Abstract: Consider the following lessons before building or renovating a golf tee.
When you build a new practice tee, watch out for the grade on the forward edge. A practice tee should be pitched toward the line-of-flight of the golf ball. A slope of 1-2% should be used. If you pitch the tee differently, the following will happen:
- Front to back slope will create a blind spot in the landing area of the range. If the tee markers are back, and a golfer wants to hit lob-wedge shots, they won’t see the ball land.
- Side-to-side pitch creates a blind spot on on the high side of the tee.
I’ve built range tees with rocks and silty material as a base. I’m only worried about the top 6-12 inches. of the tee–the seedbed layer. The under fill can be anything that will compact and won’t decompose. Clean out that pile of silty fill. Cut out that obnoxious mound next to a fairway and add it to the fill.
I use a 70/30 blended tee mix as a seedbed mix. You can mix your own to save money. Spread the material with a dozer, then laser grade the surface. Laser grading is critical to create an even practice surface. You don’t want water pockets–they create big problems down the road.
You can seed or sod the surface. Some sod one-third of the tee and seed the rest. When the sodded area is worn, practice zone can be directed toward the established seed area, and the sod area can be seeded.