European Tour players were trailed by roving marshals with big, blue shot clocks in the Shot Clock Masters.  (Getty Images) "Time par" on the Old Course in St. Andrews is a swift 3:57.  (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)

It takes a village to play a golf course quickly



Kudos to the European Tour for trying something outside the box with the "Shot Clock Masters."

Now, while I don't think a big, electric blue shot clock behind the golfer is what the Scots had in mind when conceiving this game of leisure several centuries ago, drastic times call for desperate innovation - or at the very least some spitballing.

Pace of play has been a hot topic in pro golf so far in 2018. Earlier this year, J.B. Holmes spent four agonizing minutes in the breezy fairway of the 18th hole at Torrey Pines - only to hook a layup into the rough.

More recently at The Memorial, Patrick Cantlay began rubber-necking from ball to pin upwards of 13 times before pulling the trigger. Holmes, also a contender on the weekend, had his moments too.

It's safe to assume pace will slow to a crawl during the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

Slow play isn't going anywhere, but it's still worth pointing out the success of the format. Statistics released by The European Tour prove that being on the clock made a difference. Last year, rounds averaged four hours and 40 minutes. In 2018, it took an average of four hours and 15 minutes to complete the first three rounds with threesomes, a 25-minute difference. What's really interesting is the scoring improved while the players went faster, averaging 72.24 for the tournament as compared to the 73.37 scoring average at the tournament from 2010-2017.

The truth of the matter is the pro tours can saber-rattle all they want about pace, but until players are penalized shots regularly, it's not going to improve. But before we shame players caught in the act of extended routines, consider Rex Hoggard's column for GolfChannel.com. He argues that less emphasis should be placed on players' routines and more so on the amount of overall players on the course at once:

Officials will explain much of this hold up is the byproduct of math. On Sunday, there were 25 groups on the course at one time. Even with 10-minute intervals between groups, that’s going to lead to eventual congestion by the time each wave clears their opening nine holes...

As much push back as Holmes received on Sunday when he was paired with Tiger Woods, it’s worth noting that Woods’ group waited on the fifth tee, in the fifth fairway, on the eighth tee ... you get the picture.

These holdups can occur due to aspects that are singular to pro golf: calling over rules officials, waiting for galleries or TV crews to get set, or a course's routing that might require golfers on a green near a back tee close by to pause for one another.

#LiveUnderTimePar

Old Course St. Andrews scorecard


I've never played golf with a shot clock (and it sounds awful frankly), but a recent round at the Old Course in St. Andrews came pretty close. When we walked off the 18th hole, my partner tallied up five times we were asked by a marshal to speed up play. We finished in 4 hours, 5 minutes, just outside the Old's expected pace of 3:57 posted on the scorecard. (And can I just say that I love that the Old is willing to promote a sub-4-hour pace? Have you ever seen courses with a 4:45 "time par"? Not exactly aspirational.)

If you've played the Old you already know this, but this is probably the most aggressively-marshalled bucket-list course on the planet. Many high-end courses in North America who collect $250-plus green fees may be bashful about cattle-prodding its paying customers. Not here. In fact, after the 9th green, a marshall wouldn't let someone in our group use the bathroom behind the green until we teed off on 10.

I don't think we were playing too slow. Frankly the round felt a bit rushed (a society of ladies two-ball matches followed us). We were paired with two older gentleman who took their time over their balls and would walk off shots if they were within 30-40 yards of the green. My partner and I took less time to hit and walked faster, but on occasion our ball was in an adjacent fairway and we had to wait for foursomes to tee off. The organized chaos of the out-end loop from Nos. 7 to 11 usually causes backups, too.

I also suspected that by not having a caddie in the group, it probably made the course marshals more wary of us. For courses with mandatory caddies or forecaddies like the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, caddies are there to keep an eye on pace as much as they are to carry the player's bag. More and more caddies are equipped with "Tagmarshal," a GPS beacon that helps rangers keep an eye on bottlenecks without even having to hassle foursomes.

But one thing I've noticed about the Old Course compared to commonly-known five-hour rounds stateside like Pebble Beach or Whistling Straits is that whenever I speak with someone about their memorable Old Course round, they usually tell me they played pretty well. Not only does the design warrant chances for all abilities to fare okay, it's also because there is a rhythm golfers find on the Old vs. the more stop-and-go nature of difficult, bucket-list experiences over here.

Pace of play culprits in the amateur game

Recently, a golf course in New Jersey closed nine of their 18 holes, citing time constraints of the modern golfer and particularly the Millennial.

But speaking as a borderline Millennial myself, "value" isn't about playing half the holes in half the time, it's playing the same amount of holes in half the time.

It's a challenging proposition, and one that requires everyone in the daily-fee ecosystem in harmony, from the player to management to the architect and developer.

Management-wise, lower-end facilities might jam too many foursomes into a packed tee sheet in 6- to 8-minute intervals. Or, championship daily-fees might set the course up too difficult with thick rough or difficult pins on weekends.

Even the beverage cart can cripple the flow. Has your group ever ordered four different mixed drinks in the fairway on a Saturday afternoon? It takes 10 minutes to get moving again.

As for the paying golfer, two of the biggest hang-ups I've noticed are:

1. Many American golfers are only playing a few rounds a year and thus don't feel the inclination, nor do they have the know-how to play efficient golf.

2. Entirely too many golfers don't know the little things that lead to sharing a golf cart efficiently.

Lastly, and this both crucial but ultimately the toughest to fix, architects or developers who route the course poorly cause bottlenecks or unnecessary walks or drives between holes.

Often times I hear golfers talk about amateurs taking too much time reading putts, stalking the hole from all angles like Jordan Spieth, but frankly I think most amateurs don't take enough time on the shot itself. In Hoggard's column, he reports the average PGA Tour shot takes 38 seconds (42 seconds on the tee and 32 on the greens). Average golfers take more shots and play in foursomes, but if they could have a repeatable pre-shot routine around 25-30 seconds, that would be excellent.

We're in the thick of the summer high season in the northern U.S. and Canada and surely tee sheets are going to be packed. If you do the little things right before you get to your golf ball, you should have plenty of time for waggles, looks at the hole and the like for each of your shots.

What are some things your home club could be doing in order to speed up the pace? Let us and your fellow golfers know in the comments below!

Jun 08, 2018



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dwc's avatar
dwc wrote at 2018-06-19 14:23:05+00:00:

Just played Shoal Creek (Caddies required) 3 days after the US Women's Open. We played with another couple (we were a three ball) and with the rough still up and wild shots frequently, we still played easily in under four hours. I am convinced that carts have made the game much slower - cart etiquette and pace of play be damned with most groups .

PJ's avatar
PJ wrote at 2018-06-15 04:39:03+00:00:

How many times have you watched a player hit a shot, walk back to the cart and place the club in the bag. Get in the cart proceed to your next shot. If it is on the green well done,park the cart in designated spots or behind the green if no designations are visible. Golf is a game with rhythm and movement Move it

Wayne's avatar
Wayne wrote at 2018-06-15 00:51:39+00:00:

Have not done enough to promote Tee it forward. I' m 67 and can still drive 200+ yards and usually play the white tees,.I play at a muni and often play wth gentlemen 75 and over most of whom drive 150 yards or less and insist on using the white tees when gold(senior) tees are present. Let's promote tee it forward

bmather's avatar
bmather wrote at 2018-06-14 15:49:01+00:00:

Two things. Play ready golf. Go to your ball and prepare for your shot. Don't walk with or wait for the other players to play before you move to your ball. Second, place your clubs, walking cart or golf cart on the back side of the green so you walk off towards the next hole rather than leaving thinks in front of the green.

Lanson's avatar
Lanson wrote at 2018-06-14 02:21:46+00:00:

GET A LICENSE! I'm serious; get some accreditation from a golf pro after having taken some golf lessons and gone through some discussions on etiquette before you can be allowed on a golf course during peak time. This is the rule in many European countries and would ensure fellow golfers respect the sport and more importantly each others.

Lanson's avatar
Lanson wrote at 2018-06-14 02:20:10+00:00:

GET A LICENSE! I'm serious; get some accreditation from a golf pro after having taken some golf lessons and gone through some discussions on etiquette before you can be allowed on a golf course during peak time. This is the rule in many European countries and would ensure fellow golfers respect the sport and more importantly each others.

dwc's avatar
dwc wrote at 2018-06-19 14:25:48+00:00:

Not a bad suggestion, but there are still a lot of experienced golfers out there - especially habitual cart riders - that dawdle.

wfwallace's avatar
wfwallace wrote at 2018-06-20 18:34:41+00:00:

I never had a lesson. Taught by my Father, who EMPHASIZED a quick pace AND replacing divots AND repairing ball marks. I play to an 11 hcp and despise slow play. Mis-use of carts is a problem, so is "Cart Path Only". Make it a policy at the pro shop to be EMPHATIC about pace of play, and move slower groups aside when they cause a bottleneck. If the paying customer does not like it (after being told pre-round) then give them their money back (pro-rated for holes played. Also at pro shop, get a valid I.D. from EVERY player in EVERY group so the slower players can be identified. A single slowpoke can drag a whole group down.

stephen's avatar
stephen wrote at 2018-06-13 16:16:12+00:00:

players should look only for their own ball, not other peoples. sounds selfish, but saves a lot of time, and if you can't find your ball you probably won't have a good score anyhow.

Also, keep semi rough short and plenty of it. stops ball running in to more serious trouble,and for most players easier to play from than a tight lie on the fairway!

kaz's avatar
kaz wrote at 2018-06-13 04:42:14+00:00:

cut the rough so you do not have to hunt every ball you hit in the rough.. were not playing in the us open

Murray Henley's avatar
Murray Henley wrote at 2018-06-13 01:41:18+00:00:

At my semi-private club, I have noticed two additional factors contributing to slow play: (1) Distance measurement devices used on every shot, even 20 yards pitches... (2) Players concentrating on their phone between shots instead of on what they should do next.

Phil Pearce's avatar
Phil Pearce wrote at 2018-06-13 15:40:07+00:00:

But in the UK we DO NOT have these things. Mobile telephones are banned by the club on AND OFF the course. Also, the only distance markers which I see are the 150 & 100 yard markers. Surely one has to use their skill to select the correct club for those distances.

Kenneth 's avatar
Kenneth wrote at 2018-06-13 00:07:18+00:00:

they forgot: go to your ball not go to everybody ball

Mark's avatar
Mark wrote at 2018-06-12 23:12:49+00:00:

As someone who routinely plays 18 in less than 2-1/2 hours, I become very frustrated when I get stalled behind slow players. Ideas: (1) if you ride rather than walk, you should always have a club in your hand, either the one you just hit, or the one you are going to hit next (eg. a putter as you head for the green) . (2) read your next shot as you move towards it, either walking or riding. You should have your club, strategy, etc.. figured out before you get to your ball. (3) record your score at the next tee, not at the green. Get out of the way for the group behind you. (4) be realistic about your game. You are probably not able to putt like Spieth, so don’t spend 5 minutes trying to figure out the smallest details on a 20’ putt. You are just trying to get it close enough to avoid a 3 putt, if it goes in it is mostly luck. So make a read as you walk onto the green, check it and then putt! (5) don’t mark your ball after your 1st putt, putt out and get out of the way. The list goes on, but the idea is to step up to the ball and hit it!

Jack's avatar
Jack wrote at 2018-06-12 21:52:29+00:00:

Back in the 90's when we played the Old Course , the marshals would have the fist two players that finished putting tee off on the next hole,. While unusual we adapted to the pace. I finished with a bogey and par on the last two holes, so I had no complaints. Don't remember the time we finished in but the marshals had no problems with our foresome.

Bob's avatar
Bob wrote at 2018-06-12 20:52:33+00:00:

He is not by himself, but Putnam ranks up there with the slowest. Refreshing when DJ(in same twosome) goes about his business with haste .....................is it youth and "Johnny-come-lately" that are the problems?. If so, why doesn't the Tour put these guys on the clock? .

Randy's avatar
Randy wrote at 2018-06-12 20:31:48+00:00:

If everyone played their own game it would be fine. Go to your ball and be ready to hit when its your turn. Are you playing golf or watching your friends play golf? Go to your ball and read the putt instead of watching your friends putt and then start your own read after they putt. Go your ball and calculate the yardage and club then hit after your friends hit. Don't wait for them to hit before going to your ball and looking at yardage and club selection. Come to play and not watch!

Vito715's avatar
Vito715 wrote at 2018-06-12 16:15:49+00:00:

I wrote a google review after playing a nice resort course on the Washington State side of the Columbia river a few months ago. We had a twosome and played each shot after what seemed like a 10 wait. It was the worst I have ever experienced. A 5 ½ round for a twosome. There was a course Marshall watching us and others often. We complained at the end of the round about the slow play. The pro shop person (not sure it was the resident Pro) said they were hotel guests and thats just how it goes. Slow play? How about "no play", never again from us. I was astonished as a mid handicap golfer who plays over 40 rounds per year. I find often the drudgery of public golf, i.e., slow play and inappropriately dressed weekend warriors that essentially disrespect this grand game, in my opinion. I know the answer one would give me is, "join a country club". Believe me, I would if I could. I love this game and ALWAYS am aware of whether we are keeping up in play. There are things one can do to speed play up. Your advice to have a set routine is good. Another is to not score the hole after finishing at green side, but rather on the tee of the next hole. That is but one example of consideration for the players behind. As has been posted.. "while w'ere young"!

Víctor D Dayas's avatar
Víctor D Dayas wrote at 2018-06-12 15:36:42+00:00:

I work as a volunteer Marshal at a Cabo resort in Mexico; Only comment I stress on is: I always recommend players on the First Tee, to be ready to take their shot and not to follow each other to their ball. To move separately and get ready to hit their shot.

Also, I ask one of the players to help me by keeping the group moving at a good pace.

Doug's avatar
Doug wrote at 2018-06-12 15:07:37+00:00:

Stop playing best ball. Drive to one ball then the second then discuss which is better then drive to the first pick it up come back to the second, all four players get out of the carts and watch each player hit the ball. Rinse and repeat for the next group. It takes too long. Also, unless you are right on top of each other, two players can hit at the same time. At the very least getting ready to hit can be done while another is hitting. No need to go to every ball, watch the hit, then go to your own ball. And if one one cart is having trouble finding a ball, help look, don't just sit at your ball waiting for them to find theirs. Heck you can even hit your ball then go help.

Steve Stillman - Missouri USA's avatar
Steve Stillman - Missouri USA wrote at 2018-06-12 14:53:36+00:00:

I love the game of golf. I also love the peaceful solitude while being on the course. An average pace of play is not difficult to achieve. For those that strive to play golf and can only “afford” a couple hours to do so and place pressure on the game of golf as a whole should possibly look at a different sport to play. Participating in (and watching for that matter) golf should be fun, challenging and rewarding and not pressured by timetables beset by frantic paced peoples.

While I understand that the longevity and success of our beloved game relies on continued support by corporations and the masses of participants, I just ask everyone to consider whether golf is a game for you if you can’t take the time to just relax and have fun with your friends and fellow golfers. I am willing to spend more at a course if pace of play relaxed.

Dick 's avatar
Dick wrote at 2018-06-12 18:11:26+00:00:

Amen. Don't change the game. But be ready to play when it is your turn.

Peter Burrowes's avatar
Peter Burrowes wrote at 2018-06-12 14:15:21+00:00:

Time is lost in looking for golf balls in thigh high, wrist breakingly thick, plentiful rough. Rough does not have to be so long that the ball cannot be found. Cut it back ,cut it down , and cut it out. Then we can all play the game at a reasonable pace in reasonable conditions

james hewett's avatar
james hewett wrote at 2018-06-12 14:14:24+00:00:

Most important is being ready to hit when it's your turn. Choose your club while your fellow competitor is hitting. If your cart companion's ball is fairly close to yours, park midway between the balls and walk to your lie with the clubs you will likely use. Both shots can then be hit within a few seconds of each other.

Jeff Holtzman 's avatar
Jeff Holtzman wrote at 2018-06-12 13:24:03+00:00:

Too many weekend golfers feel it is necessary to play from the back tees. They would find the game more enjoyable if they left their testosterone at home and played from the forward tees-like their handicap suggests. Also if you play for money those who hit off the fairway picks up and is out of the hole. Players might think twice about taking the big doggy out and opt for a 3 wood or iron. Keeping everything in the fairway will move pace of play.

Bob's avatar
Bob wrote at 2018-06-12 12:59:58+00:00:

My pet peeves at my home course: Not enough marshalls, rangers, customer assistants or whatever you want to call them roaming the course; players who certainly do not posses the abilities to hit from white, blue or black tees; players who think they're on television and mimic the pros; players who don't pick up the ball after reaching double par on a hole. Foursomes out on the course who have no conception that others are there to play and enjoy the round and act like they are the only ones out there.

mike g's avatar
mike g wrote at 2018-06-12 12:57:18+00:00:

Winter rules all year on public courses and keep the rough mowed consistently. Searching for balls in the rough or not being able to hack it out slows all foursomes. Unless you play on private courses winter rules should apply

Nitti's avatar
Nitti wrote at 2018-06-12 12:15:06+00:00:

Yes players need to speed up...be ready to play, read your putts while others are putting, get rid of those time consuming lines on golf balls that players spend way to much time lining up just to leave the putt 3 feet short. But the course could be set up for faster play...rough should be cut to a reasonable length to make it easy to find balls. When players are missing 10-11 fairways a round, let’s not have the rough 3” high. And unless it’s a single digit handicap tournament, let’s not have the pins on the greens stuck in the corners, on mounds, and rolling 11 or 12. And please, please FORCE the players to play the correct tees !!! 25 handicappers playing the back tees 7000 yards is criminal and no fun for anyone.

Steve Bodley's avatar
Steve Bodley wrote at 2018-06-12 11:54:15+00:00:

All carts and, or bags should be parked or placed behind the hole prior to putting out. Exits to the back of the green will

open the green much faster ... hence much faster play.

Jay's avatar
Jay wrote at 2018-06-12 11:36:10+00:00:

For us amateurs, play ready golf, forget about who has the honors at the tee box. Same on the fairway; if you are at your ball, don't worry who should hit next - hit your shot and move on. If using a cart, put your used club back in the bag when you get to the next shot.

Tony's avatar
Tony wrote at 2018-06-12 11:21:49+00:00:

I spent 17 years being a rules official for my state golf assoc. I was the only one that actually would put players on the clock for slow play. My fellow officials would warn players to pick up pace but they did not have enough gumption to put them on the clock. They would say “ If you don’t pick up the pace you will see Tony next “. You can’t guess how many times that I put a group on the clock and got them back in position that they actually thanked me because they were playing better. Slow play is the CANCER OF GOLF. Too many juniors are taught to have a routine. That is misunderstood to mean “Take your time “”. Junior coaches should also be teaching a quicker pace.

Doug's avatar
Doug wrote at 2018-06-12 15:10:58+00:00:

I hate playing on the weekends. Play is so slow it takes 10 minutes between shots sometimes and it just ruins my rhythm. I'm not great to begin with and then never being allowed to stay warmed up causes errant shots and longer play times.

Bernard's avatar
Bernard wrote at 2018-06-12 10:03:00+00:00:

I think pro golfers should use satellite distance equipment so they don’t have to check numerous times checking their note pads and pacing up and down it will save many minutes over 18 holes

mike  g's avatar
mike g wrote at 2018-06-12 12:52:00+00:00:

I agree 100%. Yardage is measured the same way for all. Pros need accurate info to match their game. Also get rid of the green reading books that is what practice rounds are for. Every caddie should have a PGA or LPGA issued equipment to measure each tournament. Pin placements are all made available. Courses have 200 150 100 markers and more everywhere.

Tony Perris's avatar
Tony Perris wrote at 2018-06-12 09:18:46+00:00:

In my experience, many instance of the excess time is lost searching for the result of a wayward shot - a lost ball.

This will be a particular problem in the case of less experienced players and they can easily get frustrated and decide that golf is not for them. The end result of course is then that the game itself begins to suffer and many clubs' age-profiles begin to extend, because most people cannot afford the time and so on - a familiar story?

My suggestion is that more attention should be paid to how the course is designed and PREPARED - if you play a bad shot, then you get into trouble (behind a bush, in a bunker, wrong side of a dogleg, etc) but make sure you can find your ball quickly and play your recovery shot - cut the grass! You can always let it grow a bit for competitions and some sculpted areas of longer grass can be used to make the course more interesting.

I also suggest that in competitions for experienced golfers (especially tour events), the crowd-control ropes/markers should also serve as out-of-bounds. Not only would this save a lot of time moving everyone about but would penalise wild shots and improve safety.

Ken's avatar
Ken wrote at 2018-06-12 09:00:37+00:00:

Ready golf why is it necessary to take your turn park bugg or bag or trolley on the route from green to next tee clear the area where the group behind are going to play to quickly ie Mark the card on the next tee converse on the route to the next shot

David Hodson's avatar
David Hodson wrote at 2018-06-12 08:52:11+00:00:

I believe that the set up of a golf course can lead to long delays. Last weekend we played our medal. The grass in the rough was so long that unless you knew exactly where your ball went in, it was nigh impossible to find it. But as it was a medal you don't want to drop strokes by using the provisional. So we probably spent too long looking (now this is something that amateurs should definitely put on the clock for). However, if the rough was a little less impossible it would have sped things up as we would have found balls easier. I'm all for a challenge but we even had incidents of trying to get out of the rough after a long hunt only having to start the hunt again when the ball didn't make it out. Make the courses a challenge to play but don't penalise people so much that it takes forever to find your ball.

Doug's avatar
Doug wrote at 2018-06-12 15:18:40+00:00:

I agree. I played a course where the rough was so thick and tall that my errant tee shot went into a group of 4 spread out trees about 150 years away. All four of us saw the ball all the way to the ground. All four of us looked for my ball. We found 3 other balls but not mine. The grass just swallowed the ball.

Thomas's avatar
Thomas wrote at 2018-06-12 07:53:07+00:00:

Slow golf is a major problem in continental Europe and Switzerland. The average 4 ball round at my old club in Switzerland (of note the course was only 5900 yards from the white tees) was 4 hours 30 and more. On many occasions a round could take 5 hours because idiotic players spent so much time hovering over each put and had set up routines that were ridiculously time consuming. I sometimes wondered if the players would pull out a sextant and compass to help their ball navigate the greens! All my attempts to speed up the game were resisted. Move on, and back in Britain at Woking Golf Club in Surrey which is now 41st in the Britain and Ireland rankings and 6397 yards from the white tees, I have the pleasure of playing a course that is mainly two ball. A "slow" round takes 3 hours 15, a fast round 2 hrs 30 and the standard pace somewhere in between. Our club has a policy of avoiding slow play and members adhere to it strictly. I agree fully with the comment that a good pace of play gives you rhythm and therefore leads to better results. Slow play is a curse that is impacting golf in negative manner. Most people unless they are retired do not have the time for 5 hour rounds these days. If golf clubs do not want to lose members (membership is dropping across the golfing world) speeding up play is one way to stop this demise. It also makes a round far more enjoyable.

Thierry 's avatar
Thierry wrote at 2018-06-12 08:21:32+00:00:

As golfer we have all à golf index or handicap based on our score, in regards to our agility and précision.

Why not having in addition of each player index calculation, a kind of BONUS / MALUS system according to golfer stamina awarding their know-how to play faster or slower?

Bobbyd51@btinternet.com's avatar
Bobbyd51@btinternet.com wrote at 2018-06-12 07:43:27+00:00:

Refund a percentage of the green fee if a round is completed in accaptable time

Thierry's avatar
Thierry wrote at 2018-06-12 08:07:05+00:00:

Great idea... today it is possible with technologie. I would love to have this option or a Time bonus computed Hole by hole having an impact on your golf index calculation?

lydell's avatar
lydell wrote at 2018-06-12 09:33:48+00:00:

I too believe that some kind of benefit could be provided if you finish in the allowed time, however, everyone could be penalized by ONE slow group. That group could be the reason everyone else doesn't finish in time. Ultimately, I believe it is up to the golf course to set their pace of play goal. Without that, who knows what is acceptable and who fails. If I knew the pace of play was 4hr 45mins I'd go somewhere else.

Golf courses, state the Pace of Play and Promote it!

Richard's avatar
Richard wrote at 2018-06-12 06:31:53+00:00:

Pace of play !

Set the tees in an appropriate manner for the ability of the player and difficulty of the course colour should relate to ability and enjoyment not your gender. I will be 65 this year have played for over 50 years to a single didgit and hate being pushed onto the back tees. Let me choose where I play slope will do the rest. Enjoyment is the key.

Rob's avatar
Rob wrote at 2018-06-12 06:16:01+00:00:

At my course carts are compulsory so members should know how to play cart golf. I can usually predict before the round has begun how long it will take to play. Some players play quickly and some just won't. Max time allowed is 4 hrs 40 min. My group can be round in under 4 hrs or up to 5 hrs depending on who is in it. Some players just won't learn and don't seem to want to - selfish I say.

George's avatar
George wrote at 2018-06-12 04:02:43+00:00:

I do not like slow play. I play quickly. Golf is supposed to be fun, sometimes frustrating. 18 holes makes a round and no one should have to skip holes. Etiquette should be part of each golfers repertoire let groups through if you cannot keep up. If using a cart, while your partner is getting ready to hit their shot, walk to your ball and be ready to hit.

alanwhite's avatar
alanwhite wrote at 2018-06-12 03:35:38+00:00:

It starts at birth or shortly after. Ready golf means having you glove on as you walk. Walking (the correct way to play) enables you to know distance and line almost automatically. Pick a club, hit the shot and MOVE! Get to the green and bags are dropped at the exit point. Closest to the hole. Get the flag! First putt in. Get the flag! Rounds under 4 hours are s state of mind. Go there. It's fun.

BobK's avatar
BobK wrote at 2018-06-12 03:30:11+00:00:

Have high handicaps play a forward tee. They’ll be able to reach more greens without hitting a driver/3-wood and should have lower scores while reducing th time played.

Do continuous putting. Once you putt, continue until completing the hole; exception is when you are in another’s line

Tony's avatar
Tony wrote at 2018-06-12 03:16:38+00:00:

Speeded up play should be covered with the players (by the club pro ) before they tee off, and make sure the

Rangers have course authority

S Carnegie Hall of's avatar
S Carnegie Hall of wrote at 2018-06-12 03:07:16+00:00:

All players stand on tee and be ready to tee up immeditly after previous player hits.

Take two clubs with you when approching s shot so you don't have to go back to your bag.

werner's avatar
werner wrote at 2018-06-12 03:06:13+00:00:

play ready golf-don't wait for each golfer to hit. think about your shot before you get to the ball. if you are sharing a cart, drop your partner off, and go hit your ball & return for him. Don't wait to size your putt up-work on it while others are putting. Don't look for lost balls too long. Play a provisional before leaving the tee box. Always mark your ball!!

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2018-06-12 03:04:26+00:00:

I feel it’s a combination of events others have all mentioned that slow play down. Not a single fix can cure slow play.

- incorrect tee box for ability

- over estimation of ones ability in waiting for group ahead to clear

- unfamiliarity with Golf etiquette

- walking when a cart should be used

- Spending too much time looking for lost golf balls

- cap casual play at two, three putts maximum

- mark your score on the next tee

Mikey's avatar
Mikey wrote at 2018-06-12 02:57:12+00:00:

Cutting 5 seconds off each shot by an average bokie golfer would cut a foursome's time by half an hour. Simple to achieve playing ready golf,eliminating one practice swing (a total waste of time anyway) and using continuance putting rule. Access a 2 stroke penalty for non emergency cell phone use!

Jim's avatar
Jim wrote at 2018-06-12 02:42:40+00:00:

We have a dusk fee that gives about 2 hours and 15 minutes before sunset year round. With a cart, without anyone ahead we can get in 18 holes. It really makes playing at 10:00 and going for 4 hours in the blazing Oklahoma summer a real turn off.

Frank miske iii's avatar
Frank miske iii wrote at 2018-06-12 02:23:05+00:00:

Explain the need to keep up with the group in front of you... not just stay ahead of the group behind you. Take less club to stay in the fairway instead of taking the longest club and losing your ball long.

Richard Bowen's avatar
Richard Bowen wrote at 2018-06-12 01:48:31+00:00:

I think that it would speed things up if each player putted out without marking the ball after each putt. The person furtherest from the hole should putt first and putt out. Then, the next player furtherest from the hole should putt and putt out. And so on. Marking the ball 18" from the hole and then waiting while others putt is a complete waste of time.

Bud Spanky's avatar
Bud Spanky wrote at 2018-06-12 02:41:24+00:00:

Absoulutly agree. With spineless shoes there is hardly a ripple in the green. I don’t even care if someone walks in my line.

Jon's avatar
Jon wrote at 2018-06-12 01:31:51+00:00:

1. With few exceptions, golf carts do not speed up play. It causes more conversation on the tees and greens that used to take place on the walk, not to mention that many don’t know how to play out of a cart.

2. TV golf has made many 20 handicappers explore every possible way to play every shot, ala Spieth.

3. The two- or three-round a year player insists on “getting his moneys worth”, to hell with everyone else on the course.

4. It doesn’t have anything to do with how closely they jam the tee time together. The next group can’t start until the group ahead is out of the way.

5. We have one course where I live that is very aggressive in its marshaling. You get behind, they ask you to pick up and move to the next hole. Get behind again and the refund your money and ask you to leave.

darrin's avatar
darrin wrote at 2018-06-12 01:08:31+00:00:

on a misty day 30 years ago when I was an 18 handicap, I shot a 90 on a tough private course (used for US open qualifiers) with three other 5 to 20 handicaps and we walked the course in 2:45, knowing that makes a 5 hour round seem almost intentional.

Neil's avatar
Neil wrote at 2018-06-12 01:05:03+00:00:

For me it's not so much slow play that's bothersome but more waiting at t boxes and the loss of rythym between shots. I've gotten to par 3'sthat have had 3 groups ahead of us waiting to t off. It's the waiting that's a killer. I think a 4 hour round is reasonable and really don't mind it. Again it's the waiting that is annoying. This is caused by course set up and starting t times too close together. Don't get me wrong, a lot of players don't play ready golf and waste time not being prepared that cause issues. I have time to spend on the course, I just want play to move fluidly.

John 's avatar
John wrote at 2018-06-12 01:02:51+00:00:

I’m a member at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, a Seth Raynor design that opened in 1927. A private club, we are a bit of anomaly as members play 50,000+ rounds per year,. The course is under going a restoration to the original Raynor design and concepts by Tom Doak and Eric Iverson of Renaissance Golf Design. Tom often complains (good naturedly) that he has a hard time studying the course because of the heavy play. We also allow 5 and 6 somes. Despite all this our standard is 3 hours 40 minutes! While I’ll admit we often miss that standard, it is a rare group that plays in over 4 hours. If you exceed that you can expect a Marshall visit and gentle nudges from groups behind.

Saul Edenbaum's avatar
Saul Edenbaum wrote at 2018-06-12 00:59:39+00:00:

One of the largest contributors to slow play is extreme pin positions, either extreme rear corner of the green, or extreme front, cut just over a deep bunker. I see it all the time! This virtually guarantees many three putts and multiple chip shots. Place pins in less extreme positions.

Kenneth Bittner 's avatar
Kenneth Bittner wrote at 2018-06-12 00:59:04+00:00:

Cut rough to length that you can find ball easily, we are not PROS playing the U S OPEN

Send groups out 8 to 10 mins

Rangers should keep groups on time

MW Malba's avatar
MW Malba wrote at 2018-06-12 01:47:42+00:00:

Excellent suggestions.

Esther 's avatar
Esther wrote at 2018-06-12 00:46:35+00:00:

Get in the cart and drive away from the green. Then when you’re at the next tee, put away the putter when you take out your driver.

Also, get out of the cart and take two clubs with you if you’re not sure which you want if you have to walk to your ball.

Finally, play ready golf on the green if your group agrees. If people are waiting on a par three and you’re not going to make at most a double bogey, PICK UP. The ball!!!

Dave's avatar
Dave wrote at 2018-06-12 00:41:29+00:00:

So true when the average guy only plays 2 or 3 rounfd a year and plays from the wrong tee box

MB3's avatar
MB3 wrote at 2018-06-12 00:38:47+00:00:

you missed the three main reasons for slow play.

#1 watching the pro's on tour, in a two-some taking 5 hours to play 18, and that started with Jack.

#2 high school and college coaches telling there players don't play until you ready.

#3 new players should not be allowed on the course until they get a short seminar from the golf professional on pace of play and course educate.

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2018-06-12 00:36:34+00:00:

One of the greatest concepts we do is NO TALKING on the tee. Get up there and hit the ball! 3 hour walking 18’s for a three ball are possible. Talk walking down the fairway

Sherry's avatar
Sherry wrote at 2018-06-12 00:33:32+00:00:

So you’re paired with others and they are SLOW as Molasses in Winter (looking for lost balls & walking like slugs). What are you to do? There is no way to speed up a slow player and a foursome can only play as fast as their slowest player! I’m a Lady Golfer and my friends and I (contrary to what men say) we do not play slow. We may take an extra shot then the average man but we do it quickly. I do believe Threesomes play much faster than Foursomes & No Course should put a single out on a busy day!!!!

Gus's avatar
Gus wrote at 2018-06-12 00:31:02+00:00:

Too many infrequent players are playing the wrong tees (too far back) for their skill level. They wait to hit their 3 wood 245 on a par 5 when they haven't hit a tee ball more than 175 all day long. They toss grass in the air to gauge the wind when they haven't hit anything but worm burners all day. They play as if the round is being televised. The list goes on and on...

Saul Edenbaum's avatar
Saul Edenbaum wrote at 2018-06-12 01:02:55+00:00:

I totally agree!!! I see guys playing blue or championship tees who should be way upfront. Majority of golfers should not play courses greater than 6000 yards.

Don's avatar
Don wrote at 2018-06-12 00:30:41+00:00:

I think the two stroke penalty slows down play directly. Plus it puts pressure on players that creates scared swings

Myron's avatar
Myron wrote at 2018-06-12 00:28:42+00:00:

Most home clubs would do well to NOT try and pack 'em in like they always do. Millenials should quit thinking that they are Tiger Woods or Dustin Johnson, and wait for the group ahead to be well past the 300 yard range before they hit, only to hit the ball MAYBE to the 220 yard mark. I've seen this way too many times

Ampace's avatar
Ampace wrote at 2018-06-12 00:22:54+00:00:

Slow play sucks I am tired of becoming a spectator on a weekend round of Golf .Every other player wants too look like Tiger and play like me lol.Recently a Golf Course I play upgraded there Gps system in the golf carts,it restricts you too where you can drive on the course, at the same time if you play too slow, slow down the cart via the gps and let group behind play thru. I bet you will never have too wait for a wanna be pro.

Blanche's avatar
Blanche wrote at 2018-06-12 00:18:59+00:00:

When we play in our Womens League, our scorecards pre-marked with the time we should be on the next tee box. It’s a great guide to keeping our foursome on track and aware of our pace of play- sort of a mini shot clock!

Caroline's avatar
Caroline wrote at 2018-06-12 00:14:15+00:00:

Poor etiquette seems to be a big problem on courses I play in Florida. Talking on the phone, talking to their partner, going back and forth from the cart to change or get a club. Overall, just not thinking and being considerate. It would help if the courses actually had rangers out there looking for players that are causing the delays. I've only seen that at a few golf courses. Having to wait for no good reason can really mess up the rhythm of your game.

Luke Warrener's avatar
Luke Warrener wrote at 2018-06-11 23:24:11+00:00:

I am a low handicap player and I am sick to death with people complaining about the pace of play.

Really whose life is so packed that that they have too run around the golf course I am out there to enjoy my game, enjoy the company of my mates and to enjoy the enviroment

Dave's avatar
Dave wrote at 2018-06-12 01:59:08+00:00:

Golf is a SPORT. When you step on the first tee you're in the game. In no other sport are the players in the game delaying the progress of the game with chit chat and/or gazing at the environment. The purpose is to play the game to the best of your ability in a reasonable amount of time. If you cant enjoy the game with that purpose in mind then you shouldn't be there. Guys with your attitude need a marshsll assigned them.

Philip's avatar
Philip wrote at 2018-06-12 02:43:53+00:00:

I agree with Dave. Suggest to Go fishing instead of golf if you like sedentary recreation. Keep the pace up!

Pepper's avatar
Pepper wrote at 2018-06-11 19:49:39+00:00:

Finishing their conversation in the cart before going to tee box .Not playing ready golf, each going to their own ball rather then dicussing each other's shot . Pulling cart up near green and bringing their 2/3 clubs they need with them. Close to green bring cart up walk back to chip and putt. Many more like that and please fix ball mark on green and rake sand not to hard or time consuming .

Ezeee's avatar
Ezeee wrote at 2018-06-11 18:05:08+00:00:

There are lots of great suggestions on resolving slow play and pretty much all valid. I don't think a round should last more that 4 hours. I typically play a round in 3:30. I believe pace of play can be controlled by one simple factor and that's by having a Marshall on the course who has the necessary authority. He can push an individual or group to pick up the pace or even force them to skip a hole if they are falling behind. He can require an individual to hit from the proper tee box. He can limit the number of strokes a player takes. All of these factors create added playing time. I live in Los Angeles and there are 7 Los Angeles city courses and NOT ONE Marshall on any of them during the week and ONLY ONE on the weekend. When On the rare occasion when I encounter a Marshall I've never seen the pace of play enforced. NOTHING WORSE THAN A ROUND OF GOLF ON THE PLUS SIDE OF 4:15. IT MAKES IT AN ENDURANCE RUN PACKED WITH WAITING AND FRUSTRATION, IT SIMPLY KICKS THE ENJOYMENT RIGHT OUT OF THE GAME.

Garland 's avatar
Garland wrote at 2018-06-11 17:36:32+00:00:

Occasional golfers always want the early two times in that backs the course up mostly because they want to BS & drink and only think of their group plus most don’t care to play at a normal pace of play

OSUinTX's avatar
OSUinTX wrote at 2018-06-11 17:34:52+00:00:

These are just my takes. Golf courses should re-think the 2-person cart. Cannot fathom the number of times I have seen one shot go left, another go right and one golfer is just sitting in the cart waiting for his buddy to hit and then they drive completely across the course to get (God forbid...FIND) the second ball. Easily two minutes per fairway stroke right there. If you go right and everyone else went left, get out, grab a handful of clubs and get to your ball on foot so when it is your turn to hit there is no delay.

Amateur golfers give too much credit for how far their ball will go and wait way too long before striking with the courteous, but unfounded belief that the forward group may be hit. I frequently make a joke that even if they were to get hit, it would be in the foot by a rolling ball, not like they are going to get hit in the head by a missile.

Golf courses need to implement 2 minute lost ball rules.

I play in a Wednesday group and it infuriates me that everyone marks every putt no matter where it is at and does not address their ball until the prior putt has been holed or comes to a stop. There could be two balls 20 feet apart, each 40 feet from the cup and they will MARK THEIR BALL and wait until the away player strokes before resetting the ball or lining up their putt. If you putt while someone else is away but is not ready....they go bananas.

MST's avatar
MST wrote at 2018-06-11 15:47:29+00:00:

cart golf can be expedited, simply by getting in after your shot; when you get to next stopping point, THEN put away clubs from previous stroke ( as opposed to sitting in the cart while your partner spends 15 - 30 seconds, meticulously sorting every club into his compartmentalized bag ); another time saver: when you think your ball may have ended in a sketchy lie, drop partner, with cart for their shot, and when etiquette allows, walk up to your ball, to find & assess next shot

gary's avatar
gary wrote at 2018-06-11 15:00:45+00:00:

keep the 2nd cut of grass next to fairway short enough to see/find your ball with out extensive searching

Andy's avatar
Andy wrote at 2018-06-11 14:20:40+00:00:

Play ready golf. Don't be so golf etiquette proper waiting for the furthest away to three put out.

David's avatar
David wrote at 2018-06-11 13:39:13+00:00:

Its now how bad you play bad golf, it is how fast you play bad golf?

John's avatar
John wrote at 2018-06-11 12:32:23+00:00:

No one could possibly watch a PGA event without first taping it. The pace of play is just too slow. Additionally, the steady stream of inane banter that slow play requires from the announcers is mind numbing. (Even if we admire and revere them).

Rookie's avatar
Rookie wrote at 2018-06-12 00:31:15+00:00:

I find too much talk between caddie and golfer. And don’t get me started on the play books they now use that marks every little ripple in the greens. You are the pro so just shut up and hit the ball! With all this help, why not use a cart, too!

Pete C's avatar
Pete C wrote at 2018-06-11 11:52:46+00:00:

give rewards (discounts) for finishing 9/18 under a certain amount of minutes.

Steve M.'s avatar
Steve M. wrote at 2018-06-11 12:12:07+00:00:

Then when the group in front of you slows you down, what do you do? They're costing you money, after all. I can see this leading to big problems. (FYI, I'm the fastest 28 handicap you'll find and hate to wait. My buddy and I get off the tee earliest and finish in 2 1/2 to 3 hours if we're the first group.)

MIck's avatar
MIck wrote at 2018-06-12 10:17:22+00:00:

Could be why you are a 28 HCap - its not speed dating. The idea is to improve your handicap not to complete a round in the shortest time possible

bkd5662's avatar
bkd5662 wrote at 2018-06-11 11:28:02+00:00:

I'm a big fan of the shot clock idea ! There are also many, many things that could speed play. Just one idea is to make players finish putting out and not allow them to mark and lift their ball again after the first putt.

doug's avatar
doug wrote at 2018-06-11 03:34:56+00:00:

Fivesomes are absurd. 360 degree saunters around the green after it's your turn to putt are just plain rude. Help your buddies find their ball and give it two minutes, max. If you want a day at the beach, go to the beach.

Tom's avatar
Tom wrote at 2018-06-11 03:09:27+00:00:

My group shoots about bogey golf and we never seem to have a problem finishing in 3 - 31/2 hours when riding. We fix our ball marks and smooth traps but we never mark our ball unless we are in someone's REAL line. And we putt out. We do look at our FIRSTputt from behind hole. I remember Trevino saying "Miss em quick" And we do not play for blood!!! It is an enjoyable round for all. More pros need to play like Snedeker!!

Barry Barr's avatar
Barry Barr wrote at 2018-06-11 02:33:01+00:00:

I play at a championship "members" course and we average 4 hrs 10 minutes. The field comprises 120 players in both morning and afternoon . We play in fours _ men only !!!!!! We combat slow play by two means :-

1. We have shotgun starts from all tees.

2. We play "ready " golf whereby so soon as a player holes the ball he commences walking to the next tee.

3. There is no doubt that women slow down the pace of play - talking and playing ???

Mardi G's avatar
Mardi G wrote at 2018-06-11 11:32:09+00:00:

My experience is that men slow down play because many totally over estimate how far they can hit the ball so they wait way too long for clearance, i.e. 200 yards, then they hit their normal 150. I see it all the time.

Richard's avatar
Richard wrote at 2018-06-11 11:46:38+00:00:

Men take forever overmthe ball before they hit like every shot is for koney. They stand up on the tee box behind each hitter and then all saunter down to their carts together yacking. Women stand off to the side of the tee box and are ready to depart as soon as the last player hits. They don’t take forever over each shot. It is ridiculous to make an assumption that women play slower. And likemthe above commenter, women play from the correct tees. Men never do.

KJ's avatar
KJ wrote at 2018-06-11 14:27:19+00:00:

To suggest that women play slower is ludicrously misogynistic. There are slow and fast men golfers and there are slow and fast women golfers.

Ted T's avatar
Ted T wrote at 2018-06-12 00:34:33+00:00:

That women slow down the pace of play comment is not true. At my club the women have never gotten a second letter for slow play. Many men have. A second letter means one cannot tee off until after 3 for a month.

ed's avatar
ed wrote at 2018-06-11 02:09:00+00:00:

I think the problem at least at my club is that we are no longer a golf club but rather a country club.new members join for tennis,pool,dining and golf with the wife and 3 kids. the golfing skill has really deteriorated and no one dares to marshall playing time and offending any member as entitlement goes hand in hand with high initiation fees. Im also a member in Florida at a course with no pool,tennis court etc-just a great golf course and there is no issue with length of rounds as everyone is just a golfer

Delivered Rutherford's avatar
Delivered Rutherford wrote at 2018-06-11 01:20:53+00:00:

Speed the pace of play ? Write your score at the next T box. 2nd always play ready golf ! Always !

Stop emulating the damn pros, they are the worst

At slow play. Prime example, the pros stand in the fairway applying for a second mortgage with

Their caddy and 5 minutes later they hit their ball

In the hazard. We need to have a tournament without caddies to show how professionals

Truly think through shot selection without a

Waste of everyone's time. I watch golf on TV

To see a professional, not the input of the caddy.

Pro pull a club based on the yardage and hit.

LPGA no more caddy line ups in the T box. This is

Taught at age 9. Ladies & Gent you are the pros

On the course, not your caddy's ! Grow up !!!!

MIck's avatar
MIck wrote at 2018-06-12 10:21:58+00:00:

Fully agree - get rid of caddies alltogether!

Mae's avatar
Mae wrote at 2018-06-11 01:11:45+00:00:

As far as I've noticed: ego and entitlement is pretty rampant and so I don't see any quick fix to the pace of play! If I want to play fast, I go to a course that states a 4 hr round before 9 am or if you play slower, sign up after 9 am (Monarch Golf resort - they have reasonable memberships for locals) They empower their marshals to take necessary action for problems.

MIKE's avatar
MIKE wrote at 2018-06-11 00:56:18+00:00:

I BELIEVE YOU NEGLECTED ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES CONTRIBUTING TO SLOW PLAY. IT'S THE HEIGHT OF THE ROUGH. THINK OF HIGH HANDICAPPERS AND MISSE0 FAIRWAYS, THINK OF SENIORS WITH AGING EYESIGHT AND MISSED FAIRWAYS. TIME SPENT LOOKING FOR A BALL IN JUST THREE INCHES OF ROUGH BY THE MAJORITY OF PUBLIC COURSE PLAYERS IS A TIME KILLER AND CAN EASILY LEAD TO A FIVE AND A HALF HOUR ROUND. KEEP IT IN THE SHORT ROUGH, CUTTING TO A TWO INCH HEIGHT IS VERY ATTRACTIVE YIELDING FOUR HOUR ROUNDS.

Tom's avatar
Tom wrote at 2018-06-10 23:25:05+00:00:

When I played in the French amature we didn’t tee off until all payers in front of us reached the green. Pace of play was good.

Timothy Hunt's avatar
Timothy Hunt wrote at 2018-06-10 23:25:00+00:00:

Split tee launch times between the 1st and 10th tees during peak times, staggered between 10-14 minutes intervals. Reduce number of golfers in each group, or book foursomes for certain time frames during weekend play to maximize interval play. Offer discount rates for groups of 1-2 during non-peak times to allow appropriate pace of play between long intervals 4-somes.

AJ's avatar
AJ wrote at 2018-06-10 23:08:25+00:00:

We have a fivesome on Saturday and Sunday mornings and finish the round in 3-1/2 hrs, sometimes 3 hrs. The answer to this question is get to your ball and be read to hit. Try not to interfere with your fellow golfers and if you can hit, do so. Prepare your shot before you get to your ball. You are not that good to know what is the exact yards to the pin if you do not have a devise to use. So do not walk it off every time, yards to the middle of the green if just as good. I believe that knowing the course helps. So one of the main problems is being too polite and taking too long engineering your shot like a professional. Think about your shot before you get to the ball.

Pete S.'s avatar
Pete S. wrote at 2018-06-10 22:14:26+00:00:

Reduce the number of fivesomes and make them use carts. Also don’t schedule back to back fivesomes.

Bob M's avatar
Bob M wrote at 2018-06-10 21:39:24+00:00:

Cut the rough down so players can find their balls. Raise the fairway and apron heights so players have an easier time getting the club on the ball. Greens that are 10, 11 or 12 on the stimpmeter are too fast and lead to many three and four putts and approach shots that run off of the green. In other words, stop trying to maintain the courses like Augusta National. The average player can't handle the conditions and this leads to slow play. After that, their needs to be consequences for slow play. If there are no consequences, there will be no change in behavior.

ecosse1950's avatar
ecosse1950 wrote at 2018-06-10 21:01:52+00:00:

members are the biggest prob;em,i will play at my pace,i have paid my membership. golf clubs are being closed because people cant afford the fees, it takes too much time .marshalls on the course would help??? but it a members problem, if you dont want to take 31/2 hours for 18 holes step aside

jay's avatar
jay wrote at 2018-06-10 21:00:40+00:00:

Every group should be reminded to play ready golf. By playing ready golf no round should take more than 4 hours and 15 minutes

Roy's avatar
Roy wrote at 2018-06-10 20:50:03+00:00:

My handicap is around 15. I play golf for the enjoyment of the game. And so do my friends. If there is going to be a time limit, why play. For what it costs to play to hell with the time. I do try and respect the players behind who are better than myself and offer to let them play through but I catch hell for doing that

Fred210's avatar
Fred210 wrote at 2018-06-10 20:43:41+00:00:

Most of the comments/recommendations would help speed up play but to implement them would require a so-educated golfing population...and, it ain't going to happen! Lining up putts to win a skin, looking for that lost $4 ball, cart path only, ooops mulligan, only girls tee there, and on and on! Four and more hours are a way of golf life!

There is a easy answer...Increase the size of the hole!

Give the average duffer (most amateur golfers can't break 100) an easier target. Less putts, more chips going in and even an occasional hole in one. Let the pros play with the current hole size, maybe reduce circumference instead of increasing length of course! However, for the rest of us who are lucky to get out once a month, given it takes so much of your time, the goal a little easier to attain.

Kevin 's avatar
Kevin wrote at 2018-06-11 00:35:27+00:00:

Most golfers( I’m talking 95-110 scoring. Their problem isn’t putting, so making the hole bigger is stupid

Mikey's avatar
Mikey wrote at 2018-06-12 02:50:40+00:00:

Sorry Kevin, but you wrong. Scratch golfers may be on the green faster than tbe higher handicap golfer, but they take twice the time studying and trying to hole 30 foot putts. We played a duel corse (36 holes) and teed off on course 1 at the same time a scramble did a shotgun start on course b using"bigholes". Normally a scramble takes longer than a regular round (too many occasional golfers hunting for erront shots, but in that day the scramble group (120 players) not only finished becfore us but they had even given out the awards and finished lunch befor ae got in the club house. Big hole cut the time in half.

Chucknill 's avatar
Chucknill wrote at 2018-06-10 20:35:01+00:00:

I belong to an Arnold Palmer designed club. Not creating 4-somes, either at the 1st tee or during the round, course rangers never discuss pace with golfers. Two in a cart etiquette

Robert's avatar
Robert wrote at 2018-06-10 20:26:15+00:00:

There appears to be an increase of the placement of flags on greens in the most difficult setting possible,especially on weekends. I have not seen such placements on the PGA and LPGA tournaments, believe me I am not saying they should make them easy but use common sense. Week-end golfers usually spend less time at practice so there games are not pro perfect. Most miss a lot of greens and face a lot of chip shots. When you place the flag on a knoll on the green with very steep breaks that even Jordan Speith would have trouble getting it close = formula for disaster and slow-slow play. Scenario: 16 hdcp, 40 foo chip to a downhill hole location, oops off the green, now 30 foot chip uphill, short rolls back by your feet. oops now chip again with more force 20 feet pass the hole, now putts to strong 30 feet past the hole, another put half way to the hole, another putt just misses, tap in total time 3 - 5 minutes x 4 x 18, dosen't even take into account teeing off, approach shots, looking for errant shots, getting the picture. Oh I forgot at least 2 of this foursome are using rangefinders that take about 2 - 3 minutes to line up the tee shot, the approach shot and yes even a pitch shot or two or three, four.... I guess if we want to speed play up on most courses. Ban rangefinders ( voice caddy works just fine), decrease the length of rough (3 feet ridiculous) Pin placement in a more accessible spot on the green and you will speed up play by at least 90 minutes per round. Before you ask I play to a 12 hdcp and have had these results not as much as my playing partners. I have played for many years so I can remember playing the same courses I now play in 5 to nearly 5:45 min on weekends we could easily do in 3 1/2 to 4 hrs. Oh I play a lot of the Los Angeles County courses which get a lot of play.

AJ's avatar
AJ wrote at 2018-06-10 23:12:05+00:00:

You hit the nail on the head.

filmel's avatar
filmel wrote at 2018-06-10 19:58:17+00:00:

put through..no ball marking after initial strike...

Cash's avatar
Cash wrote at 2018-06-10 19:20:36+00:00:

I've been playing golf for 65 years (since I was 5) I'm a -5 today and at one time a +2, so I understand golf. I've always enjoyed being able to spend a morning or afternoon playing a round. It sounds to me the most of the comments on this page want to play "race golf" just to see how fast you can get finished. To me the biggest culprit is fivesomes! That should never happen on the weekends! Instead of complaining - try enjoying every minute you are on the golf course. Just my opinion!

Kevin 's avatar
Kevin wrote at 2018-06-11 00:38:40+00:00:

Most sensible comment so far

Kevin 's avatar
Kevin wrote at 2018-06-11 00:40:17+00:00:

If one wants to play 18 in 3 hours then maybe golf isn’t for you or play an executive course 4-4:15 is fine

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2018-06-11 12:11:43+00:00:

People who complain the problem is with fivesomes clearly don’t get it. I’ve played in five, six, and seven-somes that wait on foursomes on every hole! The problem is very simple in the ridiculous amount of practice swings and pre-shot routine/rituals. All that time adds up over 18 holes.

MIck's avatar
MIck wrote at 2018-06-12 10:33:12+00:00:

Spot on!

Play ready golf - even on the green and put out if happy to do so.

And remember enjoy golf but not to the detrement of others enjoyment.

Deborah's avatar
Deborah wrote at 2018-06-10 19:19:01+00:00:

When the rough is too long, after locating my ball I drop it in the fairway to save time (I don’t keep score). Reason: I can’t hit it that far out of the rough when we’ve had a very wet spring. It saves time because my next shot will be a lot further. My husband and I play every weekend, striving for the first tee time. When we play by ourselves we play in 3 hours; when with a 4-some we try to finish in under 4 hours. If the group behind us keeps up, we limit the amount of time spent looking for lost balls. On par 3s the first person on the tee box calls out the distance to the pin.

lashlaroux's avatar
lashlaroux wrote at 2018-06-10 19:00:14+00:00:

Well I see two things that are NOT adding to slow play. Players NOT taking the time to fix ball marks and not raking bunkers. many times the footprints in the bunker are a foot away from where the rakes are placed. Are these people lazy or just ignorant? I say a little bit of both and the courses need to do a little more to "encourage" these lazy players to rake the bunkers and fix your ball mark and another one for good measure. From what I see on the course most of these people can use the exercise!

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2018-06-10 18:57:10+00:00:

After reading all the great comments, there are two that I really believe would speed up play. 1. Players playing from the wrong tees our( group has started to play forward and are having much more fun when we have a chance to score well). 2. Wasting time between shots ( talking , not ready to play, checking text messages, etc.).

Scott's avatar
Scott wrote at 2018-06-10 18:46:13+00:00:

As a voluntary ranger at our local (New York) state owned golf course, I ask groups to either pick up their pace or let trailing groups through. My cart has a sign on the front that says "Please keep up with the group ahead of you", so the self aware ones usually start to let groups through after noticing the sign. RayLo summed up some suggestions pretty well below. Slower golfers can be accommodated best by playing a little later in the day, at least at my course. Saturday and Sunday mornings are for serious/efficient golfers that expect to play in four hours or less, but not for leisurely outings.

Kevin 's avatar
Kevin wrote at 2018-06-11 00:42:48+00:00:

Great sign. But I’ve also had Marshall’s say keep up to group in front when they are a 2 some and I’m in a 4 some. Come on man

Connie Anderson 's avatar
Connie Anderson wrote at 2018-06-10 18:38:23+00:00:

I read a lot of the comments and it seems lost ball is talked about. I have played for 61 years and I have always felt " if i can't afford to lose a ball then i can't afford to play" others need to use this theory. Also those range finders need to be forbidden on the course, more then 50 % of the players can't hit accurately enough so what does the distance matter to them. If they would spend more time on the range and learn what distance they hit each club then they can play faster. By the waybi am a 10 handicap.

bikerchris's avatar
bikerchris wrote at 2018-06-10 18:32:38+00:00:

After your shot, jump in the cart and put your club back in the bag while your partner is playing his ball. Keep club covers off of most used clubs, situate them in your bag where they don't hit each other. Line up your put while others are putting and be ready when it's your turn.

Larry 's avatar
Larry wrote at 2018-06-10 18:23:21+00:00:

You may have heard the conversation of a group of elderly golfers discussing their last round with one old boy saying he had 15 riders that day - when I inquired what a rider was he said, well that’s when you get back in the cart to ride to the next shot. I think quite a few golfers have an inflated idea of what a “rider” should be.

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2018-06-10 18:21:44+00:00:

First and foremost new players should learn to play before going out on the course shooting a 110 + times number of players that are on the course that day adds up too slow play big time....you don't play any other sport until you know how...individual carts or scooters would help speed of play...if the course has a design that causes a bottle neck in play fix it so players are not looking for balls...and last but not least no Mulligans or hitting extra ball, hit a bad shot play it and move on.

Connie Anderson 's avatar
Connie Anderson wrote at 2018-06-10 18:17:07+00:00:

They need to stop allowing amateur from using the Blue tees and in some cases make them play from the senior or lady's tees. I watch guys hit from the white tees and can't even get past the lady's tee.start playing from your ability.

Richard's avatar
Richard wrote at 2018-06-11 11:54:09+00:00:

If you would stop calling them ladies tees and call them what they are: FORWARD tees, maybe more people would use them but most men’s egos won’t. Play it forward people. If you’re not able to hit it 200 yards and keep it in the fairway on the regular, you belong on the forward tees.

R Wood's avatar
R Wood wrote at 2018-06-10 18:14:07+00:00:

Sharing golf carts slows play and does not reduce the wear on the course. Just watch a pair of duffer golfers wandering around the fairway looking for their ball.

bobbyg70g@gmail.com's avatar
bobbyg70g@gmail.com wrote at 2018-06-10 18:10:30+00:00:

1. Don't play with a ball you cannot afford to lose. Too much time is spent looking for ob balls.

2. Mark your scorecard at the next T box, not at the side of the just completed green.

3. Take only one or two practice swings, not fifteen and then don't step back and look again and then take even more practice swings.

4. Clear the green briskly. It is not a death march to the carts.

5. Don't wait until the green is cleared before T ing off on a par five (5) or even on a par four. If the forward players are at least 50 yards out of your range - hit.

Matt's avatar
Matt wrote at 2018-06-10 18:07:58+00:00:

This is a hot topic that my buddies and I (who are all fast players) have long lamented. Our take is that slow play is attributed to a lot of player behavior. Looking for lost balls too long, everyone not going to their own ball to be ready to hit, not parking at the correct exit point of the green, and not cleaning up short putts all contribute 30-45 extra seconds that add up over the course of an 18 hole round. I also think way too many players play the wrong box for their actual skill level and this adds time. The game will be far better off with more people embracing fast play. The opposite will continue to kill the game.

Seakgolfer 's avatar
Seakgolfer wrote at 2018-06-12 00:38:57+00:00:

I think you have hit on the major points - essentially the rules of ready golf. Also greens keepers should prepare the courses for weekend play - don't place pins in tournament positions and cut the rough.

Snoopdiggler's avatar
Snoopdiggler wrote at 2018-06-10 18:07:43+00:00:

I rarely post on forums like this, but I am writing a short novel of commentary as I think slow play has ruined the game I love. Golf, unlike other sports, requires its players to self-police themselves. It also is unique in that the players on the course at any time are all at varying levels of skill and experience. Creating countless rules and having platoons of marshals on the course will surely have an impact, but unless the players on the course have a basic understanding of golf etiquette and are driven by a common understanding of how to play ready golf, slow play will continue.

More needs to be done by the industry and courses to educate players of expectations and consequences for failing to comply before they are allowed on the course. The average understanding of basic golf etiquette today is significantly worse than it was 20 years ago. Many simply don’t care and decide to play the way they want, regardless of the impact on others - not ready to hit, more focused on blasting tunes, taking forever over the ball (influenced by what they see on Tour), not speeding up when falling behind etc. Can you imagine the frustration that would be encountered if a bunch of amateurs with no understanding of how say hockey or foootball is played were brought onto the ice/field in the the middle of a game and there were no refs? Why is golf any different?

Create more signage at the course of expected etiquette and courtesy. Give players a handout when checking in and confirm with them their understanding. Make them sign that they understand. Have marshals then enforce that so players don’t need to enforce the behaviour of others so much. However, marshals can only do so much when the overall state of play on the course is slow. I have played this game for 40 years, including working in the business at one time. I only play either early morning or late in the day now because I simply find it too frustrating to play at regular times now.

Matt's avatar
Matt wrote at 2018-06-10 18:12:03+00:00:

Amen brother! See my post right above yours. I like to finish in less than 4 hours. You are spot on with regard to newer player lack of knowledge with respect to rules and speed of play.

Ross's avatar
Ross wrote at 2018-06-10 17:50:35+00:00:

Looking at all these posts on slow play I noticed a good portion is related to being in a cart. Just the fact that a cart is being used means slow play. Every golfer, with exceptions of course, should walk. I have always walked and at 75 years old, still carry. The only exception are the golfing communities that require you to take a cart. Walking is faster than two in a cart. I walk to my ball, I'm always ready to hit, I walk across the green to put clubs close to the next tee box, Have one coin in my pocket to mark the ball if necessary, repair the ball mark on the way up to the ball.

Walking, if healthy obviously, is golf.

bobbyg70g@gmail.com's avatar
bobbyg70g@gmail.com wrote at 2018-06-10 18:36:42+00:00:

Perhaps on a short, condensed course walking might be faster. However, I'd challenge any "speed walker" (even one golfer) on my home course against my partner & my ready golf cart. We easily catch up to a walker and leave him in the dust in just one or two holes. Agree some golfers are slow no matter what mode of transportation.

Ted T's avatar
Ted T wrote at 2018-06-12 00:47:48+00:00:

I agree 100% with you Bobby G.

RayLo's avatar
RayLo wrote at 2018-06-10 17:46:15+00:00:

The real causes of slow play on most public golf courses...

Players who do not play 'ready golf.'

That is, get to your ball and hit it.

Don't cross the fairway before your take your shot to look for someone else's lost ball.

You don't need four people to look for a lost ball!

No more than a couple minutes should be taken to look for a lost ball.

The other day, a foursome ahead of us spent toooooo much time on the greens!

They were sizing up their putts to the nth degree like they were playing for big money - only they weren't because they were hackers.

Simply put, there are just too many people on public golf courses who were never taught or don't care about the 'unwritten' rules of the game.

It only takes one group of hackers to spoil it for everybody else.

Bob Joyce's avatar
Bob Joyce wrote at 2018-06-10 17:45:43+00:00:

Be ready to hit when it’s your turn. Have re yardage read, your glove on, and a club in your hand

Harvey Sadow's avatar
Harvey Sadow wrote at 2018-06-10 17:25:07+00:00:

If starters at daily fee courses, or the people at check in explained chauffeuring and the efficient alternative use of golf carts, people would learn how to play faster without feeling rushed. A big part of the problem is that many people are oblivious to why they play so slowly, so they don’t know how to play more efficiently. A quick reminder about not chauffeuring or standing around watching others around the greens would be helpful in speeding up play.

jim_higgins@verizon.net's avatar
jim_higgins@verizon.net wrote at 2018-06-10 17:23:24+00:00:

Many golf courses do not have mashalls - too expensive. For those that do, the marshall should require any group that is not playing at an acceptable pace - say, within a hole of the group ahead - to skip a hole to catch up, or permit the following group to play through.

Ted's avatar
Ted wrote at 2018-06-10 17:21:40+00:00:

Teach players the ESC system, and if they are at their over par score, pick up and move on. Remember, 90% of players don't score under 90, so picking up and taking your ESC score should speed up play. Info on the score card concerning their score would also be helpful.

Doug McDowall's avatar
Doug McDowall wrote at 2018-06-10 17:21:37+00:00:

Keep the rough mowed to a reasonable depth so amateurs can easily find their balls. Pro shops could hand out a list of tips for speedier play.

GalCallaway's avatar
GalCallaway wrote at 2018-06-10 17:20:58+00:00:

Four things could help the pace of play at most public courses...

(1) Thoughtful course Setup - Superintendents needs to setup the course for the type of golfers that play their course and provide options from each tee box. Unreasonable long holes, thick rough and fast greens slow play. I recently reviewed a course that had a PAR 3 that was 161 yards from the the forward tees. I said "no need for that" because high handicaps will need to hit a driver or wood to reach the green (and they really should have the distance allow for an iron off the tee). A low handicap golfer didn't agree and said I must not play much golf. Wrong, I play lots of golf but lots of long PAR 3s but I like to do reviews from the perspective of high handicaps or women that might be playing the forward tees. The whole point of different tees is to make golf fun for everyone. And a long PAR 3 make it harder for the high handicapper or casual player to have fun and play the hole fast.

(2) 8 to 10 minutes between Tee Times - I agree with Brandon Tucker. Too many courses do not have enough time between groups.

(3) Starters - it would be great if starters ask the golfers their handicap or average score and recommend what tee to play. It is always amazing to me to see guys hit for the tips on the first hole, barely get past the forward tees (no where near the intended landing area off the tee) and the starters say nothing.

(4) Good Rangers to monitor Player Etiquette - Unfortunately you see too many golfers who seem oblivious (or just don't care) how their play impacts other groups behind them on the course. Rangers need to be trained to spot a bottle neck and ask players to pick up the pace or get back in place. I've seen lots of rangers just ignore bad play. Perhaps it is because Rangers, unfortunately, face too many golfers that ignore them or (worse) argue with them because they don't think they are slow or they don't care.

Mike Krystek's avatar
Mike Krystek wrote at 2018-06-10 17:18:54+00:00:

My retired friend and I always play as a two-some during the week. One course set up that always slows us down is rough that is too long. It’s disconcerting when your ball rolls 5 feet into the rough and takes four minutes to find. The rough set up for amateurs should be short enough so you can see the top of your ball as you are driving by in a cart. This would save a lot of time.

Bill from Ottawa's avatar
Bill from Ottawa wrote at 2018-06-10 17:18:43+00:00:

Paint all the white OB stakes red.

mike's avatar
mike wrote at 2018-06-10 18:07:33+00:00:

This is not a bad idea. At least make those white stakes red stakes where it makes sense. We play one course in Orange County where they have too many OB areas so we play them as red stakes. We play faster , better, and enjoy the course a lot more , even though we lose the same number of golf balls.

Seakgolfer 's avatar
Seakgolfer wrote at 2018-06-12 00:49:11+00:00:

I think it is an excellent idea along with the other comments about ready golf and marshall's actually doing something when they see a problem group. And it doen't have to be negative comments - just having a marshall compliment a group on catching up can help encourage good behavior.

Kevin's avatar
Kevin wrote at 2018-06-10 17:16:55+00:00:

Some great suggestions in this conversation. The best I've experienced to facilitate pace of play occurred at a high end course in Phoenix Az (in the summer no less). The Starter informed us that we would play in four hours; the number of holes we completed in that allotted time was up to us. If we fell a half hole behind we would be warned to pick up the pace. If we fell a full hole behind we would be told to skip a hole to maintain position. We would only be told to skip one hole; if we fell behind again we would be removed from the course. Excellent!!! Changing the narrative from "playing 18 holes" to "playing golf for four hours" made a huge difference. We automatically played ready golf. We stopped looking for lost balls. We stopped obsessing over putts. We played in well under four hours; we never had to wait for the group in front of us and the group behind us never waited on us. To top it off our scores improved because we were able to establish a consistent rhythm to our game. And yes, this was a public course...

Jacques grilli's avatar
Jacques grilli wrote at 2018-06-10 17:14:45+00:00:

The best way to play without loosing time is to play READY GOLF. Forget the the best score first to play - when you are ready and it is safe to do it - you play.

Dalbur's avatar
Dalbur wrote at 2018-06-10 17:09:55+00:00:

Why are walk only courses so much faster ? Try and stop the golf cart only once after drives Be ready and walk to your ball. Design future golf courses for walking. Next tee close to previous green. Unfortunately many courses are designed to sell houses.

Barry's avatar
Barry wrote at 2018-06-10 17:04:55+00:00:

The pros should have a shot clock. Some of these guys are ridiculous, they make TV golf unwatchable at times. For amateurs, tell the golf courses to mow the course; I’m seeing a bad trend of golf courses leaving random areas unmoved, and many times this areas aren’t apparent from the tee box.

Rob Ashworth's avatar
Rob Ashworth wrote at 2018-06-10 17:03:32+00:00:

Cut the rough lower. Public golf courses don’t need high rough. Nothing worse than everybody spending too much time looking for their ball every hole. It would be so great if the ball could not sit down and hide and hate losing a ball in the rough. Lower rough so the ball cant hide would chop off at least 15 minutes per 9. I once played a course that had no rough and everybody loved it. No looking and no lost balls. Perfect course for the public player.

Harvey Sadow's avatar
Harvey Sadow wrote at 2018-06-10 17:02:31+00:00:

The number one cause of slow play is players not being ready to hit when it is their turn to play. Two reasons: chauffeuring and standing around watching other players on the greens. Chauffeuring is when two players drive the cart to one ball, and one player sits in the cart watching the other player hit. Then they drive to the other ball and one player watches the other player hit. The remedy is to drop the first player at his ball so he can get ready to play, while the other player drives to his/her ball and prepares to hit. As long as players stay far enough out of each other’s way, players can save half an hour or more per 18 hole round by not chauffeuring. Around the greens players can save even more time by reading their putts or practicing their chipping strokes while other players are doing the same. As long as they stop and get out of each other’s line when others are ready to chip or putt, this is a guaranteed time saver.

Jim's avatar
Jim wrote at 2018-06-10 16:33:59+00:00:

Single seat golf carts

John's avatar
John wrote at 2018-06-10 16:51:06+00:00:

YES

Scott Varner's avatar
Scott Varner wrote at 2018-06-10 16:30:32+00:00:

Do not allow players to use a line or the writing on their ball for alignment purposes. Players squat down and endlessly align their ball, step back then readjust this line then step back to make sure. Then they miss the putt and repeat the process on their four footer coming back! Standing in the fairway and waiting on this nonsense is maddening.

If you are not allowed an alignment aid on full shots, they shouldn’t be allowed for putts.

Clint's avatar
Clint wrote at 2018-06-10 16:23:51+00:00:

Get in the cart with your club, clean it and put it away (quietly) later. Play ready golf, go to your ball (not in front of, or in the way of another player) and be ready to play. Move off the green and to the next tee before scoring. Stop telling stories. Keep up with the group in front, don't worry about the one in back, your not going that way. Play continuous putting.

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2018-06-10 17:39:27+00:00:

Most reasonable reply of all...in terms of controlling what CAN be done without cost!

Michael's avatar
Michael wrote at 2018-06-10 16:13:02+00:00:

I'm a marshall at a popular member/public course in Northern California. Lack of golf etiquette and common sense are one problem. How many times have I seen golfers park their cart at their ball 80 yards from the pin, hit their shot, then walk up to the green, putt and then walk all the way back to their cart? Meanwhile, the group behind has to wait for the golfer to retrieve his cart and move on before they can hit to an empty green. And, how many times have I watched a group of 4 guys off in the rough, walking around like aliens making crop circles looking for one guys golf ball? Even if they found the ball(which seldom happens!) the ball is unhittable and a drop is the only choice. But, NO! He needs to find THAT ball! I understand the economics of wanting to get as many tee times booked on any given day, but for most amateurs, 10 minutes between groups is not enough. I think players that attend and complete a "players" class explaining golf etiquette and pace of play tips, would earn a "certificate" that allows them to qualify for a discount on their cost to play.

Ted's avatar
Ted wrote at 2018-06-10 17:29:19+00:00:

Couldn't agree more Mike. I've petitioned the USGA about this and haven't heard back in several months. For a nominal fee{$5} offer a one hour course on etiquette, rules, ESC and pace of play. Award a certificate that offers a discount at ALL courses{say $2 off} or incremental % depending on course fee. Thanks for the feedback.

Josephine 's avatar
Josephine wrote at 2018-06-11 02:00:47+00:00:

I agree. If golfers are taught how the game is played and some etiquette would help tremendously. Please rake the bunkers or bring your mom with you to do it because you have no regard for other players

Peter Ericson's avatar
Peter Ericson wrote at 2018-06-10 16:10:21+00:00:

The golf courses themselves can help speed up play immensly by giving the distance to the pin on par threes on each days pin placement! And more signage in general as where to go next and an indication where the tee markers are when tee boxes are elevated from the cart path!

Mark Santos's avatar
Mark Santos wrote at 2018-06-10 16:10:17+00:00:

I absolutely hate that the course where I live set the pin up in an unnameable area such as on the side of a downhill double level green or right near the edge of he drop off. That causes excessive putting and makes times explode on certain holes. It’s an amateur course.

john's avatar
john wrote at 2018-06-10 16:07:40+00:00:

I marshal at our small local course. The weekends can be a little hectic. I always carry an insulated cooler pack with a couple of dozen bottles of nice cold water. And, I also keep at least a dozen newly lost and found golf ball on board. If I have to ask a slow group to let a faster group play through, those free cold drinks and 4 almost new ProV1s make the wait a whole lot easier to endure. But that's at one small country course and not the PGA.

deltaromeo's avatar
deltaromeo wrote at 2018-06-10 16:02:35+00:00:

LIMIT Use of Fancy Range Finders by the less than accomplished player - Debates amongst the foursome as to who is correct and how much to add or subtract from the distance due to current conditions blah blah blah ad Nauseum - especially for the ULTIMATE prize of such "tidy sums" as five buck nassaus (after paying $200+ for this opportunity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Limiting the use of "shot measurements" with personal range finders eliminates one major delay - especially on those courses that are traditional 'vacation" and BUDDY TRACKS!

When u pay a couple of hundred there just may be range finders in the carts or visual indicators on the course - you can probably "tune" your game for distance and condition on the multi use of the driving range by you and your buddies - Correct?

Bob Joyce's avatar
Bob Joyce wrote at 2018-06-10 17:50:36+00:00:

Range finders - when used properly - are a lot faster than 1) finding a sprinkler head and then 2) pacing off from sprinkler heads

mike's avatar
mike wrote at 2018-06-10 17:59:58+00:00:

I find that range finders speed up play because players don’t have to find a marked sprinkler head and walk off the yardage from the sprinkler to their golf ball.

Rick's avatar
Rick wrote at 2018-06-10 15:52:20+00:00:

Even though I suggest this to my playing partners, they don't seem to get it. AFTER YOU HIT YOUR SHOT, JUST GET IN THE CART WITH YOUR CLUB IN HAND, YOU CAN PUT YOUR CLUB IN THE BAG AND EXCHANGE IT FOR A DIFFERENT ONE WHEN YOU GET TO YOUR NEXT SHOT. So much time wasted putting clubs in and out of the bag, (as well as looking for balls, tees, phone, etc.) I hardly ever see anyone else do this. When me and my buddies do this, we get around the course a lot quicker.

Rick's avatar
Rick wrote at 2018-06-10 16:11:59+00:00:

How about courses making this part of the starters pre-game speech to golfers.

Leonardo's avatar
Leonardo wrote at 2018-06-10 15:49:30+00:00:

Interesting how these articles on slow play side-step the issue of 5somes.

Peter's avatar
Peter wrote at 2018-06-10 16:57:35+00:00:

I've found few courses whose policy allow fivesomes, and most of those are low-end munis. On the other hand, I've seen fivesomes waiting on foursomes or even threesomes.

I start and marshal at a couple of resorts, and while we don't officially allow fivesomes, sometimes we'll have five people show up who are scheduled as a threesome and twosome. Depending on the situation on the course and the people involved (i.e., if they're regulars), as starters we will sometimes quietly tell them they can play as a fivesome if (a) they keep up with foursomes ahead of them, and (b) if they can't, they either let faster groups play through or split back up. They know we will be checking up on them as marshals, so they tend to obey.

RogerC's avatar
RogerC wrote at 2018-06-10 15:48:28+00:00:

Too many players do not play READY GOLF and have no clue how to play efficient cart golf. Additionally, the designs of the courses tend to be too difficult for the high handicap players. Forced carries, fast/undulating greens, and deep bunkers add additional strokes (equates to more strokes/more mins to each hole played). I’ve played with people who spend time searching for balls in desert areas/waste areas, take two to three strokes to eradicate themselves from the deep bunkers, and take three to four putts on difficult greens. The setup of the course can improve or add to the pace of play. Designers and superintendents, if you want to attract and keep folks wanting to come back, do the following; 1) design courses that are more forgiving for the mid to high handicap players (its okay to have a couple of challenging holes), 2) have less distance between the holes to encourage walkers (I believe walkers tend to play faster than people in carts that have no clue how to play efficient cart golf), and last, don’t have pin placements on extreme locations because it will result in more three or more putts per green.

John's avatar
John wrote at 2018-06-10 15:41:22+00:00:

How about putting each player in a foursome on a cart...not doubled up...they charge the same per player if it's 2 on a cart or 1...which I have never understood...and allowing twosomes just slows things down when invariably a foursome ahead of them is pressured to allow the twos to play through.

Josephine 's avatar
Josephine wrote at 2018-06-10 15:34:57+00:00:

I’m a woman player and play 2-3 times a week. A hate to play on weekends because,people who rarely play,come out then. Weekends are for people who work and this is when they can get out and play. I get that. Most weekend players think they are better than they are. They wait for the fairway to be totally clear because they think they are going to hit the green from 350 yards out. Most times they hit a shot into the woods or the shot goes about 50 yards. Rangers are key to keeping the game moving but usually rangers just ride around and never confront the slow players. I’ve been in a foursome of women and have had the ranger confront us rather then the group that’s backing up the course. We are all out of the cart and waiting at our ball ready to hit but still we are considered the problem. Women play much faster then men because we are considered not good players which isn’t true. Pin placement is also a reason for slow play. Difficult pin placement slows play too. 3-4 putts will always frustrate players and that’s why better pin placement on weekends would help speed play. If rangers used the red, yellow and green flag option, players would get the message without confrontation. If you see a red flag on the rangers cart you have fallen behind and need to pick up the pace. Yellow flag, you are just a shot behind the pace of play. You get the idea.

Remember you are an amateur player and usually won’t make the shots you see the pros make on tv.

Karen's avatar
Karen wrote at 2018-06-10 15:57:54+00:00:

I agree

Sherry powell's avatar
Sherry powell wrote at 2018-06-10 15:28:15+00:00:

Pace of play is a plague not going away. Thus I am thinking of giving the game up! Slow play .... not a good score. Are avid golfers a thing of the past? I am afraid so.

Adam's avatar
Adam wrote at 2018-06-10 15:26:22+00:00:

I would add that courses should place the "No Carts Allowed Beyond This Point" markers a REASONABLE distance from the green instead of 100+ yards out, like some courses do. Since most misses at the green miss it short, the area between the cart signs and the green can cause delays--especially when people have mobility issues.

Rick Barbare's avatar
Rick Barbare wrote at 2018-06-10 15:25:50+00:00:

STOP FIDGETING! I live above a Par 3, with full view of the hole and the next tee box. What I notice is it takes an inordinate amount of time for a foursome to prep for the shot before spilling down the bank ten yards to the tee. They're counting balls, counting tees, swapping head covers, toweling clubs and/or themselves, scoping the yardage, checking the Dow, and, because they've forgotten, re-counting balls. And then they repeat the whole process on the next tee box. Rarely do I see all four lined up ready to tee off.

Rick Garrett's avatar
Rick Garrett wrote at 2018-06-10 15:24:42+00:00:

#1. Change all white stakes to Red stakes.

Larry's avatar
Larry wrote at 2018-06-10 15:19:06+00:00:

Train the beverage cart girls to stop at the tee box, not adjacent to greens or middle of fairways! Stop squeeezing in groups on a crowded facility. Lake Jovita has become notorious for that due to greedy management/ownership.It drives the starters crazy when unlisted on the tee sheet players show up.

Ell's avatar
Ell wrote at 2018-06-10 15:13:54+00:00:

Maybe, just maybe a round should be shortened to 14 or 12 holes for the amateurs. Less time, less course maintenance, i.e., reduced cost for labor and materials. Scots determined a round of golf to be 18 holes, because that's how many shots are in a bottle of Scotch.

Mark Santos's avatar
Mark Santos wrote at 2018-06-10 16:21:12+00:00:

I don’t think that really should be a solution. Enforcement of the pace and better setup would easily push things along

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2018-06-10 15:12:42+00:00:

Cart path only by far the worst culprit.

Mark Santos's avatar
Mark Santos wrote at 2018-06-10 16:22:37+00:00:

That absolutely kills things. When that’s in play they should PROVIDE free pull carts and allow those who can walk to do so because there is nothing worse then walking 50 yards to your ball then back.

Big Al's avatar
Big Al wrote at 2018-06-10 15:12:17+00:00:

Pace of the slowest player affects all players. Generally I’ve seen other players pick up the pace to compensate for slower players. No one ,Ike’s to Ben pushed by a following group. Result; faster players game suffers. The slow player is totally oblivious to how he or she is affecting the entire experience.

Patrick's avatar
Patrick wrote at 2018-06-10 15:10:31+00:00:

Trim the high rough to a reasonable height. Golf balls just off of the fairway need to be seen not hidden. Limit ball searches to 1 minute. Adopt drop and go: partner takes 2-3 clubs as cart driver goes to his/her ball. Cap scoring at double par per hole. Once double score is reached, pick up ball.

Mark Santos's avatar
Mark Santos wrote at 2018-06-10 16:27:11+00:00:

Like those both. We normally load up with some clubs and tell the other person to take the cart and we will walk the rest of the 150 yards.

Don's avatar
Don wrote at 2018-06-10 15:07:06+00:00:

The group I play with play with the thought of who ever is ready first hits there shot and we do not mark the ball on the green unless it is in someone else’s line. The round usually takes 3:30 to 4 hrs for the 4 of us

Sherry powell's avatar
Sherry powell wrote at 2018-06-10 15:30:23+00:00:

Ready golf helps. We do it all the time. Still sad we have to come to that.

Randjf's avatar
Randjf wrote at 2018-06-10 15:44:07+00:00:

Ready golf works. Honors go to birdies only

Mark Santos's avatar
Mark Santos wrote at 2018-06-10 16:28:23+00:00:

We were on pace for a great 3:30 round until about the 11th hole and hen bam. Slower then slow players acting like they are in the open and can’t hit crap.

Peter's avatar
Peter wrote at 2018-06-10 15:07:02+00:00:

Hard to believe you ignored the most important factor for slow play in amateur golf. Be ready to hit when it's your turn. I see too many golfers act like spectators in their own group. They watch a shot, get back into a cart, and then they drive 30 yards for the next guy to hit. Be ready. Get out of the cart and get to your ball. Get your club and yardage and be ready to fire. That alone would save an hour per round.

cardon's avatar
cardon wrote at 2018-06-10 15:03:22+00:00:

Our Pro allows 2-somes, all the time.

Tony 's avatar
Tony wrote at 2018-06-10 15:03:11+00:00:

One problem I often see is when golfers play from the tips or from tees set up for long ball hitters. Playing the ball forward should speed up play by allowing the golfer to approach the green with a higher lofted club. Another problem is when one or more golfers in the foursome use the round to socialize or b.s. with their friends.

Karen's avatar
Karen wrote at 2018-06-10 16:00:33+00:00:

Play it forward!

Bob's avatar
Bob wrote at 2018-06-10 15:01:06+00:00:

I just love:

players who hit from the tips and are all looking in the woods for their second shots! If you can't keep it in the fairway from the tips, move up to the tees where you can.

Foursomes who all mark their balls on the green, regardless if they're even CLOSE to in anyone's way, squat down and eye up their next putt, then miss it anyway.

Players who walk like they have crap in their pants, as they proceed back to their cart after their shot, even though they see you behind them, waiting (im)patiently.

Players who wait for the players in front of them to be twice as far away as they can possibly hit their ball on their next shot.

Players who don and replace head covers after each shot. Your crappy clubs aren't gonna get ruined, don't worry!

Mark Santos's avatar
Mark Santos wrote at 2018-06-10 16:31:05+00:00:

I agree about all of that. I have “nice” clubs but uncover all of them before the round and leave them that way. Get in the damn cart and go

Eddie 's avatar
Eddie wrote at 2018-06-10 14:59:07+00:00:

Pro Shop does NOT tell newer player's to either keep up with the group in front of them or let the group behind them pass through, VERY Frustrating!!!

Ross's avatar
Ross wrote at 2018-06-10 14:57:58+00:00:

Yes, us amateurs can improve slow play. Remember however that in general your handicap dictates the speed of play. There are other contributing factors of course but lets discuss the pro level. This is something I have been advocating for years.

1) All the homework about the course is done prior to play.

2) Absolutely no yardage book or notes on the course. Caddie or Pro.

3) No distance walking to checking out yardage or whatever else.

4) No lengthy conversation between pro and caddie. In fact if you're a pro then act like a pro.

Do your homework as well.

5) Read the greens from ONE location only. Walking around and analyzing every single angle on a green that sometimes is an acre in size is ridiculous.

6) Change your club selection only one time. Pick a club, you don't like it then pick again. That's it.

7) There should be an official on every hole for a quick response.

8) The rules. I know some changes will be implemented next year and really not soon enough. Good, but one rule that will also speed up play and needs to be modified again is the OB. Treat it the same way as a lateral hazard except you MUST take a one stroke penalty. No option to hit it from an OB position even if you could.

9) Finally and at the pro level only, allow 10 clubs in the bag. Before yardage books and the like golf was more of a FEEL game than the robotic one we have today.

10) I used to be absolutely golf crazy. Watch every tournament, golf channel news, getting the latest equipment, playing top courses here and abroad however the game has lost its lustre.

Watching golfers hit drivers and wedges for 5 plus hours is not my idea of fun. This is how non golfers looked at the game some 30 years ago when a 4 hour round was in play. I now understand how they felt.

My take.

Goran Jelenic 's avatar
Goran Jelenic wrote at 2018-06-10 14:57:40+00:00:

32 seconds on the green for pros? What was he watching? Not the PGA, for sure, from the time they mark their ball and stalk the hole from all sides, it takes them 2-3 minutes! Amateurs mimic this behaviour and along with all the other pro like, slow play rice, there's your problem. Once, while marshalling, I watched a group putt out, and each one of them didn't start reading their putt until the golfer finished.

They must have had $5 on the hole, it felt Ilike I was watching a playoff at the Masters.

frank cichon's avatar
frank cichon wrote at 2018-06-10 16:01:25+00:00:

I agree with you 100%...I guess he did NOT watch the Open when Jordan took ALL DAY to hit his shot...it was a JOKE ....I felt for Kucher ....he was looking good until that point. I mean ...you hit it there ..now here is your relieve and now you have 45 seconds to hit your shot..PERIOD ..that kind of CRAP is what holds up play and what Holmes did I think cost his playing partner the tournament.

Cd raisch's avatar
Cd raisch wrote at 2018-06-10 14:56:44+00:00:

Rough is much too long on most courses I play And there are few courses that remind players to try to play in about 4 hours.

Sarel de Kock's avatar
Sarel de Kock wrote at 2018-06-10 14:56:30+00:00:

I am from South Africa and read your artical

I started playing late in my years 67 old now and realy enjoy the game, still amature states

We play regular in a four ball and comlete a 72 par coarse in 5 hours including a breakfast pf 20 minutes

Now if the professionals take 5 hours and someone shouts from behind or a marshall start pushing then i need to find something else to do

I cant see how anybody could enjoy a good game of golf under 5 hours allthou you do get good golfers that can complete in less time but hell man a rugby game jas a set time of 80 minutes and nobody complains about that so why not set a time limit to handicaps and professionals

At present i play off a 24 registered handicap and best number of shots 88 and 37 points not bad for an old toppie playing for 2 years once a week

Malcolm's avatar
Malcolm wrote at 2018-06-10 14:55:38+00:00:

I understand the players on the course, is money to the club, but when the tee sheet has player going off every 7-8 minutes, all that is happening is jamming up the course, & extending the length of time it takes to play a round. If the game is going to grow the numbers of people taking up or continuing to play regularly, something has to be done about the length of time it takes to be able to play around. Today people have busy lives, & are growing less willing to "waste" time waiting to be able to take there shot, due to a backup ahead of them.

hatrick19@msn.com's avatar
hatrick19@msn.com wrote at 2018-06-10 14:55:23+00:00:

Have a ranger on the coarse that knows what he's doing.

cardon's avatar
cardon wrote at 2018-06-10 15:07:40+00:00:

Not only does the Ranger know what he's doing, but he has to take charge and have the support of the Pro Shop. I've been a Ranger for many years, and I've seen golfers go in and complain that the Ranger was pushing them and the Pro gave the complainers a free pass and then repremanded the Ranger. Also, at our course, we have a double-par rule for newer players - ie, on a par 4, once you hit your 8th shot, you must pick up and move on.

Karen's avatar
Karen wrote at 2018-06-10 16:02:10+00:00:

Or she...is doing.

Peter Mick's avatar
Peter Mick wrote at 2018-06-10 14:49:30+00:00:

I play in a Senior League and we routinely play 4 hour rounds. One of the major reasons is we play "READY GOLF". Many of us shoot scores around 100 strokes per round and do it in "military" fashion. It can be done if players use common sense and get the lead out of their butts.

Rob 's avatar
Rob wrote at 2018-06-10 14:48:35+00:00:

No singles or twosomes, in the midst of many foursomes. Pairings should be made by the pro shop or the starter. Singles and twosomes can play more quickly, but not when surrounded by foursomes. Play ready golf at all times.

Robert's avatar
Robert wrote at 2018-06-10 14:47:59+00:00:

Good article, I'm not sure my course can do much other than have 10 min intervals instead of 6 to 8 min. Golf etiquette is the biggest problem, playing READY golf is hard to teach unless your foursome plays like this you'll never learn it. Youngsters in particular 35 and under that takeup the sport are the hardest to train because their buddy's don't know this style of play. Holiday's are the worst, golfers go out that haven't played in a year or even hit balls, and hit 2-3 off the box, so maybe more MARSHALLS is the answer.

Jim Wright's avatar
Jim Wright wrote at 2018-06-10 14:47:37+00:00:

One of the worst things to come out of the golf world is the pre -shot routine. Watching someone hit a ball 60 yards down the fairway after taking forever to hit the ball is ridiculous.

Bob silzer's avatar
Bob silzer wrote at 2018-06-10 14:47:10+00:00:

DSG GLOBAL INC. HAS THE PRODUCTS TO HELP SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

1. The new INFINITY XL (tracking device) enters the market in 3 weeks and assists in pace of play

2. DSG is introducing the new FAIRWAY RIDER G3 (3 sheet electric golf cart) that reduces a round of golf by 40+ minutes when the players play READY GOLF.

3. Not only does it increase the pace of play but also allows the golf course to generate revenue as DSG will install any number of carts FREE OF CHARGE.

4. Call DSG @ 1.575.3848 ext 113 or go to www.dsgtag.com for more info.

BillBus's avatar
BillBus wrote at 2018-06-10 14:46:37+00:00:

First of all, I think the pros do to much talking to there caddies, between shots. I also believe TV wants that to show mire drama and the announcers can make each shot sound more important The talking should be going on as other plyers are hitting their shot. I know sometimes they might be to close to each other on the hole.

Randy Balik's avatar
Randy Balik wrote at 2018-06-10 14:44:56+00:00:

All I know is I’ve transitioned to playing more speed golf. Not sprinting like the world class SGers, but mixing in a little fitness with an early morning jog from shot to shot with a small bag and 6 clubs. Yes we have to tee off first to make it happen so they are early mornings, but we are typically done in 1:20 or less and have the whole day ahead of us. And to my surprise, my scores typically don’t suffer and I’ve improved both my overall game and my pace of play during my “slow” rounds. Yes I know it’s not for everyone and it’s only part of the solution to a broader problem, but it can be for far more golfers than people realize. And the courses who let us out early love it because they get some extra revenue in the morning. And I’m getting in A LOT more golf these days since it has minimal impact on my family and professional life. One to two additional rounds per week in spring and summer. So as the head of Speed Golf SoCal says, “play speed golf, it’s about time.”

Ken's avatar
Ken wrote at 2018-06-10 14:43:02+00:00:

Courses should enforce what tees individuals should hit from. Too many player hit from blues when they should be hitting from the whites. In my opinion all player who don’t have a registered index of 8 or less should play from whites or red tees.

Roy Irvine 's avatar
Roy Irvine wrote at 2018-06-10 15:16:30+00:00:

I agree completely, I would like to see our club do this. Quite frankly I am enjoying the game much more since moving to a more forward tee.

Jim Handerhan's avatar
Jim Handerhan wrote at 2018-06-10 14:41:36+00:00:

On packed weekengs put all holes in middle of green, or flatest area.some even suggested a quarter inch bigger holr

HDTVMAN's avatar
HDTVMAN wrote at 2018-06-10 14:40:13+00:00:

No beer or alcohol would speed up play.

David Gotsch 's avatar
David Gotsch wrote at 2018-06-10 14:37:09+00:00:

Play "ready golf", when get to your call hit it. Don't wait for the guy on the other side of the fairway. When you are putting....putt out you're not going to mess up anyone's line, I don't care what they say...putt out.

Brant 's avatar
Brant wrote at 2018-06-10 14:35:50+00:00:

Marking a ball 2 ft from cup

Waiting for a green to clear

Liquor Service anywhere other than T-Box

Recording score greenside

Marshall's stopping at 150 pole to watch

Allowing cell phones usage in fairways

Not enough racks at traps

Maintenance Staff who do not stop cutting

Allowing 2 ball after 2 ball groups T off

THERE ARE TONS MORE. HIT THE BALL

Pauly's avatar
Pauly wrote at 2018-06-10 14:33:47+00:00:

Garbage - if some old geezer called a “marshall” told me I couldn’t use the restroom before teeing it up on 10after flying all that way to play golf on some sh*tty open field, I’d kick that old loon right in the nut sack

Roy Irvine 's avatar
Roy Irvine wrote at 2018-06-10 15:21:16+00:00:

That's not helpful, golf does not need your attitude.

Al's avatar
Al wrote at 2018-06-10 14:32:29+00:00:

Whether you're walking or riding, if you play ready golf you can play a 4 hr or less game of golf. Ready golf is each player at his or her ball, and ready to play when the golfers ahead of you have move on. I have seen numerous 2/4somes at the ball furthest from green, then all go to the next ball, then the next and next. Each player of the 4some go to their ball, if possible, then hit your ball in turn, this will speed up the game. Same idea on the greens do on the fairways.

Hal S's avatar
Hal S wrote at 2018-06-10 14:30:32+00:00:

When playing while riding in a cart: After your shot, get in the cart with your club in your hand. You'll save 10 seconds by waiting to clean the head,/replace the head cover/put it in your bag. You will have plenty of time to clean it, replace the head cover, and put it in it's place once you are at your partner's ball. You might think, what difference would that make? If you shoot par golf and 2 putt every green, you will make 36 full shots. At only 10 seconds per shot, that's 6 minutes EACH GOLFER can cut off their round. Four people: that saves 24 minutes. If you shoot 90 with 36 putts, you will save that same 10 seconds 54 times...your foursome will be able to play in 40 minutes less time, just by waiting to put away your club until someone else is going through their pre-shot routine.

Ernie's avatar
Ernie wrote at 2018-06-10 14:28:57+00:00:

i Feel ameature and us weekend warriors should try to play the game properly but unless you can read a green, don’t try and look,at it 10 ways, and unless you know you can 1 putt everytime let’s be honest see read at hit bots, also on a busy course ther just needs to be more ready golf, golf educate is the way to play don’t get me wrong, but you know the course is busy and your at your ball, why wait for Joe to walk another 50 yards before you take your shot, he’s got to look at his shot figure the distance hit then you gotta do the same, just rad your shot hit and Joe can hit his when he’s at his ball, putting educate does not have to laps just fairway educate, especially if someone in the group can find ther ball drop and go people, therirs no trophy at the end, 3 groups standing and waiting in the hot son is not enjoyable. Course need to also on twilight hours walkers should not be on a busy course, they should restrict walkers when the course is swamped. During twilights.

Mike P's avatar
Mike P wrote at 2018-06-10 14:26:55+00:00:

Both of your points above are spot on. I play over 100 rounds per year, most as a “dew sweeper” to avoid slow play, and the lack of understanding by most (so called experienced and inexperienced players) is obvious. But how do you educate and enforce breaches so that the information is consumed without offending the player?

Bob's avatar
Bob wrote at 2018-06-10 14:25:02+00:00:

Pro golf definitely needs a "shot clock" with REAL penalties attached....Our foursome regularly finishes in 3+30 when first off in the morning. No reason for pro threesomes and twosomes to exceed 4 hours

Dave's avatar
Dave wrote at 2018-06-10 14:24:27+00:00:

The golf industry is always coming up with ways to get people interested in golf. So you get new people out on the course and have never played will slow down the pace. Amateurs are taking advice from the pros to read putts from all angles, look at your lie, which way is grain of the grass growing, wind speed, flag location to choose the right club. Golf balls are very expensive now days and amateurs are going to take more time to look for a lost ball.

Don Van Riper's avatar
Don Van Riper wrote at 2018-06-10 14:23:53+00:00:

Our Men's Club at the Pala Mesa Resort in Fallbrook, CA sends out this reminder each year to all members:

Keeping in mind that by most standards a foursome should easily finish 18 holes in four hours or less, please review the following points and correct any that apply to you or anyone in your group:

1. On the Tee:

a) Show up at the first tee on time and ready to play.

b) On every tee make sure one of the group gets up and tees off immediately, followed without delay by the rest of the group.

c) If you need to hit a provisional ball, get another ball and be ready to go as soon as the other players have hit.

2. On the Course:

a) Drive directly to the nearest ball belonging to your cart. If it makes sense, drop off that golfer and drive to the other ball, picking up the first golfer after both have hit. Note: If you have the cart and your cart partner is waiting for you to pick him up or bring his clubs over so he can play, don’t stop to clean or put away your clubs – just take them along and go immediately to your partner…finish putting your clubs away when you can do it without making others wait for you.

b) Park near the ball – don’t make the player walk 20 yards to get a distance and then have to come all the way back to pick a club and return to hit.

c) In all cases play ready golf as long as you’re not interfering with anyone else’s shot. If you have to wait for another golfer, be totally ready to hit when it’s your turn (check lie, distance, etc., pick a club and take it out of the bag, have your glove on, and so forth).

d) If it doesn’t take you too far from your own ball(s) by all means help other players look for a lost or potentially OB ball before going to your own.

3. Around the Green:

a) If a player is off the green away from the cart path, drop him off before driving over to park.

b) If you are in a bunker or may need to chip, take enough clubs so you won’t have to go back for a different club depending on the lie.

c) Always leave your towel and any extra clubs between the hole and your cart so you won’t have to waste time retracing your steps.

d) If you’re one of the first on the green, fix other players’ pitch marks along with your own.

e) Read your putt while others are putting and be ready to pull the trigger when it’s your turn.

f) If you are one of the first to finish putting, get the flag stick and start picking up other players’ equipment to save time exiting the green.

g) If your group is behind at all, send the first two who finish putting over to tee off on the next hole.

h) If players behind you are waiting to hit to the green, don’t stop to put away your clubs – just take them along to the next tee and take care of it there.

i) Write the scores down at the next tee, not by the last green. It isn’t safe, for one thing, and at the tee your partner can be preparing or hitting while you write.

Groups or individuals who are unwilling or unable to play at an acceptable pace will be restricted to threesomes if necessary.

Don Van Riper

Pete Kawasaki's avatar
Pete Kawasaki wrote at 2018-06-10 14:40:22+00:00:

Good list. Only thing I would add is when you know a ball is OB kiss it goodbye. Don't waste everyone's time trying to save a couple of bucks. If you're that cheap buy used golf balls.

Adam's avatar
Adam wrote at 2018-06-10 15:21:10+00:00:

Excellent---every course should do the same! I especially like the "if your group is behind at all" (3G) rule.

Bob's avatar
Bob wrote at 2018-06-10 15:30:49+00:00:

Great guidelines!

Robert McComb's avatar
Robert McComb wrote at 2018-06-10 14:23:04+00:00:

I guess your not watching the same tournaments I am. First most of the time they play in either a three or two some. Our two dollar Nassau is as important but we play in a foursome between three and a half to four hours depending how crowded it is

Bob Marshall's avatar
Bob Marshall wrote at 2018-06-10 14:22:50+00:00:

If it were up to me, I would eliminate motorized carts for all but those who really need them for health reasons, like they do at St. Andrews. Unfortunately, most new courses are built with long distances between the green and the next tee, and I suspect part of that is because carts are a good source of revenue. In my experience, you can play 18 holes faster walking than having two players in a cart driving to each other's ball, getting out of the cart, checking the yardage, selecting their club, hitting their ball, getting back in the cart, driving to the other player's ball, where the same sequence is repeated. No wonder rounds take over five hours to play.

Hal S's avatar
Hal S wrote at 2018-06-10 14:34:56+00:00:

AMEN, brother!

JT's avatar
JT wrote at 2018-06-10 14:22:41+00:00:

Unless the wind is blowing or the sun is shinning extra bright in your eyes, it should take no longer than 20 - 30 seconds to make a decision and take the shot. Anything after this is overthinking and wasting valuable time that can be applied elsewhere in life.

Tom's avatar
Tom wrote at 2018-06-10 17:05:43+00:00:

Marshalls should act as forecaddies for slow groups.

Harlan's avatar
Harlan wrote at 2018-06-10 14:20:59+00:00:

The Naperville, IL muni courses could help the pace of play by shortening the rough a bit. Our course are very well-maintained, and the fairways and rough are thick, green and lush. That lush rough makes it tough for amateurs to dig the ball out which leads, IMO, to more time taken to complete a hole.

Matthew metzler's avatar
Matthew metzler wrote at 2018-06-10 14:13:42+00:00:

How about the fact most ametuers hit the ball short and left and right it takes a long time to play when you play “ military “ golf


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Brandon Tucker

Managing Editor

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.