18Birdies App Icon
Best Golf App
100k Ratings
Try for Free


What Tees Should I Play?

Are you a golfer looking to improve your game and maximize your enjoyment on the course? Choosing the right tee box can make all the difference. But with so many options available, how do you know which tees are the best fit for you? Should you play from the back tees to challenge yourself, or would moving up to the forward tees be a better choice? 

Let's explore the factors that come into play when deciding what tees to play and help you make an informed decision. Golfers often ask themselves, What Tees Should I Play? This article will give you 18Birdies recommendations, professional recommendations, and a USGA recommendation.

Keys to the Tees:

  • Determining the right tee box involves considering factors such as your handicap and driving distance.
  • The USGA and PGA of America provide recommendations and guidelines to help golfers select the appropriate tees.
  • The Tee It Forward initiative encourages players to move up to shorter tees to enhance their experience.
  • Methods like the driving distance method and the 5 Iron method can assist in selecting the right tee box based on your game.
  • Additional factors to consider include course difficulty, weather conditions, and personal preferences.

USGA Recommendations

The United States Golf Association (USGA) provides valuable recommendations for selecting the appropriate tee box based on a golfer's handicap. These recommendations serve as a helpful guide for players to make informed decisions on which tees to play.

"Choosing the right tee box can greatly impact your playing experience. The USGA's recommendations take into account factors such as skill level and handicap to ensure golfers are challenged without feeling overwhelmed."

By following the USGA recommendations, golfers can find tee options that are suitable for their game, allowing them to have an enjoyable round while still facing appropriate challenges on the course. 

These recommendations are backed by extensive research and expertise, making them a reliable resource for golfers of all skill levels. Considering the USGA's recommendations not only helps optimize gameplay but also promotes fair play and an inclusive environment for all golfers. By choosing appropriate tees based on the USGA's guidelines, players can ensure a level playing field and a more enjoyable experience for everyone.


PGA of America Guidelines

When it comes to selecting the right tee box, the PGA of America provides valuable guidelines tailored to a golfer's skill level and scoring ability. These guidelines offer comprehensive tee options that can greatly enhance your overall playing experience.

PGA of America guidelines take into account various factors, including course layout, distance, and difficulty. By following these guidelines, you can choose the tee box that best suits your game, allowing you to maximize your enjoyment and performance on the golf course.

"The PGA of America's tee box recommendations are designed to ensure golfers play from a distance that enables them to enjoy the game and have a reasonable opportunity to score well." - PGA of America

When considering PGA of America guidelines, it's important to assess your skill level and scoring ability. By selecting tee options that align with your capabilities, you can challenge yourself without making the game too difficult or overwhelming.

Additionally, these guidelines emphasize the importance of tee box selection in creating a fair playing field for golfers of all levels. By finding the right tee box, you can maintain the integrity of the game and provide equal opportunities for success.

PGA of America Guidelines Overview:

Tee BoxRecommended Handicap RangeTotal Yardage
BlackLess than 57,000+
Blue5 - 156,500 - 6,999
White15 - 256,000 - 6,499
Red25+5,000 - 5,999

These guidelines offer a range of tee options, allowing you to choose the tee box that aligns with your handicap and distance preferences. By utilizing the PGA of America guidelines, you can play from tees that provide an appropriate challenge while still enjoying the game to its fullest extent.


Tee It Forward

The Tee It Forward initiative is a game-changer for golfers looking to optimize their playing experience. This innovative approach encourages players to select shorter tees, allowing them to enjoy the game to the fullest. By utilizing Tee It Forward recommendations, golfers can enhance their enjoyment and improve their scoring on the course. 

Let's delve into these recommendations and explore how they can benefit you.

Why Tee It Forward?

Playing from the appropriate tee box can have a significant impact on your overall golf experience. Opting for shorter tees can give you more opportunities for successful shots, reduce the number of hazards you'll encounter, and enhance your chances of achieving lower scores. Tee It Forward is all about finding the right balance of challenge and enjoyment, so you can fully appreciate the game.

Tee It Forward Recommendations

The Tee It Forward initiative encourages golfers to consider their driving distance as the primary factor in selecting the appropriate tee box. By analyzing your average driving distance, you can determine the ideal tee to play from that aligns with your game and skill level. 

Here's a breakdown of the Tee It Forward recommendations:

  1. 285 yards or more: Play from the back tees or the tees that offer the longest distance.
  2. 210-285 yards: Play from the standard or middle tees.
  3. Less than 210 yards: Play from the forward tees or the shortest tees available.

These recommendations provide a practical framework that ensures golfers of all skill levels can optimize their playing experience. By selecting the appropriate tee box, you'll find yourself better positioned to enjoy the game while still experiencing a suitable level of challenge.

Benefits of Tee It Forward

The Tee It Forward approach offers numerous benefits for golfers, including:

  • Enhanced Enjoyment: Playing from tees that better match your driving distance allows you to play shots that align with your abilities, resulting in a more enjoyable round.
  • Improved Scoring: By selecting shorter tees, you give yourself a better chance at reaching greens in regulation and reducing the number of strokes required to complete each hole.
  • Increased Confidence: Teeing it forward can boost your confidence by putting you in situations where you're more likely to succeed, leading to more positive experiences on the course.
  • Time Efficiency: Shorter tees mean shorter distances to cover, potentially reducing the overall time it takes to complete a round of golf.

By embracing the Tee It Forward recommendations, you'll discover a more enjoyable and rewarding golf experience. Don't be afraid to choose shorter tees - it's about playing the game at the right level for you. 


Driving Distance x 28

A great method, developed by Chris Mile at Miles of Golf, is to take your average Driver distance, multiplied by 28, to determine a potential tee-distance range that could work with your playing style. This method can get a little misleading, as driving distance does not necessarily equate to playing ability, but this may be something else for you to consider for your next round.

For example, your average drive is 250 yards.
250 yards x 28 = 7,000 yards potential tee playing range

Three Tee Boxes

The simplicity of choosing from just three tee set options, such as Black/White/Red or Champion/Member/Forward, makes the decision process easier for players familiar with golf terms, answering the question of what tees should i play from.

  • Championship/ Back tees are for lower handicapped golfers; most often men.
  • Member/ Middle tees are for middle to higher handicapped male golfers, low-handicap or long hitting ladies, and low-handicap or long-hitting senior men.
  • Forward tees are for middle or high handicap ladies and seniors, and beginner golfers of all types!

5 Iron Method

The 5 Iron Method is a useful approach for determining the ideal tee box based on your average distance with a 5-iron. By using this method, you can make an informed decision about which tee options best suit your game. To apply the 5 Iron Method, first measure the average distance you hit your 5-iron during your rounds. This can be done by tracking your shots with the 18Birdies app on the course or during practice sessions. Once you have your average distance, compare it to the yardages of the available tee boxes on the course you plan to play.

When using the 5 Iron Method, consider the following:

  1. Choose a tee box that allows you to reach the majority of par-4 and par-5 holes in regulation. This ensures you have a fair chance of making pars and birdies.
  2. Avoid selecting tee boxes that require you to consistently hit long irons or fairway woods into greens. This can make scoring more challenging and affect your overall enjoyment of the round.
  3. Consider your strategy and preferred approach shots. If you feel more confident with shorter irons or wedges into greens, choose a tee box that aligns with this preference.

By using the 5 Iron Method, you can optimize your tee box selection and set yourself up for success on the course. Tailoring your tee options to your distance capabilities will not only improve your chances of hitting quality shots but also ensure a more enjoyable golfing experience.

Tee BoxYardage
Back Tees6,800 - 7,200 yards
Championship Tees6,400 - 6,800 yards
Regular Tees5,800 - 6,400 yards
Forward Tees5,000 - 5,800 yards

Factors to Consider

When it comes to selecting the right tee box, there are several additional factors that you should consider. These factors will help you make an informed decision based on your individual preferences and course conditions. Let's explore them below:

Course Difficulty

Course difficulty plays a significant role in determining which tee box is suitable for you. Take into account the overall length and layout of the course. If you're a beginner or have a higher handicap, opting for shorter tees might be a better choice to ensure a more enjoyable and manageable round of golf.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions can also impact your decision on which tee box to play. Strong winds or unfavorable weather can affect your distance and accuracy off the tee. If conditions are challenging, consider moving up to a tee box that allows you to maintain control and keep the ball in play.

Personal Preferences

Don't forget to factor in your personal preferences when selecting a tee box. Some golfers enjoy the challenge of longer distances and prefer playing from the back tees, while others may prioritize a more relaxed and enjoyable experience. 

Consider your skill level, overall fitness, and the type of round you want to have on the course. By considering these factors, you can make a well-informed decision on which tee box is best suited for you. 

Remember, the goal is to have an enjoyable round of golf while also challenging yourself to improve. Now, let's summarize the key points we've discussed so far!

Factors to Consider when selecting the right tee box
Course Difficulty
Weather Conditions
Personal Preferences

Watch Image 18 B Banner

Choosing the right tee box can have a significant impact on your overall golfing experience. By taking into account important factors such as your handicap, driving distance, and expert recommendations from organizations like the USGA and PGA of America, you can find the tee box that suits you best.

It's important to remember that tee box selection is not just about distance. It's about finding the balance between challenge and enjoyment. Utilizing resources like the Tee It Forward recommendations or methods such as the driving distance or 5 Iron method can help you make a more informed decision.

So, whether you're a seasoned golfer or just starting out, consider the various factors involved in tee box selection. By finding the right tee box for your game, you can optimize your scoring opportunities, have a more satisfying golfing experience, and elevate your overall enjoyment on the course.

File Ahevybp3zc


What factors should I consider when choosing the right tee box?

When selecting the right tee box, there are several factors to consider. These include your handicap, driving distance, course difficulty, weather conditions, and personal preferences. Taking all of these factors into account will help you make an informed decision.

What are the USGA recommendations for tee box selection?

The United States Golf Association (USGA) provides recommendations for tee box selection based on a golfer's handicap. These recommendations can help you determine which tees play to your skill level and ensure an enjoyable round of golf.

What are the PGA of America guidelines for choosing tee boxes?

The PGA of America offers guidelines for tee box selection, focusing on a golfer's skill level and scoring ability. These guidelines consider various factors such as handicap, distance, and overall game performance to help you make the best tee box selection.

What is the Tee It Forward initiative?

The Tee It Forward initiative encourages golfers to play from shorter tees in order to enhance their playing experience. By moving up to a more appropriate tee box, you can improve your enjoyment and scoring on the course.

How can I determine the right tee box based on driving distance?

The driving distance method involves determining the average distance you hit your driver and selecting a tee box that aligns with this distance. By utilizing this method, you can find a tee box that allows you to play to your strengths and maximize your performance.

What is the 5 Iron method for choosing tee boxes?

The 5 Iron method involves using the average distance you hit your 5-iron to determine the appropriate tee box. This method takes into account a golfer's overall distance control and provides a reliable indicator for tee box selection.

How can I choose the right tee box based on my personal preferences?

Personal preferences play an important role in choosing the right tee box. Factors such as course difficulty, weather conditions, and the overall experience you desire should all be considered. Opting for a tee box that aligns with your preferences can enhance your enjoyment on the golf course.

Why is choosing the right tee box important?

Choosing the right tee box is important because it can greatly impact your overall enjoyment and scoring on the golf course. By selecting a tee box that matches your skill level, distance capabilities, and personal preferences, you can optimize your performance and have a satisfying golf experience.

Share this:
18Birdies App Preview

Get The App