NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a tee?

Don’t know your dormies from your doglegs? NCG’s Golf Glossary is here to help

Here at NCG we pride ourselves on being the publication for the everyday player, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to delve into the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.

Sometimes the most obvious terms have the most interesting story, so you might find yourself an interesting conversation starter…

What is a tee?

A tee is the area where you start a hole. Usually between two tee markers.

How would I use it in a sentence?

“They started on the 10th tee during their second round of the tournament”

What are the origins?

Golfers of the 19th century all say a tee was the area that they played there shots from. One of the first set of rules of golf 1744 – ‘Your Tee must be upon the Ground’.

It is believed that Old Tom Morris was the first person to create separate teeing areas when he introduced them at St Andrews around 1875. Part of this is believed to have been to speed up play so groups behind weren’t waiting for the groups to tee off near the green.

Despite the designated teeing grounds coming into place in 1875 there are reference to golf stones before that year so it was possible the use of tee markers were already in place.

Any other business?

Before tee pegs were made, golfers used to have to use sand to tee the ball up. Due to the mess it created, golfers were given water and towels to help was the sand off them.

To stop golfers from taking sand from the course, clubs put sand boxes around some of the links courses and that is one of the main reasons you still find some around some of the older links courses in Scotland.

Of course sand boxes are now commonly used to repair divots on tee boxes.

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