What Are USGA Golf Senior Tee Box Rules?


** Dunedin Golf is supported by readers. We may earn a commission when you buy with our links — thank you!

Most golf courses have different tee boxes: championship tees, middle tees, forward tees closest, senior tees, and back tees. But which one to choose? 

That will entirely depend upon the players’ handicap and skill level. However, some amateur golfers feel shy to use the forward or senior tees. 

But you should feel uncomfortable with this. You can move to another tee box after attaining good control over your swing speed. 

Let’s discuss and understand the golf senior tee box rules.

How Old To Hit From Senior Tee Boxes?

USGA Golf Senior Tee Box Rules

Per the golf senior tee box rules, 55 years is the entry-level age, and the maximum age limit is 70 years. Making a leap or moving up on the course can be intimidating. 

Earlier, the age of a golfer determined the tee box option. But now, the selection of tee boxes depends on the golfing skills of the players.

Golf players from 0 to 7.9 handicaps will fall in group A, and players with eight handicaps generally play from senior or white tees. 

If you are playing golf for the first time, go for forwarding tees or green or yellow tees.

USGA Golf Senior Tee Box Rules

Here are the important  rules to remember when playing from the senior tees:

  • Players can use the senior tees at any time while practicing.
  • However, if you want to play from a senior tee, you must inform the Golf Community and The Handicap Chairman.
  • If you want to play from the forward tees, you will lose three strokes from the handicap index system based on the golf senior tee box rules.
  • The penalty or losing number from the handicap index system will continue for around five plays. After that, the players can’t adjust to this decision.
  • When you hit the ball with the fairway woods or similar club, the adjusted and an actual handicap will be displayed on the scorecard.
  • If there is no course or individual slope rating, the tournament organizers may ask to use the deduction stroke system for the senior golfers.
  • You can go for ladies’ tees if there are no forward or senior tees. But this is only applicable to lady golfers.

Some Etiquette To Consider While Playing From Tee Box

golf tee box

You all know that every player should maintain the decorum of course association in golf. Most golfers understand that. It will be better to behave gently and politely with other players. 

Most beginners can go to any tee box to begin the game. But don’t forget to follow the etiquette. Some points to consider here are:

  • It would help if you remembered that you need to allow the players who have won to move into the tee first. Senior golfers with low scores will go last.
  • It would be best if you allowed the tee box’s owner to play the shot first.
  • While other golfers attempt to make the shot, you must stand silently on the ball.
  • During playtime, it is not advisable to whisper.
  • While other players address the golf ball, you shouldn’t move around the golf course.
  • It is not advisable to stand behind a player. Your shadow can make it difficult to concentrate on the tee box.
  • Don’t comment on other players’ swing style, stance, and golf ball setup.

Do All Golf Courses Offer A Senior Tee Box Facility

Most private and public golf courses allow the players to play from the forward or senior tee boxes. But it may be noted that they are not called golf tees or senior tees. 

They generally use a color system. The old tees are designed for female golfers who cover less distance than male golfers.

On some golf courses, you can find the holes combined. For example, some holes are for middle tees, while some are for forwarding. 

You can pick any hole to practice your swing. For example, if you fail to achieve the desired score from the middle tees, you can move to the senior or front tees. 

Some courses can offer up to six types of tee boxes.

How To Pick A Tee If You Have More Than Three Sets Of Tees?

When there are more than three sets of tees, it can confuse the players. But you can choose the right tee for you by considering the years.

The average golf course length is between 7200 yards to 7300 yards on the PGA Tour. On the Champions Tour, it can range from 6500 yards to 6800 yards. For the LPGA Tour, it is 6200 yards to 6600 yards.

Professionals play from the back tees. However, intermediate players can go for the tee boxes around 1000yard less than professionals. 

On the other hand, high handicap players can choose tees placed around 1000 to 1500 yards less than pro golfers.

You Should Not Play Tees That Are Too Long For You

It has been seen that some new golf players try to play the game from the tees that are too long for them. It is common to find some players hitting the ball from the championship tees on a teeing. 

It would be best if you did not do that while golfing. Remember that there is nothing wrong in playing from a forward tee closest if you think that is good for your game. However, playing from a long tee box can slow down your pace.

Final Words

After going through this helpful article, you might clearly know the age limit set by the USGA play from senior tees. 

As discussed above, the entry-level age is 55 years to play the senior tees. On the other hand, 70 years is the benchmark age.

But the fact is, this rule for playing senior tees can vary as age is not the only factor that should be considered here. Some organizers also consider your current skills. 

For example, your current driving distance and handicap will significantly determine whether you should be allowed to play with a senior tee.