The golf tee is an essential piece of equipment to help you play your best. The tee may be the least expensive equipment item in your golf bag, but it will greatly improve your ability to hit the ball. But what tee should you use? What are your options? Is there a difference? Read below to find out.
What are golf tees used for?
The golf tee holds your golf ball above the ground when you tee-off to start a hole, giving you a perfect lie 18 times during your round. Possibly the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus has said: "You only get 18 chances to tee it up in a round, so make use of every opportunity." The lower lofted clubs in your bag can be very difficult to hit off the ground. When you put the ball above the ground on a tee, your chances of hitting a good shot improve dramatically.
Golf tees are available in various sizes, from 1.5 inches to the maximum allowable 4 inches. They also come in different materials and colors, and are usually sold in large quantities. There is no rule as to what size tee you should use; through practice and play, you will learn what tee is right for your game.
Things To Consider
When looking for golf tees, you'll want to consider the following:
- What type of tee are you looking for?
- How much are you looking to spend on tees?
- How many tees are you looking to get?
- What size tee are you looking for?
What are you looking for in a golf tee?
- Bright colored
Golf tees are constructed from a few different materials and come in many different sizes, but they all serve the same purpose.
Plastic golf tees have become popular with golfers recently. They are available in various sizes and claim to reduce friction between the ball and tee because of the pronged top design. The greatest advantage that plastic tees offer is their durability, as they don't break as easily as wooden tees, but they do tend to bend. Plastic tees are more expensive than wooden tees, costing 10-18 cents per tee, but you are likely to use fewer per round of golf.
- Reduced friction
- Not eco-friendly
Wooden golf tees have been around for over 120 years, and they are still the most popular choice among today's golfers. These tees are simply wooden pegs that are usually painted for personalization, often with lines to assist the golfer in judging ball height. Wooden tees are not very durable; they often break at impact, but they are biodegradable (over 2-3 years), so they won't hurt the environment. Wooden tees are relatively inexpensive, costing pennies per tee.
- Paint lines to help you measure height
- Possible friction between ball and tee
Another material golf tees are made from is rubber, though you most often see them at the driving range. Rubber tees are extremely durable and will very rarely lose their shape. Some manufacturers make a hybrid tee that has a plastic stem with a rubber top to be used on the course. They are available in various sizes, and there is relatively no friction between ball and tee when using a rubber golf tee.
- Great for driving range
- No friction
- Rarely used on the course
- Not eco-friendly
There are many companies producing golf tees, too many to list here, but let's look at a few of the more popular brands.
A major player in the golf equipment industry, Callaway manufactures wooden and plastic golf tees in various sizes. Their wooden and all-plastic tees come in a few colors, but they are all basic one-color designs. They also produce a relatively expensive hybrid-type tee that has a plastic stem with a rubber top cup. Callaway claims this tee is virtually unbreakable and provides an optimal low-spin launch.
Pride has been producing golf tees for over 70 years. They are the world's largest wooden tee manufacturer, but they also produce high-quality plastic tees. They offer tees in five sizes: 1.5, 2.125, 2.75, 3.25, and 4 inches. Pride makes tees with colored rings painted on the stem to aid the golfer to tee the ball consistently at the proper height. They also have a uniquely designed tee that tees the ball at the same height every time. Pride is an industry leader because of their quality production, innovative designs, and performance benefits.
Champ is a company that specializes in plastic golf tees. They offer plastic tees in multiple sizes and color schemes. They have solid colored tees, as well as tees with colored rings around the stem to aid in tee height. The top cup has a 6-prong design to minimize friction and optimize launch. Champ advertises their plastic tees as being "five-times more durable than wood."
What kind of tees are legal on the PGA Tour?
The rules of golf allow players to use tees with a maximum length of 4 inches. The tees must not influence the direction, trajectory, or distance the golf ball travels. They also cannot indicate the line of play or otherwise assist the golfer in striking the ball. The majority of PGA Tour players use plain white wooden tees, usually provided to them by their equipment sponsor.
How do you know what length tee to use?
The length of the tee you use is a personal preference. Some golfers prefer to tee the ball up really high, while others like to tee the ball low. Golf tees come in sizes from about 1.5 inches to 4 inches, with 2.75 inches being the most popular length. The consensus among golf instructors is that the proper tee height for a driver is 1.5 inches. This would indicate you wouldn't need a tee over 2.5 inches in length. However, the individual golfer will know what their proper tee height is through trial and error.
Where are you allowed to use a tee in golf?
The rules of golf only allow you to place your ball on a tee while playing from the teeing area or starting place of a golf hole. There is no rule that you must use a tee when starting a hole, but it will make the shot easier in most instances. In rare instances, casual golfers may tee the ball on the fairway, depending on course construction and other factors. However, this is not allowed in most competitions.