At What Age Do Golfers Play From The Senior Tee?

All of us that play this wonderful game suddenly find that the distance we hit the golf ball has diminished, as we move on in life.

Well, it has been ongoing for a while, but we are in Denial.

A scary thought for some, but fear not.

The Big Question is: When Do We Move to a Forward Tee?

Just think back over the last few months when you felt that you have hit the ball well, putt reasonably, but your score has ballooned to the mid to high 80s.

The Course has become a “grind” and the frustration has taken the enjoyment out of the game.

What About My Ego?

This, unfortunately, is possibly the biggest hurdle for us males to overcome.

Thinking clearly, surely it is better to be competing and enjoying the round, than frequently scoring double bogey?

What About My Handicap?

The old system allocated you a handicap that equalized your playing ability against the par rating of the course. ( in simple terms)

This also leveled the playing field for all golfers to enable them to compete fairly against one another.

However, the new system does not allocate you a set handicap, but rather an index chart.

The New Golf Index System Q&A

You now have the right to choose from which tee marker you wish to start your round, on any given day.

You thus also choose your handicap for that day.

1. How Does The Index System Work?

Tee markers are all distance-related, and should you play from the yellow, white, blue, or red marker, your handicap will be adjusted accordingly.

All golf clubs have an index chart, that allocates your handicap, based on the tee marker you decide to play.

Take your index and marry it to the color marker. This gives you your handicap.

2. Can I Play From a Different Tee Marker During The Round?


On commencement of your round from a yellow tee marker, you have to play the entire round from the same color on every tee box.

3. Are There Any Rules That Stop Me From Playing Off The Forward Tee?


Sometimes in a competition, the committee may decide that all players have to start from the same tee marker.

4. What About Age?

Age is no longer a criteria and anyone can play from any tee unless the below rule is applied.

Some clubs do have their own internal rules for competition days and may dictate an age group that qualifies to play off the forward tee.

5. Can I Test The Forward Tees?

Absolutely, and in fact, I recommend that golfers try it out.

It changes the total dynamics of the golf course.

6. What Are The Signs That it is Time to Move Forward?

Can you make the first cut of the fairways off the tee on all the holes?

Can you carry the water hazard in front of the green on a short hole?

Has the enjoyment of the game turned into frustration?

7. What Are The Positives I Can Gain Out of Moving to The Forward Tees?

  • Make pars, birdies, and even eagles like the old days.
  • Shoot the same range of scores you used to accomplish.
  • Shoot your age either gross or net. (never done this before)
  • Enjoy your round rather than the constant battle.
  • More chances for a hole in one.

In Summary

There are many ideas on how this Major decision in our golfing lives can be changed.

Ego. It has been suggested many times in years gone by that all the markers be renamed, to overcome the stigmatism of playing off any marker other than the club or championship one. (this is a male thing, by the way)

Players should be able to reach the fairways from the tee markers, which can also speed up play.

What about having a course record from all the markers?

Many formulas have been suggested to try and calculate the overall distance of the course best suited to the length the golfer currently hits the ball.

My advice on the subject:

Golf, as you age, is about enjoyment with your friends and we can still be competitive.

Frustration has led to many golfers quitting to maybe go play bowls.

Play from the markers where you can reach all the fairways off the tee.

  • All par 3s must be in reach.
  • All Par 4s must be in reach with your second shot.
  • All par 5s must be in reach with your third shot with nothing longer than a short iron.

Additional Notes

At one of my home courses, Humewood Links, the meterage difference from the 4 markers is:

  • Championship (yellow) 6,372 meters
  • Club (white) 6,096 meters
  • Forward (blue) 5,755 meters
  • Ladies (red) 5,350 meters
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.

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