Who Needs Tee Markers?
Tee markers are the Rodney Dangerfield of golf; they get no respect.
They do their job quietly each day without complaining or asking for much; through rain or shine, cold or hot. They are out on the course to greet the first group through to the last. Boldly, they point the way on each hole sending us on our merry way. We just could not play without them.
They come in all shapes and sizes and may be made from different materials. Metal, wood, plastic, it doesn’t matter. As long as we have two of them on each teeing ground, we’re good to go. I have even seen flower pots, plastic ice cream cones and even beer bottles used as tee markers.
They are not a defined term in the Rule Book but they are mentioned in the definition of teeing ground.
The “teeing ground” is the starting place for the hole to be played. It is a rectangular area two club-lengths in depth, the front and sides of which are defined by the outside limits of two tee markers. A ball is outside the teeing ground when all of it lies outside the teeing ground.
So that is their job. Define the teeing ground; nothing more and nothing less. From the outside limits of the two tee markers, make a rectangle two club-lengths in depth and you have a teeing ground.
They do have their own Rule; 11-2. That Rule states that before the player makes a stroke on a hole that the tee markers on their teeing ground (not the ones on the other teeing grounds) are deemed to be fixed. There is a penalty in certain situations if you were to move either of them.
After you make your first stroke on the teeing ground, the tee markers morph into movable obstructions. A movable obstruction may be moved without penalty in almost all situations. A much more friendly Rules situation.
That being said, I am not allowed to move a tee marker (the ones I’m playing from, the others I can) before I hit my tee shot. However, if my tee shot were to deflect off a tree and come back at me and comes to rest against one of the tee markers, I can then move the tee marker out of the way without penalty.
So the next time you tee it up, pay homage to our beacons who send us on our way by not taking out your frustrations on them because they lined you up wrong. You are the one that hit the bad tee shot not them.
Remember, use the index or the table of contents to find the correct Rule that applies to the situation and follow the Rules of Golf to help yourself to enjoy the game of golf.