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Date : 3/13/2020

Freund Friday Blog - Pace of Play (3/13/2020)

By Tony Freund

Two-thousand twenty. The start of a new decade -- let’s start it and this new golf season out right! Quickly! Pace of play is an issue we all have dealt with. Every golfer has their own horror story about that one 7-hour round, or the group that just wouldn’t let them play through. Whether you think you are a fast golfer or not there are a few tips we can all start implementing to keep the pace going smoothly.

Ready golf -- the idea is a simple one; if you are ready, then you golf. In my opinion there is too much stock put into the person farthest away hits first. If the person who is farthest away is ready first, they should hit first.  But if you out drive your playing partner by 10 yards and are standing next to your ball with your 8-iron in hand watching them go back and forth between 7 or 6 iron, then you should hit.  You are ready and if you play before them, then after you’ve hit your shot and replaced your divot, they should be ready to go. At very least you should be ready when it is your turn. While your partner is taking their practice swings and addressing the ball, you should be able to figure out your yardage and mentally deciding what your club choice will be. When it is your turn to swing you can set-up and swing. 

I can hear some golfers now. “What about honors on the tee box”? I am all for adhering to it. If someone in your group birdied or eagled. In lieu of an under-par hole however, the same ready golf ideology should be taken. If you have “honors” but can’t decide if you want to hit driver or 6 iron on the fourth hole and I know I’m going to hit 7 iron, then I should tee off before you. It will give you more time to decide and speed up the round. It’s a win-win.

Even on the greens you can save some time. I am not telling you to give people putts if you don’t feel comfortable with it (although in a casual round I am a proponent of the gimmie on short putts). There is nothing wrong with taking your time reading your putt. Just do it while your partners are putting. If it is your turn and you want to look at it a little longer, encourage a partner to putt first.

I am not saying you should rush through your round. Or rush your pre-shot routine. Simply be ready and if you need a little more time to get ready, take your time. But have a partner who is ready play first. If you can save 10 seconds a shot over the course an 80-stroke round you will finish almost 15 minutes earlier. As a group we need to strive to make slow play a relic of history. A 4 hour and 30-minute round? That’s so last decade.

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