Golf Etiquette and How It Affects Speed of Play – Part 1

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Ever get to a golf course that you have been anxiously awaiting to play and the Starter tells you that you are a twosome and that you are behind a 4some and 3some and a group of beginners? And you are on the 1st tee box thinking this is going to be a very long day. You try to tell yourself that at least you aren’t working or that you have no where you have to be. It is a beautiful day and a beautiful course so it will be okay.

You arrive at the 1st tee and don’t see anyone in the fairway and think that you are all set and tee off only to find that there is a 4some in the woods and they are looking for someone’s ball. So, you wait in the middle of the fairway while all 4 players are still looking for the one guy’s ball. Finally, they find the ball, and each player heads to his ball.  One player is heading towards you because his ball is 30 yards behind you. So, you move out of the way of his shot and patiently wait for all 4 players to hit their balls. One player takes a half dozen swings and then hits a slice right into the woods another hits his ball and it goes about 50 yards. Thank heavens the other two at least make it to the green. But once again, all four players are looking for the one guy’s ball. I believe that you should only take about 3 minutes to look for your ball but these guys are going on about 7 minutes. Finally, someone in the group tells the guy to just drop and move on.

They all finally get to the green but wait, one guy is in the greenside bunker. You see his ball go from one bunker to the other on the other side of the green. Can this really be happening? Finally, he hits the ball and it lands on the green.  Now they are all putting, eventually make their putts and head to their carts. Why are they walking towards you? Well, instead of parking the carts near the next hole or the back of the green, they are parked in front of the green so you still can’t hit.

So, what is the point of all this you ask? We all pay good money to golf and it isn’t about being able to rush through 18 holes but it’s about speed of play and being able to enjoy all 18 holes. It’s hard to enjoy when you have to wait 20-25 minutes per hole. Am I exaggerating? No, it happens.

How do we as golfers ensure that everyone enjoys their round? Know at least a little Golf Etiquette. What is Golf Etiquette? Well in this instance, if you lose your ball, only take 3 minutes to look then drop. If you are riding with another player, you have two choices. The other player takes the cart and plays his ball if he is away or he can help you search for the ball. You don’t need everyone in the group looking for your ball.

If you just practice this one thing, you will improve the speed of play for your group and the other groups behind you. And everyone can enjoy their round, at least from this perspective.

Come back next week for more tips on how to improve Speed of Play!