Pace of play is a hot topic for professional golfers and amateurs alike.
Professionals playing slowly can be penalized and may even lose money. As an amateur, being a straggler can cost you an invitation to play again. If you are playing with a client or prospect, your slow play might indirectly cost you money, too!
There are no speed limits posted on a golf course, but you have to keep up with the "flow." Here are six things that will help you, taken from the lessons learned by new and returning golfers at our Golf for Cause Nine & Wine golf mentoring program.
1) Don't worry about the group behind you; rather, focus on keeping up with the group ahead.
2) On the green, stand by your ball so you're ready to play when it's your turn. Line up your putt while others are putting, being careful to not distract them.
3) Mark the scorecard when you reach the next hole. Two reasons: you don’t want to get hit by incoming balls, and you have time at the next hole while your playing partners are selecting clubs and teeing off.
4) When you must walk to your ball, take two extra clubs. If you think you need a 7-iron, take your 6-and 8-iron too. This is called "bracketing." If you're close to the green, also take your putter. Your playing partner can drive the cart to the green.
5) If using a cart, don't put your club away after hitting. Hang onto it and drive or ride to the next shot. When you step out of the cart again, put your club(s)back in the bag.
6) Pick up to keep up. As a new golfer, it’s acceptable to pick up your ball and drop it near a playing partner's ball or on the green. Finish the hole by putting with everyone else. Keep with the pace and you can play with anyone!