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There has been an increase in attention given to forward tees throughout the past several years, and for good reason. Many facilities are rethinking the placement of forward tees and are promoting their use to provide an appropriate yardage for golfers with slower swing speeds. That’s right, forward tees are not just for women. Forward tees can be used by any golfer and should be used by golfers with slower swing speeds who are looking for an appropriate challenge – whether they are male or female.

The placement of forward tees is not the only battle facilities face when promoting their use. Certainly, placement is critical to providing a yardage that allows golfers with slow swing speeds the opportunity to reach greens in regulation, but there’s more to promoting the use of these tees than simply their location.

Historically, many facilities chose the color red to indicate forward tees. As a result, many golfers have adopted the idea that “red tees are the lady’s tees.” This is not accurate. Tee location, color or design does not dictate whether they are for men or women. The appropriate set of tees for an individual golfer should be based on swing speed and skill level, not gender.

To help promote the use of forward tees and eliminate the stigma that red tees are for women, consider adopting one of the following practices at your facility:

  • Set up the red tees as the back set of tee markers. This is the quickest way to get rid of the red tee stigma.
  • Replace red tees with a different color.
  • Use shapes, designs or numbers to identify different sets of tees on the golf course, rather than colors.

Many facilities use this time of year to refinish tee markers and possibly purchase new scorecards, so take a closer look at your forward tees and how often they are used. Changing their color or placement might be all that is needed to promote their use and help improve pace of play and overall enjoyment for golfers at your facility!

If you would like to discuss proper placement of forward tees or other ideas to promote their use in greater detail, do not hesitate to contact your regional USGA agronomist.