Speed of Play

By: Tenna Merchent on January 2nd, 2012

We all like to play without waiting on the group in front of us. No one thinks of themselves as a slow player, but obviously they exist, and clog play on many courses. I doubt that anyone reading this is a snail, but we’ve all played with someone that can make a round of golf take over 6 hours. If you know someone that fits into this category, you can give them tips from this article, or refer them to it saying how much it speeded up your game (wink, wink), so they feel you’re in it together.

Some things to keep in mind to make sure you,re playing “ready golf”:

  • In the cart as you approach your ball; think about what club you may need.
  • If two players are in the same cart, park in between your balls, and each of you should take 3 clubs the you think you’ll need, and the one above and below it.
  • When it’s your turn, walk up to the ball, take 1 practice swing if you like, and hit the ball. Do not stand there and waggle or grind over the ball.
  • When putting, study your putt while the other golfers are taking their shots. Again, if you like to take a practice putt, do so, but limit it to one. If this is anything other than a professional golf tournament, there is no reason to slow play over a putt.
  • Do not take phone calls during a round of golf. If you do, tell the other players to go ahead, and do not hold up the game while you talk. If you’re simply playing for fun, skip the hole while you talk.
  • The idea behind ready golf, is to be ready for your shot when it is your turn, hit it, and move on.
  • As a group, keep moving. If you’re talking, do so while you walk. Don’t stand around the tee box or green and socialize after your shots. Keep moving.
  • If the course is full, you should always be able to see the group in front of you. If you have lost sight of them, your group is playing slowly, and it is your responsibility to let the golfers behind you play through, and then keep up with them.
  • The average foursome should be able to play a hole in 15 minutes, 9 holes in 2 ¼ hours, and 18 holes in 4 ½ hours. If your group isn’t keeping up to that pace of play, you need to speed things up.

We all know golf is a mental game. Speed of play is an aspect of this ability to remain focused on the game at hand and be prepared for that next shot. Ready golf is also a habit, once you know how to maintain your concentration, and play efficently anything else feels sloppy.



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