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What is a Tee Time in Golf? Everything You Need to Know

What is a Tee Time in Golf? Everything You Need to Know

I’ll never forget the first time I heard about a tee time in golf.

I was just learning the game and My Dad told me, “Hurry up, we don’t want to miss our tee time.” I thought ole Pops had surely lost his mind but he was simply using normal golf lingo.

You may not be familiar with the concept of a tee-time if you’re new to golf. This post will cover all things related tee times.


Table of Contents

  • What is a Tee time?
  • How to set up a Tee Time
  • What Happens If You Don’t Show Up to Your Tee Time?
  • Do You Need a Tee Time in order to Play Golf?
  • Most popular Tee Times

What is a Tee time?

Another way to say you have made a reservation for a specific time slot to start your round of golf at the course is to call it a tee-time.

To avoid being considered late, a member of your group must make their first shot at the designated tee time. So it’s a good idea to make sure that your group is on the tee box a few minutes before the tee time.

Pro shops generally have a tee times policy. This allows them to spread their time between groups with anywhere from 7 to 15. This helps to avoid excessive waiting on each green during a round. This allows the golf course to accommodate as many players per day as possible, which increases their revenue.


How to Setup Tee Time

Setting up a time for a tee is fast, simple, and relatively painless. Call the pro shop at the golf course you are interested in playing. Ask about their availability for the day you are interested in playing.

Most golf courses also allow players to make online reservations via their course’s website or a booking app like GolfNow. After selecting which day you want to play, you’ll often be presented with several tee times to choose from. After finding the time you want, you’ll then be asked to enter the number of players in your group and provide payment information.

While it is easy to book a teetime online, some courses charge a convenience cost. Make sure you do your research before you make your booking. I’ve seen extra fees of $5 to $10 just for booking online, which doesn’t make much sense when it costs nothing to call the pro shop and book your tee time directly.


What Happens If You Don’t Show Up to Your Tee Time?

In official tournament play, if you are anywhere from one to five minutes late for your designated tee time, you’ll receive a two-stroke penalty. According to the USGA rules, any golfer who is more then five minutes late to their tee time will be disqualified.

Though the rules of professional golf are pretty strict when it comes to tee times, recreational players usually aren’t penalized if they are a little late for their tee times.

If you’re running a bit late, call the pro shop and ask for their next available time. As long as the course isn’t too packed, they should be able to let you tee off without too long of a wait.

However, each course has its own rules regarding tee times. It is important that you do not arrive late for a tee. You are not allowed to be late for a tee time. Some courses may not give you a refund if your round is prepaid but you show up late.


Do You Need a Tee Time in order to Play Golf?

It all depends on where you are playing.

Most private courses require tee times. However, some courses don’t even take tee times and operate on a first-come-first-serve basis. Some courses encourage tee times, but will accept walk-up customers if there are any time slots.

If you are unsure, you can call the pro shop and ask about tee times. It’s better to find out on the front end what the course policy is regarding tee times.


Most popular Tee Times

Are you curious about when your favorite course will be busiest? If it’s golf season, your favorite course may stay packed even in the middle of the day. You may be able get a tee-time at any hour of the day during the winter off-season.

To avoid the heat and humidity, the most popular times to tee off on weekdays during the summer months are before 9 am. Some people like to play a round after work in summer so tee time after 3 pm is becoming more popular.

Due to most people’s work schedules, golf courses are busier on the weekends and will have fewer tee times available. If you’re looking to play when there is less golfers, book a time on a weekday. The course will be quieter and you probably won’t have to wait to tee off on any of the holes.