How to Let Someone Play Through

By Ryan Watson

golf, golf ball, golf club

The official rules of golf offer long and detailed descriptions of the game. They define the regulations for every shot, scoring, and even set limits on the size and weight of golf clubs. However, the official rules do not cover proper golf etiquette. Golf etiquette refers to all the unofficial rules and traditions that are expected of golfers while on the course. One of the cornerstones of golf etiquette is allowing golfers to "play through".

 

Pace of Play

Playing through refers specifically to the pace of play, so first golfers must understand this concept. The pace of play is the speed expected of golfers to complete a golf course. It refers specifically to how fast golfers actually golf. Tee times are set with this in mind, and rounds of golf are purposefully spread out to ensure no golfer impedes on another's game. 

Playing Through

However, there are certain circumstances where the careful planning goes out the window. Larger groups and inexperienced golfers may take longer than smaller and more experienced groups. As a general rule, you should try and keep pace with the group in front of you. If the group in front of you is more than one hole ahead of you and your group is slower than the group behind you, you should invite the group behind you to play through. This means allowing the group behind you to play the next hole and thus leap frog you on the course. Playing through is a polite way to alleviate the differences in pace of play that can happen between groups of golfers. Once everyone in the group playing through has finished the hole, it is safe for your group to tee off. 

About The Author

Ryan Watson is a professor who has written for GolfLink since 2017.
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