by Bob Poliquin, Managing Editor ~
For those of us who live in a golf community like Sun City Carolina Lakes or in communities with courses close by – Tree Tops or Carolina Orchards, for example – golf is a constant topic of conversation for both men and women. But if you don’t golf, do you hold up your end of the conversation or do you just nod politely?
This series will give you a few golf basics for new golfers and for non-golfers. Let’s start with tee boxes. Why are there so many?
But before we answer that, let’s begin with notion of par. We often use the expression “That’s par for the course” when we explain something as being normal. According to PGA.com, par is the score an accomplished player is expected to make on a hole, either a three, four, or five. So, depending on the length and difficulty of the course, par for the entire 18-holes will be a total score of 70-72, which would be a normal total score for an accomplished (think professional) golfer. By the way, that’s why most of us are thrilled the first time we break 100. And the vast majority of us will never shoot par or get anywhere close.
Okay, that’s sounds simple enough, but if par is the same for everyone on the hole, why are there different tee boxes? Well, the tee box a golfer chooses to begin a hole from depends on the golfer’s handicap, skill level, or ability to hit the ball over a particular distance on the initial shot. Carolina Lakes Golf Course, for example, has 4-5 different tee boxes on each hole.
The back tees, or “the Tips” as they are also known, are usually black. These back tees are for the professionals or for the most skillful golfers who can hit long drives with reasonable accuracy. It does little good to hit a 300-yard drive that is also 50 yards into the woods on the side of the fairway, or, in the case of Carolina Lakes, into the houses along the golf course.
The blue tees are often next, followed by white, which are usually referred to as “member tees.” The member tees are for average regular golfers. The gold tees are often referred to as “Senior tees.” Senior in the sense that seniors don’t hit as far as they once did.
The red tees, those closest to the green, are often known as the Ladies Tees, but are now normally referred to as the “Forward Tees.” Calling them Ladies Tees can cause trouble in at least two ways – one being that women who are accomplished golfers often hit from where the men are teeing off; and two, there are male golfers who should be hitting from the forward tees but refuse to because the tees are considered to be for women.
All of that is to say this: If you are a social golfer, hit from the tees where you are most comfortable and are having the most fun. If you are a league player with an established handicap, you probably have not read this far anyway.
For you non-golfers, you will often hear this said from your golfer friends: Even a bad day of golf is better than a good day at work.
Featured image courtesy of Sydney Rae.