What Does Split Tees Mean In Golf?

What Does Split Tees Mean In Golf?

If you have ever played at a golf course that is packed with players then you know why “split tees” exists. Yes, golf is a blast to play and is still gaining in popularity in 2022. With this excess of new players, it can tend to clog up a public course in no time.

The term split tees is when a tournament or game has players start on hole 1 and hole 10 at the same time. This “split” of players allows faster games which means space for far more players versus standard tee starts. 

I have only played a couple split tees but that was when I was visiting family. They live in San Francisco and to pretend like golf isn’t loved there is LAUGHABLE. I love how many golfers there are in California, however it can be a pain when you want to play a full 18 hole game of golf.

Most times splitting tee times is specific to certain events. Yes, there are certain courses that are just insanely busy. These golf courses can actually split tees even further. I have seen some in Arizona for example that start players 2 holes apart. This makes for a fun game and a ton of traffic on the course.


What Is A Two-Tee Start?

You can look at a two tee start just like split tees actually. It does depend on where you grew up and which phrase is known locally. These two terms can be interchangeable but the majority of times you will hear it referred to as split tees.

Normally during a two-tee start players are started on the first and 10th hole. This allows for more players to play the entire 18 holes in a single day. Without a two tee start, these types of tournaments would be a multi-day event.

I like the two tee starts. Why wouldn’t you? Well there are a few reasons why they could bug tbh. For example, if you start on the 1st hole and you play at a much faster pace than those who started on the 10th hole.

The odds of you being able to catch up to a group who are 9 holes ahead of you has got to be a very rare event though. This would only matter if there are brand new, disabled, young kids or elderly to REALLY slow things up.

See, now I need to go check and see how often it happens. I can see this turning into a fun golfing social experiment actually.


What Is 10 Tee In Golf?

Yet again, this is a term referring to starting players on the first and tenth hole on the golf course. This does sound exactly like split tees or two tees BUT there is a difference.

10 tee in golf refers to starting golfers on the first and tenth hole for the FIRST 2 hours of game play. This allows the influx of players at the beginning of the tournament to filter through faster than regular tee offs.

I would look at this like the nascar pace car. That car is there to moderate the flow of the competitors ( drivers ) and without them there would be plenty of crashes and bottleneck issues.

Just like that scenario above, when a tournament starts there tends to be a huge amount of players at first. Everyone has to wait for their tee off time and IF you can modify the tee off points on the course, it lets everyone play through much faster.


How Far Apart Should Tee Times Be?

This can only be figured out golf course by golf course tbh. I have played at some courses where there are literally ZERO PLAYERS. I really don’t like seeing that BUT I also don’t care for an overcrowded golf course either. Picky picky lol.

The average golf course has tees times an average 5-10 minutes apart. There is room to modify the exact tee off time based off of current and previous players group size as well as assumed ability.

I think that 5 minutes is too close between tee offs but it does depend on how far that first holes distance is. For a short 1st hole, you could allow people to tee off at a quicker pace compared to a very long drive golf course hole.


What Are The Three Tees In Golf Called?

If you are brand new to golf then you might not know that there can be up to 3 tee pad locations per hole. These tee off points each have a specific purpose and they actually meant something a bit different than I was taught when I was younger.

There are forward tees, middle tees and back tees also known as championship tees. Forward tees tend to be played by female players, middle tees tend to be played by senior players and the back tees are played by average golf players and professional golfers alike.

When I first started I never knew there were actual options as to where I could tee off. Maybe since I lived in a small city growing up, there were not multiple tee boxes on my local public golf courses.

So the question is, at your local course… Are there 3 tee off spots per hole or do they have only 1 or 2? These are the serious questions that people need answers to HAHA.


What Is The Rule Of 85 In Golf?

So far I haven’t had to use this ( yet ) but it is a great concept when you think about it. Instead of telling one of your senior buddies that he should use a closer tee, you can bring up the rule of 85 and he can save face (-;

The rule of 85 is a simple golf formula that calculates if a golfer should tee off from a closer tee pad. This is figured out by taking the golf players age and adding their current handicap together. If this number is higher than 85, the golfer should tee off from a closer or the closest tee pad.

I don’t think I would actually bring this up to someone during a game though. I can see some taking offense to it.


Golfing Scenario Initiated

Hey man…. what are you trying to say… that I am old or something????

Well… um YES yes you are old and should shoot from a close spot. There I said it!!!!


Golfing Scenario Finalized

That doesn’t seem to happen often BUT if it did I do wonder how it would play out. Obviously among friends and family, it is just bustin balls and having fun. Just be careful bringing up the rule of 85 to random golfers you meet on the links. It could end a bit weird OR you might just make a life long friend.


Where Should I Tee Off In Golf?

This is entirely up to you. There are no rules that say you MUST shoot from a specific tee box. If you are playing in a golf tourney or something similar then YES check the rules before you assume.

You should tee off from where you feel most comfortable. The forward tees are normally referred to as female tees. There are no rules that dictate which tee you must tee off from. You can choose from the forward tees, middle tees and back tees ( championship tees ).

One thing that you can do ( especially if you are better than your buds ) is offer up the option of using the forward tees. Besides someone feeling a little “butt hurt” due to their feelers LOL, it can actually help your game go much smoother.

Letting your friends who are new to golf shoot from a closer location MIGHT be just enough for them to fall in love with the game. If you make a brand new sport difficult or seem so far out of reach then it can be off putting to newbies. Letting them shoot from a much closer distance could also lead to a great golfer in the future.

Sometimes all we need is a bit of motivation and BOOM even brand new players can surprise you. I know it is true too, there are so many times where you see brand new players hit amazing shots. Most times they have no clue how it happened BUT when it does, it really is a blast to watch.

That “newbie golfer” good luck is real and if you see someone having a killer game, make sure and instantly go and grab them as if they are the pope and you are soaking up all the good vibes. Wait, no don’t do that. That is actually a bad idea especially during pandemics and personal space issues people now have.

My Overall Thoughts On Split Tees

I think there is a time and a place to run split tees on a golf course. Other than competitive events, there are still plenty of reasons to have golfers on a split tee start.

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