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Which Golf Tees Are Illegal? (Legal and Illegal Golf Tees)

Choosing the right golf tee comes down to understanding what is permitted and what is not when playing.

For example, professional golfers have to abide by a set of golf tee rules that are set in stone. These rules are listed to make sure there are no specific advantages in place for those who are using illegal golf tees.

What are illegal golf tees?

Illegal golf tees include anything taller than 4 inches, offer movement changes, and can manipulate distance with their material. Examples of illegal golf tees include anti-slice golf tees, flight path golf tees, and weighted golf tees.

It’s recommended to go through the golf tee regulations for those who want to find the right fit moving forward.

Here is a breakdown of what a golfing tee is, the rules for legal golf tees, and a list of illegal golf tees you should avoid.

What Is A Golfing Tee?

A golfing tee is used for the initial stroke when starting a round of golf. This is where the ball is set before hitting the first shot. The tee is designed to offer a stable base of approximately 3-4 inches for the ball.

This golf tee can be made of a wide array of legal materials.

With the PGA, there are specific golf tee rules that need to be followed.

Rules for Legal Golf Tees

1. Must Be 4 Inches Tall

When it comes to choosing the best golf tee, it’s important to focus on the rules first.

The first rule is a physical one citing how the golf tee should look.

In essence, a legal golf tee needs to be under four inches tall. Anything taller than this is against the golf tee regulations in place professionally. As a result, the average golf tee is going to be between 3-4 inches.

This height rule is designed to make sure there is consistency between golf tees as golfers set up.

illegal golf tees

2. No Movement Changes Permitted

A golf tee can be illegal if it leads to movement changes.

A good example of this would be an anti-slice golf tee that is going to make it easier to hit the golf ball.

This can impact how the golf ball moves and that is not allowed on the golf course. The reason this is not permitted comes down to the golf tee playing a major advantage in how the golf ball travels for the first shot.

Certain materials do offer movement changes including a flight path golf tee. As a result, it is not permitted on the golf course.

3. No Material-Based Manipulation

Any material-based manipulation is not allowed.

If a golfer looks to use a flight path golf tee, they are going to be manipulating it with the use of this material.

Which golf tees do professional golfers use?

Professional golfers prefer to use wooden golf tees as this is the standard legal solution on the tour.

Other materials are not good for golfers and can lead to major issues with performance when it comes to seeing tangible results.

Types of Illegal Golfing Tees

1. Flight Path Golf Tees

Flight path golf tees are illegal.

These golf tees are illegal because they manipulate movement and can be listed as material that provides an unfair advantage to those who use it for their first shot.

In general, flight path golf tees will impact the flight. This is just as the name suggests.

When a golfer hits the ball, it is going to remain in a straight line. This allows for more forgiveness when striking the golf ball off of a tee.

Using illegal flight path golf tees is not allowed.

2. Weighted Golf Tees

Weighted golf tees are illegal too.

These golf tees have additional weight to them, which can manipulate how the golf ball travels as soon as it is hit.

In general, it is possible for a golfer to use a weighted tool as a way to hold the golf tee down. This makes it more stable and manipulates how the golf ball moves. This is not permitted on the golf course.

Illegal weighted golf tees come in different shapes and sizes including how they are held down. This is why they are not allowed.

3. Anti-Slice Golf Tees

Anti-slice golf tees are illegal.

These golf tees allow golfers to impact how the ball moves. It is not going to allow the ball to “slice” as easily, which allows for a more formidable impact on the club.

It also allows a golfer to make a mistake when it comes to how the golf ball is hit off of a tee.

List Of Legal Golfing Tees

1. Brush Golf Tees

When it comes to legal golf tees, there are numerous options available to golfers.

Brush golf tees are legal because they are the right height and do not impact the golf ball’s movement off of the tee.

Legal brush golf tees are known for being a good option for amateurs. It is important to note they are only legal if they have not been manipulated. If there are changes to the original brush golf tee then it is going to be deemed as an illegal golf tee.

2. Corded Golf Tees

Corded golf tees are legal.

Legal corded tees are an option for golfers to consider.

The premise behind this type of legal golf tee comes down to the use of a cord. This cord is attached to the tee, which allows it to be easier to set up.

For the most part, this is permitted.

The only time a corded tee can be illegal is if it is being used during conditions where it would be an unfair advantage. This can include during the colder months. If this is the case, it will be mentioned in the golf tee rules beforehand.

3. Rubber Golf Tees

It is legal to use rubber golf tees.

Rubber golf tees are legal because they do not offer a material-based change to how the ball comes off of the tee.

In general, these golf tees are made of rubber and do work as a good option. They are stable and when they are set at the right height, they do work well.

4. Castle Golf Tees

Castle golf tees are legal and tend to be used by amateur golfers.

For the most part, the main benefit of a castle golf tee comes with the height. It allows for a stable golf tee that is set at the same height every time.

This is useful for those who are looking to hit the same shot all the time and don’t want to have issues due to the golf tee’s height.

When looking at innovative golf tees, this is one option that is out there. It is a legal golf tee that you can use for your golfing needs.

5. Step Golf Tees

When it comes to a conforming golf tee based on golf equipment rules, you are going to be fine with step golf tees.

Step golf tees are legal and can be used for your golfing requirements.

In essence, a step golf tee is designed to offer a consistent solution that is set at the same height. Step tees are legal simply due to them not offering movement changes and just being an option that is stable.

Signs Of A Good Golf Tee

1. Easy To Set Up

What is a good golf tee?

In general, a good golf tee is going to be easy to set up. You do not want a golf tee that is going to be unstable or is going to take a long time to set at the right height.

This will take away from your concentration and it can also impact the height at which a golf ball is hit.

A lot of people end up with issues such as blocking drives in golf due to not having a consistent golf tee.

A good golf tee needs to be easy to set up.

2. Easy To Lift

A legal golf tee is going to be easy to lift.

This means it is not going to take a long time to lift out. You do not want to struggle with the golf tee as soon as it is set up and a good one is not going to allow this to happen.

This is why pro golfers often use wooden golf tees.

Wooden golf tees are legal and work as a formidable option when it is time to lift them out. This is why they are versatile and useful in different conditions.

3. Produces A Knocking Sound Upon Impact

When looking at the list of legal golf tees, it’s important to focus on the sound a golf tee makes as soon as you hit the golf ball.

It should make what is known as a knocking sound.

This indicates you are using a great golf tee that is going to work well for your game.

4. Offers Speed Control

Banned golf tees should be avoided.

One of the main issues with banned golfing tees comes down to speed control. When you are getting excessive speed advantages from the golf tee, you are going to end up with serious issues over time.

You will want to make sure speed control is not an issue.

This is why it should be consistent and set at the right height when it comes to doing things the right way.

Are Martini Tees Legal On PGA Tour?

Yes, martini tees are legal on the PGA tour. They fit the height and movement rules set up by the association. Some golfers use martini golf tees as a way to gain more height on their shots but it often comes down to preference.

What Is The Longest Legal Golf Tee?

The longest legal golf tee is four inches tall. Anything past this height is not allowed by the PGA and cannot be used as a professional golfer. It’s recommended to choose a golf tee that is between 3-4 inches tall due to this reason.

Final Thoughts

These are the illegal golf tees to keep in mind for those who are looking to buy legal golf tees for upcoming matches.

Illegal golf tees are anything that is above four inches tall, offers movement advantages upon impact, and/or offers a material-based advantage. Some of the illegal golf tees include flight path golf tees, anti-slice golf tees, and weighted golf tees that use weight to hold down the tee.

It’s best to stick to legal golf tees such as wooden golf tees or plastic golf tees.

Just like buying the right golf club for your golf bag or looking at different golf balls, you also want to make sure you are getting a high-quality golf tee.