Helpful Tips to Improve Pace of Play
Playing at a better pace is not about hurrying up or rushing around the course. It is simply about being more efficient with your valuable time, as well as everyone else’s. Saving 10 seconds per shot can improve your overall time by 15 minutes. Here are some helpful tips for improving pace of play:
Be on time
Confirm your tee time in advance and make it a point to arrive at the tee early with your golf equipment in order, ready to play. Remember essentials like extra balls, tees, gloves and appropriate clothing for the day’s weather conditions.
Choose the appropriate tees
Play from a set of tees that is comfortable for you – one where you are more likely to hit lofted irons into greens instead of hybrids or fairway woods. It is acceptable for players in the same group to play from different tees.
Try alternate forms of play to speed up your round
Match play, Stableford, best-ball and other formats are easy and fun alternatives to individual stroke play because not every player has to hole out on every hole. There are multiple resources online and in print to learn about the many different golf formats. Try one out.
Minimize your time on the tee
On the tee it is usually acceptable for players to “hit when ready.” You can also save time by playing a provisional ball (Rule 27-2) if you think your original ball might be lost or out of bounds.
Play ready golf
Play whenever it is safe to do so. The old etiquette of "you're away" no longer applies.
Plan your shot before you get to your ball
Once you are off the tee, think ahead. Determine your yardage and make your club selection before it is your turn to play. Very often, you can do this while others are playing, without disruption. If you take your glove off between shots, have it back on before it is your turn to play.
Keep your pre-shot routine short
Pick your line of play once and trust yourself. Try to take no more than one or two practice swings, then set up to the ball and play your shot. Most importantly, be ready to hit when it is your turn. Be efficient after your shot too. Start moving toward your next shot promptly.
Hit first, then search
Play your shot before going over to help your playing partner.
Keep the flagstick in
It is no longer a penalty to strike the flagstick while in the hole with a shot played from the green.
Finish short putts on the green rather than marking them.You’ll probably make more.
Be helpful to others in your group
Follow the flight of all tee shots, not just your own. Once in the fairway, help others look for their ball if you already know the location of yours. Volunteer to fill in a divot or rake a bunker for another player if needed. Be ready to attend the flagstick for others.
Keep up with the group in front of you
Your correct position on the course is immediately behind the group in front of you, not immediately in front of the group behind you. Arrive at your next shot just before the group in front leaves the area in front of you. If you are consistently not able to keep up and a gap opens in front of you, invite the group behind you to play through.
It’s okay to pick up
The handicap system allows for a maximum score. If you reach it, pick up, regroup, and try again the next hole. The max scores is a net double bogey for any player. Par of hole + 2 Strokes + Any handicap stroke(s) that the player receives on that hole.