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ShawnPennington

Pace of Play - Etiquette Question

116 posts in this topic

I have an etiquette question regarding pace of play..... i tend to play alone a lot, and with little traffic ahead of me get thru 18 in around three hours and 15 mins....if nobody at all is in front of me i can usually knock another 15-30 mins off of that.....well ahead of the acceptable pace of play.

That said i seem to end up in situations alot where i end up with a player, or twosome that seem to be ALWAYS right on my tail or on the tee box by the time im hitting my second shot....... so either they are playing just as fast as I am, or im finding that alot of players who are just playing completely recreationally with little care as to how well they play.....are picking up missed putts, foot wedges, etc etc.  which is totally fine.....

when i know that im playing fast, and i know that they are right on my tail.....it tends to get in my head and cause me to hurry up even more..which leads to bad shots etc........

My question is......is it proper ettiquette to either let them thru, or try to play even faster (when Im already playing fast)....if i let them through then im slowing down my own pace.......   or do i just accept that im just fine cause im ahead of pace, and they'll just have to get over it so i can focus on my game??

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Originally Posted by ShawnPennington

I have an etiquette question regarding pace of play..... i tend to play alone a lot, and with little traffic ahead of me get thru 18 in around three hours and 15 mins....if nobody at all is in front of me i can usually knock another 15-30 mins off of that.....well ahead of the acceptable pace of play.

That said i seem to end up in situations alot where i end up with a player, or twosome that seem to be ALWAYS right on my tail or on the tee box by the time im hitting my second shot....... so either they are playing just as fast as I am, or im finding that alot of players who are just playing completely recreationally with little care as to how well they play.....are picking up missed putts, foot wedges, etc etc.  which is totally fine.....

when i know that im playing fast, and i know that they are right on my tail.....it tends to get in my head and cause me to hurry up even more..which leads to bad shots etc........

My question is......is it proper ettiquette to either let them thru, or try to play even faster (when Im already playing fast)....if i let them through then im slowing down my own pace.......   or do i just accept that im just fine cause im ahead of pace, and they'll just have to get over it so i can focus on my game??

3 hours is slow for a single playing alone.  I've played in under 2½ hours as a twosome, and we weren't racing, we always play by the rules.  Both of us are in the 11-13 handicap range.  To answer your question, yes, if they are faster then you need to let them play through.

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Originally Posted by ShawnPennington

I have an etiquette question regarding pace of play..... i tend to play alone a lot, and with little traffic ahead of me get thru 18 in around three hours and 15 mins....if nobody at all is in front of me i can usually knock another 15-30 mins off of that.....well ahead of the acceptable pace of play.

That said i seem to end up in situations alot where i end up with a player, or twosome that seem to be ALWAYS right on my tail or on the tee box by the time im hitting my second shot....... so either they are playing just as fast as I am, or im finding that alot of players who are just playing completely recreationally with little care as to how well they play.....are picking up missed putts, foot wedges, etc etc.  which is totally fine.....

when i know that im playing fast, and i know that they are right on my tail.....it tends to get in my head and cause me to hurry up even more..which leads to bad shots etc........

My question is......is it proper ettiquette to either let them thru, or try to play even faster (when Im already playing fast)....if i let them through then im slowing down my own pace.......   or do i just accept that im just fine cause im ahead of pace, and they'll just have to get over it so i can focus on my game??

Best place is the next tee. Just wait for them to finish the hole and let them play through. Or you can hit to the green, and wave them up, let them putt out and then continue on.

If your keeping up with the group infront of you, then your pace of play is fine. Don't speed up for the sake of those behind you if your keeping up with the people infront of you. If your lagging behind, and can't catch up, just let them thru.

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I'm usually the one that is catching and passing everybody. I don't intend to play fast (and I don't feel like I am rushing anything) but it just seems to always turn out that I am faster than everybody else.

Doesn't bother me to have to wait on people as long as they are not to the point of ridiculously slow. Some days when I intend to play multiple rounds and I am behind a slow group I will hit less than driver off of a tee so I will be closer to the group in front, hoping they will get the hint and let me play through at the next tee box. Other days I am perfectly content to stay well back of them so they won't assume I want to play through.

Since knowing when the best time to let player play through is sort of an art in itself I am fortunate that the course I usually play lends itself to simply skipping past the very slow players to another part of the course that's empty and picking up that part of the course later. That saves the slow group from waiting for me to play through and saves me the pressure to hit the perfect shot when I am playing through. On crowded public courses of course I don't have that option.

When I first started playing I would normally fall apart on a hole where I was playing through, and would try to avoid it at all costs. Now that's normally when I play my best golf...Maybe I just like an audience. Ha ha!

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Ask if they'd like to join you.

If not; then yes, invite them to play through.

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As a junior golfer in the 1980s I remember the teaching pro telling me, quite solemnly, "Remember, a single player has no standing," before I went out to play alone on the course.

I know that rule has been abolished now (quite unwisely, in my opinion), but in fact it provided an excellent mantra by which to play as a single player. Out on the course as a single player, don't expect to be let through, and always give way to matches playing faster than yourself. It actually takes a lot of pressure off, I think, (in terms of worrying about how you fit into the pace of play on the course).

Post the rule-change, I'm less happy on the course as a single player. There are times I like to play alone, and do not wish to be paired up with a stranger (I find many courses quite unwelcoming of single player golf these days). I don't mean to seem rude or anti-social, but there is a certain pleasure in playing as a single player, learning about one's game in the process, and not having to talk to anyone else for the duration of the round. Hence, I try to restrict my single player rounds to times when the course is very quiet. Similarly, if I encounter a slow 4-ball in front of me, I don't want that match to feel obliged to let me through, although, of course, post-rule change, that obligation now exists.

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Originally Posted by ScouseJohnny

As a junior golfer in the 1980s I remember the teaching pro telling me, quite solemnly, "remember, a single player has no standing," before I went out to play alone on the course.

I know that rule has been abolished now (quite unwisely, in my opinion), but in fact it provided an excellent mantra by which to play as a single player. Out on the course as a single player, don't expect to be let through, and always give way to matches playing faster than yourself. It actually takes a lot of pressure off, I think, (in terms of worrying about how you fit into the pace of play on the course).

I was told the same thing but it was in the 70's. I play a lot as a single and I do my best to put enough space between me and anyone ahead so they don't feel pushed or obligated to let me through. More often than not playing through just flip flops the order and they end up waiting on me, the exception being an empty course with no chance of catching someone else. Usually there's no place to go. I've also had instances of slow groups letting me through and then turning into it into a speed round to push me like they're trying to prove a point. I use the opportunity to practice chipping and putting after completing the hole to increase the buffer.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

3 hours is slow for a single playing alone.  I've played in under 2½ hours as a twosome, and we weren't racing, we always play by the rules.  Both of us are in the 11-13 handicap range.  To answer your question, yes, if they are faster then you need to let them play through.

I agree that one should almost always allow a faster group/person play through.

As to the time limit for playing 18 as a single, there are many factors that go into the time it takes to make one's way around a course.  Three hours may be a blistering pace.  Advising Shawn that his pace is not that quick may not be correct.  Some courses just don't lend themselves to walking 18 in under 2.5 hours.  The distances between green and the next tee on many courses can be quite lengthy.  Long punitive rough often takes some time to locate one's ball and exceptionally fast greens don't always lend themselves to a quick view and go appraoch.  Unfamiliar courses often require a bit more analysis prior to pulling the trigger.

I like @That is Good's suggestion, ask them to join you.

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Originally Posted by ShawnPennington

...when i know that im playing fast, and i know that they are right on my tail.....it tends to get in my head and cause me to hurry up even more..which leads to bad shots etc........

My question is......is it proper ettiquette to either let them thru, or try to play even faster (when Im already playing fast)....if i let them through then im slowing down my own pace.......   or do i just accept that im just fine cause im ahead of pace, and they'll just have to get over it so i can focus on my game??

IMO, if there's nobody ahead of you and they're playing faster than you, then yes, you should let them through - regardless of whether you're keeping a faster than normal pace or not.  Aside from the common courtesy/etiquette issue, I share your feeling that being pushed from behind screws with my game and leads to bad shots.  Regardless of whether or not I was obligated by etiquette to do so, I'd still let them play through just for my own peace of mind.

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As others have indicated, let the faster players through if no one is in front of you or you're not keeping pace.

If you're feeling compelled to speed up or are getting nervous/annoyed with them waiting for you to hit then you already know your answer.

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Originally Posted by That is Good

Ask if they'd like to join you.

If not; then yes, invite them to play through.

+1

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

3 hours is slow for a single playing alone.  I've played in under 2½ hours as a twosome, and we weren't racing, we always play by the rules.  Both of us are in the 11-13 handicap range.  To answer your question, yes, if they are faster then you need to let them play through.

Exactly this.

A decent 2-ball can get around in under 2 1/2 pretty easily, without killing themselves.  Let 'em through, and enjoy your game.  You'll all be happier.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

Exactly this.

A decent 2-ball can get around in under 2 1/2 pretty easily, without killing themselves.  Let 'em through, and enjoy your game.  You'll all be happier.


I would say that 2 1/2 hours for a twosome if playing very fast. I know a lot of golfers try to play fast and I like to move on the course but if you are in that twosome and are pushing the groups ahead you are playing too fast. I say this because that tends to put unnecessary pressure on those groups.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

Exactly this.

A decent 2-ball can get around in under 2 1/2 pretty easily, without killing themselves.  Let 'em through, and enjoy your game.  You'll all be happier.

Yep...

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Originally Posted by David in FL

Exactly this.

A decent 2-ball can get around in under 2 1/2 pretty easily, without killing themselves.  Let 'em through, and enjoy your game.  You'll all be happier.

Exactly not.

Commenting on length of time to complete a round is like commenting on whether an 82 is a "good score." The only intelligent answer one can give is "that depends." It depends on the course layout, it depends on the course conditions, it depends on the weather, it depends on who or what is on the course at the time (i.e. crowded courses play slower, scoring in a tournament is usually more difficult than a practice round), it depends on the golfer.

Yesterday my two buddies and I "wasted" a lot of time searching for balls.  Not because we were searching 70 yards to the right of left of the fairway in the woods or deep junk, but most typically on shots that were within 10-30 feet of the edge of the fairway (i.e. not awful shots).  And we made sure someone else was looking on every tee shot, to help locate balls.  The rough was so thick, right off the fairway, that sometimes we'd have to be nearly on top of the ball before spotting it.  One time I had to walk over and show my friend his ball that was literally four feet in front of him.  A few times we had to spend significant time finding balls that were on drives that had been acknowledged as a "Nice drive!" because they took an odd hop out of the fairway into the rough or ran through the fairway on a dogleg.  We also had that weird combination of haziness and bright sunshine that resulted in quite a few drives being immediately lost from sight up against the greyish white haze in the sky.

I suspect that some of this "I can finish a round in x minutes, x-10 if I speed up" boasting has a lot more in common with the "I hit 300 yard drives all the time" bragging that online golfers claim, than with the real world.  I once sat down and did a list of all of the things that happen during the course of playing a hole and how long they take and the more extreme boasts of how fast someone could play are just that, non-credible boasting; unfortunately, I paused for a day or two in my calculations before finailzing them and they got lost in cyberspace.  If I have a free half hour and the inclination, I'll redo the list and post it here.

To the handful of arrogant speed golfers who always spew some snide little comment on pace of play in these threads, I have to ask if you wouldn't be happier bowling or playing chess - you seem to have a real problem with being outdoors and it seems like your primary goal is to get the hell back back indoors (to the bar?) as fast as you possibly can.  Does it make you feel extra-manly to brag about how fast a golfer you are and how slow everyone else must be if they cannot match your alleged times to complete a round?  You pace-of-play-aholics are as annoying as a tailgater following seven feet behind on the highway.  Golf pace of play is not an all-or-nothing, black-or-white, play-rushed-hurry-hurry-golf-or-you're-a-problem standard,   Having a relaxed time enjoying a beautiful day outdoors is not incompatible with keeping a reasonable pace of play.

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Originally Posted by Wisguy

Exactly not.

Commenting on length of time to complete a round is like commenting on whether an 82 is a "good score." The only intelligent answer one can give is "that depends." It depends on the course layout, it depends on the course conditions, it depends on the weather, it depends on who or what is on the course at the time (i.e. crowded courses play slower, scoring in a tournament is usually more difficult than a practice round), it depends on the golfer.

Yesterday my two buddies and I "wasted" a lot of time searching for balls.  Not because we were searching 70 yards to the right of left of the fairway in the woods or deep junk, but most typically on shots that were within 10-30 feet of the edge of the fairway (i.e. not awful shots).  And we made sure someone else was looking on every tee shot, to help locate balls.  The rough was so thick, right off the fairway, that sometimes we'd have to be nearly on top of the ball before spotting it.  One time I had to walk over and show my friend his ball that was literally four feet in front of him.  A few times we had to spend significant time finding balls that were on drives that had been acknowledged as a "Nice drive!" because they took an odd hop out of the fairway into the rough or ran through the fairway on a dogleg.  We also had that weird combination of haziness and bright sunshine that resulted in quite a few drives being immediately lost from sight up against the greyish white haze in the sky.

I suspect that some of this "I can finish a round in x minutes, x-10 if I speed up" boasting has a lot more in common with the "I hit 300 yard drives all the time" bragging that online golfers claim, than with the real world.  I once sat down and did a list of all of the things that happen during the course of playing a hole and how long they take and the more extreme boasts of how fast someone could play are just that, non-credible boasting; unfortunately, I paused for a day or two in my calculations before finailzing them and they got lost in cyberspace.  If I have a free half hour and the inclination, I'll redo the list and post it here.

To the handful of arrogant speed golfers who always spew some snide little comment on pace of play in these threads, I have to ask if you wouldn't be happier bowling or playing chess - you seem to have a real problem with being outdoors and it seems like your primary goal is to get the hell back back indoors (to the bar?) as fast as you possibly can.  Does it make you feel extra-manly to brag about how fast a golfer you are and how slow everyone else must be if they cannot match your alleged times to complete a round?  You pace-of-play-aholics are as annoying as a tailgater following seven feet behind on the highway.  Golf pace of play is not an all-or-nothing, black-or-white, play-rushed-hurry-hurry-golf-or-you're-a-problem standard,   Having a relaxed time enjoying a beautiful day outdoors is not incompatible with keeping a reasonable pace of play.

I said "a decent 2-ball" can easily get around in 2 1/2 hours......and it was in response to the OP's question.    A couple of 26 hcps, probably can't, but you and your buddy probably aren't pushing the OP playing a sub 3-hour round as a single.

Again......responding to the OP and topic.

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Originally Posted by Wisguy

Quote:

Originally Posted by David in FL

Exactly this.

A decent 2-ball can get around in under 2 1/2 pretty easily, without killing themselves.  Let 'em through, and enjoy your game.  You'll all be happier.

Exactly not.

Commenting on length of time to complete a round is like commenting on whether an 82 is a "good score." The only intelligent answer one can give is "that depends." It depends on the course layout, it depends on the course conditions, it depends on the weather, it depends on who or what is on the course at the time (i.e. crowded courses play slower, scoring in a tournament is usually more difficult than a practice round), it depends on the golfer.

Yesterday my two buddies and I "wasted" a lot of time searching for balls.  Not because we were searching 70 yards to the right of left of the fairway in the woods or deep junk, but most typically on shots that were within 10-30 feet of the edge of the fairway (i.e. not awful shots).  And we made sure someone else was looking on every tee shot, to help locate balls.  The rough was so thick, right off the fairway, that sometimes we'd have to be nearly on top of the ball before spotting it.  One time I had to walk over and show my friend his ball that was literally four feet in front of him.  A few times we had to spend significant time finding balls that were on drives that had been acknowledged as a "Nice drive!" because they took an odd hop out of the fairway into the rough or ran through the fairway on a dogleg.  We also had that weird combination of haziness and bright sunshine that resulted in quite a few drives being immediately lost from sight up against the greyish white haze in the sky.

I suspect that some of this "I can finish a round in x minutes, x-10 if I speed up" boasting has a lot more in common with the "I hit 300 yard drives all the time" bragging that online golfers claim, than with the real world.  I once sat down and did a list of all of the things that happen during the course of playing a hole and how long they take and the more extreme boasts of how fast someone could play are just that, non-credible boasting; unfortunately, I paused for a day or two in my calculations before finailzing them and they got lost in cyberspace.  If I have a free half hour and the inclination, I'll redo the list and post it here.

To the handful of arrogant speed golfers who always spew some snide little comment on pace of play in these threads, I have to ask if you wouldn't be happier bowling or playing chess - you seem to have a real problem with being outdoors and it seems like your primary goal is to get the hell back back indoors (to the bar?) as fast as you possibly can.  Does it make you feel extra-manly to brag about how fast a golfer you are and how slow everyone else must be if they cannot match your alleged times to complete a round?  You pace-of-play-aholics are as annoying as a tailgater following seven feet behind on the highway.  Golf pace of play is not an all-or-nothing, black-or-white, play-rushed-hurry-hurry-golf-or-you're-a-problem standard,   Having a relaxed time enjoying a beautiful day outdoors is not incompatible with keeping a reasonable pace of play.

Good tirade. I grow weary of this whole pace of play issue. To me any round in 4.5 or under is a non-issue. When I hear people stating that any 4 should complete a round in 3.5, or boasting that their 4some can finish in 2.5, that is an issue. Would you go to a nice restaurant with the sole purpose of eating as fast as possible? Do you go fishing simply to get done as fast as possible? Why would any moderately sane person do ANYTHING enjoyable with the sole purpose of finishing as fast as possible???? I just don't get it.

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