What Tees Should I Be Playing From? Now TWO men's defense of a single tee system

Hey guys, I’m just getting back in to golf (golfing seriously for the first time since I was on my Junior High golf team). As someone who’s index is changing rapidly due to the fact that I’m just getting back into it, I’m having trouble figuring out which tees I should be playing from. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Determine how far you hit a 5-iron and multiply that value by 36.

Example: 5-iron goes 160… 160 x 36 = 5,760.


How far do you typically hit a 5 iron and a driver?

Where do you want to play from?

Ask yourself two questions

  • Am I having fun from here?
  • Am I unduly holding anyone up because these tees are too much for me?

If your answer is Yes/No, in that order, then continue to play from those tees.


To channel @Randy energy… play a couple in front of the tips and if you don’t have fun making birdies, move back a tee box.

In all seriousness though depends on your current ability and distance. Play the tees you want as long as you keep pace of play and know when to pick up on those holes where things get away from you.

I think there are a lot of people who would answer these questions with “yes, no” when the true answer is “no, yes”.

A course in the Pinehurst area says your driver distance should determine what tees you play.


I was think you should play the tees that make you the most happy and for someone like you that is just getting back Into it; play the tees that you can score from but still enough of a challenge so it’s not completely easy

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Never heard that equation before. Did the math and that’s spot on for courses I feel comfortable playing.


This usually only applies to shorter hitters like me or older people, but another “rule of thumb” I like to follow myself and recommend to other short hitters if asked is that if there is at least one par 4 on a course that you can’t reach with two of your well struck shots, and you are hitting a fairway wood for your second shot on several par 4s after your typical drive, move up a set of tees.


Play tips unless you have a small wiener.


Look at the par 3 yardages and if you think you have a less than a 10% chance to hit a single GIR on them, move up a tee. I’m rarely hitting greens from 170+ out.


The brand new course at Indiana University uses this, although I think it may put you back a tee (from what I’ve experienced elsewhere). I’m in that 250+ carry range, and I usually shoot for 6300.

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This requires people to be realistic about how far they actually hit the ball though


That’s the hole point about picking the right tee- being honest with your yardages to begin with.

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Personally speaking here… I’m not a long hitter, we’ll save 250/260 average D

I base it off the damn course rating far more than anything if its under 7.

Over 7 is always gonna be “respectfully long” but if the CR is still 72 or under from the backs then its probably fairly gettable too.

If the back tees are 7700 and the CR is 75, clearly thats an overmatched situation.

I like to add 10 strokes to the CR. And if that is within 3 shots of my course HC, probs ok to play that length.

Edit: Distance can be deceiving. My home track has a 700 yard par 6. Easy hole. adds length on the card. Not a long course.
CR still 72 from the back there at over 7.

i dig that whole tee system at longleaf


I am very much in the camp of play the course shorter until you can comfortably shoot under 80. I get routinely roasted and ridiculed for this.


If you’re just starting out again, and not keeping a handicap, my advice would be to not be afraid to change tees on different holes either. If you are a par 3 that seems too long, move up a set. If there’s a par 4 you’re not sure you can make a forced carry, move up. If there’s a short par 4 and you want more of a challenge, move back. Easy enough to do, but just make sure you’re realistic.

Also consider whether you want to hit driver every hole (depends on your comfort with it).

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This is also part of my problem when picking tees. Trying to just play smart, I hit 3H if the hole is 300-350 yards, 3W (TM Mini Driver) if the hole is 350-400 and only hit driver if the hole is over 400 yards (or almost driveable at 280ish). So I don’t hit much driver.