Appriopriate course length

Golf courses have multiple sets of tee boxes. The different tee boxes correspond to different yardages, which also means different playing abilities. How to choose appropriate set of tees (yardage/course length) to play from to make a casual round enjoyable?

If there are only two or three sets of tees the decision is usually simple, but at courses with more sets (five, six or seven), it gets a little more complicated.

tee markers the course length various colors

There are a few methods and guides to choosing the tee set that best suits golfer’s skills. One of the simplest method is based on an average distance of a 5 iron shot. The most adequate total length of the course is the average distance of 5 iron shot multiplied by 36.

According to our observations, the factor 36 works well for scratch and low handicap golfers allowing them to score par on course. For middle and high handicappers the factor could be bit higher (their target is net par). The calculator below increases the factor by one for each six points of Handicap Index.

This method is not perfect for all golfers, it is more of a “rule of thumb”, but it is helpful and gives the most appropriate range of course lengths guidelines.



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update: September 2021