R&A Speeds Up Play with Ready Golf in Amateur Championship

By: Golfshake Editor | Thu 23 Feb 2017 | Comments


Slow play has been widely condemned and discussed at all levels of the game, with many solutions being put forward. Ready Golf is just one of the more effective ones, and that influence has made an impact within the R&A, who have decided to implement it during the 36-hole strokeplay section of this year's Amateur Championship at Royal St. George's in June.

Martin Dempster of The Scotsman, reported that the governing body's chief executive, Martin Slumbers had said: “Pace of play is something that we’ve been talking about extensively in the last 12 months. The more evidence that I’ve seen this year, the more I’m going to continue talking about it because I think it is increasingly important to the development of the game.

"In this year’s Amateur Championship, we will be implementing ‘ready golf’, which is one of the recommendations in our pace of play manual, for the stroke play, and that’s part of our bit to help with setting an example about the pace."

Perhaps in reference to controversial comments recently made by former world number one Jason Day, Slumbers also addressed concerns surrounding the speed of play on the major tours. 

"When you get to the professional level, there’s no doubt in my mind that the professionals are role models, and they are fantastic role models for young people. They’re healthy, they’re fit, they’re strong and they’ve got unbelievable skill.

"But part of that role model is pace of play, and there is no doubt that younger generations take a steer from them. So, I think I would just encourage the Tour pros to realise that pace of play is part of them being that role model, and it’s not helpful to growing the amateur game when the youngsters are slowing down."

It's refreshing therefore to hear that efforts are being implemented at the top amateur level, with Ready Golf having being previously used by the Golfing Union of Ireland during last year's the Irish Close House Championship.

But exactly is Ready Golf? It has been trialed at a number of clubs throughout the UK, including Lichfield. Here are just some of the principles (mostly common sense) that are set to make a difference to the time it takes to play.

·         Tee off as soon as the group ahead is clear.
 
·         The player who is ready should hit, not necessarily the one with the honour.
 
·         Don't all "cluster" at one ball, go to your own ball!
 
·         Hit when ready without delay.
 
·         Take your practice swings immediately if it does not disturb the player hitting. Watch their shot land to guard against the possibility for a lost ball, and then go through your own routine and swing away.
 
·         If you are the first one at your ball and you're ready to safely hit, let the others know that you are hitting.
 
·         Limit lost ball search to 3 minutes, except under competition rules.
 
·         Study your putt while others are putting.
 
·         Continue putting until holed out.  Don't mark unless you will step on someone's line or it's a really tricky putt.
 
·         If you can't score, quit putting and pick up.

Are you impressed by this move from the R&A, and would you like to see Ready Golf implemented further, perhaps even at your golf club? Let us know.


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