Attitude defines pace of play
It's disingenuous to blame slow play on lesser players (“Bad golf amplifies slow play, and you’re likely at fault,” May 17, http://bit.ly/2qt52tt). As noted in the original opinion piece, most players, male and female, play to a bogey or double-bogey level on average. However, our club routinely plays its rounds in less than four hours.
Very simply, it comes down to attitude. When players move to their ball, have clubs available to play their shot, watch where they hit their shot, get to the tee box without worrying about honors and line up their putts while others are lining up theirs, or while they are putting, the game moves along pretty quickly.
Sure, sometimes the problem can come from beginners who hit shot after shot, or look endlessly for balls they mis-hit, but basically, it comes down to whether players are rude and feel that they have the right to take as much time as they want to play, or whether they are courteous, keeping pace of play in mind and striving to keep up with the group in front of them.
Course operators can help by maintaining wider fairways and lower rough and utilizing rangers to patrol the course and move slower groups along, but the bottom line is that it will always come back to players' attitudes.
If you respect the game and others, you won't slow down the course.
Pay attention and keep up
Our course in Florida gets 20,000-30,000 rounds per year. Many are between 3 1/2 and four hours. Slow play on our course has to do with finding a club and hitting a ball.
My wife shoots 110. She and her group play in four hours or less. They know how to move it. If errant balls go in the water, they get the ball and catch up quickly.
Meanwhile, good players, single-digit [handicappers], with money on the line or not, take a long time between every shot and slow the whole course down.
Pace of play is about paying attention to where you are and where the groups in front and behind are. Pace of play is about preparing for your shot as you approach the ball, or getting out of the cart and walking to your ball to be ready at your turn.
Golf is for all levels of players. All players need to understand the etiquette part of the game.
L. Tadd Schwab
Delray Beach, Fla.
Be ready, and ditch those head covers
Not being ready to hit (and its subset, gabbing) holds the most promise for fighting slow play.
I see players, male and female, sit in the cart and watch their cartmate hit, and then drive laterally 15 yards to their own ball.
Don’t forget the maddening theater of the goofy head-cover management. I would make people like me (a lousy golfer) check all of their head covers at the first tee to be picked up after the 18th.
Hold on to that club and play faster
Here it is: Drive to your shot, hit it and with the club still in your hand, get back in the cart and go to the next shot. Then put away the club and pull your next one. We do this, and it really makes us faster and play better as we begin to think about our next shot immediately, not the last one.
Ask your group to experiment a couple of times and see what happens.
Why not relax and enjoy the game?
All of us are somewhat guilty of slow play. I know some golfers that just get up and hit it, and really don't care where it ends up and have a hard time finding it. To me, that generates slow play.
Golf is to be relaxing and enjoyable. How can one accomplish that if you’re trying to get around the golf course in record pace?
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