What Is A Tee In Golf? – Explained!

what is a tee in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms commonly mentioned on golf courses and TV broadcasts is the term “Tee”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly is a “Tee” in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what a “Tee” is in golf.

What Is A Tee In Golf?

In golf, a Tee is a pick-like stand inserted into the ground to elevate a golf ball above the ground level of golf hole’s tee box. Tees are typically made of wood, plastic, or rubber. Elevating a golf ball allows a golfer to get better contact on it, thus increasing carry distance.

In the great game of golf, the term “Tee” is a term that is always mentioned on golf courses, and sometimes on TV broadcasts.

In golf, a “Tee” is a small pick-like stand that golfers insert into the turf of a golf hole’s tee box. This tee is used to elevate the golf ball above turf-level, in order to get a better angle of attack on the golf ball when struck, for the purpose of increasing carry distance.

In fact, to get the most distance out of a golf driver, you need to almost “scoop” under the golf ball towards the sky, as the driver has a small loft. Without elevating the golf ball with a “Tee”, it is difficult to “scoop” it. However, golf tees are not mandatory to use for golfers.

A golf tee can be made of different materials, and sometimes multiple materials at once. Common golf tee materials include wood, plastic, and rubber. A golf “Tee” is almost shaped like a nail, except that it is thicker.

Down below is a real-world example of a golf tee.

A Golf Ball Installed On A Golf Tee
A Golf Ball Installed On A Golf Tee

As you can see on the image above, the golf tee is inserted directly into the turf, and the ball placed on top of it. The ball easily stays on the tee thanks to a groove in the tee head.

Golf tees are only to be used within the teeing area of the tee box a golfer chose to start a golf hole from. Outside of these teeing areas, golf balls must be hit from their resting position on the ground.

Golf tees will usually be sent flying forwards after you strike the golf ball, although for reasons outside the scope of this article, tees can also fly backwards. You can click on the links in the previous sentence to find out more about the direction of tee flight.

To insert a golf tee into the ground, you can directly use your hands. Golf tees should usually slide right into the turf without too much resistance.

If the ground is very hard and dry, you can pour some water onto it, or use your foot or one of your clubs to hammer the tee in more easily.

How deeply into the ground you insert your tee is up to you. If you would like to learn more about golf tee height, you can read our article: How Should You Set Your Golf Ball Up?

An interesting note to mention is that before tees were invented by Dr.Grant around the 19th century, golfers used wet sand to build their own tees. This was a much more tedious way to tee up, but more ecological.

Modern tees with solid construction are generally re-usable until they break. Wooden tees are particularly susceptible to breaking, while softer materials do a better job of surviving impact.

Origin Of The Term “Tee”

The origin of the name of a golf “Tee” is uncertain, and there are a few theories floating around.

One of those theories is that, if you look at a tee from the side, it looks like a capital letter “T”. This could be an origin for the term “Tee”, as the letter “T” and the term “Tee” are homophones.

Conclusion

There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what the term “Tee” means in golf.

Do you have any other words you wish to know more about? Which “Tee” material do you prefer to play golf with? Let us know in the comments down below!