In the last PGA Tour, the issues of slow pace of play frustrated fans and players alike. Whether it’s a professional tour or just a friendly afternoon round, slow pace of play takes the fun out of the game. According to a recent article, the vast majority of golfers named slow play as the largest factor in taking away from their enjoyment, and 50% said slow play caused them to walk off the course in frustration. Four hours is the acceptable time frame for an 18-hole course, and golfers should meet that maximum standard.
Robert Lammle, a golf enthusiast in Utah, says the key to combating slow pace is players must be prepared and ready to play when it’s their turn. Playing at a brisk pace is proper golf etiquette and it’ll keep your muscles loose. While golfers are not encouraged to rush their shots, they should use their waiting time to get ready for their next stroke and to plan their strategy. Here are some of Lammle’s tips for improving your pace of play on the golf course.
- Choose the correct tees for your skill level. – To promote a brisk pace on the golf course, the PGA and USGA have sponsored the “Tee it Forward” initiative, which encourages players to use the correct set of tees for a faster, more enjoyment game. Using the wrong set of tees adds strokes and time.
- Use the group in front and behind you to measure your pace. – If you see the group at the hole ahead of you moving on, it’s time to speed up your pace. Do not leave a hole’s distance between you. Also, if the group behind you is ready to move on, don’t let your pace hold them up. Hit your shot within 20 seconds of reaching your tee to maintain a brisk pace of play.
- Don’t travel as a pack. – All the members of your group should not walk together to each ball. Instead, each person should walk right to his or her own ball to save time. Also, if two golfers are sharing a golf cart, the second player should drop off the first player at his/ her ball. The second player should then head to his/her ball, and the first player should walk to the cart after hitting.
- Plan ahead. – As your walking to your ball, think about your next shot. When you reach your ball you won’t have to spend a lot of time planning your shot.
In addition to players taking these steps to improve their pace, golf facilities should reconsider how they send off golfers. By adding more time in between groups, the course will avoid backups and more players can play the course.