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Tees: blue or white?



Is there any generally agreed upon criteria for when people ought to 'promote themselves' from the white to the blue tees?

I'm a casual player, usually playing about 10-15 times/year, and usually score in the mid-high 80's at local courses which aren't especially challenging outside of a few particular holes. On a good day, I will hit most of my drives approx. 250yds, give or take a little, which usually puts me between a SW and maybe a 7I for an approach on par4s when playing the white tees.

Every so often I'll play with somebody (stranger) who plays from the whites, and comments that I really should be playing from the blues since I drive the ball 'so far'.

What's the protocol for determining which tee I should be hitting from?
Also, if I start playing from the blue tees, and then proceed to have a really bad golf day, I feel like it's against the rules to switch tees mid-round, and then I also feel like a complete ass for playing the blues while proceeding to shoot in the mid 90's on a pretty easy course. :::shrug:::


All around nice guy
Apr 22, 2005
Hey man I say this, if your just a casual golfer out to have some fun just hit from where you feel comfortable. Thats why they have the different tees, white for people who are just looking to get outside and have fun, and the blues for those of us who want a bit more of a challenge. I can't believe a stranger would say that to you...I hit from that back tees but I'm not about to tell someone where they should be hitting from.

As far as chaning tees in the middle of a round, if your not playing for money or in a tourney I have no problem with you switching. If your not playing well from the blue tees and your not having fun (which is what golf is all about) then move up to the whites.


simplicity vs complexity
Apr 8, 2005
I personally believe that most player who shoots in the 80s would possess the ball striking skill to play from the blues no problem.

But yeah, I definetly have no problem with people in my group playing from the whites, more props to them for not giving into the peer pressure and having the security of not having to prove their manliness.


Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
I'd look more at the course yardage than tee color. For a player with your background, I'd look for a course length of 6200 - 6500 yards unless it is extremely hilly or has other factors that make it unusually challenging.

To me, to go above 6600 yards, you need to be fairly long and/or fairly good overall. I sometimes see people playing at these longer lengths who take forever because the course is just too long for them.

Last year, I played a course here which has hosted the PGA Championship twice. From the pro tees, it is 7100 yards. From the tees in front of this, it approaches 6900. I played this set of tees twice and it was a load. Two par 4's of around 440 yards...one flat and the other uphill. I was hitting the ball really well that day and reached them both but if I did not have my A game - I would have been roasted by the course length.

Shot an 83 and an 84...


Rules Nerd
Supporting Member
Mar 9, 2005
I wish everyone would play the ladies tees until they were scratch.

Then move back to the whites until scratch at the new distance.

Then move to the blues. Etc. etc.

The reason most folks don't do this, besides the immasculating part, is because they will shoot about the same score. That'll hurt like a kick in the nads too much as you soon realize that golf is a game about approach shots, chipping and putting.

I played a round from the reds last year just for giggles. I'm a 6 handicap and decently long. Because of the length I have I was able to overpower the red tees with little or no problems, keeping "par" as the same as for the ladies. i.e., that 530 yard par 5 from the blues is still a par 5 played at 420 from the reds. My putting was awful that day and I struggled to even par. I had visions of deep red, but it wasn't to be.

Having done that though, I KNOW I'd be a scratch golfer at that length in a couple of weeks. Thus, move me back to the whites.

I predominantly play the back tees because I like the challenge. If I play on the road, I ALWAYS want to play the back tees. I hate comparing courses with others that have played a place, and I say something like, "That course was TOUGH it ate me up. I shot 87." The other guy says, "I didn't think it was that tough. I broke 80." I always have to ask what tees he played, and invariably, it's not the tips. Of course the course is easier from the upper tees.

At my home course though I always play the blues, if I can, becuase there isn't that much of a difference between the white and blue. I am pretty much going to shoot the same score, but the handicap index is 1.1 points tougher from the blues with 4 points of slope extra. So, if you are going to shoot the same score, it'll lower your handicap faster playing the blues.

Really though, as I said earlier, I should be playing whites until I am scratch. Then move back for more challenge.

So if you are shooting in the 80's from the whites, I'd say stay there until you are scratch. But, if you want more of a challenge, you probably could move back to the blues and shoot about the same.

If you find it more fun to hit 5 and 6 irons into greens than 8 and 9 irons, then the back tees are for you! :)

Sorry for the rant. But on my muni home course, I get so SICK of seeing F'ing divots on the back tee box on par 5's. You are hitting driver. There should NEVER be a divot. Idiots.

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