As every golfer has experienced now and again, standing around on the tee box while waiting to hit is absolutely no fun. It’s particularly galling when you have a good round going and suddenly hit a wall, losing your rhythm and gradually stiffening up like a board (especially if you’re a little older like me).
And I can’t count the number of course reviews I’ve read saying “great track, but the round took forever so it turned out to be a lousy day,” and suddenly a 4-star review turns into 2 or 3.
Often the review will bemoan the lack of a marshal on the course, but should we really need course police to keep things moving?
18 holes of golf shouldn’t take more than 4 ½ hours—here are a few suggestions that will help everybody get a whole lot more enjoyment from a day at the course:
What Courses can do:
- Strive for 10 minutes between tee times.
- Keep pin positions more centrally located on greens, and not close to steep fall-offs.
- Maintain rough at a reasonable depth.
- Provide proper number of rakes for bunker size.
- Provide adequate signage.
- Keep course clear of debris (particularly in the Fall)
- Employ marshals.
What golfers can do:
- Select the correct set of tees for your experience level.
- Begin preparing for your shot as you approach your ball, and commit to the shot you decide to play (and limit your practice swings).
- Watch your shot until it lands, making a mental note of line and distance with reference points.
- Pay attention to the other members of your group when they are hitting so you can help locate their ball.
- Limit your search for lost balls to a minute or two—and have a spare ball in your pocket.
- If you are in a bunker, grab the rake while you are waiting to hit.
- Once you’re on the green, begin lining up your putt as other players are making their putts.
- Mark your score when you arrive at the next set of tees, not while you’re standing on the green.
- Play Ready Golf (meaning, in the order of who is ready– not who is away.)
- Never allow a hole ahead to open up.
- Be mindful of the players behind, and allow faster groups to play through.
- Swing tips are great, but save lessons for the Driving Range.