In the 2020 Distance Insights Report, the USGA and R&A concluded that the average male golfer hits their driver just 216 yards. For females that number drops to 148 yards. In other words, most golfers don’t hit the ball very far — and yet most still play from pretty ambitious tee boxes.
Based on my experience — and when extrapolating the data from above — a good chunk of recreational golfers play from the wrong tee box. If you watch the PGA Tour each week, you’ll notice players hit lot of short irons and wedges — scoring clubs — into greens. How many times do you see the average recreational player hitting a scoring club into a green? Not many.
So, recently, I did something I’ve never done before: I played a round at my local muni from the forward tee boxes. I can’t remember a time when I’ve felt more like a Tour pro. I had short irons into most greens, every par-5 was reachable and, most importantly, the game was way more enjoyable.
Here are five reasons why you should give the forward tees a try.
1. More birdies
Playing from the forward tees will undoubtedly give you more birdie looks, and who doesn’t like making birdies? It makes you feel like a pro and boosts your confidence. All good things.
2. Work with scoring clubs
You will also hit your short irons and wedges a lot more. You likely get practice with these clubs on the range, but taking those reps to the course is great experience. Learning how to hit these clubs close to the hole is valuable if you want to take your game to the next level. Teeing it forward will give you many more opportunities to hit these clubs with real pressure.
3. Quicker pace of play
Our pace of play during our forward-tee round was excellent — three and a half hours at a New York City muni is almost unheard of. This is obviously contingent upon how packed the tee sheet is, but if everyone plays at tees more suited for them, it will help the entire operation run smoother. There are fewer big numbers from the forward tees, which results in better pace of play. It’s a win all around.
4. Different looks
Playing the same course every week can get stale, but if you play from a forward tee box, you’ll get a whole new perspective. The holes play different from various tee boxes, and it can allow you to see the course in a new light. It’s almost like playing a new golf course.
5. More fun
The most important reason why you should try the forward tees is just how fun they are. Having birdie looks on every hole is great, and it gives you a sense for how Tour pros play the game. No one wants to grind over bogey putts all day just to break 90, so give yourself a real chance at posting a low number. Forget the stigma about the forward tees and you’ll soon have more fun on the course than you’ve ever had before.