Prior to our current challenges, speed of play was an ongoing topic of discussion. One of the solutions for slow play was for amateurs to adopt the concept of ‘ready golf’. Basically, this means that every player, in between shots, should get ready to play their next shot. This is a concept I adopted years ago and with some great success. However, from my experience of playing with other amateurs, I am not entirely sure all amateurs have the where-with-all to actually execute the ‘ready golf’.
I discussed my processes for ready golf in the past. I think it is worth recapping my ideas before moving forward.
- 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.
- Immediately after your playing partner hits, start moving towards your ball. Do not wait for them to put their equipment away to start moving.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When on the green, the furthest player hits first, but while they are reading the green, you should be doing the same.
- 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.
- First person to putt the ball in the hole, grabs the pin and replaces it when everyone is finished putting.
- 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.
- 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.
My list is not all inclusive, there are many other ways to save time on the course. If you want to add some tips, by all means drop me a comment.
The topic of this article was first mentioned by Brian Penn from All About Golf. He suggested that most amateurs do not have the experience to play ready golf without disrupting the flow of the round. I believe it takes a great deal of understanding of how your personal game is played shot after shot. If you do not have established pre-shot routines, it is almost impossible to play ‘ready golf’ consistently.
I realize that my view simplifies the issue of slow play and ready golf, but I have watched players flounder shot after shot because they started their processes differently. They never seemed to get into a groove and as such wasted a great deal of time just trying to figure out how to play every shot.
Additionally, some amateurs do grasp the concept of walking to their ball. I watched many players stay even the with person shooting when they were on the opposite side of the fairway. They could have easily walked an additional 25 yards to their ball without impacting the current shooter. Their spacial awareness is limited what within five feet of their back. This might sound a bit harsh, but it really is not. It just is what it is.
‘Ready golf’ is a great solution for slow play. However, it does take some knowledge of one’s game to be able to advantage of when and where to apply ‘ready golf’ concepts. What do you think; is every amateur capable of playing ready golf?
I am a grateful golfer! see you on the links!