golf gource long range tees

Which Set of Tees Should You Play From on a Golf Course?

No matter where you are playing, it is likely that the golf course will have multiple sets of tee boxes, giving you the option of teeing off from different distances from the hole. Figuring out which tee to play from can be an ever-present worry for many golfers. Because there aren’t any official rules or guidelines around which set of tees you should play from on a golf course, it can be a rather daunting task trying to figure it out.

While most golf courses have at least three sets of tees to choose from, some have up to six or seven sets! With so many sets of tees to choose from, how do you know where you should play from? In this post, we will take a look at some ways to know which sets of tees you should play from on a golf course, so keep reading! 

What Do the Different Sets of Tees Mean?

The tee boxes correspond to different lengths. They are all different yardages, meaning that some are closer to the hole and some further away. The tees at the back of the tee box are the longest set and furthest away from the hole. Of course, that means the ones at the front of the tee box are the shortest set. If you are looking for exact yardages, then check the scorecard for the corresponding lines. 

Whether you are just starting out in the game of golf or you are a seasoned player, you need to know which tee to start out from. For some, it may be obvious that the longer away the tee is from the hole, the more experienced the golfer needs to be. However, there is a bit more to it than that. If you are looking for some tips to finding which set of tees you should play from, then continue reading. 

How To Know Which Set Of Tees To Play From

Remember that everyone differs and everyone’s levels differ in the game of golf. That being said, here are a few tips that you can use in order to know which set of tees to play from when you are playing a round of golf. 

  • Use the three tee set standards. As we have already mentioned, this will differ from person to person, but the general rule is:
    • The back tees: low-handicap men
    • The middle tees: middle- to high-handicap men, low-handicap women, or low-handicap senior men
    • The front tees: middle- to high-handicap women and seniors, or beginners
  • Use your average 5-iron distance. This involves a little simple math and some honest reflection, but this is one of the more popular ways to choose which set of tees to play from. All you have to do is take your average 5-iron distance and multiply it by 36. That will give you the ideal yardage you should be using. From that, you can gauge which tee set is right for you to play from. For example, if your average 5-iron distance is 100 yards, then you would multiply that by 36 and your ideal yardage would be 3600. From that, you will choose the closest tee set to that yardage and you are ready to play!
  • When there are several tee sets to choose from and you aren’t sure where to begin, then you can consider the yardages that professionals play from. On the PGA Tour, the average length is around 7,200-7,300 yards (Live About Dot Com) and on the LPGA Tour the length averages around 6,200-6,300 yards. Therefore, if you are a low-handicap golfer, then you can most likely play from the back tees (mostly for men). Low-handicap women and seniors may consider choosing tees whose yardage is around 250-500 yards less than the pros . For mid-handicaps, they might choose tees that represent yardage that is around 500-1000 yards less than the pros. High-handicaps might try for around 1,000-1,500 yards less than the pros. As for beginners, you should probably stick to the forward tees to start out with unless you know that you can hit the ball a good distance.

What Other Things Should You Keep in Mind?

When choosing the set of tees to play from, there are some things that you should keep in mind. One of these is to not try and play tees that are too long for your game. Sometimes, amateur golfers will get a little ahead of themselves and try to play from tees that are too long for their skill level. While we know you want to impress the other players, you will more likely do so by playing from a tee that is better for your skill level and doing well than messing up your shot by hitting it from too far away. 

If you are unable to reach par-3 holes in one shot (meaning in distance, not getting your ball on the green) or par- holes in two shots from the set of tees you are playing, then you will probably want to consider moving up a set. But don’t worry! With practice, you will be able to move back a set of tees in no time.

Remember, always decide carefully which set of tees to play from because it can mean the difference between a good and a bad game. If you are just starting out, take it slow. Try it from the front tees to begin with. Then, with more time and practice, you will be able to move back sets very quickly.

If you are looking for more information, tips, and guidelines for golf, then check out Back 2 Basics. At Back 2 Basics, we have all of your golf needs at the click of a mouse. If you are looking for some of the best equipment and apparel for your golf game, then look no further. We’ve got exactly what you are looking for, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran.




  • Skitch Loader

    The one thing you don’t take into consideration is that everyone should be play the same course that the architect designed. If traps or trouble are 300 yards and you only hit 270 and low handicap you’re not playing the same course as someone who are playing for tees that can reach the trouble. Everyone should be playing the same course. And USGA tee it forward

  • Nicholas Steiner | Founder

    This is the formula: 5 iron goes 180yds. 180yds x 36 = 6,480yds. Play from the closest tee box to that yardage.

    It’s all about how far you can hit the ball. If you’re shooting par from the white tees that’s great. It doesn’t mean you have to move to the Blue just because of your HDCP.

  • Dan H

    Thank you for this article. As a middle-aged man about to jump into the game for the first time, I think I’m steeled to swallow my pride and start from the front tees. However, having read this and several other articles there’s something I haven’t been able to find. You write “Try it from the front tees to begin with. Then, with more time and practice, you will be able to move back sets very quickly.” But when should I move back? When I shoot a bogey round from the front tees? Several bogey rounds? A par round? Any suggestion(s) for when to “level up” would be helpful, and again, thank you!

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