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Playing from white tees vs. Blues


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#1 Stylers

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:06 PM

I have been golfing seriously for about 3 years. I regularly play with a group of 6-8 individuals each Sunday morning at various courses in our area. The group consists of about 3-4 older people, 65+ and 3-4 people in their early 50's including myself. The older golfers, one is even in his late 70's, refuse to play from the blues, due to their inability to exceed 200yds on their drives. When I play with a couple of other friends, separate from this group, and ranging in age from 40-56, we play from the blues which exceed 6100yds+, sometimes 6500 or more depending on the course. The whites never exceed 5900 yds. My handicap from the whites, or senior tees as I have heard them being called, is 12.8. From the blues, it is 14.8. I recently played a PGA course in Florida from the whites and never used my 3 or 4 hybrid and shot 76. Just used driver on a few holes, then irons, 5i once and remainder 6-LW. I am not a long hitter in the least, at 50 I can hit a solid drive 250 occasionally, however am usually in the 220 - 240 range, not counting terrible shots of course.

It has been bothering me that since I play from the whites each week I am not getting the full range of shots. I only play with the other group of friends maybe twice a month due to time constraints. I am desperately trying to improve my game and feel that playing from the whites mostly does not help me as much as playing from the blues due to added distance, greater rating and slope, thereby greater challenges, etc.

I understand that the shorter course allows for greater control, etc., however you still need a sharp short game to score well from any distanced tees.

Thoughts from the experienced golfers on this site would be greatly appreciated.


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#2 golfingchuck

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:21 PM

I wish I had a regular group to play with every Sunday. I play by myself most rounds and at our course I play from the blues, which is the "back tees but not the tips! The tips at our course is called the blacks. When I join other members at our club and they play from the forward tees I will join them out of respect and to change it up a little bit. Have not played the black tees because they really only use those for the championship flight in tourny's.

I don't know what to really tell you other than play with the other guys more from the blues, but with out alienating your self from your regular group.

Best of luck on deciding what to do

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#3 MtlJeff

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:21 PM

me and 3 friends play a few resort courses every year together, and when we do we are almost always playing 3 different tee boxes. Just play a different tee box, there's no disrespect in that. Are you playing for money?
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#4 TML

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:21 PM

there is no rule that states you must all play from the same tee blocks.  Play blue and let the others play from the whites.

#5 Qstick333

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:32 PM

Why can't you move to the other teebox and play? I have a friend that I play with 1-2x month and he is a much longer hitter than me (I don't even carry a driver anymore)....regardless, he plays tips, I play whites. No big deal or holdup and we both respect each others games and move on. Or - you could just have fun and play with the guys - it is a game after all.....


#6 triplebogeyblues

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:39 PM

How is this any different than playing with a woman? You play the tees that fit your handicap.

#7 RedSide

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:42 PM

I have the same problem. However I dont get to play every Sunday with the same group. The only problem I with playin the blues or tips by myself is I will have to tee off first every hole, with everyone else in front of me at the standing, waiting, at the white tees. Makes it really uncomfortable. I think your only option would be to find some people who like to play from the blues or convince your friends.

#8 9ccat9

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:42 PM

You play your second shots from different locations, why not your first?  That being said if the blue tees are not that big of a difference for example 500 plus yards, play the same box as your friends.  If you do go back to the blue by yourself be prepared for the snide comments.
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#9 honketyhank

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:49 PM

Well, I have several thoughts.

1) If you don't feel comfortable playing from the tees your companions want to play, you have two options: a) play from their tees and feel pressured; b) play from what you feel comfortable with and ignore any good natured comments.

2) If their comments are not good natured in a way that you can laugh at as well, find another bunch to play with on a regular basis while still maintaining contact with your buds who play the blues.

I have the same problem. I do play more often with a bunch of white tee old farts like me, but I am quite happy to tee it up with a few buds who play the blues. And depending on how I feel, I might play the whites or the blues with those guys. FWIW, I have found that playing the blues is more of a psychological challenge than a physcial one. But still, get a few strokes from them if you go Blue.

#10 SwingBlade

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 08:11 PM

My drives are usually 260-280.  I tend to play the blues.  If the majority of the group wants to play the whites, I play the whites.  If they want to play the blacks, I play the blacks - harder to score but still fun.  Shouldn't be a big deal one way or the other.  I think it is called democracy - majority rules.  Out here, the whites are generally the average players tees, not the seniors tees, which are usually gold or red.  The blues are intended for high 70's and the blacks low 70's.  The reds are also pretty much the ladies tees which is why most senior men won't play them when they double for seniors tees - ego ego ego.

However, what is often a royal pain is people in a group playing from two or three sets of tees.  It really slows things down, frustrates people, and minimizes communication in the group which is supposed to be a big part of why we play golf with a regular group.  Now if your group says, "Please, play the blues ... won't bother us a bit", by all means play the blues.  Sounds like they aren't saying that which is pretty normal in my experience.

In truth, sometimes it is harder for me to score from the whites because the driver is just too long on a dogleg and I wind up with longer approach shots.  I find it pretty much all balances out in the long run.  If it is really that important, consider trying to find a different group instead of cajoling these folks into doing things your way.

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#11 atlanta golfer

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 08:49 PM

I will typically play the same tees as the group I am with.  Both short tees and long tees bring out different parts of my game and make me hit different clubs, which is good.  However, that said, I wouldn't like to play a short (white) set of tees all the time.  I've noticed sometimes the shorter tees can even be harder because they can bring hazards and trees into play that otherwise would not be in play off the tee.  I suggest playing a different set of tees and just explaining your situation.  If they are good people, they will understand.  Personally, I like to play between 6100 and 6500 yards, and I am an average distance 10.4 hc player.  It would make me nuts to always have to play under 6000 yards.

#12 OldSkoolTexan

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 09:32 PM

Find some new golfing buddies that will help challenge you to improve your game....

#13 mnieman

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:11 PM

if they are truly your 'buddies' then they shouldn't care where you hit from

#14 Socrates

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:32 PM

One option is to hit less club off the tee if you want to put more demand in your short to mid-iron game.  If I join a group that plays from a tee that is shorter than I normally play, I will hit whatever club I think will give me the same kind of shot I would have if I played from the tips.  If I am on vacation and paying big coin for a great track, I have no qualms about playing from the tees that I want to and quite often I have played in groups where 3 sets of boxes are used and no one gets upset about it.

One observation about golfers is that they can play the same track over and over and over never deviate from the routine.  I'll bet your buddies shoot pretty much the same score every time and you could predict where they hit it and what iron they have in for every hole, every game.  Everyone knows change is good but a lot of golfers don't like change for some reason.
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#15 Stylers

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 09:16 AM

Thanks for the replies, yes we do play for money and I have been winning most the past couple of weeks. The next best handicapper is 17, and everyone plays off my handicap. I have asked if I could play from the blues, but was told it would slow the pace of play and I don't want them to think that I am arrogant and much better than they are, when I am just trying to improve. The fact is that I take the game seriously and practice regularly, Not Always successful, but I try. Me playing from the blues adds a bit of arrogance on my part don't you think? I am not so concerned about the money, just getting better.


#16 Stylers

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 09:28 AM

BTW, I failed to mention that while some call the white tees senior tees, we do have actual green tees on most courses where the senior can play. However the whites on some courses are quite short, 5600+ in yards. I feel these are too short to actually get in all clubs, whereas playing from 400+ longer courses allows for a wider range for obvious reasons.

Difficult to find regulars who play early Sunday mornings, so I may just be stuck and work from the blues with other players periodically.

I appreciate everyone's thoughts and help.

#17 TML

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 09:47 AM

Just curious, how long do your rounds take to play?  It just sounds like you need to find a different group.  Sounds like your existing partners have insecurities about what it will look like to outside observers seeing you challenging yourself, while they don't.

There are far more greater pace of play issues......
- spending more than 5 mins looking for lost balls
- waiting for the green to clear so you can hit that career 270 yd 3 wood onto the green.
- not playing ready golf, where all 4 players are at their ball ready to hit. (a lot of golfers sit in the cart, waiting for their partner to hit their shot, and be driven 25 yds to their ball....when they could have grabbed a few clubs and be ready to play).
- spending 5 mins lining up a putt.....etc, etc., etc.

Hitting from different tee boxes does not increase pace of play, as long as you are playing ready golf.  I like to play 4 hr or less rounds of golf.  A lot of people think they play ready golf, when in fact they don't.

#18 AZPhys13

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 09:59 AM

A couple of months ago, my Dad and I were playing down here in Tucson and we were paired with an older member of the course.  He played the white tees so my Dad and I decided to play from there as well.  After playing the first hole, a par 5, with a combination of driver 9i I decided to move back to the next set of tees.  The gentleman we were playing with had no problem with it and I would be your friends would feel the same way.  I would rather move back a tee than spend my day hitting nothing longer than a 8i or 9i into every green.
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#19 mjiafe

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 02:00 PM

 Stylers, on 10 June 2010 - 09:16 AM, said:

I have asked if I could play from the blues, but was told it would slow the pace of play and I don't want them to think that I am arrogant and much better than they are, when I am just trying to improve...Me playing from the blues adds a bit of arrogance on my part don't you think?

Absolutely not.  You legitimately want to use your longer irons throughout the round and can't do this from the whites.  To take it to the extreme, PGA players don't play from the tips because they are arrogant.  They play from the tips b/c if they didn't, then we'd be watching driver, wedge, driver, wedge, driver, wedge all day.  Every course has some rule that you should "play from the tees that fit your game."  I have very rarely seen "better players should play the blues," because that just isn't a completely accurate statement.

Golf is many different things to many different people.  Some do it purely for relaxation.  Some do it to compete with others.  Some do it for the personal challenge.  Just because your game has the personal challenge component, while theirs does not, doesn't mean that you are arrogant.  Just different.  In fact...

 TML, on 10 June 2010 - 09:47 AM, said:

Sounds like your existing partners have insecurities about what it will look like to outside observers seeing you challenging yourself, while they don't.

...TML says it best here that it is your playing partners who have the insecurities.  They need to get over it.  People play with women all the time, and it really doesn't take that much extra time.  It adds about 30 seconds per hole, maybe less.  Now, like others have said, if you are trying to hit from 3 different tees in one group then that can get a bit cumbersome.  But 2 tees is easy.

You should simply ask if they would bear with you for one round to try it out.  That should show them that it doesn't really matter.  Of course, if it ends up being a huge issue then I wouldn't stop playing with them altogether.  It's nice to have a group to play with every week and playing from the blues instead of the whites isn't worth not playing with them anymore.  If this happens, take your driver out of the bag every once in a while and just play with your remaining clubs.  This will definitely add a challenge and give your club selection a little shakeup.

#20 ben w

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 02:20 PM

 AZPhys13, on 10 June 2010 - 09:59 AM, said:

A couple of months ago, my Dad and I were playing down here in Tucson and we were paired with an older member of the course. He played the white tees so my Dad and I decided to play from there as well. After playing the first hole, a par 5, with a combination of driver 9i I decided to move back to the next set of tees. The gentleman we were playing with had no problem with it and I would be your friends would feel the same way. I would rather move back a tee than spend my day hitting nothing longer than a 8i or 9i into every green.

I totally agree. I played the whites with my buddies the other day (who shoot in the 110-120 range, I am a 0 index). There was a par 5 that played 525 yards from the tips, 460 from the blues, and 430 from the whites. We had a tail wind, and the hole played dogleg left over a pond. From the tips, it was barely drivable to cut the corner, the blues somewhat feasible, but the whites was child's play. Ended up striping a driver straight at the green and had a flip wedge for an easy eagle. I don't remember hitting anything more than an 8 iron that whole day, which is great for scoring but not for a challenge. (although shooting -4 67 when the course rating is 65 doesn't do much for the index!)

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#21 Stylers

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 10:21 PM

Thanks to everyone who responded to my topic. I have decided that because it is difficult to find a regular crew who plays Sunday mornings, I work all week and find it difficult to play M-F. I will continue playing from the whites. I will use my handicap from the whites, close to 13, and win their money most of the time. I am sure my handicap will continue to go lower and will probably stabilize somewhere in the single digits. Shooting a 76 on a 68 rated course will do that. Then I will play, albeit less frequently, with some other friends who all hit from the longer tees and provide a greater challenge.

Perhaps if I keep winning their cash, they will insist I play back???

Thanks again everyone!

#22 actuck23

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 07:34 AM

Forward tees typically bring more things into trouble.  If you start playing the whites and find more bunkers, hazards and the like in play, you may be better off moving back.  I know I always play either the tips or next to tips for this very reason.  Yes, it's longer and probably a disadvantage on par 3's but I have found the course to be much wider when playing further back.

#23 Fedor Emelianenko

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 03:09 PM

I always thought it was a given rule

Blue tees = handicap 0-9
White tees = 10 and above
Red tees = ladies + children

If you do not abide by these rules, you are contributing to slow play, whether you like it or not.  You cannot tell me otherwise.  You will be hitting 5-10 more shots by playing blues when you are supposed to be hitting from whites.  5-10 more shots can be 20-45 mintues added to your round.

#24 larrybud

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 09:06 PM

View PostStylers, on 10 June 2010 - 10:21 PM, said:

Thanks to everyone who responded to my topic. I have decided that because it is difficult to find a regular crew who plays Sunday mornings, I work all week and find it difficult to play M-F. I will continue playing from the whites. I will use my handicap from the whites, close to 13, and win their money most of the time. I am sure my handicap will continue to go lower and will probably stabilize somewhere in the single digits. Shooting a 76 on a 68 rated course will do that. Then I will play, albeit less frequently, with some other friends who all hit from the longer tees and provide a greater challenge.

Perhaps if I keep winning their cash, they will insist I play back???

Thanks again everyone!

Your course handicap can be adjusted for different tees.  They shouldn't care where you play from.  When I play with my dad he plays whites, I play back,  He gets 2 less shots because we play different tees.

Your handicap should stay pretty much the same regardless of tees, since the course rating is lower on the closer tees.

#25 larrybud

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 09:07 PM

View PostFedor Emelianenko, on 09 July 2010 - 03:09 PM, said:

I always thought it was a given rule

Blue tees = handicap 0-9
White tees = 10 and above
Red tees = ladies + children

If you do not abide by these rules, you are contributing to slow play, whether you like it or not.  You cannot tell me otherwise.  You will be hitting 5-10 more shots by playing blues when you are supposed to be hitting from whites.  5-10 more shots can be 20-45 mintues added to your round.

So what happens when the course has 5 tee boxes?

And how do you come up with 5-10 more shots?  My local muni, the course rating is 2 shots more from the blues than the whites, and the slope is only 3 or 4 more.

And how do you come up with 20-45 minutes for 5-10 shots!?!?!


#26 sekrah

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 03:21 PM

I play a nearby major university course with 5 tee boxes

Black = Scratch or better (college tournaments played from here)
Blue = 0-9
White = Men 10+
Yellow/Gold = Seniors
Red = Ladies

What's the problem?

#27 87vert

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 12:12 PM

View Postsekrah, on 10 July 2010 - 03:21 PM, said:

I play a nearby major university course with 5 tee boxes

Black = Scratch or better (college tournaments played from here)
Blue = 0-9
White = Men 10+
Yellow/Gold = Seniors
Red = Ladies

What's the problem?

My local course is kind of setup like this. It is really just two tee boxes though. Red and Gold and blue and white on another tee box. I usually play the gold while my wife plays the red so it is a bit easier instead of having to drive to different tee boxes.

#28 Buck Masters

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 03:30 PM

stick it out

#29 Pepperturbo

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 04:37 PM

View PostStylers, on 09 June 2010 - 07:06 PM, said:

I have been golfing seriously for about 3 years. I regularly play with a group of 6-8 individuals each Sunday morning at various courses in our area. The group consists of about 3-4 older people, 65+ and 3-4 people in their early 50's including myself. The older golfers, one is even in his late 70's, refuse to play from the blues, due to their inability to exceed 200yds on their drives. When I play with a couple of other friends, separate from this group, and ranging in age from 40-56, we play from the blues which exceed 6100yds+, sometimes 6500 or more depending on the course. The whites never exceed 5900 yds. My handicap from the whites, or senior tees as I have heard them being called, is 12.8. From the blues, it is 14.8. I recently played a PGA course in Florida from the whites and never used my 3 or 4 hybrid and shot 76. Just used driver on a few holes, then irons, 5i once and remainder 6-LW. I am not a long hitter in the least, at 50 I can hit a solid drive 250 occasionally, however am usually in the 220 - 240 range, not counting terrible shots of course.

It has been bothering me that since I play from the whites each week I am not getting the full range of shots. I only play with the other group of friends maybe twice a month due to time constraints. I am desperately trying to improve my game and feel that playing from the whites mostly does not help me as much as playing from the blues due to added distance, greater rating and slope, thereby greater challenges, etc.

I understand that the shorter course allows for greater control, etc., however you still need a sharp short game to score well from any distanced tees.

Thoughts from the experienced golfers on this site would be greatly appreciated.

Do what I do - compromise, and don't worry about what your handicap is from certain tees, or whether or not they change tees for you.  IMO you shouldn't expect them to switch tees.  You're the one wanting longer tees, so move to the tees you prefer and keep the bet the same, or when you play White tees use "irons only" and keep the bet the same.  And, look pass the guys that get bothered seeing someone their own age still capable of playing Blue tee's...weird.

I finally told my friends 6700+ Blue or back tee's were better for my game, and allowed me to use driver/3wd, and shorter tee's were getting too easy.  After watching me card some low rounds without touching wds, they agreed.  I even play the Blue tee's and use irons only, and keep the bet the same.  Where my situation is different - they often play off my ball, as I am a low single.
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#30 diablojoe

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:56 PM

I play as a single a lot, joining other groups. What I find strange is that they'll usually ask me what tees I want to play, and then move there. Polite perhaps, but not often smart. I've learned to just shrug off the question, let them hit first (from the whites 90% of the time), then I go to the blues.

If playing with friends who are white-tee players, I play the whites and have fun hitting wedges and 9's into greens all day.


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