Since golf is a competitive and prideful game, most players try to play from farther tees than they really should. While these players might look good playing from the back tees, the fact is that they are slowing down everyone else on the golf course and hurting their own score as well. The USGA, golf’s governing body, has an initiative called “Tee it Forward” that encourages players to play tees based on their drive length rather than age. Even though this initiative might have been rolled out 2 years ago, the amount of players continuing to use the longest tee boxes is astonishing. Chances are next time you go to the golf course you will notice the same thing. 

The best way for a player to choose the right tee box is to look at their average distance they hit their driver. The major point of the “Tee it Forward” program is to have players hitting reasonable length shots to the greens rather than ones close to 200 yards away every time. You should tee up where your average drive gives you an approach shot of less than 170 yards. This strategy might seem childish, but you will notice your scores drop and you will enjoy your time more. A general rule of thumb to determine which tee box is right for you is if you hit your driver under 200 yards, play from the closest tee. If you hit from 200-225 the next farthest tee, and so on. When you are hitting 275+ accurately you should be playing the farthest tees back.

While this advice will definitely help on par 4 and 5s, the real improvement will come on par 3s. Golfers who play the back tee box when they really shouldn’t encounter major trouble when they get to a par 3 that is well over 200 yards. These holes are meant to challenge the low handicap players who drive the ball 275+ yards and are able to reach the green easily with a low iron or hybrid. Not only will you feel weird having to pull out a driver on a par 3, the accuracy and trajectory of the driver is not meant to stop a ball on a small green. Rather, by using the “Tee it Forward” program, these par 3s will become easier because you will be hitting with a more lofted club.