In the recent New York Times article “Swallow Your Ego and Play the Right Tees,” writer Bill Pennington discusses why golfers often insist on playing the most challenging tees and informs readers on how to choose the right tee.

Pennington believes a combination of ego, peer pressure and self-deluding miscalculation keeps players from starting at the appropriate tee.

By designing multiple tee boxes for longer holes, golf course architects intend to give golfers the opportunity to play a course to their inherent abilities. However, it is up to educated players to determine which tees they should be using. For example, handicaps can be associated with particular tees, or one can follow the rule that if you aren’t consistently breaking 90, move up one tee box until you are.

As most course rangers can attest, having golfers tee it up from the wrong box can not only lead to frustrating rounds, it will greatly impact the pace of play for you and those around you, keeping players on a course much longer than necessary. For more information about pace of play, read this article.