End slow play in golf for good
There isn’t a single golfer who hasn’t had to suffer through slow play in golf at least once in their time.
It’s the scourge of the game and, despite better clubs, balls and GPS devices, is still as prevalent now as it has ever been.
With a slow player dampening the game for all of us, we look at how you can speed it up next time you’re on the course.
Let people through
It seems an easy one but if you’re in a group of slow players, simply letting the group behind you play through will help your group feel less pressure from the people behind and the other group will be thankful.
Letting people play through (particularly if you’re in a group of four) is one of the most effective ways you can help keep a reasonable pace of play on the course.
Some courses have implemented marshals to ensure play stays quick on courses to help eliminate slow play in golf.
They help to ensure everyone is adhering to a reasonable pace of play by asking people to speed up and reminding players to keep up with the group in front, and can help maintain play throughout the course.
Ready golf is a more laid-back approach to playing, which allows anyone who is ready to take their shot.
A version of ready golf was adapted by the American Junior Golf Association, who saw threesome round times fall to 4:21hrs in 2011 – down ten minutes from the previous year.
Ready golf doesn’t just apply to being ready to take your shots though – it applies to all aspects.
If you’re already over par and don’t stand to gain anything from finishing, pick your ball up and move on to the next hole.
If you’re waiting for the group in front to get a reasonable distance away but one of your group won’t reach them, let them take their shot to save time.
Only use the greens for putting
After holing out on the green, make your way to the next tee box before doing anything else like writing your scores, taking practice swings or replacing head covers.
The sooner you leave the green, the sooner the group behind you can play onto the green, helping speed up play.
Restrict the balls
Tony Jacklin, the most successful European Ryder Cup Captain in golf, believes the ball is a culprit behind slow play in golf.
With the ball going further distances, any shot which isn’t straight will only go further off-line with the new materials they’re being made of.
You can see more on his thoughts below.
Work on your pre-shot routine
If you watch the pros on TV you’ll see they all have a long, methodical pre-shot routine which involves examining wind speed, taking multiple practice swings and talking to caddies.
Whilst this might be open to debate on the pro circuit, it’s a blight on an average course.
You should be able to play your shot in under 15-20 seconds – not the two minutes that’s commonly seen in professional tournaments.
Spend less time looking for lost balls
Losing a ball is never a good thing, however spending ten minutes looking for it is even worse.
Whilst spending a good amount of time looking for a lost ball when there’s nobody behind you is fine, spending the same amount of time on a busy day shouldn’t happen.
Adopt three minutes as a new time limit and, if not found after three minutes, drop a ball and play on.
Slow play in golf can ruin a good game of golf, and can, in some circumstances, hold up an entire course.
Whilst being stuck behind someone isn’t fun, making sure you recognise when you’re being the slow player. Remember – quick play, good day!
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