In 2014 the Multiple Tee System was introduced and we changed from offering four fixed gender based courses, to a Multiple Tee System that offers seven non-gender based courses.  The Multiple Tee System allows members of any ability to choose the difficulty of course that they play on any given day. 

The main reason for introducing a Multiple Tee System was to address the industry wide problem of recruitment and retention of golfers.  We wanted to be proactive in confronting this issue and saw the introduction of multiple non-gender based tees as a way to offer choice to existing members and encourage new members learning the game.

What are the benefits of having multiple tees?

  • It is easier for juniors to start with forward tees, and progress through a succession of tees as they grow and become more skillful than starting on the traditional men's or women's tees.  
  • It is easier for learners to start on forward tees and progress back through tees as their skills develop.  There is more enjoyment and less frustration when new players can reach the green in a reasonable number of shots.
  • Players can play at the same club but play a variety of courses by choosing to play off a different set of tees when playing a casual round.
  • Players who have a limited time can play off shorter tees making for a quicker round, and still enter a card for handicapping as all the courses are rated.
  • Players will be playing off more accurate courses as there is no longer the need to put tees forward in winter, when it is wet and there is no run.  Handicaps will become more accurate.
  • On competition days, players will be able to keep up more easily when new golfers can play off forward tees.
  • By having some shorter options, players who lose distance will be able to move to shorter tees and enjoy the game in the same way instead of having to play bigger clubs into greens.  Hopefully this will encourage players to remain members for longer.
  • Many of our greens are designed to be reached by pitch shots, as they are well guarded by bunkers. By using forward tees, shorter hitters will be able to use pitch shots more often, instead of trying to reach the green from further back, with rescue clubs.

When playing casual golf you may use any tee you like, with one exception - women are unable to play the Black Tees as these are not rated for women.

On Club Competition Days the Tee (or tees) for the Competition will be set by the Club Captain or Convener of the event.   If you do not wish to be part of the competition you can select ‘no’ when asked, and print a card for the coloured tee of your choice.

The stroke holes on each course have been arbitrarily set and once there is enough data these may change.

Which course should you play?

If you are unsure which course to play choose a recommended course based on your current handicap.

All tees are rated and available for men and women to play (except Black tees for women).   The Purple set have a purple block in the ground but no physical tee markers.  These are predominantly used for Junior Tournaments and events but all players are welcome to use these tees when wanting to play a very short course.   

Choosing to play a different tee is just the same as playing a course at a different Club, your score will count for handicap purposes with the appropriate adjustments being made.


How to make adjustments to handicaps when playing a haggle

Logic would tell us that the handicap we play off on any given tee should allow us to haggle by finding the difference in the handicaps. However it does not quite work like this due to the intricacies of the USPGA Rating and Handicap system.

The necessary calculation in order to have a haggle with someone who is playing off a different handicap to you is easy. All you need to do is check the New Zealand Course Rating the course you are both playing on eg if a male plays off the Red tees (NZCR 69.3) and a female friend plays off the White tees (NZCR 72.9), the difference is 2.2- Therefore the male adds two shots to their handicap for the purpose of the haggle. If the difference was 2.5 or more they would round up to 3.

Your handicap on the card is does not change and it doesn’t count for handicapping – only for the haggle you are having.

The adjustment needs to be made to keep things fair and equitable because the player on the higher rated course is playing a harder course. The NZCR is written on your card so it is easy to do the calculation.  Before you tee off, compare your course ratings with your playing partners, find the difference, and apply extra shots to the person/s on the higher rated course just for the haggle.

As per the NZ golf Club manual "In four ball match play, strokes are taken on the holes of the course of the players receiving the shots.” 


Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. How will my handicap be affected by playing on a shorter course?
A. A New Zealand Golf Handicap Index is portable from course to course, as well as from one set of tees to other sets of tees on the same course. A player converts a Handicap Index to a Course Handicap based on the Slope Number of the tees being played. On our course the computer does this when your card is printed. When you print out your next card you will notice it has a Slope figure as well as a NZCR (New Zealand Course Rating) figure. The higher the Slope and NZCR, the harder the course, and this is reflected when you look at your results on the Dotgolf website.

Q. Why are the Stroke Holes different from the Blue Course to the Red Course?
A. The Stroke Holes are set to reflect the degree of difficulty of the holes on the course. However there are other considerations as well. They need to be spaced out a little so a low handicapper is not having to give all their shots all in a row. Ideally the number one and number two shot holes should not be on holes one and ten. One side should have all of the odd number Stroke Holes and the other should have the evens. On the men’s Blue course the number one shot hole is on hole 6 as it is a long par four. On the Red course it is an easy hole, as it is a short par five, so it would be silly to have it as shot hole one. Therefore the shot holes are different. Once we get enough data to tell us which are the hardest and easiest holes we may alter them.

Q. Why can’t I score better on the short course?
A. It may take a few rounds for you to gain your “Local Knowledge” as you will be in different positions in the fairway and be using different clubs into greens. There may be some learning to do as to what clubs to use.

Q. How come I shoot better scores on the shorter course?
A. Perhaps you are a straight hitter but do not reach green in regulation on the longer course but on the short course you now might be reaching in regulation and putt well, or are close enough for accurate chipping.

Q. How can I play a haggle when I am playing someone who is playing off a different course?
A. When you have printed your cards, find the course rating (NZCR) on each card and compare them to find the difference. For example, the course rating for the Blue Tees for men is 71.2, while the course rating for the Red Tee for men is 69.3 with the difference being 2.1.  If Peter plays from the Blue Tees on a handicap of 16 and has a haggle with Brent playing from the Red tees, Peter adds two shots to his course handicap for the haggle only. This does not affect his handicap when it is entered into the computer as it is for haggle purposes only.

Q. Why does the player on the higher rated course get shots added for a haggle?
A. We do it because players are playing on courses of differing difficulty and this formula makes it a fair competition.

Q. Why does the computer not make the change on the card when players are playing off different tees?
A. An individual player’s handicap may be different from one tee to another but the computer does not know when a card is printed that the player is going to be playing someone playing from a different tee.

Q. Is my handicap going to be affected by playing off shorter tees?
A. No. Every course in New Zealand is rated so that you can play anywhere and take your Handicap index with you and convert it to a course handicap. In some cases our Red course is just as difficult as the Conventional White tees on many other course in NZ. Just think of it as playing in some other town. You may score better but that score will be adjusted in accordance with the Course Rating for your handicap index calculation. For example, Peter played off the Blue Tees (NZCR 71.2) on Saturday and shot 96 and four days later played off the Red Tees (NZCR 69.3) and shot 93. When he looks at his scoring record it shows that his handicap difference for both courses was 22.8.