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Friday, September 17, 2010

Slow Play can be Eliminated!

I had a question from one of my students regarding slow play.  She said she gets frustrated when waiting for her playing partners to hit and wanted to know how to get them to play faster without hurting their feelings.

I thought it was a great question and I wanted to share my answer with all.

It just so happens I am known as a fast player in my PGA Section.  Not long ago, in an event I was competing, one of my fellow competitors was fast like me, and the other was a little slower.  At the completion of the round, the slower player exclaimed "I felt like I was sprinting to keep up with you guys today"!  I laughed and informed him I go by the theory of "hit it and get it".  It is not we were rude to the third player, we just went about our business in a brisk manner. 

Back to the answer regarding slow play, I find if I drive the cart I have some control of the pace of play.  I try to set the example for a quicker pace.  Here are a few more suggestions which might help all golfers play faster.

Here is a picture of my favorite headcover.

1.  Announce on the first tee "let's play ready golf today", which simply means whomever gets to their shot or the next tee first goes ahead and tees off.  Disregard honors.

2.  When approaching the green of the hole your are playing, always park the cart on the cart path either to the side of the green of behind the green.  In other words, do not park the cart in a place which you have to walk back to the cart toward the fairway and hold up the group behind you.

3.  Write the scores down at the tee of the next hole while the others are hitting, not when you are still sitting in the cart by the green of the hole you just played.

4.  If you have to take a practice swing, just make it one swing, not two or more.

5.  Standing over the ball too long really slows play down.  You should not have a grocery list of swing thoughts before you swing.  Going through this list causes "paralysis by analysis".

6.  When you arrive at the next tee, have your glove on and ball and tee in hand.  Do not wait until it's your turn to play and realize you are not ready.

7.  While the others in the group are hitting is the time to do all your pre-swing work.  This includes figuring yardage, deciding club choice or reading the green.  Does it seem that all these new devices such as GPS units and range finders are slowing down the pace of play?

8.  If you are having trouble getting your headcover back on your driver, then do not fiddle with it.  Get back in the cart and put it on while driving to the next shot (my personal pet peeve).

9.  All players should watch each other's shots so balls which might be in deep rough, trees or hazards can be located quickly.

I am not advocating for golfers to sprint around the course mind you...just be ready to play when it's their turn!  This rule especially applies to tournament play.  Your pace should be the same for a casual round as it is for a tournament round.

If everyone would abide by these suggestions, slow play will be eliminated.

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