100||2,100 to 2,300|
|125||2,800 to 3,000|
|150||3,500 to 3,700|
|175||4,400 to 4,600|
|200||5,200 to 5,400|
|225||5,800 to 6,000|
|250||6,200 to 6,400|
|275||6,700 to 6,900|
|300||7,150 to 7,400|
The “Tee It Forward” Program
The “Tee It Forward” is an initiative launched by the PGA of America that aims to achieve the following:
- Change the mindset of golfers that it’s okay to play from a shorter set of tees.
- Encourage players to hit reasonable length shots instead of trying to hit 200-yard ones every time.
- Improve the pace of play.
- Allow players to challenge themselves while making the golf round as enjoyable as possible.
Method 3: Average 5-Iron Distance
Using your average 5-iron distance can also be a reliable way to sort out the appropriate set of tees you should play from. Here’s how to apply the average 5-iron distance method:
- Determine your average 5-iron distance.
- Multiply it by 36.
- The result is a recommended range for a tee distance that can potentially suit your playing style.
- Play from the set of tees with the yardage closest to said range.
For example, if your average 5-iron distance is 200 yards, then your tee set yardage range would be 200 x 36 = 7,200.
The following table offers calculations for common 5-iron distances:
|Average 5-Iron Distance||Suggested Yardage Tees|
Method 4: Based on Professionals’ Yardages
Another way you can choose the set of tees to play from is based on the yardages that professional golfers play from. So, I’ll first list the average length of a golf course in each major tournament:
- On the LPGA Tour, the average golf course length ranges between 6,200 and 6,600 yards.
- On the PGA Tour, the average golf course length falls somewhere between 7,200 and 7,300 yards.
- On the Champions Tour (for pros older than 50 years), the average length of a golf course is between 6,500 and 6,800 yards.
Now, take a look at the general recommendations for tee boxes based on your playing level and style:
- Beginner golfers: if you belong to this category, your best choice would be the forward tees. Once you can hit the ball with improved consistency and accuracy for a decent distance, you can try playing from a longer, more advanced tee box.
- Golfers with a high handicap: if you belong to this category, you should go with sets of tees that are 1,000 to 1,500 yards less than the average yardage professionals play from.
- Golfers with a medium handicap: if you belong to this category, it’s probably a good idea to play from a set of tees that’s about 500 to 1,000 yards less than the pro tours’ average yardage corresponding to your age and gender.
- Senior golfers with a low handicap: if you belong to this category, you may be better off playing from tees that are 200 to 500 yards less than the Champions and LPGA tours’ average yardages.
- Female golfers with a low handicap: if you belong to this category, you may be better off playing from tees that are 200 to 500 yards less than the Champions and LPGA tours’ average yardages.
- Male golfers with a low handicap: if you belong to this category, you can play from the back tees that imitate the pro tours’ yardages.
Method 5: The Chris Mile Method
Last but not least, you can use the Chris Mile method to select the best golf tee set to play from. This method depends on your average driver distance, which is why it may not offer the most accurate result since driver distance isn’t the only factor that expresses a player’s ability.
That said, it wouldn’t hurt to consider this method as it may prove to be helpful in your particular case. Here’s how to apply the Chris Mile method:
- Determine your average driver distance.
- Multiply it by 28.
- The result is a range for a tee distance that can potentially suit your playing style.
For example, if your average drive distance is 200 yards, then your tee set range would be 200 x 28 = 5,600.
Playing from the right tees will help you enjoy your golf game by hitting reasonable distances and clubs. It also allows you to have a positive golfing experience, properly improve your performance, and accelerate the pace of the round.