In my time as an equipment tester for THP I have been asked to review at least 3 different kinds of tees, each time I’ve been given some tees with height adjustable stoppers to ensure I get the same tee height each time I tee up my golf ball. So far each time I have said that I understand and appreciate the concept, but so far each tee has left a little to be desired and I’ve eventually found myself back to the old trusty wooden tee. In comes Evolve Golf with their Epoch-S3 tee, what we have with the Epoch S-3 is another plastic tee that offers golfers a way to help ensure a consistent tee height for each tee shot, the Epoch S-3 offerings do not stop there however. Is this finally the tee that will supplant the trusty wood colored wooden tee for me? We shall see…
Let me preface this review by saying that I do not like plastic tees. The ground around where I play all of my golf is usually too hard making it difficult to get the tee into the tee box, teeing up my golf ball should not be work as far as I’m concerned. Now that we’ve got that out of the way I can tell you about my experience with the Epoch S-3 tee. It’s plastic so already I’m thinking “oh great” but from the minute I opened the package I could tell this was not your average plastic tee. The tee is much more sturdy and durable than any of the plastic tees I’ve used in the past, immediately I’m starting to think this thing just might stand a chance. Also different about the S-3 is there are no annoying discs or stoppers to try to hassle with while trying to determine your preferred tee height, that is good because as about any golfer knows there are way too many different variables in play that dictate how high the ball should be tee’d up on any given hole. Into the wind you’ll tee it a little lower, uphill tee shots also generally get tee’d a little lower as well in an effort to keep the flight down and gain more roll. On the flip side if you’re downwind or downhill you’ll almost certainly want to tee it just a touch higher than usual so you can get the ball up higher and take advantage of your conditions. Instead the Epoch S-3 promises you a way to gauge your preferred height without the added need of a disc; we’ll talk more about that later.
From Evolve Golf:
The Epoch is the only performance tee with radius posts that span the width of a golf ball dimple. This unique feature creates the lowest coefficient of friction of any tee, eliminating deflection at impact and increasing ball speed and control off the tee.
The head of a standard tee cannot possible cause a great deal of friction, can it? I am no scientist so I didn’t do any research on this one so I’ll just take the company’s word for it. Golfers are always looking for any little advantage in that elusive hunt for more distance. While I didn’t necessarily notice any increase in distance using the Epoch S-3 I certainly didn’t have any issues with the design of the head either.
The first Epoch was introduced on the PGA TOUR in January, 2004. Evolve Golf promised the tour players a better golf tee that would increase their ball launch speed, reduce spin, and provide pure control off the tee. A few players put the epoch in play that first week. Fast forward to today, Epoch exceeded 100 wins on the major tours. Evolve Golf does not pay players to play the Epoch. They simply choose to tee up the Epoch when it matters the most.
I mentioned the system the Epoch S-3 has for ensuring a consistent height; this is what they call the Sweet Spot System. On the tee are 4 stripes, go to their website at www.evolvegolf.com and input your driver model and type into their Sweet Spot System and it will come back with your recommended teeing position to help ensure contact with your driver’s sweet spot each time. I liked this system much better than the other height adjustable tees I have used, it allowed me to know which spot would be best but also allowed me to easily adjust to the elements I was playing in.
A little unexpected surprise of the Epoch tee was the inclusion of a short 1.5 inch tee designed for irons and hybrids. This little tee is really cool, plain and simple. I refuse to use a perfectly good wooden tee for a shot with an iron because I know without a doubt that the tee will be broken, I’ll usually hunt around the box until I find a broken tee that I can get to work out, sometimes even wasting time in the process. This little inch and a half tee is absolutely perfect for iron and hybrid shots, in the pack was 10 of them and they are just as durable and sturdy as the 2.75 inch tees. I did have a problem with the little ones though, finding them after I hit was almost always a chore as these babies often times popped out and flew up to about 10 yards in some cases. We joked about having a tee spotter instead of a ball spotter standing behind us whenever we used them. Most of the time I found them ok and it definitely did not take away from the fact that these little tees were great!
Overall Evolve Golf has put out the most durable and sturdy plastic tee I have ever used. I passed a few of these tees out to playing partners during my testing and everyone felt the same as I did, they loved them. I did manage to break a couple but given their purpose in life I think it’s only understandable that a tee is going to break once in a while. The Sweet Spot System is a great feature that can really help those who might struggle with getting a consistent height for their tee shots. While I did not use that system as much, I still found it nice to know my recommended position for straight away tee shots without much wind or elevation changes. One last thing about the Epoch tee that I absolutely loved was how sharp the point of the tee is, people sort of chuckled at me when I told them how much I liked that aspect but in reality it is great. During a round I use the point of my tee to clean my grooves of my irons quite often, many times with wooden tees the points aren’t sharp enough to get all the way to the bottom of my groove, not the case with the Epoch S-3 though, these tees are sharp enough to clean any groove as well as easily find their way into the teeing surface of even the hardest of tee boxes I play on. So did the tee give me that magical 5 to 10 yard increase in distance? No, I wouldn’t really say it did, but it really delivered in every other area possible, and in the end I can finally stop saying that I hate plastic tees. The Epoch tees are available in online golf shops with an MSRP of $6.99 for a 50 tee pack (40 long and 10 short).