July 8

The Red Tees are NOT “Ladies Tees”!

Golf Lessons


I swear to God, some days things I hear piss me off.

As the title pretty much sums up, the red tees are not “ladies tees”.

They’re called forward tees.

Too many people misconstrue them, giving them this negative stigma.

“Well, at least I hit it past the ladies tees”

“I don’t want to play from those tees!”

Seriously, it’s disgusting.  It’s also screwing things up for many of us.

Too many people want to play from the wrong sets of tees.  They hit their drives <200 yards, but still want to play “from the tips”.  I guess that playing a six-hour round while shooting more than 100 is somehow “manly”.

The Red Tees Aren’t Just for Ladies

Now, before any of you dudes out there freak out, it does work both ways.  If you’re in the 200-yard club with the driver and she’s in the 300-yard club (or whatever combination works to her advantage… let’s not split hairs here), she should absolutely be playing back.

There used to be a section in Golf Digest (back when I could tolerate it) where people could write in to their resident female golfer, Stina Sternberg.  It was called “Ask Stina”.

Anyway, there was one particular Q&A that always struck a chord with me (the emphasis is mine):

Q: My wife and I have a friendly competition against one another. My wife is fairly long and consistent off the tee. On a course with four tee boxes, she plays from the forward tees. I say she should play one tee back. There’s no such thing as the “ladies’ tees,” right? A person should choose based on handicap and distance off the tee. Your thoughts?

A: You’re right. Whether your wife plays from the first, second or fifth tee is irrelevant: All that matters is what yardage she chooses in relation to how far she hits the ball. And that goes for you, too; ideally, each of you should play from distances that leave you with a similar club into greens on par 4s.

A reader once sent me this formula to calculate a player’s ideal course yardage, and I love it: Multiply the average distance you hit your 27-degree club (typically your 5-iron) by 36; the total you get is a good distance for you to play from in yards. I hit my 5-iron about 145 yards these days (a brutal but honest assessment), which means my ideal tee yardage is 5,220. I realize that I have a lot more fun playing from a yardage that allows me to hit short irons into a few greens, just as the guys I play with can.


Of course, this also assumes you KNOW your average 5 iron distance… which you should.  It’s not that hard to go to the range to hit 10-12 shots, throw out the longest and the shortest, and find the average of the remainder.

This should go without saying, but: this applies to the yellow/gold tees, the sadly-named “senior” tees.  As an aside, the “A-flex” shaft is NOT “senior” flex… it’s “Amateur” flex!

OK, rant over.  Take care- and play from the correct tees for your game!  Trust me, you’ll get more enjoyment from your next round.

About the author 

Justin Blair

Justin Blair is the founder of Green Lantern Golf. When he isn't bringing his 10+ years of excellent craftsmanship experience to golf club fitting, building, and repair, he's geeking out about Star Wars (he's watched them all about 8,437 times!) and things like the MCU and LOTR, he's drinking mead and craft brews. If you wanna know more, check out my About Page!

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