One thing that will get golfers riled up in a hurry is slow pace of play. If you’re new to golf, “pace of play” is literally the pace at which your group plays golf. Golf courses set tee times based on an average pace of play. Slow pace of play occurs when a group is taking more than the average amount of time for every shot.
When this happens, everything gets backed up on the course. The people on the tee can’t tee off because the people in the fairway can’t hit their second shots because of the people on the green who are playing behind the pace of play.
This can be frustrating for all golfers, including the slow players! No one really wants to hold other people up on the course. If you’ve played for long at all you know you get into a “zone” or “zen state” on the course. That flow gets interrupted when you have to wait to play every shot because of a slow group.
So, here are a few tips you can use if you get a warning about slow play on your in-cart GPS or if the group behind you seems to be waiting frequently for you to finish.
- Pick up. If you haven’t gotten to the green after hitting 4 or 5 shots, you need to pick up and move on. If someone else in your group is struggling like this, suggest they drop where you are near the green, or pick up.
- Don’t go searching for balls. At Redlands Mesa we ask that, if you hit out of bounds, you take your appropriate penalty strokes and hit again either from where you are or line of flight, etc. Please do not spend time searching the OOB areas for balls. There are unseen hazards like moving rocks, snakes, etc., and searching for balls takes time. This, in turn, slows down your pace of play. If you do not see your ball after a few seconds of searching, take your penalty stroke(s) and drop.
- Let faster players through. If you see that a two-some behind your foursome is waiting every shot, let them play through. Doing this at the start of a par 3 is a great idea. Another option is to go ahead and tee off while that group putts out and then let them play through. You let them tee off and walk to their balls and you walk to yours and wait for them to finish playing.
Golf is a great sport and it can be so much fun! Help others to have a great time too with these Pace of Play tips.