Can I Use a Tee for Every Shot

In the world of golf, tees are commonly associated with the first shot of each hole, known as the tee shot. However, many golfers wonder if it’s permissible to use a tee for every shot during a round of golf. In this article, we will explore the rules and guidelines surrounding the use of tees in golf and whether you can use one for every shot.

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  1. Tee Shots:

    • Tee shots are the only shots in golf where the use of a tee is explicitly allowed and encouraged.
    • The tee provides golfers with the advantage of elevating the ball above the ground, making it easier to strike the ball cleanly and achieve longer distances.
    • Golfers typically use tees on the teeing ground, marked by tee markers, at the start of each hole. The rules permit the use of tees up to a certain height (usually 4 inches) for tee shots.
  2. Fairway Shots:

    • Once a golfer has completed their tee shot and moved onto the fairway, the use of a tee is generally not allowed.
    • Fairway shots require golfers to play the ball as it lies on the ground without any artificial elevation. Using a tee for a fairway shot would be a breach of the rules of golf and result in a penalty.
  3. Bunker Shots:

    • In bunkers (sand traps), golfers are not allowed to use a tee. Bunker shots require the golfer to play the ball from the sand, typically without any artificial assistance such as a tee.
    • Attempting to use a tee in a bunker would be a rules violation and may result in a penalty.
  4. Putting Green:

    • On the putting green, the use of a tee is strictly prohibited. Golfers are expected to putt the ball into the hole from the green’s surface.
    • Any use of a tee on the putting green would be considered a breach of the rules and could result in a penalty.
  5. Exceptions:

    • There are a few exceptions where tees may be used beyond the tee shots. For example, during certain informal or fun games like “tee it up anywhere” rounds, golfers may agree to use a tee for shots other than tee shots.
    • Additionally, some golf courses and practice facilities may have designated areas for practicing tee shots with irons or other clubs. In such cases, using a tee for non-tee shots may be allowed.
  1. Tee Selection:

    • Golfers have the option to choose from a variety of tee sizes and materials when teeing up for their tee shots.
    • Wooden tees, plastic tees, and even rubber tees are commonly used. The choice of tee can depend on personal preference and the type of club being used.
    • Longer tees are often used for drivers and fairway woods to tee the ball higher, while shorter tees may be preferred for irons.
  2. Tee Placement:

    • The tee placement on the teeing ground is essential for golfers. Most golf courses have designated tee markers that indicate where a golfer must tee up their ball.
    • Golfers must tee up their ball within the designated area between the tee markers. Teeing outside of this area can result in penalties.
    • Additionally, some courses may have multiple sets of tee markers to accommodate golfers of varying skill levels. Choosing the appropriate set of tee markers can significantly impact the enjoyment of the game.
  3. Tee Height:

    • While tees are commonly used to elevate the ball off the ground, there are rules governing the maximum allowable height for tees.
    • According to the Rules of Golf, a tee must not elevate the ball more than 4 inches (10.16 cm) above the ground. Exceeding this limit can result in a penalty if discovered during play.
  4. Etiquette:

    • Proper tee etiquette is an essential aspect of golf. Golfers should ensure that they repair any divots or ball marks made when teeing off.
    • It is also courteous to wait for other players to tee off before taking your shot, maintain a quiet and respectful atmosphere, and not distract fellow competitors.

Types of Golf Shots

Shot TypeTee AllowedDescriptionCommon Use
DriveYesTee up the ball on the tee box.Starting a hole.
FairwayNoBall is on the fairway.Advancing towards the green.
ApproachNoBall is on the fairway or rough.Aiming for the green.
ChipNoBall is close to the green.Short-distance precision.
PuttNoBall is on the green.Finishing the hole.

Golf Clubs and Tees

Club TypeCommon Tee UsageAlternative
IronsNoUse fairway grass.
WedgesNoUse fairway or rough.
PutterNoOn the green.

Tee Usage by Skill Level

Skill LevelTee Usage

Tee Rules in Golf Tournaments

Tournament TypeTee Usage
AmateurUsually allowed
ProfessionalRestricted or not allowed

When You Can Use a Tee

SituationTee Usage
On the Tee BoxYes
Tee Shot on Par 3 HolesYes
Fairway ShotsNo
Bunker ShotsNo
Putting GreenNo
Penalty or Drop ShotsNo
Practicing on the CourseNo
Playing in a TournamentDepends on rules
Pitching and ChippingUsually no


In golf, the use of tees is not only a practical necessity for tee shots but also a fundamental aspect of the game’s rules and etiquette. Golfers should be mindful of the rules regarding tee usage, including where and how they can be used. Additionally, selecting the appropriate tee size and practicing good tee etiquette contribute to a more enjoyable and respectful golfing experience for all players on the course.


Can I Use a Tee for Every Shot


  • Anglo Carson

    Anglo Carson, a Certified Golf Instructor, embarked on a remarkable journey, driven by his unwavering love for golf. He founded The Golf Mine with a singular mission - to create a golfing haven where passion knows no boundaries. His lifelong love affair with golf, combined with his expertise as a Certified Golf Instructor, turned into a vision to share his extensive knowledge, inspire, and promote the game he holds dear.

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