Most golfers prefer to
play a round of golf in 4 hours and 15 minutes during non-peak
times and less than 5 hours during peak times or tournament
play. This is not always possible if there are people on the
course slowing play. It has been said, "Women do not cause slow
play and neither do beginners. Inconsiderate, unaware, and
uninformed players of both genders and all abilities cause slow
(Bruce Munch, Head Professional,
White River Golf Club, Rochester, VT)
Your place on the golf course is immediately behind the group in
front of you, not immediately in front of the group behind
you. If there is more than half a hole between your group and
the foursome in front of you, you’re playing too slow…please
speed up your pace of play. It is your job to make sure you
maintain contact with that group. If someone in your group is
causing slow play, talk to them. Slow play reflects on everyone
in the group—so speak up!
Here are some things you can do to speed up
when ready and safe regardless of who has the honors.
Never hit into the next group; but to help move things
along, let the shorter hitters play first.
Carry a spare ball in your pocket. When in doubt about a
stray ball, play a provisional.
your shot and select your club while approaching your ball.
no more than one practice swing. The precious seconds used
taking numerous practice swings add up in a hurry.
ready golf! Even though protocol dictates that the player
who is away plays next, if they are not ready and you are,
one person’s ball is on one side of the fairway and another
person’s ball is on the other side about the same distance
away, you may both hit the ball at the same time.
WATCH your ball. Follow the flight of your ball. Watch as it
lands. Mark that spot by trees, tire marks, bridges, some
physical object, etc. But remember to mark it well; things
always look different once you get there. Ask others to
assist in watching your ball, and watch theirs for them.
partners don’t have to wait for one to hit before moving on
to the other’s ball. Drive to the first ball, let the
player select their club, and then drive to your ball. The
first golfer can either walk to the cart after they’ve hit,
or you can drive back to pick them up.
separated from your cart or bag, you should take several
clubs to ensure you have the right one for your shot.
Rules of Golf allow a maximum of five minutes to search for
a lost ball. (Yikes!! That’s a third of the
recommended playing time for a hole!)
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your cart or leave your clubs to the rear of the green in
line with the next tee box—never in front of the green.
you have to carry another club with you besides your putter,
lay that club down between the flag and your cart or bag so
you won’t forget it.
Study your putt while others are putting.
continuously until you hole out, unless restricted by
another golfer’s line.
you need to make up time, have two people putt out and tee
off at the next tee box while the other two finish putting
don’t have to put your putter away; carry it to the next tee
box and put it away when you pull out your next club.
Don’t fill out your scorecard on the putting green; do it on
the next tee box.
“Equitable Stroke Control” rules.
This means that golfers NOT INVOLVED IN TOURNAMENT PLAY
may pick up their balls as follows:
Maximum Score on a Hole
9 or less Double Bogey
40 and above