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Tips to Stop Slow Play in Golf

By: John Flood | Wed 14 Nov 2012 | Comments ()

Following on from our previous editorial features on the issue of slow play in amateur golf below are some tips that we can all think about to ensure we don't get held up nor hold anyone else up out on the golf course.

We've all heard the saying:

'Keep up with the group in front not in front of the group behind'

simply, slow play is caused by a general lack of awareness of what’s happening on the course and ones responsibility to other players. Good common sense is all that is required but lots of people forget this on a golf course.

The following points are something we should all think about when out on the course, obviously this may not suit all situations notably competitive games but for social play these tips to help on the path to eradicting slow play.

  1. Adopt ready golf – the honour is not always necessary in most games – only really meaningful in matchplay. Therefore, if someone’s ready to play and it’s your honour and you’re not, invite them to play their shot.
  2. Mark you card after you’ve played your tee shot or while someone else is playing their tee shot on the next hole - at no other time mark your card on the green or before playing tee shot if no one is playing.
  3. Be conscious of your place on the course and keeping up with play.
  4. Don’t chat approaching your ball when you could be working out club selection , distance. etc. In general be ready to play your shot when it’s your turn to play.
  5. Walk briskly from the green and between shots.
  6. Keep a tally of your score at all time – don’t start to count the shots when asked by the marker.
  7. If you have a pre shot routine longer than 15 seconds you should review it – it will probably benefit your game as well.
  8. Always leave bags and loose clubs at the exit route to next tee. On a new course when walking towards the green check the direction of the next tee.
  9. Check from time to time if your group is falling behind or if you holding anyone up.
  10. If your ball is nearest to the hole and someone has just played out of a bunker – offer to rake it for them so they can take their shot - think “team” not indivudual.
  11. If you’re first to hole out then pick up the flagstick and be ready to replace it when last putt is made.
  12. If in a fourball and 2 balls are lost in different areas split into two pairs and search for both balls at same time.
  13. If possible watch each players ball and try and get a marker on where it landed.
  14. Start to read you putt when you’re approaching the green or when other people are putting, not when it’s your turn to play.

Remember if you’re not doing the above things then you’re depriving other members of your group and indeed the whole course of a fair share of time if they’re trying to keep up. 

Finally, golf is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and not spent moaning about the time to play or being held up and if you feel under pressure from a group behind let them through.





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