Can men play from the ladies tees? Yes! It’s entirely appropriate for any golfer to play with the ladies tees regardless of their gender. The term ‘ladies tees’ is often applied to the ‘forward tees’ with which a player plays at the shortest length. The term ‘ladies tees’ was widely used for the red tees in the past and is still used by some golfers and golf clubs. However, it is not considered appropriate now because not all women play with the forward tees. There can be men, women, seniors or juniors playing with the forward tees.
Gender is no more a criterion in determining which tee to play with or not. The playing skills, the player’s handicap, and the driving distance determine which tees a player should play with. Therefore, forward tees, also known as red tees, and still referred to as ladies tees by some, can be used by beginner or senior men or anyone with a higher handicap.
Then, why are they called the ladies tees if men can play with them? Let’s discuss this!
Why are Forward Tees Called the Ladies Tees?
In the past, there used to be only three sets of tees in most of the golf courses: the back (black), medium (white) and forward (red). The back tees are for the pro golfers with the lowest handicap, medium for the average players with average handicaps and the forward tees for the beginners with the highest handicap. Since a female golfer doesn’t hit farther than an average male golfer, they were more likely to only play with the forward tees. That’s why they were referred to as the ladies tees.
However, this term is no longer appreciated since it associates women golfers with the shortest distance tees. Now, there are gender-neutral tees:
- black, blue and gold-colored tees (back tees) for pro golfers, where black and gold are for pros and blue are for men golfers with low to average handicaps
- white tees (Medium), also referred to as Senior tees, are for average men golfers with medium to high handicaps and for seniors and women with low handicaps;
- Yellow, green and red tees (forward), with red being at the shortest yardage, are used by beginners, or seniors with very high handicaps, regardless of age and gender.
This classification made it easier for the players to select the right tees to play and faded the men women tees classification.
Can Men Play From the Ladies Tees?
Most clubs avoid designating men’s and ladies’ tags to the set of tees and encourage playing with those appropriate to their ability or skills. Men are often reluctant to play with the forward or red tees because forward tees are associated with ladies’ golf. However, a male golfer with a high handicap going for the white or blue tees makes no sense as it will only result in frustration and failed shots.
Men, women, juniors, seniors, beginner or professional, anyone can play with any tees they’re comfortable with. Likewise, women can play with any set of tees they want. If they have a low handicap, they can go for the white tees. However, a golfer with a low handicap who already plays with the back or the medium tee cannot play with the forward tees, especially during competition, as it will result in unfair competition.
As mentioned above, tees are classified based on the yardages or the measured course they offer, making it easier for golfers to choose tees according to the course length they enjoy the most. Therefore, it is often argued that tees should be called the ’64 course’. It is equally important that the different sets of tees provide men’s and women’s course ratings for handicapping purposes and encouraging players to play with the suitable tees.
Call Them the Forward Tees Only
Now that the question about men playing with the ladies’ tees is clear, it is important to discuss why it is important to drop that term and call them as the forward tees only, which fortunately happens in most golf courses. The reason is that referring to forward tees as ladies’ discourages many male golfers who are short-hitting high-handicappers, beginners or older golfers to play them. Every golfer should choose the tees according to their skills and handicap. But unfortunately, the term is still very common.
Why Should Every Golfer Play Red More Often?
Most people think that it only depends on their level of play, but it also has a lot to do with the average distance with the Driver.
According to studies, the average distance of an amateur golf player with the Driver is usually 185m. Making a rough extrapolation, if the average with the Driver is 219 yards, an amateur player with a 5 Iron will never do 150 m again.
It is unbelievable that a golfer with the 7 iron hit an average of 270 meters with the Driver and a pitch. That is not the average golf.
For example, if the average golf handicap is 20, the average distance of a golf course from yellow bars would be about 5,600 – 5,800 m. That means there will be many par 4s, that 90% of national golf players will have to hit a 5 iron or more with a second stroke.
Remember that if a hole has a distance of 360 m (par 4), and your average distance is 195 m, you will have a second shot 165m or close to getting into the barrier of the 5 iron.
Golfers have 255m left in the second shot with 195m with the Driver, so hitting a 7 iron, you take away some 130-135m and have 125m left.
Doing this sequence perfectly, you would have another 7 iron in your hands for the third shot to hit a green with a third shot. Imagine the number of times you can hit the green when you have a 7 iron in your hands.
So, what happens? Golfers ignore the following essential points by not playing in red:
- Take greens in regulation.
- Birdie options.
- You have less fun.
- It will cost you a lot to do a backspin
- You lose more balls
- You don’t hit the green on most par 3s
- You do not arrive 2 in a par 5
We hope that the above points are enough for you to understand that why playing with reds is important.
In the US, you have to follow the rules of the field, take into account the maximum time you have to play and the handicap you have. Your handicap tells you the tees to play from, but you are free to play from wherever you want. You only have to do it in time, not a minute more. Otherwise, the field marshals will kindly recommend that you leave the field.