How to Speed up your Golf Play

By Herm Otto

Golf enjoyment for players, and profitability for courses, is dependent on pace of play. Slow play is the bane of golf. Your game is better when you don't have to wait for those ahead of you or rush because the hole in front of you is open and those behind you are pushing you. A warning from a ranger to "please pick up the pace" can be upsetting to you no matter how friendly it is delivered. This article will help you to pick up the pace of your game.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Be early for your tee time. Proper pace of play begins with teeing off at the appointed time. Allow time for unloading your equipment, putting on your golf shoes, any desired practice or warm-up, purchasing any refreshments and driving your cart to the first tee.
Step 2
Mark your golf balls for identification purposes to avoid time wasted confirming your ball in play, or worse yet, playing the wrong ball.
Step 3
Carry a spare ball and tee with you to the tee box in case your first shot is out-of-bounds or out-of-sight. This way, you will not have to return to your bag for another ball or tee if you need to take a second, or provisional, tee shot.
Step 4
Limit your practice swings to no more than two before addressing the ball for each shot.
Step 5
Drive your cart to a location as close as possible to your, or your cart partner's ball after your shots. Drop that player off, and take the cart to the other player's ball. Do not wait for the first player to take the shot. That will occur while the cart is moving to the other player's ball location.
Step 6
Take the clubs that you need for subsequent shots, including your putter, when you leave the cart for an approach (to the green) shot. You can then walk directly to the green, without having to return to the cart, while the other player moves the cart to the greenside parking area.
Step 7
Park the cart at greenside as near as possible to where you expect to exit the green after holing out. This avoids backtracking.
Step 8
Go directly to the cart and move to the next tee box after holing out. Do not take time to record the hole score until you are at the next tee box.

Tips & Warnings

Pull the flagstick and set it down out of the way of play, if your putt is closest to it and you will be the last to putt. Pick up the flagstick and replace it immediately after the last player holes the last putt, if you are the first player to hole out. Set clubs other than your putter, that you have carried to the green, down in the path that you expect to exit the green along, to avoid leaving them behind. Set them across the flagstick on the ground, if you are the player who pulls the flagstick. Pick up your ball when your hole score in progress reaches a triple bogey. Make that your maximum score per hole, unless you are playing competitive golf where you must hole out and count every stroke. Avoid distractions that take you away from the game, such as searching for other players' lost balls or visiting with the beverage cart staff.
Pull the flagstick and set it down out of the way of play, if your putt is closest to it and you will be the last to putt. Pick up the flagstick and replace it immediately after the last player holes the last putt, if you are the first player to hole out.
Set clubs other than your putter, that you have carried to the green, down in the path that you expect to exit the green along, to avoid leaving them behind. Set them across the flagstick on the ground, if you are the player who pulls the flagstick.
Pick up your ball when your hole score in progress reaches a triple bogey. Make that your maximum score per hole, unless you are playing competitive golf where you must hole out and count every stroke.
Avoid distractions that take you away from the game, such as searching for other players' lost balls or visiting with the beverage cart staff.

About The Author

Herm Otto is an architect and was a university instructor for over 25 years. He is also an avid golfer who began golfing 10 years ago. As a Demand Studios writer, Otto writes golf and travel articles for GolfLink. He now resides in Arizona.

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