Lincoln Women's Municipal Golf Association



 Tips to Speed Play


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 play."
(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 play:

  1. Hit when ready and safe regardless of who has the honors.

  2. Never hit into the next group; but to help move things along, let the shorter hitters play first.

  3. Carry a spare ball in your pocket. When in doubt about a stray ball, play a provisional.


 On the Fairway

  1. Plan your shot and select your club while approaching your ball.

  2. Take no more than one practice swing. The precious seconds used taking numerous practice swings add up in a hurry.

  3. Play ready golf! Even though protocol dictates that the player who is away plays next, if they are not ready and you are, fire away. 

  4. If 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Cart 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. 

  7. When separated from your cart or bag, you should take several clubs to ensure you have the right one for your shot.

  8. The 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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On the Green

  1. Park 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.

  2. If 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.

  3. Study your putt while others are putting.

  4. Putt continuously until you hole out, unless restricted by another golfer’s line.

  5. If 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 out.

  6. You 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.

  7. Don’t fill out your scorecard on the putting green; do it on the next tee box.

  8. Observe “Equitable Stroke Control” rules.  This means that golfers NOT INVOLVED IN TOURNAMENT PLAY may pick up their balls as follows:

Course Handicap       Maximum Score on a Hole
9 or less                      Double Bogey
10-19                           7
20-29                           8
30-39                           9
40 and above               10

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