Ready Golf and Marking Your Golf Ball

Ready golf is a huge topic and continues to garner attention around the world. The governing bodies are trying to speed up play to attract new and younger players to the links. I think this is an admiral goal and see some changes that will help reach their objective. But, there comes a time where ready golf changes the pace of play so much that players cannot attain a groove or tempo to their game. And marking their ball on the green is a perfect example.

Recently, I had a response of Pete Robbins from White Dragon Golf who said that his course recently adopted ready golf everywhere on the course including the green. So, players could be putting when someone is raking a sand trap, in theory, or replacing a club to pull out their putter. In some cases, this does not even offer the opportunity for players to mark their ball. I think this is taking ready golf too far, but I am sure the new rule interpretation will evolve into a happy medium as time progresses.

I met up with friends on the 10th hole of Osprey Links Golf Course as Pat was putting, I saw this:

Pat putting with his opponents ball just inches from the cup.

Now, Pat has the opportunity to have his opponent mark the ball, but he stepped up and made his shot anyway. The interesting thing to me was that his opponent was waiting for Pat to ask him to mark the ball and did not think to do it immediately. This is a new aspect of ready golf that has crept into the game over the past year or so. In the past, and rightfully so, the ball by the hole would have been marked automatically without any hesitation.

I have to admit that I am guilty of the same thing. Both putting with the ball in my field of vision and not immediately marking my ball around the cup. I think that with the pin in rule, I as golfer have become lazy and lost a bit of golf etiquette. This is my bad and it needs to stop.

So, I am going to revert back to my old ways and mark my ball all the time. There is a benefit to this practice of always marking our golf ball and this quick video from Kathy Hart Wood Golf explains it perfectly:

I suggest that ready golf is changing the basic etiquette norms on the golf course. Some for the good and others, not so much. Regardless of where you stand, I think always marking your ball on the green is a good practice and I am going to start doing it today!

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


8 thoughts on “Ready Golf and Marking Your Golf Ball

  1. Jim, if you were instructing a beginner on golf etiquette, how would you do it? Teach them ready golf or the traditional system of the honor on the teeing ground and who is farthest away plays first? I would do the latter and think “ready golf” is more of an advanced concept for seasoned players. My group usually plays ready golf on the teeing ground although it’s usual and customary not to step in front of someone who’s just made a birdie 🙂 On the rest of the course, we usually pay whomever is out plays first. Keeps the game moving at a reasonable rate. And I am with you on marking the ball. Don’t like to see another one when I’m putting.

    Good topic; thanks!



    • Brian,

      I would start with ‘old school’ etiquette. It is the best way to teach how golf is played in a quick way. I think many people are forgetting what ready golf really is and you are right, it is an advanced concept. I started marking my ball on the green yesterday and I like it. Have a great weekend.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If asked, I would not make anyone mark that ball. It would not bother me in the slightest. My eyes would be focused down not at the hole so I wouldn’t even see that ball while making my putt.

    The guys I played with today played ready golf. Not always on the green, but even there at times. I was thankful for it as they weren’t very good golfers. They were all pretty good putters, but had lots of trouble hitting any other shots. So ready golf kept them moving somewhere faster than a snails pace.

    I guess what I’m saying here is it depends on the quality of the players I’m with as to how I deal with some of the finer points of golf etiquette. Some will appreciate it and some won’t and may even be put off by someone who follows it too closely. I try to go with the flow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin

      Your sentiments of foing with the flow is a good one. I am still a mark the ball kind of guy, buf I am sure over time things will change. We must all evolve to be better players and enjoy the game.

      Cheers Jim


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