Slow Pace of Play and How to Conquer Time Management

Did you know that the average round of golf in America is 4 hours and 17 minutes?  Lucius Riccio, Ph.D. did a study of 40,460 rounds of golf and that was his findings… but then why do you keep checking your watch and finding that your round is taking 5+ hours?

You’ll also notice that lately the discussion of slow play and actual penalties being given has increased on the PGA and LPGA.  Just a few weeks back even big name Jordan Spieth got hit with a slow play penalty.  …but since we are amateurs, here are some helpful tips on ensuring you and your group stay well within the guidelines and get you to that 4 hour desired round of golf.

 

Slow Pace of Play and How to Conquer Time Management

 

 Tip #1 – Unless you are playing in an organized type of tournament play as much as possible try “ready play.”  As you approach the tee if you’re ready to hit and the player with the low score on the last hole isn’t, go ahead and hit.  If you are in an organized type of play situation ensure that you are always ready to play and be mindful of club selection as you approach your ball.

 

 Tip #2 – If your pre-shot routine requires a 30 second dip, waggle, set up, and four practice swings consider rethinking the routine and reduce it down to 10 or 15 seconds.  It doesn’t sound like much but after 18 holes and four players the time adds up.

 

 Tip #3 – Once you’ve finished your hole head straight for the next tee box.  By updating your scorecard en route or at the next stop you’ll allow the group behind you to continue their approach to the green without having to wait.

 

 Tip #4 – Unsure if your ball went out of bounds or in the water?  Hit a provisional and don’t worry.  Once you get to your ball it’s no biggie to go hit your first in-play ball and pick up your provisional or simply play your provisional.  This will eliminate having to go back to the tee to re-hit if your ball truly is out of play.

 

 Tip #5 – If the twosome behind you is waiting on you, consider allowing them to play through if the opportunity arises.  In some cases you’ll be waiting on a group in front of you so playing through might not help… but, you can allow them to hit up to you and then continue yourself with your next s hots.

 

 Tip #6 – Consider your equipment.  Does your towel take time to get on and off your bag?  Do you fumble in your pocket looking for a ball marker or divot repair tool?  What is it about items you bring onto the course that could potentially slow you down?  At Frogger we know the value of pace of play which is why we provide several different tools to keep your game leaping forward.

 

Slow Pace of Play and How to Conquer Time Management

If you could add another tip, what would it be?  

4 Tips On Improving Your Putting Distance and Control

As the 2016 WasteManagement Phoenix Open came to a close last Sunday I wondered if anyone else saw the impressive showcase of golf talent that I saw.  Beyond the poise and confidence each final competitor embodied, what stood out most to me was the incredible control in their short game.   The initial 18th green we saw Fowler and Matsuyama each impressively sink putts beyond a mere few feet under insurmountable pressure to win or force a tie.  The next three playoff holes we saw each again sink extended length putts.  On the final playoff hole we saw both miss considerably clutch putts of much shorter distances but ultimately Matsuyama ended victoriously.

4 Tips On Improving Your Putting Distance and Control

 

Here’s the lesson I want to impart on the golf community – putting distance and control can make or break a round of golf.  Neither Fowler nor Matsuyama left one putt short in that playoff.  Why?  Distance control.  If you don’t get it to or passed the hole it’s surely not going to go in.

So now it’s time to work on your own personal putting distance and control skills:

1. Use Kris Moe the Frogger Pro’s simple and effective drill: Place one tee 7 feet away and one tee 30 feet away.  Practice hitting balls to one tee at a time.  Once you can hit three balls passed the tee and within two feet of the tee move on to the next distance.  Go back and forth.  You are creating muscle memory.

2. The level drill: As we had done with Kris Moe in tip number 1, start from the hole and in a straight line place one tee at 5 feet, then 7 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet, and so on creating a distance ladder so-to-speak.  Place a club three feet behind the hole.  Start with the first tee and putt to the hole.  If your ball goes in or within the three feet distance behind you can move to the next length tee.  If your ball falls short or hits the club behind the hole start over from the beginning.  This will continue to muscle train and brain train because rarely will you have every putt within the same distance per round.  Once you have successfully completed your ladder… start again!

3. Taking it to the fringe: Pick a spot on the green and place a tee and drop a handful of golf balls.  Aim towards the fringe and one by one hit each ball trying to get as close to the fringe as possible.  The goal here is distance and not going into a hole.  Again, repetition is key so continue this drill until each ball is successfully stopping within two inches of the fringe.

4 Tips On Improving Your Putting Distance and Control

4. Focus on practice your perfect pendulum putting stroke. By learning to control your putting stroke you will have a vast improvement on your distance and tempo.  What’s a great tool to help you practice?  You guessed it!  The Frogger Golf Arc Angel!

4 Tips On Improving Your Putting Distance and Control

Ultimately, the key is repetition and building memory muscle.  The more you practice the more confident your putting stroke will be.   It’s not just raw talent that makes the pro golfers so successful on the green.

Try the above tips and let us know if they work for you!

5 Tips for Playing More Golf

There is nothing more important to a golf fanatic than finding a way to play more golf.  I’m sure we’ve all tried the same list of ways to accomplish this goal but here is a quick list of unique tips you might not have thought of so far.

1.  X-Files can wait.  Yes, there is a magic little thing about TV these days called DVR.  Set it and save it.  This goes for any shows you love to watch including the news and major sporting events.  I mean… some things shouldn’t wait, like the final few holes of PGA Tour Sundays, but most things can indeed wait.

5 Tips for Playing More Golf

 

2.  Put your phone down and turn it off.  Okay, don’t get too crazy here but what I mean is if you are going to call in “sick” to work so you can hit the links be sure to turn off social media.  Believe it or not the boss can see all even with the best of privacy settings.  Don’t bother guessing whether or not your boss knows the ways of the hashtag, just keep this little secret of hooky golf to yourself.

5 Tips for Playing More Golf

 

3.  Shorten your game.  Find the local Par-3 course and go hit a round saving you on average about 2 hours for 18 holes.  Need it to be an even shorter time period?  Try just 9 holes.  Many of these courses don’t have a 9-hole rate but that’s okay because the greens fees are far less expensive than a standard full length round of golf.  Your short game will also thank you greatly!

5 Tips for Playing More Golf

4.  Invite your spouse.  Yes, by making your golf outing a date with your loved then you get the green light to go play golf.  Believe it or not playing with your significant other can be really fun and hey… if you can make the date a good time then the more likely you’ll be able to convince him or her to go play with you again.  Wah lah, another golf outing!

5 Tips for Playing More Golf

 

5.  For every latte, throw that money into a golf jar.  The average cup of coffee at the store costs $2.38 which is about $70 per month.  Maybe instead buy a standard $15 one pound bag of coffee to brew at home which breaks down to about an average cost of $0.27 per cup.  That’s a savings of $2 per day!  That money can easily be used for a great monthly round, or two depending on where you play.  So you may be a bit tired but at least you’re playing more golf!

5 Tips for Playing More Golf

 

What other tips can you think of that aren’t on the standard list?

Your 2016 Golf Bucket List – So Much More Than a Round of Golf

Every golfer has a golf bucket list.  What’s yours?  Five or so courses that you’d love to tee up and play?  Walk the same fairways the pros have and try your hand at that trophy winning 18th green?  Playing the same links as those who founded the game?  It’s there. You have your list and although you’ve dreamt of making it a reality you know it’s going to take some saving and planning… but what about all of those other items on your golf bucket list?

It’s not just a round of golf, it’s golf itself as an overall experience.  It’s being a part of a historical game loved by millions around the world.

Being as it is the beginning of the year, time is on your side to commit to completing some of your golf bucket list items and here is what I’m talking about…

Be a part of the crowd – Experiencing the 16th hole at the Waste Management Open on tournament Saturday. Watching it on TV and standing in the stadium are two totally different experiences.  Have you ever had the authority to cheer your loudest (or boo for that matter) a pro mid-tournament?  Even the pros get into it by tossing giveaways to the crowd, caddies race to the green (tripping and falling I might add), and so many more non-usual golf antics.  Old or young, the experience is worth it.  Beyond the 16th hole the rest of the course is stunning with amazing views no matter where you stand. There’s no need to sardine pack yourself in around the green to catch a glimpse, the course was made for spectators.  Couple your tournament weekend with a round of golf at one of the many amazing golf courses in the area.  Phoenix is a hot bed of great golf and the cost to get there, stay, play, and spectate are very reasonable.

Phoenix Open Waste Management

Keep going, and going, and going – Marathon golf. One of the most common complaints most golfers have is they don’t get to play enough golf.  Have you ever spent an entire day out on the course hole after hole?  Most haven’t but have always wanted to try.  Contact your local course and let them know your plans and I’m sure they’ll work something out for cost and tee time.  This one may take some planning, and you may be a bit sore by the end of the day, but it’s something every golfer has thought about.  How many holes can you get in all in one day?

When the lights go out – Playing a round of night golf. This seems a little counterintuitive but glow golf balls are all the rage right now and there are so many fun night golf outings and events across the country.  Sometimes keeping your eye on a little white ball in the day time is tough so imagine trying it at night!  Here’s how to make this one happen… Google.  Yup, that simple.  Do a quick search for “night golf” or “glow golf” and your zip code.  Chances are an event will pop right up.

Night golf glow ball golf

Golfing for a cause – Playing in a charity golf tournament. This is an easy one to check off your list this year because there are so many options and tournaments to join whether in your hometown or nearby.  Even if there isn’t one nearby have you thought about hosting your own charity golf tournament?  Pairing a game you love with a good cause is an all-around feel good.

Playing arguably the #1 golf course in the United States – Bandon Dunes. Without having to break the bank you can play one of the best, if not the best, golf courses our country has to offer.  Desperate to get to St. Andrews but still aren’t ready to fork over the expense? Bandon Dunes will give you an excellent taste for what your future trip will be like.  This affordable Oregon coast destination golf resort boasts five courses (one of which is a Par-3) and a charming neighboring town giving you that St. Andrews feel.  Links style golf, tasty food, pubs, and ocean breeze in your face are golf experience must haves.  Without a doubt Bandon Dunes is on your bucket list and this one you can check off in 2016!

Bandon Dunes golf

 

Well, what do you think?  Can you commit to completing one of these golf experience bucket list items this year?

 

 

Golfing in the Rain and Why You Need to Get Out and Play

I’m going to let you in on a little secret… golfing in the rain (or any form of bad weather) can make you a better golfer.  The typical golfer is steadfast about trying to avoid the cold and wet sogginess of a rainy day on the golf course but you’re holding yourself back.   I believe you’re limiting your abilities and you’re not taking advantage of some of the most fun you’ll ever have.

Golfing in the rain may be wet and cold but remember, it’s just rain.  Simply put, if you played the same handful of courses every single day for a year and every single day was a perfect bluebird and warm day you will not stand a chance when the elements do hit.

Why You Should Golf In The Rain

Okay… I’ve convinced you. The sky is turning a dark gray and the drizzle has started to fall.  Grab that golf rain suit you have tucked in the back of your closet and your golf cart poncho and let’s get them some good use.

First, rainy days tend to make for a quiet clubhouse.  While others avoid the challenge you can certainly take advantage of no slow play in front of you and because the course may be a bit desolate the pro shop may even let you hop on for free or at a discount.  Worth asking!  … do be sure to stock up on your on-course drinks though because chances are the bev cart isn’t going to be roaming around making deliveries.

First approach to the green remember me whispering in your ear, “Go for the flag.”  Why?  Whether you’ve mastered the backspin or tend to have some long roll once hitting the green that’s not going to happen today.  Soggy greens mean you can absolutely without a doubt go for the flag.  The ball is going to stick or roll just a tiny bit at most.

Why You Should Golf in the Rain

Once on the green, and it’s probably one you’ve played a zillion times, the now sticky surface has created a whole new set of undulations, roll, speed and slope.  …and like that, you have a whole new golf course to challenge your game. That goes for the entire golf course!  Branches on trees are hanging lower or blowing harder from the wind, the sand is a bit thicker in the bunkers, the rough seems to hold your ball more, and thanks to the wetness falling from the sky your drives are also not going to have the same amount of flight you’re used to.  Accept the challenge and roll with it.

Don’t you feel like a kid again?  No one is telling you to stop splashing in puddles and instructing you to come indoors.  A good day in the rain can be a fun experience all the while helping you challenge your golf game.

…and let’s not forget, Scotland is most likely on your golf bucket list.  If you want to go someday expect there to be some rain and wind (if not a lot of it). Practice now, succeed later.

What are your words of wisdom to having a solid round of golf in the rain? Share below in the comments or read what others are saying below.

 

Rules Q & A: Etiquette or Rule – The Repairing of Divot Marks on the Putting Green

New to the game or an old timer, we’ve all been instructed to always repair our ball marks while on the putting green.

As my golf coach always said, “Fix your mark plus one more.  Always help leave the green in better condition than when you got there.”

Fixing a Ball Mark on the Putting Green

Makes sense because there are so many golfers who are too lazy to bend down and repair a major dimple their ball left which is such a pain because right when you have your most clutch putt it’s always perfectly aligned with the worst mark on the entire putting surface.  So this leads me to think about whether or not it’s against the rules to leave your ball mark… or is this just something that’s tied to the etiquette of the game?

I’ve done my homework and here’s what I’ve found:  There are no official USGA governing rules that require golfers to repair their ball marks or spike marks on the putting green.

Shame.

Fixing a Ball Mark on the Putting Green

At any rate, the USGA’s official statement in Rule 16-1 is centered on spike marks but does hold some keen intellect into their position on repair.  Although it would be beneficial for golfers to repair the surface of the green much like required to do so in a bunker, there are no rules permitting someone to simply walk away and make no attempt to leave the green the same as when they found it.

This all falls down to etiquette and the education of golfers to be considerate of other fellow golfers.  Golf is a game of integrity and respect, held with traditions that can be related to religion.  Let’s champion the “fix yours and fix another” concept and maybe lobby for an awarded stroke to those who take the six seconds to make this happen.

Is it too much to ask that you please repair your ball marks?  For goodness sakes you are damaging our sacred ground that the keepers are meticulously trying to maintain for everyone’s enjoyment.

What’s your approach to reminding players to make the fix?  Comment below and share how you handle this touchy situation.

Fixing a Ball Mark on the Putting Green

Lost Golf Ball Without Penalty

091212-embedded-golf-ballDid you know there is a situation covered in the rules of golf in which a player could lose a ball without incurring a penalty?  Normally a “lost ball” would mean that the player would have to replay a new ball from the spot in which the original ball was lost, under penalty of one stroke.  So if one hits a shot (1), then loses the ball (1 penalty stroke), then hits the dropped ball (3), the stroke total from that point would be three. This is not a fun situation and can be a score-wrecker!

Abnormal Ground Conditions

A lost ball in “abnormal ground conditions” however, would mean the player could drop a ball one club length from the nearest point of relief from the abnormal condition, without penalty.

So what is an abnormal condition? An “abnormal ground condition” is any casual water, ground under repair or hole, cast or runway on the course made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird.

In order for the free drop to be legal, the player(s) must be absolutely certain that the ball is in the abnormal ground condition. If there is any doubt the free drop would not apply and a likely stroke and distance penalty would be in order, unless the ball went into a hazard. In that case another set of rules regarding hazards comes into play.

Conclusion

In short, a player may be entitled to a free drop one club from the point in which a lost ball entered an abnormal ground condition. Such a condition might be an area of the course which is under repair like an area being re-sodded. Another example might be a flooded low point of a fairway with standing water. A third could be an area which the ball disappeared into a burrowing animal track or hole.

Once again though, the player(s) must be 100% certain the ball was lost in the abnormal conditions, and nowhere else.

Knowing the rules can save you strokes!

Free Up The Green As Soon As Possible

wente-2We’ve been covering some of the basics of golf etiquette as of late.  Proper etiquette will insure more enjoyment of the game for you, your group, and the groups around you.  One area many amateurs fail in the etiquette and pace of play department is “freeing up the green.”  Let’s discuss.

What is freeing up the green?  In simple terms it is getting out of the way so the group behind can play up.  How does one not properly clear the green?  Here are a few of the ways, which can be quite irritating and frustrating for the group who is waiting to hit their shots.

  • Hang around the green and practice putting or chipping
  • Stay at the green and talk to other players
  • Stand by the green or stay sitting in the golf cart marking your scorecard
  • Forgetting clubs or head covers by the green
  • Talking or texting with a mobile device

Common Sense

It’s simple, yet there always seem to be players or groups who have no clue that there are people behind them waiting.  Pay attention.  Be considerate of those behind you.

See you on the course.

Playing Through

Presidio2Golf etiquette seems to be a lost art these days.  If more players exercised good etiquette, we would all enjoy the game more and play faster!

One of the worst cases or lacks in golf etiquette is waving the group behind through.  Not enough do it, or even know about it.  Let’s discuss, shall we?

When to Wave a Group Through

If your group is falling behind the group in front of you while the group behind is constantly waiting for you, you’re likely playing a little slow.  There’s nothing to be ashamed of in this case.  It can happen and there are procedures and etiquette for dealing with the situation.

First and foremost try to pick up the pace, and catch up with the group in front.  If the group behind is still riding you and waiting too much, it’s time to give them the best wave in golf, asking them to play through and forge ahead.

Waving a group through is simple.  First you must catch their attention.  They’re likely looking closely, anxiously and possibly irritatedly waiting to hit.  When you have their attention, wave your arms in a “come on” fashion, indicating it is time for them to go through.  If they’re within shouting distance, give them a little shout too with something like “would you like to play through?”

The group behind should see this and wave back, and if they hear your call will yell back a thank you.

At that point it is time to move out of the way into a safe place and let them play through your group.  When the group behind is going by, a smile and a “have fun” will go a long way.  They should in turn say thanks.  In the event they’re too irritated, don’t sweat it.  You’re doing the right thing and they know it.

Conclusion

Remember, it is not embarrassing or shameful that you have to let a group play through.  It IS embarrassing and shameful to not let a group play through if you are playing too slow!

Looking for a Golf Ball

480px-BahnhofsuhrZuerich_RZWe all end up in a golf ball search at some point in time.  That shiny new ProV1 is too expensive to let go, and so is the chance of making a good score.  How long are we golfers allowed to search for a golf ball?

Five Minutes

Golfers are allowed five minutes to search for their ball, AFTER they have arrived at the search location.  The time does not start until the player arrives at the spot and is not timed from the moment the previous shot was played.

If a ball is out of bounds, there is no five minute time as the search applies to finding a ball that is in play.  Don’t was your time and the players’ time behind your group looking for an OB ball.

If the group behind is pushing you, wave them through and allow them to play on.  This will not only make them more happy and be more polite of you, it will give you more time to search for that shiny ProV1, and maybe turn a double or triple bogey into a par.

Search Smart

When searching during the five minute period, do so in an intelligent fashion, rather than aimlessly wandering around in random directions.  Take a grid-approach and walk a straight line through the area you think the ball should be in.  Move a few feet, turn around, walk the same line back.

To help keep up the pace of your group, help players look for their lost balls.  They should also in turn help you look for yours.

If a ball search begins, the player who lost the ball should inform the group as to the model of the ball, and if there are any unique identifying markings on it.  This will make the search go faster as players will not have to ask, “are you hitting a…” every time they find a ball.

Conclusion

Losing a ball now and then is simply part of the game.  Approach the search in a smart fashion and take no more than five minutes to look for it.