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I’m 51 and quit playing for 10 years. I lost 20-30 yards with every club. I struggle from the white tees because I’m just not long enough. I hit woods into every hole. This week I moved up a set and my score dropped below 90 for first time. The old guys I play with hit the ball a comparably distances to me but I was giving them up to 100 yards on some holes. When is it ok to move up a set of tees. The course fits me better from the gold tees. Thanks in advance. Warren B

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The grumpy old man side of me says if a person can't shoot at or around par from one set of tees, why even consider moving further back. If you're waiting to hear what the other side of me says...ther

I partly disagree with jeff58. At our course playing the forward tees does not negate all of the hazards. Our course was designed so fairway bunkers were in play no matter what set of tees you are pl

Late coming to this thread, but will add my thoughts. First, I hear what you are saying. Im not sure you are correct about the designers intention, as I am sure there is more to it than just sticking

What’s the yardage? What tees one plays means very little. Average yardage you are playing compared to driving distance, etc... means allot.

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You asked: "When is it ok to move up a set of tees?"

There is no rule. Play the set of tees you enjoy and are comfortable with. Some people enjoy hitting fairway woods into most par 4's, some don't. The PGA/USGA guideline:

CSM0JKDLW76G.pngAs Jack Nicklaus said: "All of us deeply involved in the game constantly encourage golfers of all skill levels to play the proper tees, but too often golfers want to bite off as much of the golf course as they can. What ends up suffering is their scorecard and their overall enjoyment."

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The typical down-side of playing from ‘forward’ tees isn’t the distance change or lack of personal gratification from playing from blue’s, black’s, or other darker colors, rather many of the closer tees are situated to make the hole easier rather than just shorter. They eliminate the forced carries, narrowing fairway, pond or OB on the right, etc. What you get is a dumbed down version of the course that isn’t the designer’s ideal and that lessens your enjoyment and satisfaction in playing.

The solution is mixed tees. Many courses already have that option on their score cards, but as long as your playing partners are on board, there’s no reason not to make your own. Cut down the 600 yard par fives and 450 yard par fours to to a manageable length and keep the challenging aspects in play by selecting yardages appropriate for you to interact with them as the designer intended instead of playing 100 yards behind them.

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It sounds like you have found the correct tees for your game. That's great, and I wish more people would do the same as you've done.

I play with a lot of super seniors who won't move up. It's discouraging to watch them play.

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Yes I agree. It is kinda disheartening to par all the par threes but make double bogey on the par 5 holes because you are hitting your 4th into the green. It only takes a little to blow the hole. I noticed that I was having par on every par 3. And shorter par 4. I will hopefully get longer again. I was trying to jump out of my shoes to hit that 1 in 20 tee shot that goes further but most of the time it was hurting my game because I wasn’t as accurate because I was trying to kill it.

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The grumpy old man side of me says if a person can't shoot at or around par from one set of tees, why even consider moving further back.

If you're waiting to hear what the other side of me says...there actually isn't a different side.

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Its okay anytime. Focus on some stretching do some flexibility exercises. Work on some ball striking. While your doing this continue to play from the forward tees. Who cares, you've been gone from the game 10 years. There are alot of drills, exercises etc to regain some club head speed. I posted a artical on a home made speed trainer i made at home and i gained alomst 9mph in club head speed. I made my father who is 63 years old he used it for 1 month and done some flexibility exercises and went from swinging his driver 70 mph back up to almost 90 in one month. Depends on how commited you are to getting those yards back or are you content playing from the forward tees? Im gonna tag you in the speed trainer post check it out it may help. Its worth a shot right maybe you can get some of those yards back

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Move up - I'll join you! I'm mid-50's and would love to routinely play from the gold tees. The few times I've done it have been much more enjoyable. The problem is everyone I play with (even when with groups I haven't previously met) play the white or blue no matter how well they play.

I've yet to play with one scratch golfer. Most take so many liberties its ridiculous. If you're improving every lie, not counting lost balls and taking mulligans, maybe whites/blues aren't for you!

Moving up would mean a minor ego blow plus teeing off alone and last, every time. I would much rather card a bogey from the gold than a snowman from the white or blue tees. I'd love to play from gold until I was routinely shooting par.

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Is there a physical reason for this ? Did you come up with a physical issue ? Couch potato ? 41 to 51 shouldn't be that big a deal, certainly not 20-30 yards worth.

Assuming it takes a while to get back into the flow (and shape ?) you should be pretty close to where you were at 41.

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Mixed tees is a great idea, moving up is also perfectly fine. Not having impossible forced carries is a good thing for many, many golfers. What's the enjoyment in going to the drop zone or putting for a triple bogey on half of the holes? We all have different skill sets and enjoy golf for different reasons, competition, difficulty, friendship, outdoor time, etc., what you described is not for everyone.

Golf course architects do not design courses solely from the back tees. Those same obstacles are still in play for the shorter hitters from the up tees. Yes, the holes are made easier...for the less skilled golfer. Also, in my opinion, what you stated is a major cause of slow play, it shouldn't be, but it is.

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I've been scolded by some guys for playing the white tees instead of the longer blue tees at my local cow pasture. Because I can hit the ball decent they think I should play the tips with them. I don't care. I like birdies.

 

I played last week at a course and only one tee was marked. About 6200 yds. Played very long in 43F degrees and soggy fairways.

 

When I play the white tees and hit a solid drive and am still short of the fairway bunkers I notice my age.

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I'll be 69 this week and I'm going to be playing the forward tees a lot more this year (or a White/Red combo on one course if the re-rating gets done for a combo). I may lose the opportunity to win much in my league by the handicap adjustment but I want to have more fun. Besides, I spent all that dough on my Miuras....I'd like to use them to hit an iron into a green in regulation a lot more often.

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I really moved up for good after I tore my right oblique muscle and made turning and full swings impossible. Seriously lost distance to the point that 140 or so is a long drive. But I've also noticed some designers don't care at all about anything but the back or next to back tees. I can't count the number of holes/courses that have the white tees longer or seriously more difficult than the blues. And I've seen red tees (supposedly for women) at distances that over 95% of the women in this country can't possibly play (200+ seriously uphill). Mens white at 225-240 uphill for par 3s with blues at 180-200. Really unfair.

And I can't count the number of holes where the forced carry for the white tees is over 220 (average men's carry as reported by many sources for me is 200 so having a forced carry over 220 for those players is just ridiculous, Totally unfair and unplayabele, slows things down significantly.

 

On some of the courses, I could play the whites and probably score in high 70s or mid-80s but what fun is hitting 3 wood/driver on every hole, including par-3s. Part of the fun is playing different clubs and shots into greens, so even if I could play whites, playing senior tees provides more enjoyment. Putting and short game within 60 yards helps score and is more fun overall. Maybe i don't get that many birdies but getting 1 putt par is also fun.

 

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I moved from the men's tees to the senior tees and back again. You'll find the more you play, the more you practice and the better shape you are in improves your game and distance. I play at least 18 holes 3x per week walking. Plus I cycle 80 miles each week. I had both hips replaced, with the right done only 7 months ago. Having the hips done, walking and cycling has increased my distance and I'm able to play the men's tees again. I'm 64 years old. Yes, I'm retired.

I still change up tee boxes now and again. I'll even play the tees in front of the senior tees when my wife is along.

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I was just reading through this post and this one stands out to me as just not correct. The shorter tees, I do not feel dumb down the course but give shorter hitters the opportunity to play the course as it was designed...that is assuming the course was properly designed. A Nicklaus, Palmer, Hanse, Crenshaw...etc. course is designed to challenge all levels. Based on the logic used above, If I'm hitting from a tee too far back where I can't even reach the trouble how does that dumb it down...that is easier to hit a tee ball in the fairway. The hole becomes tougher for the short hitter after that because I now have to play clubs more difficult to hit (longer irons, FW's) in order to reach the green in regulation. If the course is properly designed and I play from a length that allows me to hit most every green in regulation with realistic clubs(not FW's and hybrids all day) in my hand assuming I hit decent shots then that is the correct tee in order for me to enjoy the game. The trouble that was out of reach will now come into play and trying to carry the trouble will add the difficulty you describe for someone playing the back tees who has the game to be back there. My average drive is 218 and I play tees that put me between 5600-6000 yards with 5800 being ideal. There is more than enough trouble on the course at that length and I will have risk reward opportunities on several holes where its up to me to hit the shots necessary to score when the opportunity is available.

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Your site name fits the way you think and play. It’s really score that counts.

If a course is designed such that one tee box has a carry while the next one up doesn’t, it was only designed that way because of space constraints. A 20 yard forced carry doesn’t change the playability of the hole.

A 217 yard carry from the back will be 140 to 180 from forward tees. Same challenge for different players.

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One if the best golfers I know (straight down the middle, rarely mishits) plays the red tees.....and he has no shame in doing so! He used to work at a prestigious course(s) ... And he did the same there when I played with him! I wish more would have no shame in moving up. Finally convinced my old man to all the way up and he gets much more enjoyment out of it!

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It's always ok to move up... experience relaxed concentration off the tee, new lines of play, more reliance on scoring clubs, different challenges, going low; it's almost like playing a new course.

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Late coming to this thread, but will add my thoughts. First, I hear what you are saying. Im not sure you are correct about the designers intention, as I am sure there is more to it than just sticking the red tees 20 yards shorter, and its considered in the design and slop rating / par etc.

Anyway, I am a 18 HC and have been for several years. Two years ago I joined what many think is my areas premier private course. Its absolutely lovely, a traditional English parkland layout. Trouble is, its hard. Some of the par fours I will never reach in two, go offline and you are either lost ball or unplayable - thats on most holes.Two of the par threes needed hybrids. Playing competitions off the whites saw me 10 over my handicap most weeks and approaching 19 chap , but actually playing to a 25 or so. I don't want that.

For various reasons I left the course this year, and joined a newer local club. I am shooting my handicap, and yesterday I played nine holes before getting rained out and played them in 5 over gross. A couple of tee shots went slightly wide, but ended up in playable lies and I made the green or green side. They would have been unplayable previously. Some of the holes are a bit shorter, I can reach them all in regulation. I enjoyed it and I am confident my handicap will fall this year. (I have also had regular lessons and practice so that may be an influence)

I honestly think playing off the tips is an ego thing. If it means you've no chance of reaching greens in regulation, you are coming up 20 yards short of fairway bunkers, or playing 5 woods into most par threes, you are not getting the fun that you should - and it is a pastime for us on here in the main, non of us are on Tour.

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That was my thought. I quit for 10 years and the older guys I play with are longer than me off the tee. We have par 5 holes where after 3 good shots I still have a full wedge into the hole. It’s not even close to fair. Plus I’m Hitting long irons or woods on every par 4. But I generally par the par 3 holes because I hit the green and 2 putt. It’s about fairness to me

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