Slow Play and Golf

The debate of slow play is on the rise as golf season launches into full swing. I am not talking about the professional level, but the average player who hits the links once or twice a week. These players are semi serious about their game and also venture to the links for the enjoyment of playing. Some have zero concept of time; unfortunately, that can lead to a whole course of disgruntled golfers. Many courses do not have Marshalls, so policing the pace of play is left to the individual. Again, depending on their mindset, slow play is not on their mind while enjoying time on the links. Therefore, I think it is a good time to remind all golfers about ‘ready golf’.

I discussed my processes for ready golf in the past. I think it is worth recapping my ideas before moving forward.

Can I play through?
  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 S80 is pretty quick to read, but using the laser range finder on every shot is a bit much for me.

The above are a few suggestions to keep the pace of play moving. Golf is intended to be a bit of a social sport, but not a party. I have watched groups walk to every ball, wait for the player to hit, then as a group walk to the next ball. Five and half hours later, they finish their round satisfied they had a great round of golf. Meanwhile, the players behind them are melting with frustration.

The pace of play in golf is important. I am not suggesting that golfers sprint around the course, but aiming for a 4 hour and 15 minute (and average of 14 minutes a hole) round is not unreasonable. Actually on most courses, this timing is easily achievable. Pace of play is important for all golfers. Playing ready golf will help everyone enjoy their game and empower other players on the course to enjoy theirs. If your rounds take longer than 4 hours and 15 minutes, it might be time to reevaluate how you loop the links.

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


4 thoughts on “Slow Play and Golf

  1. Jim, #9 is key and solves the dual problems of distraction and blasting music. Leave that stuff at the TopGolf where you can take as long as you like to play. TopGolf appreciates the slower groups – brings in more cash.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do want to mention this though. Playing fast is great. We play ready golf in our skins games to keep the pace moving along even with how slow a couple of the players who sometimes join in are. Our core group likes to play fast. But when you decide to hit, it’s your responsibility to make sure anyone who is or who might be moving near your line of fire is aware of your intention. Even a glancing blow to the head isn’t fun. Ask me how I know. I walked into his line. He was hitting out of turn and didn’t look anywhere but his target and my focus was staying out of the way of the guy who was supposed to be hitting while still moving towards where my drive landed.

    The guy who did it is our longest hitter and he was upset because he’d hit a terrible shot. He was focused in on his own worries to the extent that he forgot he was playing in a group. That’s the danger we need to watch out for. It’s an easy trap to fall into. Again, ask me how I know. Only luck keeps anyone from having the right to forever remind me how they hit me in the head. lol

    Hey, I went out tonight to get in some quick short game practice. Started off with the sand wedge from the back of the teeing area so about 80 yards. (it’s short) Was doing ok. Working on trying to get the hand more forward at impact. Getting the timing right is giving me issues. I’m not getting to the left side enough so my impact is still steeper than I’m trying for. Anyway I hit a couple I liked with the sand wedge finally and switched to the 50 and just wasn’t dialing in the distance. So I decided to move off to the side and back some. Into the rough so I could get a 100 yard swing in. My default 80% shot with that club where I seldom have trouble with things like bending my lead arm, etc. Anyway, I jarred the first one. Didn’t bother to hit another. lol Moved up a little closer and hit the lob wedge with the rest of the balls. Then switched back to the sand wedge and hit all the balls that missed the green. Picked them all up and then dropped 3 every 5 yards on the way back. Chipped them all on and a couple in and picked them up and again and headed back up to the condo. A great way to spend the last half hour before sunset. I do believe that’s the first ball I’ve ever jarred. I’ve seen more than my share roll in, maybe a couple bounce in, but never have I seen one of mine land in the hole. Range or no, that’s fun to see. And hear too. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      Being aware of our surroundings is critical when playing ready golf. It ensures everyone’s safety and allows for faster playing. As far as your chipping practice, congrats on the great half an hour. Sounds like you are zeroing in on the money clubs.

      Cheers Jim


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s