A simple trick to choose the correct tee box to play from

golfer places ball on tee with glove on their hand and driver in frame

This trick will help you select the correct tee box.

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Welcome to Play Smart, a regular GOLF.com game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

Golf is a game that can be enjoyed by everyone. No matter your age or skill level, there’s an opportunity to tee it up and have a little fun.

To maximize your enjoyment, though, it’s important to play a course that fits your skill level. But just picking a course that’s a fit for your skills is just the first step. To really enjoy the game, you’ve got to play the tee boxes that are right for your you.

Truth be told, there’s no perfect way to select a tee box that’s right for your game. The general rule of thumb says that the lower your handicap, the longer the course you should play, but that’s not a hard-and-fast rule. Thanks to some new research from the USGA, though, choosing the right tees has never been easier.

How to choose the right tees

According to new research from the USGA, most golfers are playing tees that are too long for their games. In their recently published findings, 57 percent of golfers are playing tee boxes that are too far back.

So, how should you go about choosing the right tees? With the chart below, you can select the right tees based on the distance you hit your 7 iron.

7 iron distanceOptimal course length
80 yards or less3,500 – 3,700 yards
95 yards4,100 – 4,300 yards
110 yards4,800 – 5,000 yards
125 yards5,400 – 5,600 yards
140 yards5,900 – 6,100 yards
155 yards6,400 – 6,600 yards
170+6,700 – 6,900 yards

This trick for selecting tees is not perfect for selecting tees, but if you’re struggling to decide where to play from, it’s a good place to start.

Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.