The Ability to Play Ready Golf

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.

  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.

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.

Pretty sure this is not ‘ready golf’.

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!

14 thoughts on “The Ability to Play Ready Golf

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  3. Hi Jim, I do not like some aspects of ready golf. Number four on your list states ‘When it is your turn to hit’ that is not ready golf, that is being prepared to hit when it is your turn. I hate someone saying on the tee, I am not ready, you hit. I have often thought during a competition that some people use this as a tatic to gain an advantage. Hitting on demand usually results in a poor shot. I once putted out first on a green, the other three still had to putt, but I was told to proceed to the next hole and tee off. My tee shot was never seen again,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jim, you’re right, there’s a lot involved with being ready to play “ready golf”. As you mentioned it starts with an established pre-shot routine. Also helps if you’re walking and can be argued that cart play makes it more difficult especially if you’re sharing a cart.

    Maybe it starts with challenging everyone to think about their upcoming shot before they get to their ball. That might save 15 seconds per shot. Take your average joe who shoots 100 and that’s knocking 20 minutes off their round right there!



    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian

      I agree that starting the shot process early is a good thing. I also think that there is lots of time for socializing between shots, but not on every shot. Ball location should drive that activity. Overall, I think a balance is needed between playing fast and slow.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a good topic but it has many facets. I agree that ready golf should be the rule of thumb. I play with one friend who is egregiously slow. He brings treats to ha d out to doing in people’s back yards who are connected to the course in some cases. I also agree with you idea to have less chatter and moving directly to your ball. But there are other factors. Many of us only get out once a week and this is primary social time with friends. I understand there will be more chatter and hanging a wee bit closer to each other throughout the day. Members who see each other all the time may be less inclined to talk to each other as much. Golf is a social sport. What I see often is that people who are gambling on games take the longest. They labour over every single iota of the round. Checking and re- checking, measuring and re-measuring. If you want faster rounds then stop gambling on the course – good luck with that. Ultimately how much time do you think you can save? Golf by its nature is a long game. Can you save 15 minutes? I guess ! But I think common sense should rule. Golf is a social sport and I do enjoy the time with my friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linley,

      I agree that golf is a social sport. But, I would rather be social for 3.5 hours and not 5.5 hours. I am sure there is a happy medium between the too. I understand that for many players golfing is a time to relax and enjoy their time outdoors, I do not have an answer to that. Not everyone is like me who play lots and enjoy looping at a quick pace.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m all for a quick pace and I don’t want overly long rounds. I hate waiting after each shot for an extended period of time. Like I asked – how much time do you think you can shave off from a 4 hr – 4 1-2 hr round? I usually find 5 1/2 rounds due to other issues beyond overly slow play.


  6. I don’t know that it’s always to an amateur’s advantage to adhere to all of the ready golf concepts. When playing with a better player, observation is a key learning tool and you can’t study someone else’s swing and prepare for your own at the same time.

    As to whether every amateur is capable of playing ready golf, I’m not so sure we all are. For one reason or another, it goes against the grain of some. The guy I played with today is a case in point. This evening I got a text message from him with a video of a sand shot I somehow miraculously made today. Apparently, not only was he watching my swing, he was taping it while waiting for his turn. I was more than a little surprised. I never knew he was doing that I was so into my game. The thing is, he was behind me. He should have hit first. But he is so slow that I was standing one foot in the bunker and one foot out 30 yards ahead of him before he got to his ball and rather than get his club out to hit his little chip up to the green, he grabbed his phone apparently and video taped me hitting out of the wall of a bunker. I think it might be awhile before he gets the full concept of ready golf.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin

      Exactly. Your story hits my point home. I will say though, we can still watch a better player over the course of 18 holes and still play ready golf. There would be plenty of opportunities I think. It is an interesting point to ponder.

      Cheers Jim


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