Slow play is one of my pet peeves in golf! I find that waiting on every hole is frustrating and fuels my negative talk about golf and life in general! Playing with or behind players who are more focused on talking, having a libation, or watching every play from every position should not be allowed on my course! Slow play…grrrr….where is that marshal!
I have talked about slow play before and many people have chimed in with their frustrations. (See May I Play Through and Can I Play Through for more details) I realize that this topic can push the buttons of most golfers, however it is an important topic that many amateurs seem to overlook.
There are some players who are naturally slow players. Others like a very quick pace. The natural flow of a round of golf, for these diverse players, is completely different. It is this natural flow that I want to discuss.
The natural flow of any player is not limited to their golf swing. The tempo of their swing is extremely important and generally correlates with how long it takes a player to loop around the course. The natural flow of a player encompasses their swing, their routines, how fast they walk between shots, their decision-making, etc. Every action during their round of golf is part of their natural flow of their round.
Natural flow is critical to low scores in tournaments. How many times have you played with people who stated they are a single digit handicap, yet shoot in the 90s! I realize it can happen once in a while, but not two or three days in a row. If asked about their challenges, they would suggest that they are just having a bad day. However, under closer scrutiny, they have changed their natural flow and it was completely messed up.
Novice amateurs try to ape a better golfer. This is a great practice (learning from others), but not during a tournament. I have played many rounds with players who completely change their natural flow under the pressure of competition; interestingly, the times I score the best is when I keep to may natural flow and ignore theirs. Sometimes this is challenging when playing with extremely slow competitors, but if it is their natural flow, there is nothing one can do. To compensate for slow play in tournaments, I have developed some techniques that work to keep my natural flow.
I will let you know what they are, but before I do I would like to know what you think. Am I crazy to think there is a natural flow to a persons golf game? Inquiring minds want to know!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!