In the last several years, pace-of-play has been an increasing issue in the golf world. Slow play has contributed to the decline in the number of golfers. Many have simply quit the sport because of the time factor involved, which averages more than five hours on a weekend.
A recent survey by the United States Golf Association revealed that the ideal length of time for a round of golf was 3 hours 54 minutes. However, the 5-hour threshold was the point at which golfers report a round to be too long, thus taking away from its enjoyment.
The survey also showed that nearly a third of all golfers reported that the most significant factor contributing to slow play was waiting for the group in front of them.
Speeding up play
Every golfer can do their part to speed up the game. Here are several suggestions to shave time off your next round of golf.
• Get to the golf course early so you can stretch out and take a few practice swings and practice putts.
You’ll find your game improving because your body is loose and ready to play, as opposed to using the first few holes for stretching and getting into the game, which takes extra time.
• Don’t spend too much time looking for a lost golf ball. I use the 30-second rule: If I can’t find my ball within 30 second, I play another ball.
• Play ready golf. Make sure all golfers in your group agree on this. Golf etiquette dictates that the person farthest away from the hole hits their ball first.
To speed things up, ready golf means that if you are ready to hit, then you play your ball. If you’re not playing in a tournament, this is a great way to speed up the game.
• Throw your ego out the window and play the appropriate tee box. You will enjoy the game much more if you are teeing off from the box your skill level dictates. And your scores will improve!
One final statistic to ponder: If each player in a foursome took just five second less per shot, the group would shave 25 minutes off a round!
We all can improve our pace of play in 2018. Let’s make it a great year!
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a golf column, “The RV Golfer,” which is published every month in rvlife.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.