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Easy Ways to Keep Up with Pace of Play

June 10, 2015

Many beginner golfers worry about their pace and let it distract them while not being able to appreciate the game and good company. It is important for making the outing more enjoyable for yourself as well as others in your pairing. As a beginner, you may feel that you are slowing your friends down; so here are some easy tips to keep up with the pace of play in your group.

1. Try not to focus on the group behind you, instead try to do your best to keep up with the group ahead.
Do not get too carried away with trying to keep up with the group ahead of you to the extent that you feel you’re rushing your shots and you’re frantic. A signal that your play is lagging may be that the group ahead has not been in sight for a few holes. To speed up play, try little revisions such as shortening your routine, knowing your yardage before approaching your ball, and marking your ball and cleaning it on the greens; so you’re ready to putt when it’s your turn. There are many ways to speed up play without it affecting your enjoyment.

2. On the green, stand by your ball so you’re ready to play it when it’s your turn. Line it up while others are putting being courteous to when they attempt their putts.
Be standing by your ball on the green, there is no reason you should not be unless your ball is in the line of their approach shot. Be thinking of your shot and read the green while others are putting around you, but do not be a nuisance while doing so to the point where it becomes a distraction. After they putt, you will be ready to attempt yours without having to take excessive time reading the green.

3. Mark the scorecard when you reach the next hole. Two reasons: you do not want to get hit by incoming shots and you have time on the next tee while your partners make club selections and tee off.
If you are still on the green marking your scores after finishing the hole, you will be holding up the group behind trying to hit their approach shots. Also, as mentioned, there is adequate time to write down your scores when you are not the one teeing off. Always encourage your partners to abide by this tip.

4. If using a cart, don’t put your club away after hitting. Hang onto it until the next stop and then put your club in the bag.
It saves a little time each shot if you hold onto your club because once your about to hit your next shot you can swap clubs or use the one you have been holding onto. This is just another little tip to improve pace of play.

5. When you have to leave the cart to hit, bring an extra club or two.
If you are indecisive on the right club selection then bring multiple clubs. For example, if you are going to use an 8-iron, bring the 7-iron and 9-iron just in case you have second thoughts on club selection. The term for this is “bracketing.” Also, if you’re chipping onto the green, bring your putter with you to save an extra trip to the cart or bag.

6. If you’re really worried about keeping up, just pick it up and finish the hole with the group.
As a recreational golfer or beginner, score should be amongst the least of your concerns during a golf outing. Therefore if you are falling behind significantly in the group, pick up your ball and finish the hole with the rest of your group whether around or on the green.

If you follow a majority of these tips, you will be able to enjoy yourself and play with anyone!

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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