It may not seem like the golf tee makes all that much of a difference in the game or matters when you play a round. However, it really does.
Golf tees are more than just a preference and can get in your head. At the risk of making myself seem like a complete golf nut, if I don’t use my regular type of tee, I feel like I lose a few yards.
This article will cover some of our favorite tees and everything you should know about how a golf tee is going to impact your game.
For golfers that just need a quick recommendation, here are our top choices:
Table of Contents
- Main Differences Between Golf Tees
- The Top 7 Golf Tees You Should Consider Buying
- Pride Professional Tee Systems (Best Wooden Tees)
- Green Keepers 4 Yards More Golf Tee (Best Plastic Tees)
- Thiodoon Golf Tees (Best Value)
- Champ Zarma Golf Tees (Best Golf Tees for People Who Like to Experiment)
- Zero Friction ZFT Maxx 3-Prong 4″ Distance Golf Tee (Best Premium)
- Callaway Par-Tee (Best For Durability)
- Consistent Tee Durable Plastic (Best For Consistent Tee Height)
- How to Choose The Right Features For You
- Golf Tee FAQs
Main Differences Between Golf Tees
Golf tees have some differences in how they are produced that will, in turn, lead to how they play on the golf course. The three biggest differences between golf tees are the materials, the length, and the style.
It’s important to remember that there is no perfect golf tee; there are, however, players that have very specific preferences as to which tee is going to be the best fit for their game.
The main materials that golf tees are made up of include plastic, wood, and bamboo. Wood tees are the most common and have been around for quite some time.
Wood tees are biodegradable and will not do much damage to the environment when the lawn mower hits them the following day. This is especially the case when they are the natural color and not painted.
Golf tees can also be plastic. The plastic golf tees are typically not as good for the environment or the golf course, but they hold up for a long time.
The plastic tees are a good fit for golfers that break tees.
Bamboo tees are becoming increasingly popular as they are great from a durability standpoint and will deteriorate and break down over time. With a bamboo golf tee, expect a slightly higher price, as the cost to the manufacturer tends to be a little higher than the wood golf tees.
Some golf courses are starting to limit the types of tees players are allowed to use. Keep this in mind if you are playing somewhere and they do not allow plastic tees.
For many years golf tees all were about the same length. However, over time the 460cc drivers were released, and players realized that they needed something considerably longer to be able to make contact with the center of the driver’s head.
Some players choose an oversized tee, over 3 inches, and just push it down into the ground when they are on a par 3 or not using the driver off the tee.
Other players struggle with getting these longer tees down into the ground and would prefer to have both long and short golf tees. This is a personal preference.
I’ve always just purchased a one-length golf tee and used it for all the holes, and it’s never been an issue.
Through the years, the types of golf tees have also expanded from a style standpoint. As you probably very well know, golfers will purchase anything that they think may help their game. Therefore companies have come up with a few different models.
- Traditional: A regular tee with an indentation at the top where the ball can sit
- Martini: Looks as though they have a cup at the top (or martini glass); the ball rests in the tee with very little friction.
- Step Tees: A tee that will only allow you to push it into the ground so far; this helps to ensure the proper height on all shots.
- Brush: Instead of having the ball sit on a tee, it rests at the top of a brush and helps to improve overall distance.
- Anti Slice: Tees that help players visualize and strike the proper location of the ball to promote better spin and the proper flight.
The Top 7 Golf Tees You Should Consider Buying
Now that you have a better idea of the differences in these golf tees let’s look at the ones you should consider buying. Keep these styles, lengths, and preferences in mind as you choose something that will work best for your needs.
Pride Professional Tee Systems (Best Wooden Tees)
The #1 Tee on the PGA Tour. 100% Natural Hardwood.
- Made with natural hardwood
- Color bar to help indicate tee length
- Good for larger drivers over 400cc
- Tour-proven model
- A bit more money than some other options on the market
The Pride Professional Tee Systems are the best wooden tees on the market. In fact, they also make some pretty great plastic tees as well. These golf tees are used as the number one tee on the PGA Tour, and it’s easy to see why.
One of the first things that stands out about the Pride Professional Tee System is the thickness of the tee. The tees come in various lengths, but the overall width or thickness of the tee is very thin.
This thin feeling allows players to swing through without losing even the slightest bit of speed. These tees are 100% natural hardwood and are built for golf clubs of all sizes and types.
Each tee features a color bar that helps players determine the exact tee height that they are looking for.
Green Keepers 4 Yards More Golf Tee (Best Plastic Tees)
Flexible 6-prong tip reduces resistance and allows better contact. Reduces ball spin which increases control.
- Impressive testing was done with this tee
- Less resistance on drives
- Built to last more than 100 hits
- Reduced ball spin
- Great for seniors
- High per tee price
Although we mentioned that the Pride Professional Tee Systems have some great plastic tees, there are other companies that compete with them quite well. These Green Keepers 4 Yards More tees are obviously all about distance. Players seeking more distance will be impressed with some of the studies on these Green Keepers tees.
One of the features that help the Green Keepers tees stand out is the flexible 6 prong tip. With these small and flexible prongs, the tee has very little grab on the ball, making it easier to get your full distance.
The tees are also built to last for over 100 drivers. This may not be a large package of tees, but expect to get plenty of use out of it.
Thiodoon Golf Tees (Best Value)
A high (long) tee encourages a shallow approach and maximizes the launch angle. Shallow cup reduces surface contact. Fly tees promote additional distance and accuracy.
- A great option when looking for shorter tees
- Fair pricing
- 100% Natural Hardwood
- Break rather easily
- Don’t come in heights quite as tall as other brands
The Thiodoon Golf tees are the best option if you are looking for value. Even with these golf tees being some of the most affordable on the market, they are also made with 100% n natural hardwood and are non-toxic.
With Thiodoon Tees are said to be low resistance and have a lower friction tip, but they are mostly like standard golf tees that offer very little friction, to begin with. You can buy this product with a mix of colors and heights to find something you like.
Golfers have been finding that this Thiodoon brand offers variety across several different categories, not just golf tees.
Champ Zarma Golf Tees (Best Golf Tees for People Who Like to Experiment)
Reinforced ribs on shaft add durability and resistance. Shallow cup reduces surface contact.
- Less surface area of the ball touching the tee
- Can customize the height of the tee easily
- Shallow cup on the top of the tee
- Not as well known or as widely used by professionals
If you are one of those golfers that like to experiment with different types of golf tees, then the Champ Zarma Golf Tees could be something to try. All of these different tee manufacturers have tried to come up with something unique that stands out as a great option for players.
With the Champ, Zarma Golf Tees expect a 6-prong head and a very shallow cup. The idea is almost to have the ball balance on the top of the tee instead of sitting in it, as we see with other golf tees on the market.
The ability to set the height of your golf ball to the same position every time is a great reason that the Champ Zarma Golf Tees work for the mid to high handicappers trying to bring about some consistency in their game.
If you are smart about this process, a few extra yards and a bit of consistency is a nice benefit of a new tee.
Zero Friction ZFT Maxx 3-Prong 4″ Distance Golf Tee (Best Premium)
4" height for maximum distance off of the tee. 66% reduced tee-to-ball contact area for greater accuracy.
- Won’t break as easily as other tees
- Lower the chance of golf drives that are not getting the proper launch
- Some golfers notice an increase in total distance
- Premium tees like this cost quite a bit of money; make sure to find them after you hit!
The Zero Friction ZFT Maxx 3 Prong is the best premium golf tee on the market. This tee will add up to 5 yards of distance to your drives according to Zero Friction. When we tested and played with these tees in the past, we also noticed an increase in total distance.
The 4” height on the tee is great for golfers that have a large 460cc golf driver. In addition, you will get a tee that is biodegradable and made with recycled materials. Certainly, something you can feel better about using on the golf course.
This is just a 3 prong design, but the ball balances on the top of the tee quite easily, making it a smart option for many players.
Callaway Par-Tee (Best For Durability)
Boasts a durable, co-molded construction that is virtually unbreakable. Equipped with a rubberized cupped top, our golf tee promotes low-spin launches for added distance.
- Very easy to push into the ground
- Durable design
- Has several colors and is a low-spinning golf tee design
- Only comes in a pack of four
- Not environmentally friendly
If you are tired of snapping tees, the Callaway Par-Tee could be a good option to consider. This low-spin tee is made with a durable co-molded material that will not easily break. The rubberized top and plastic base does a great job of ensuring you will have this in play round after round.
We noticed when we used the tee that the bright color and design made it easy to find after each swing. In addition, the 3 ¼ inch height seems to be plenty for getting distance with a 460cc driver.
If you trust Callaway with the rest of your game, the Callaway Par-Tee is a great option.
Consistent Tee Durable Plastic (Best For Consistent Tee Height)
Designed for new deep-face drivers. Removes guesswork, providing perfect ball height every time.
- Easily see how high to tee the ball
- USGA compliant
- Longer, straighter, and more consistent drives
- Not as lightweight as some other golf tees on the list
If you worry about finding the proper tee height, the Consistent Tee Durable Plastic is a good option to consider. This is made for the largest drivers on the market and will ensure you tee the ball properly each time.
This tee helps eliminate those sky marks on the top of your club and keeps you from losing distance. The Consistent Tee is USGA compliant, and it comes with a pack of 10 tees that are quite durable and long-lasting.
How to Choose The Right Features For You
With all of the different tee options out there, many golfers are unsure how to choose the tee that will be the best fit for their game. Here are a few of the things that you will want to consider:
If you are a new player, it may be difficult to understand how high to tee the golf ball. This is where something like the step tee could come into play. Although it won’t always make or break your shot, there are times that keeping the ball teed at the right height will help you become a better player.
In addition, some lower handicap golfers are very particular about the tee that they use. Some will only want wood tees, with no paint, to ensure their equipment does not have any impact from the tee itself.
As with all other golf products, there are both cheap and expensive golf tees to choose from. Typically, a mid to short-size wood tee will be the most affordable. The most expensive tees are rubber plastic tees that will last round after round.
It is essential to keep your budget in mind as you may play a lot of rounds in a year, and if you spend money at the beginning and use those tees for the entire year, it could be well worth it.
The tee that you use can impact your ball flight. For instance, if you are a player that tends to hit the ball really low, it could be because you are not teeing it high enough on the face.
Of course, there are other reasons behind ball flight issues in golf, but this is something that should at least be kept in mind as you play and practice.
Angle of Attack
How do you approach the ball?
We know that with a driver (the most likely club to be teed up), the angle of attack is supposed to be more upright, and the ball is hit on the upswing. However, this isn’t the case for all players.
The chance of breaking the tee is quite high for players that tend to have a slightly steeper angle of attack that may clip their drive on the downswing.
These players may take into consideration their angle of attack so that they do not continually have to purchase new golf tees. Plastic tees are typically a bit more durable and will not fall apart after a single swing.
Some golf courses are forcing golfers to care about the environment and ensure that they are playing with equipment that will be biodegradable. However, not all golfers will need the golf course to help them become more environmentally conscious.
Many golfers care a great deal about the environment, and they want to ensure that they are using a golf tee that will deteriorate a bit more naturally and not cause harm. The best thing any golfer can do is try and find their golf tee after they take a shot.
Golf Tee FAQs
Now that you are ready to purchase some of the best golf tees on the market, here are a few last things to consider. Remember that some of this comes down to personal preference, and some will be more about performance.
Which Tees Do The Pros Use?
Many golf professionals use hardwood tees that have long tee lengths and less friction. These are often produced by Pride Professional or the Zero Friction Tour tees. The brush tees or martini-type tees are typically not used by professionals. In addition, it’s rare to see bright colors used by pros.
Which Tees Are Better – Plastic or Wood?
Both wooden tees and plastic golf tees can be good, but there are some problems with plastic tees and the environment. If you are concerned about durability and plan to use a tee over and over again, plastic is great. However, bamboo tees or wooden tees are better for those who want something biodegradable.
Can Some Tees Really Help You Hit Longer Drives and/or Slice Less?
Most tees will offer about the same distance for players. However, some offer a bit less friction, while others offer more stability. The difference is usually only a few yards, but for some players, this amount is very important and something well worth taking advantage of.