Ready Golf to Eliminate Slow Play

My last article on Slow Play sparked some interesting conversation. This is a real issue for most avid players and the solution, as I found out, cannot be found in one specific area. For this, I think we can all agree that continuous reminders and education are part of the solution to reduce slow play. I purposely used the word ‘reduce’ because I am not sure slow play will ever be eliminated.

I would like to thank MM Golf Studio for asking such a great question!

What is ‘ready golf’?

I know I talk about it all the time, I have touched on the topic from time to time, but I have never really provided a complete answer.

My view of ‘ready golf’ is pretty straight forward. It is not complicated, nor does it detract from the playing partner’s game and nor does it detract from my game. Here is what ready golf means to me when playing a regular round of golf:

  1. Walk with a purpose to your ball. No need to run, but walk as direct as you can at a comfortable speed for you. If a playing partner’s ball is near yours, chat along the way; however if your ball is on the opposite side of the fairway, chat later.
  2. Immediately after your playing partner hits, start moving towards your ball. Do not wait for them to put their equipment away to start moving.
  3. When you arrive to your ball, start your course management process. Decide what club to hit. If it does not interfere with your playing partner, pull your club out of your bag.
  4. When it is your turn to hit. Start your pre-shot routine. Then execute your shot. No need to wait for anything unless the person who just shot is standing near you.
  5. After shooting your ball, clean your club, put it away and start moving. There is the odd time when you want to think about your shot, but not every time.
  6. When on the green, the furthest player hits first, but while they are reading the green, you should be doing the same.
  7. Allow your playing partner to putt out if they want. My rule is if I am under 3 feet, I putt out as long as I am not standing on anyone’s line.
  8. First person to putt the ball in the hole, grabs the pin and replaces it when everyone is finished putting.
  9. I shut my phone off when I am playing. If you cannot for some reason, using the phone should only occur in between shots and while in motion.
  10. I do not need to use my distance measuring device on every shot. My Garmin Approach 6 is pretty quick to read, but using the laser range finder on every shot is a bit much for me.

I decided to stop at 10 guidelines I use for ‘ready golf’. There are many more, but I think you get the point. Be ready to play when it is your turn. Regardless of how many strokes you take, if you follow these guidelines, you should be able to shoot a round in about 4 hours.

Anyone have anything to add?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!



9 thoughts on “Ready Golf to Eliminate Slow Play

  1. Pingback: My Top 5 Rules of Golf That Are Not Rules | The Grateful Golfer

  2. Great post as always. One I always try and live by is not stopping to mark score before moving to next hole, and if I am marking score and have honours, I hit before I mark down scores. Nothing worse then a foursome standing behind the green trying to count their strokes while another group sits in fairway waiting for them to move.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim,

    Great list. In certain situations I don’t mind playing out of turn. Say three of us are on the green and somebody is coming out of the bunker. If he splashes it out and is still further from the hole, there is no reason the other 3 can’t start putting (assuming you aren’t standing in someone’s line)…by the time he/she rakes the bunker, grabs their putter, lines up their putt, it can unnecessarily waste a lot of time. Not everyone seems comfortable doing this though, but it can be a big time saver, and also takes the pressure off the person in the bunker to hurry up and rush their putt. They can take their time this way without delaying the group.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jim- what are your thoughts on honours on the tee box vs whoever is first to the next hole? Also, how about playing out of turn if you are on another player’s back/blindside while they are getting ready? What drives me nuts are pre-shot routines where a player takes more than 2 practice swings and/or someone absolutely frozen over a ball for 15 seconds before pulling the trigger but that’s hard to speed up as a playing partner without being rude.


    • Crunchy

      Honours on the tee box are only important for competition. Play ready golf the rest of the time.

      My group will play out of turn if we are not in each others way. Not all players like that. We do avoid hitting at the same time or where the sound of ball contact will bother each other.

      The last is a tough one. I generally talk to the person off the course or I mention that I have a timing to meet. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

      Great questions and the answers are not as easy as it sounds. If you have any other questions send them my way.


      Liked by 1 person

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