This simple formula can tell you which tee box you should play from

January 2, 2020

Figuring out which tees to play from is an ever-present concern for many golfers. And annoyingly, that’s at least in part because there are no truly helpful guidelines telling golfers where they should play from.

Some courses suggest tees based off a player’s handicap, which is pretty much the standard, but it’s still not perfect. No two players are the same, after all. That wily retired golfer at your local club who doesn’t hit the ball very far but whose wicked short game helps keep him at an 8 handicap is going to have a distinct disadvantage against the 8 handicap who hits the ball a mile, if they were to play off the same tees. And as for female golfers, the range might be even more tricky to pinpoint with a formula.

But for now, try this chart provided by the good people over at Athletic Motion Golf. Now, like anything, it’s not perfect, especially for beginning golfers, but I found it provides a helpful guidepost. Essentially, you just take the distance you hit your 5 iron and multiply it by 36. That number is your ideal

Here are a few calculations that will save you needing to do the math yourself:

5-iron Distance Ideal Course Yardage
100 3600
110 3960
120 4320
130 4680
140 5040
150 5400
160 5760
170 6120
180 6480
190 6840
200 7200