Pace of Play—Or Don’t Be Slow
Some Random Thoughts About How to Play Faster
There have been a number of members expressing their irritation with the pace of our play during our Monday tournaments. There has been a lot of talk but apparently few of us have taken much action to speed up our pace of play.
Below are some thoughts on improving our pace of play:
Be ready to play when it is your turn. You don’t have to wait in the cart while your partner hits his ball. You can walk to your ball (with clubs in hand) and get ready while he is hitting. Save time. Don’t be a spectator. Be a player. Be ready to hit.
Standing around and debating who is “away” is a waste of time. Who cares? If you are ready to hit and you can hit the ball and not put anyone in danger, why wait? Our swings are not worth watching, so don’t wait for an audience. Just hit the ball.
Start reading your putt while others are also doing so, do not wait until it is your turn to start studying your line, put continuously unless you could really interfere with another’s line.
If you carry a number of clubs when you walk to your ball, choose one, hit your ball, take your clubs back to the cart, quickly and get in. Put your clubs back in your bag at the next stop.
If you hit a ball that may be out of bounds or possibly lost, immediately announce that you will hit a provisional ball. Then hit it. Don’t waste all that time going back to hit another if your first ball turns out to be lost or out of bounds. But also remember you only get 5 minutes to search for a lost ball. Five actual minutes. Don’t take longer than that. If you can’t find the original ball then play your provisional.
After completing your hole, drive immediately to the next tee. Record your scores there, not at the last green. The group behind you is probably ready to hit. Get out of THEIR way and let them play.
Know what ball you are playing. Make, number and how you have it marked to identify it as your ball.
The course’s “player assistant” or “ambassador” is on the course to aid us. If he asks you to skip a hole due to your “pace of play” – do so. Come back at the end of your round and play that missed hole. Your team will not be penalized by the tournament’s TD if you follow the course ambassador’s instructions. If, on the other hand, you refuse to follow the direction of the course ambassador you may be disqualified from the tournament.
If you wear a golf glove for full shots, but take it off to putt, please take it off before you get to the green and it is your time to play.
Pros make only 50% of their putts from 10 feet. They are the best putters in the world. We aren’t! Make a decision, hit the ball, get the speed right and go on. Saving a minute on each green will make a huge difference in pace of play.
If you putt but miss the hole by a foot or two, continue putting to hole out your ball. This isn’t match play. Don’t waste the time to mark your ball, pick it up and then take more time to set your ball back down on the green, line it up immediately and putt it once again.
The pros are good enough that they need to know the exact distance for their next shot. We aren’t that good. It really isn’t important if the green is 120 or 125 yards away. Pick a club and hit it. Then go hit it again. Don’t wait. Don’t measure and re-measure.
Be realistic. Just because 12 years ago you once hit the ball 225 onto the green doesn’t mean you can do it today. The odds of hitting it that far are slim and none for most us. If you get extremely lucky and hit it close to the group in front, you can apologize later. Hit the ball.
Just a few thoughts to consider. Basically, the answer is—play faster, don’t waste time. Everyone will enjoy playing faster. You just might score better too!
It isn’t how many shots you take that makes you slow. It is how much time it takes you to hit those shots. Speed Up!
Thank you for your consideration for the other 79+ golfers in Tournament.
On behalf of your Board