What Tees Should I Play From On The Golf Course? [2024 Guide]

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One of the most critical decisions a golfer can make is choosing the appropriate tee to play from on the golf course. The right tee selection can significantly impact a golfer’s game, allowing them to make the most of their strengths while minimizing their weaknesses. How do you know which tee you should play from on the golf course?

Select the tee distance that best matches your drive length and golf skill level. Other considerations affecting tee selection include your physical ability, age, prevailing weather, the course layout, and course hazards. Choosing the right tee allows you to have a more enjoyable golf game.

Choosing the wrong tee on the golf course can make the game frustrating and challenging, leading to poor performance and an overall unpleasant experience. It can also cause frustration to golfers behind you, and you may violate course rules by choosing the wrong tee.

How To Know What Tee To Play From On The Golf Course

Knowing which tee to play from on a golf course is important, but you need to have an understanding of how the tees and tee markers work on the course before making your selection.

This will help you have a more enjoyable and successful golfing experience and play confidently through the course.

Understanding Tee Markers On The Golf Course

Before we dive into selecting your tee and the factors that affect tee selection, it’s essential to understand the tee markers and their significance.

Tee markers come in various colors, with each color indicating a specific set of tees from which golfers can play.

The most common colors of tee markers include the following.

  • Red tee markers. The red tee marker is usually the shortest tee option on the course, intended for beginner golfers, juniors, or those with limited driving distance.
  • Gold or yellow tee markers. These are the next set of tees after the red markers, providing a slightly longer distance than the reds.
  • White tee markers. Mid-to-high handicappers or average golfers often play this standard set of tees.
  • Blue tee markers. The blue tees offer a more challenging distance and difficulty than the white tees, typically played by low-handicap golfers.
  • Black tee markers. The furthest back tees on the course are designed for elite-level golfers who can accurately drive the ball long distances.

It’s essential to note that some courses may have additional sets of tees, such as green or silver. These colors often signify a variation in the course’s layout or design, with some holes having different tee locations.

Generally, the farther back a tee is from the hole, the more challenging it is to play. This is because the distance from the tee to the hole is longer, meaning that golfers must use more power and accuracy to get their ball to the target.

Understanding the tee markers and their colors is critical in selecting the appropriate tee for your game.

In addition to understanding the meaning of the tee markers, there are some considerations you should keep in mind when selecting the tees you will play.

Considerations When Choosing A Tee On The Golf Course

Several factors come into play when selecting the right tee to play from on the golf course. By considering these factors, you can make informed decisions about which tee will best suit your game.

The main factors you should include when choosing your tee are as follows.

  • Your golfing skill level. A golfer’s skill level is one of the most important factors when choosing a tee. Beginners or high-handicap golfers should opt for the shorter tee options, such as the red or gold tees, while more experienced golfers may choose to play from the white, blue, or black tees.
  • Age and physical ability. Age and physical ability also play a role in tee selection. Senior golfers or those with limited physical mobility should consider playing from a tee closer to the hole to avoid fatigue or injury.
  • The prevailing weather conditions. Weather conditions such as wind, rain, or extreme heat can affect how far you can hit the ball. In such cases, you may need to adjust your tee selection to account for these conditions.
  • The course length and layout. The length and layout of the golf course are crucial factors when choosing a tee. Longer courses with more significant obstacles, such as water hazards or bunkers, may require a shorter tee option, while shorter courses with fewer hazards may require a more challenging tee option.
  • Hazards and obstacles. Consider any hazards or obstacles on the course before selecting a tee. For example, if you struggle to hit the ball over a water hazard may want to opt for a shorter tee option.
  • Personal preference. Finally, personal preference plays a significant role in tee selection. Some golfers enjoy a more challenging round of golf and may opt for a more challenging tee option, while others prefer a more relaxed game and may opt for a shorter tee option.

A general rule of thumb commonly used to determine which tee is right for you is how far you can hit your drive shot. If you typically hit your driver under 200 yards, play from the closest tee.

If your normal drive is consistently between 200 and 225 yards, use the next farthest tee. Use this guideline to select the appropriate tee for your drive distance. When consistently and accurately hit over 275 yards, you should start from the furthest tees on the course.

All golfers should assess each of these factors when selecting a tee to ensure they choose an appropriate option that will provide an enjoyable and challenging round of golf.

Tips for Selecting the Right Tee

Choosing the right tee can significantly impact a golfer’s performance and overall experience and enjoyment of the course.

We have some tips for selecting your tee to offer you the best possible experience on the golf course.

  • Don’t let your ego detract from your golf game. Be honest with yourself about your golfing skill level, and choose a tee appropriate for your ability. It’s better to play a shorter, more comfortable tee and have a fun round than to struggle on a challenging tee and have a frustrating experience.
  • Consider your driving distance. Consider your average driving distance when selecting a tee. Golfers who struggle to hit the ball far may want to choose a shorter tee to avoid fatigue and frustration.
  • Play to your strengths. Choose a  tee that plays to your golfing strengths. For example, if you’re a strong iron player but struggle with driving, choose a tee that allows you to use your iron shots more frequently.
  • Be aware of course hazards. Take note of any hazards on the course, such as water or bunkers, and choose a tee that allows you to avoid or clear these obstacles unless you are looking for a challenge.
  • Consider the weather on the day. Be mindful of the weather conditions on the day of play, and choose a tee that takes the wind or other factors into account.
  • Don’t be afraid to adjust. Don’t feel locked into playing from a particular tee. If you find that you’re struggling with your original tee selection, adjust and play from a different tee to improve your experience.

By following these tips, you can choose the appropriate tee that best suits your game, leading to a more enjoyable and successful round of golf.

What Are The Golfing Rules About Tee Selection?

Golf is a game of etiquette and rules, which are a strict code of conduct on the course. Are there any golf rules that apply to tee selection?

  • Tee Markers. Each tee option has a designated color clearly marked on the tee box. Golfers must tee off from behind the tee markers and within two club lengths of the markers.
  • Men’s and women’s tees. Golf courses typically have separate tee options for men and women. Men usually tee off from blue, white, or black tees, while women usually tee off from red or gold tees.
  • The handicap system. The handicap system in golf is designed to level the playing field for golfers of different skill levels. When selecting a tee, golfers must consider their handicap index, a numerical representation of their ability. Golfers with higher handicaps may choose a shorter tee option to balance their scores against lower handicap golfers.
  • The pace of play. Golfers must maintain a reasonable pace of play during their round. This includes selecting the appropriate tee option to not slow down play for other golfers on the course.
  • Observe local course rules. Some golf courses may have specific local rules regarding tee selection. You should consult with the course staff or scorecard to ensure you follow all the course rules and regulations.


Choosing the right tee is essential to playing a successful and enjoyable round of golf. It’s necessary to consider all applicable factors, such as skill level, physical ability, course layout, hazards, and personal preference, when selecting a tee.

Remember to assess your driving distance, play to your strengths, and adjust your tee selection as necessary. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different tees to find the one that provides the best experience for you.







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