1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Golf Tees

By

2 of 6

Sand Tees and Earlier
Golf Sand Tees

A golfer in 1921 reaches into a "tee box" to retrieve a handful of wet sand, which would then be shaped into a tee for the golf ball.

Brooke / Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Tools designed specifically for teeing a golf ball started arriving on the scene in the late 1800s (although it's safe to assume that individual golfers were experimenting with different implements before that).

How did golfers tee up their golf balls before the invention and manufacture of modern golf tees?

The earliest "tees" were just clumps of dirt. Golfers in the ancient mists of Scotland would use a club or their shoe to stab the ground, digging up a little mound of turf on which to set the golf ball.

As golf matured and became more organized, sand tees became the norm. What's a sand tee? Take a little wet sand, shape it into a conical mound, place the golf ball atop the mound, and you have a sand tee.

Sand tees were still the norm into the early 1900s. Golfers typically found a box of sand on each teeing ground (which is the origin of the term "tee box"). Sometimes there was also water provided, and the golfer would wet his hand, then get a handful of sand to shape into a tee. Or the sand in the "tee box" was already wet and easily shaped.

Either way, sand tees were messy, and by the late 1800s implements for teeing the golf ball started showing up in patent offices.

  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Golf
  4. Equipment
  5. Sand Tees and Earlier Forms of Golf Tees

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.