Playing from the correct set of tees is an important aspect of golf. So understanding should I play from the white or the blue tees is a big deal.
Playing from the set of too long tees for your game will only make the game tougher, and playing from too short tees will give you an unfair advantage.
Generally, you would play from the blue tees if you are a low-handicap male golfer and from the white tees if you are a medium handicap male golfer or low handicap female player. The front tees are reserved for senior, ladies, and high-handicap male players.
Many golf courses have different colored tee markers for the various levels or ages of players and the distance of the course, and these are marked according to the distance of the course suited to your skill level.
Tee Marker Colors And Course Distance
The golf course tees are colored and positioned based on the total course distances they cover. For example, the blue tees or championship tees are the longest marked tees, and these typically indicate a course length akin to that of a PGA course of between 7000-7300 yards.
The white tees indicate a course length of between 6000-6300 yards, which is around 1000 yards less than the pros, and this would be closer to the LPGA course lengths. Most low handicapped ladies, average handicapped men, and low handicapped senior golfers would play from this color tee.
The forward tees typically are around 1500 yards shorter than the pro courses, and these tees would be ideally suited for beginners, high handicap players, and seniors.
How To Find Which Tee You Should Play From
The tee markers are based on the distance you can hit your clubs and be competitive. Don’t mistake trying to hit from the blue (championship) tees if you are a beginner or don’t have the distance on your clubs, as this will invariably lead to much higher scores.
Here is a simple calculation to identify which tees you should play from. Using your average distance of your 5-iron, you can accurately determine which color tees you should be hitting from.
Take your average 5-iron distance and multiply it by 36 to get a total of the yardage you would be playing at.
For example, if you hit your 5-iron 200 yards on average, then your total yardage would be 7200 yards, and you’d be playing from the blue tees. If you hit your 5-iron around 175 yards, your yardage would be 6300 yards, which would mean you need to play off the white tees.
If you only hit your 5-iron around 150 yards, this would give you total yardage of 5400 yards, putting you at the front red markers. If you don’t know the average distance for your 5-iron, then it would be worth heading to a driving range to calibrate it so you can play from the correct tees.
If you are starting, then play from the front tees ( unless you do hit it very long) and then progress to the white and possibly blue tees if you achieve that skill level.
Why It’s Important To Play From The Correct Tees
Golf is one of the few games where the rules and structure accommodate players of all skill levels and be competitive, whether in competition or casual rounds. The golf handicap system is a good example, and the tee box markers are another.
The tee marking system evens out the playing field so that players who can hit the ball longer have an equal challenge to those who can’t hit it as far. It would hardly be fair to have players with low swing speed or limited swing motion hitting from the furthest tees.
Conversely, having long hitters play from the shorter tee markers would turn in some ridiculous scores and make a mockery of the course and the game. The tee marker system and the handicap structure give every player a chance to play and score and enjoy the game without being set up for failure from the first tee shot.
Playing from the right color tee, whether blue, white, or red, will ensure you are playing the right distance for your game and give you ample opportunity to shoot your handicap and sometimes even better, so you can progress in the game.
Tee Marker Colors On Par Three Holes
The shorter and longer holes on the course are known as the scoring holes as this is where the course offers an opportunity for players to score, and by score, that means to make birdie!
Playing these holes from the correct tee marker could mean the difference between a birdie or par or a bogey or double bogey. So, for example, if you have par three, which is 140 yards from the red tees, 165 yards from the white tees, and 190 yards from the blue tees, these are at least a two-club length difference based on the tee box distances. Depending on your skill level, each would still present a challenge to hit the green in one shot.
However, a senior player may not hit the green with a driver from 190 yards, and a low handicap player would be hitting a wedge or less from the red tees. By having these tee markers at the appropriate skill distances, each player level has an equal and fair opportunity to score.
Playing From The Correct Tee Markers Speeds Up Play
One of the biggest challenges golf courses face daily, especially when they have a full field or close to it, is how this affects the speed of play. Many players complain of slow play when the field is not properly managed, and this leads to players and groups having to wait for the groups in front to play, and no golfer likes to wait!
By playing from the correct tee markers for your skill level and game distance, you will help to keep your game at the right speed and maintain an acceptable speed of play throughout your round.
If you have beginners who want to play from the back tees, the round will take much longer as they will struggle to meet the required distance, so take more time on each hole, slow down the field, and record very high scores, which is far from ideal.
Should I Play From the White or the Blue Tees Conclusion
The ultimte goal of the game is to be able to enjoy it as well as play and score competitively so that you can improve your game and stay with it. Knowing your distance is the easiest way to determine whether you should play from the white or blue tees.
Playing from the right color tee markers will not only make the game move at a good rate, but it will also make the game a lot more enjoyable and less of a struggle. Golf as a game is challenging enough without having to make it longer unnecessarily.