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I am a complete neophyte in golf, but in the anime Birdie Wing, two players are golfing against each other, and deciding over "honor" (who tees first). Does someone hitting first affect the game in any significant way, or is it basically about preference?

If it does affect the game in a significant way, I'd appreciate any statistical proof of it (like how white statistically wins against black in chess), as well as any reasons why it may be the case (e.g. the person going second knows what they're up against, and doesn't have to take risks when unnecessary).

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In the team matchplay golf that I have played and in the major team competitions (Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup etc) the away team tees off first in all the matches. I cant find it explicitily stated anywhere why this happens (I think this is more a tradition than a rule) but youtube videos of the first tees at these comps back this up. If there was an obvious advantage or disadvantage to going first then I am sure that teams would rather toss a coin for each match than have the honour go to the away team.

In singles matchplay that I have played (where there isnt a clear home vs away distinction) it has always been decided by a toss of a coin (or similar), I have never been worried about losing the toss.

Now after the first hole the honour is dictated by the rules. If no one won the first hole then whoever tee'd off first on the first hole tees off first on the second hole. If someone wins the first hole then they tee off first on the second hole. And so on.

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