This week’s Tuesday tip is good for golfers of any playing ability, age, gender, style, location, orientation… you name it. All golfers should play at a reasonable pace of play.
We watch the pro golfers on TV lining up putts from every possible angle. We watch them discuss yardages, angles, wind, shot shapes and more with their caddies. They analyze every possible factor in the shot. These guys are pros and they are playing for millions of dollars. They’re also usually playing in twosomes or threesomes, finishing in about four hours despite all of the analysis.
We Play Too Slow
As amateurs on public courses, we’re not lining up putts to win the Masters and millions of dollars, though that $2.00 nassau may feel like a million if you win it over your buddies. We don’t need to line up putts from 12 angles or switch clubs 12 times before hitting an approach shot from 114 yards.
Amateurs generally play way too slow.
Tips On Speeding Up Play
I see many amateurs, especially those just starting out, take about 500 practice swings before they hit the ball. Reduce that down to ONE practice swing which will give you the feel of the club, then hit it! If you have to “practice” before every shot, go to the driving range and practice there first. Bring one swing onto the course. The less time you spend over a shot, the less time your brain can have to get in your way. The less time you spend over a shot, the less time you’ll hold up the group behind you!
Keep up with the group in front of you. Your group can only play as fast as the group in front of you. Do your part and keep up with them.
Play real golf. Don’t play mulligans. Mulligans take up more time and you will never really know what score you shot or if you are improving.
In the early days of golf and still in golf’s home of Scotland, a round which takes over three hours is considered slow. Here in the USA we are accustomed to 4.5-5 hours. Try to play at a pace of play which is at or under two hours per nine holes.
If you are struggling to keep up the pace, let faster players play through. They’ll be thankful and overall play on the course will be sped up.
When figuring out yardages, bring a few clubs with you. Then you can hit the shot right away, rather than walking back and forth from your bag/cart to get a club.
When playing in a group, play “ready golf.” Ready golf is where players don’t worry about who has honors. The players simply proceed to their ball and hit when they are ready.
Speaking of proceeding to their ball, players should all go to their ball and figure out what shot they are going to play and be ready to hit it when it is their turn. Don’t travel as a group to each player’s ball, watch them hit, then go to your own balls to start your shot process.
There are many more ways to speed up play. I’ve just touched on a few of the big ones. Speed it up. You’ll enjoy your round more and so will the group behind you. I bet you’ll notice that your scores won’t be any worse, and my even be better.