Yellow vs white tees

19/11/2010 at 13:42

Beginner's question, don't know if there's more to it than meets the eye.

Is there a consistent meaning to the yellow and white tees, or does it vary from course to course? I always assumed that the whites were only for competition play, but since taking up the game again this year have obviously noticed plenty of members playing off the whites.

I only play at private courses as a visitor, and have never really checked the rules. I'm starting to assume that members can choose whether to play off the whites or yellows, while visitors are supposed to be off the yellows only. Is this right? Can I play off the yellows as a visitor? Does it depend on your standard of play? How about at a public course with a members section - can I play off whites there?

Obviously I should probably ask these questions in the club pro shop, but since all you nice people are here with nothing better to do, maybe you can tell me instead. Ta.

19/11/2010 at 13:57

On your course you should be playing the White Tee's as this is good preparation for the Competitions. Its really your choice if you want to play whites or yellows in general play.

When playing other courses its up to you and need to check whether they allow you to play off the whites before you chose. But generally, Yellows is played when visiting other tracks.

19/11/2010 at 14:11

My course only allows general play from the white tees for members at weekends. They prefer to keep them in a better state for competitions, so most bounce games will be from the yellows, ladies from the reds, and blue forward tees for juniors. Whites generally are reserved for competition of members. I've not played many courses as a visitor without a member and been allowed to play from the whites.

Many modern courses, often championship standard,  now have additional tees and don't dictate what tee you play off. The Dukes for example in St Andrews has 5 options - red, white, blue, green, black, with there ususally being some 150yd + difference between red and black on each hole so you decide what ability  you think you fit into or choose how tough you want the course to be, rather than play of designated tees.

Edited: 19/11/2010 at 14:13
19/11/2010 at 14:12

I disagree that 'it is your choice'... In my experience it's all down to the club rules.

I have been a member where you can only play off whites during a club competition and another place where you can play off whatever tee you want.

Best to ask at the Pro shop or the starter (if the course has one) and they will advise.

Best to ask then you know where you stand.

DH
19/11/2010 at 14:18

The rules vary from club to club.

In my experiece, most clubs only permit visitors to play off the yellow tees. But allow members the choice of white or yellow. 

We have three measured sets. White, blue and yellow. We introduced our blues years before CONGU recommended that colour for the longest course. Our blues sit between white and yellow.

Those clubs who have (CONGU) blue courses reserve them for major competitions

We take our white tees in during the winter as they are only used for our majors. At all other times members may choose blue or yellow.

In addition our ladies have two measured courses, red and green. The greens are an alternative shorter course mainly used in the winter in order to protect the red tee areas. 

Men and lady members may use blue, yellow, red (when in place) or green for social play at any time just for the fun of it. 

19/11/2010 at 14:20

Quite a few courses are Visitors - yellow tees only

and some are Whites for competiton only

Fortunately at our club we members can play off the whites whenever we like

I'd hate to be only able to play off yellows - except in comps - as I can't see how you can practise your game for comps that way

DH
19/11/2010 at 14:34
Dick in shorts(13.7) wrote (see)

I'd hate to be only able to play off yellows - except in comps - as I can't see how you can practise your game for comps that way

If you are meaning Qualifying Comps this demonstrates why 'Home' players tend to have an advantage of upto 1.5 strokes over 'away' players on the same track.

If you are interested in play in open comps away then you get as much experience as you can on a variety of different length courses. SSS being primarily about length.

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19/11/2010 at 15:11
At my course if they don't want the white tee used they simply remove the white markers from the teeing ground. No confusion then.
19/11/2010 at 15:24
Don Jones 2 wrote (see)

I disagree that 'it is your choice'... In my experience it's all down to the club rules.

I have been a member where you can only play off whites during a club competition and another place where you can play off whatever tee you want.

Best to ask at the Pro shop or the starter (if the course has one) and they will advise.

Best to ask then you know where you stand.

Absolutely this.

My first club was yellows for all play except offical club comps.

My next club was anyone play any tee they liked at any time.

Of the six clubs I've been a member at, I've never met one that differentiated between visitor and member, only competition or non-competition if there was any rule at all.

19/11/2010 at 15:47
If you ever make it to France, then it's 99% the case you can pick the tees you want. Some courses have a guide (e.g. for men: 0-8 black, 9-18 white, 18+ yellow), but it's basically up to you. I can't remember playing a course in France where there were restrictions on the choice of tees (outside of a competition or ground maintenance).
19/11/2010 at 18:28
No one has mentioned the reds yet    much easier game 
DH
19/11/2010 at 19:01
Scotty Pro Platinum wrote (see)
No one has mentioned the reds yet    much easier game 
See post #5
Edited: 19/11/2010 at 19:03
19/11/2010 at 19:41
Don Jones 2 wrote (see)

I disagree that 'it is your choice'... In my experience it's all down to the club rules.


Its my choice when playing my track whether I play Yellows or white, because I'm ok to make that choice.

We play of the Whites in Comps and general play, if I have any friends sign in, they also play of the whites, as I do not see any point to playing the Yellows, when Comps are from the White Tees.

I am also aware, if you chose to, we are able to play of the Blacks if we want to....The joys of being a Member, we pay our fee's and chose what, where and how we play.

19/11/2010 at 19:49
Scotty Pro Platinum wrote (see)
No one has mentioned the reds yet    much easier game 

Usually takes me a couple of shots to get past the reds...........

19/11/2010 at 20:44
I could not tell you the last time I played my home course off any tees other than the whites, it must be several years.
When I play another course I always ask to play off the very back tees, in the last 2 years only one club has refused my request - Boat of Garten.
Golf clubs with this attitude need to wisen up - if a visitor comes to play their course and pays their money then they should be able to play off whatever tees they want. As great as Boat of Garten was, I won't be going back. If I play a course I want to play it off the measured full length. If I went round in 5 under of the yellows I wouldn't think anything of it, as far as I'm concerned I'll only be proud of a score if it's off the back tees. Also, giving people the choice actually helps the teeing areas as the spread of wear is more even, instead of the yellow tees getting worn for 5 days solid, then the white tees for 2 days.
19/11/2010 at 22:06
We allow people to play off whichever tee they wish, we find that this policy leads to relatively even wear as people gravitate to the tees they feel comfortable on, and for at least half is not the back tees.. - our winter comps are off the yellows, which comes as a bit of a shock as it the only time I ever play off them.
I would really be annoyed to play (even more so if I was a member) on a course that would not allow me to play off the full course - although I fully appreciate the need to rest certain tees from time to time.
DH
19/11/2010 at 22:41

What's the big deal with the longer course? Presumably those who insist on playing from the back tees only ever take a driver to the practice ground.

Where's the skill, accuracy and judgement in that?

Edited: 19/11/2010 at 22:45
19/11/2010 at 23:14
Not at all, I practice with a driver a lot less than I practice my short game.
For me, it's about playing the full course. I want to play whatever is the longest yardage on the card.

It's not a distance thing (I'm probably a bit shorter than average for a 3 handicapper). I know most people will have different views on this, but I feel like if I have a good score it's tarnished if it's not from the fullest possible yardage of the course.
It's also more challenging, and I like challenging myself, it's how I get better.

On a similar but unrelated matter, the most annoying thing I can find on a golf course is if the tee markers are 15-20 yards in front of the measured plate on each hole. If the card says the colour tees I am using is a x,xxx yard course, that's the distance I want to play, not 270-360 yards less.
20/11/2010 at 06:25

White tees.

These are the tees that crafty, money grabbing golf clubs will use in all of their advertising blurb and reviews to tempt you into going to play their "Championship Quality" track....6,852 yards of undulating, demanding golf course with beautiful views, stunning scenery, a test for even the most demanding golfer. Come and play the monster that tamed Seve & Co (who played an opening day exhibition match there against 3 other pro's that you've never, ever heard of) for only £85.00 midweek.

Yellow tees.

These are the only tees you will be allowed to play off once you have paid your £85.00 midweek greenfee to play this beauty.  The fact that the course now only measures 5,875 yards compared to the advertised 6,852 yards doesn't even come into the equation. The fact that you've still paid £85.00 but been swindled out of 977 yards cuts no ice with the hardened pro. Jeez, that's just over 54 yards a hole you've been short changed on!

Clubs ought to be done under the trades description act. If I pay for a cheese halfpounder I expect a cheese halfpounder, not a quarterpounder.

DH
20/11/2010 at 08:39
Drive Wedge Putt wrote (see)
Not at all, I practice with a driver a lot less than I practice my short game.

You probably need the practice because you don't play enough on short courses

But can you handle (ie shape) a 3 and 5 wood?

Of course if you always play the whites on your course there are parts you will never make a stroke from, just walk past. That would present a different challenge.

You do realise you have paid for that bit aswell?