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JP72

Pace of play scenario

110 posts in this topic

Hey folks, I came across a situation a couple weeks ago that I've been thinking about thoroughly and can't come to a conclusion. So my buddy and I were out for a round of 18 and were paired up with a husband and wife. My buddy is just starting to learn the game but he was courteous enough that when he didn't hit a great shot he'd advance up the fairway to drop and didn't spend too much time looking for stray hits. We had a threesome walking behind us and around the 14th hole they hit up on us as we were on the green. The gentleman apologized but it made me wonder about the etiquette in the situation. My group was averaging a good pace of about 12 minutes or so per hole, give or take a couple minutes per hole. Basically my question is what is proper etiquette when it comes to waving a group ahead? My conclusion is that if a group is maintaining good pace at about 12 minutes a hole then they should not waive up a group to play ahead, regardless of the pace at which they're playing? Of course it would be different if a single were to be playing behind. Your thoughts?
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For me it is very simple.  If the group behind you is waiting because of your group, wave them through 100% of the time. Your pace of play is irrelevant.

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Originally Posted by cda77

For me it is very simple.  If the group behind you is waiting because of your group, wave them through 100% of the time. Your pace of play is irrelevant.

I don't necessarily agree.  I've done that, then ended up waiting on them the rest of the round when they weren't nearly as fast as a front runner.  In the OP's case, if the threesome is clearly playing faster than my foursome, then I would let them through if there was sufficient space in front of my group.  If there is no more than a one hole gap in front of us with an otherwise full course, if we are playing a brisk pace and soon to catch up with the crowd anyway, and since there is not really any place for them to go, I probably wouldn't ask them to play through.

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If there is no place to go, then they will see that an not hit into you.  If there is a hole open in front of you and you don't let them through because YOU think there is no place to go, then IMO you are violating golf etiquette. If your reasoning is soon you will catch back up, A: that is an assumption and B: so what? If you catch back up then the most it will cost you is 1/2 a hole of time.

It's like the left lane on an expressway.  If everyone would treat it as a passing lane, which it is, and immediately merge right after you pass someone, all traffic moves faster, as in the German Autobahn.

IMO always let faster groups play through, it will also be less stressful on you.

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For me, it is very simple.  If I am not keeping up with the group ahead of me and the group behind me is waiting on us, then they play through.  If I am keeping up with the group ahead of us then it is situational but most likely I'll just keep going.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

In the OP's case, if the threesome is clearly playing faster than my foursome, then I would let them through if there was sufficient space in front of my group.  If there is no more than a one hole gap in front of us with an otherwise full course, if we are playing a brisk pace and soon to catch up with the crowd anyway, and since there is not really any place for them to go, I probably wouldn't ask them to play through.

^^ this, bold for emphasis.

i typically only let people play through if it's obvious they are faster than my group, but i usually give it a couple holes before jumping to that conclusion.  a few weeks ago, we had a threesome right on the asses of my foursome for the 2nd and 3rd -- we decided to keep pushing as the 4th was a par 3 and would play quickly... lo and behold from there on, the threesome dragged behind us and they ended up dropping an entire hole behind us at the turn.  had we let them play through, we would have been waiting for them the rest of the way.

but if it isn't open ahead of you by at least a hole, i'd be cautious of letting others play through.  not every golf group will be as cognizant as you and let the group play through.

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Originally Posted by RoyJeeBiv

^^ this, bold for emphasis.

i typically only let people play through if it's obvious they are faster than my group, but i usually give it a couple holes before jumping to that conclusion.  a few weeks ago, we had a threesome right on the asses of my foursome for the 2nd and 3rd -- we decided to keep pushing as the 4th was a par 3 and would play quickly... lo and behold from there on, the threesome dragged behind us and they ended up dropping an entire hole behind us at the turn.  had we let them play through, we would have been waiting for them the rest of the way.

but if it isn't open ahead of you by at least a hole, i'd be cautious of letting others play through.  not every golf group will be as cognizant as you and let the group play through.

+1

Couldn't agree more, this is how we do it too.  Yesterday we were a 6-some, yes a 6-some, and we had a 2-some behind us that caught us for the first time on hole 5 only because we were looking for a few balls.  A guy new to our group waved them up the first time they waited for about 10 seconds.  We waited on those guys for the next 6 holes.  They eventually ended up maybe 1 hole ahead of us by the end of the round. We finished the round in 3:45 with a 6-some and even waiting on that group for about 6 holes.

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Originally Posted by SCfanatic35

Yesterday we were a 6-some, yes a 6-some,

How exactly does a course let 6 of you out and why would you not play two threesomes? A 6-some sounds like pure torture to me, why would you even want to play with that many in a group? If your group was waiting on two people, well, I can't even imagine how slow that must be. 3:45 sounds really fast for 6, did you putt two at a time?

To the OP, if people are hitting into you, let them through. I do agree with giving it a few holes, but only if you're not clearly slower or playing worse than the people behind you. I walk by myself a lot during the week and there are a lot of one or two person groups that I let through.

Although, last Friday I had the day off work and went played 18 by myself. There were two guys on the first tee riding. One of the guys says,  "If you're ready you can go". I replied with "You guys will definitely catch me", but he said they weren't playing fast or some shit, so I went anyways. I think he suggested it because he shanked his tee shot and was embarrassed. Either way they caught up to me by the first par 5. I didn't let them through though, just went on playing. By the 9th tee, I actually got away from them a little, but not sure if they dialed it back or what. Didn't get 18 because it started raining, but wtf, I can't understand why they thought I would play faster than them. Two guys in a cart will almost always be faster than one walker. Especially younger guys with a half way decent game.

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If there is one group behind me ill let them through, because I personally would rather wait on someone that make someone wait. I don't mind playing patiently and taking my time knowing the people ahead are not far ahead. But I hate feeling like I have to rush because someone is behind me and might have to wait. I play a lot better waiting on someone than with someone waiting on me. It gets in my head. However, if its a full day I will just go as long as I am keeping up with the group head or playing a reasonable pace of under 4 hours. I hate letting a group play through and then by the time they get through the hole another group is on my tail.
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Originally Posted by anthony

How exactly does a course let 6 of you out and why would you not play two threesomes? A 6-some sounds like pure torture to me, why would you even want to play with that many in a group? If your group was waiting on two people, well, I can't even imagine how slow that must be. 3:45 sounds really fast for 6, did you putt two at a time?

My club is not crazy about 6-somes but they are allowed for certain groups, who they know play fast.  The pro shop actually was the one who added the extra player to make it a 6-some.  My group and everyone I play with is the epitome of "ready golf" and "playing fast".  If we get caught by the pack we have to split up into 2 3-somes but that hasn't happened as of yet.  We also tee off at around 6:30 in the morning which helps.

It also helps that we are not the worlds greatest golfers, so it's not like we all hot our drives in the fairway to the same spot.  We all walk the course and have fun.  We don't play like the people who have learned pace of play from watching the PGA Tour. We don't check every angle of every putt, we don't mark every 2 foot putt, we don't play honors, and it's OK if a guy who is 10 yards closer plays a shot as long as the other guy isn't ready.  If we are a foursome the round will take probably closer to 3:15.  When I play by myself it usually takes under 3 hours.  I guess it's good that everyone at my club plays fast.

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Originally Posted by cda77

If there is no place to go, then they will see that an not hit into you.  If there is a hole open in front of you and you don't let them through because YOU think there is no place to go, then IMO you are violating golf etiquette. If your reasoning is soon you will catch back up, A: that is an assumption and B: so what? If you catch back up then the most it will cost you is 1/2 a hole of time.

It's like the left lane on an expressway.  If everyone would treat it as a passing lane, which it is, and immediately merge right after you pass someone, all traffic moves faster, as in the German Autobahn.

IMO always let faster groups play through, it will also be less stressful on you.

It just isn't as automatic as you seem to believe.   There needs to be some common sense and reasonable judgement applied to each case.  Just blindly allowing following groups to play through one group after another can actually slow down the pace on the course.  Much better to pick up your own pace, then you won't have to worry about it.  If you are so slow that following groups keep catching up to you, then you may have a problem with pace of play etiquette.

Believe me, if the circumstances warrant it, I let faster players pass.  I don't need any etiquette lectures from you.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

It just isn't as automatic as you seem to believe.   There needs to be some common sense and reasonable judgement applied to each case.  Just blindly allowing following groups to play through one group after another can actually slow down the pace on the course.  Much better to pick up your own pace, then you won't have to worry about it.  If you are so slow that following groups keep catching up to you, then you may have a problem with pace of play etiquette.

Believe me, if the circumstances warrant it, I let faster players pass.  I don't need any etiquette lectures from you.


I am not giving you a lecture.  How you break golf etiquette is your business.  The rule is simple and states let faster groups play through.  You are searching for justification, the circumstances always warrant letting faster groups play through asap.

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Originally Posted by cda77

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

It just isn't as automatic as you seem to believe.   There needs to be some common sense and reasonable judgement applied to each case.  Just blindly allowing following groups to play through one group after another can actually slow down the pace on the course.  Much better to pick up your own pace, then you won't have to worry about it.  If you are so slow that following groups keep catching up to you, then you may have a problem with pace of play etiquette.

Believe me, if the circumstances warrant it, I let faster players pass.  I don't need any etiquette lectures from you.

I am not giving you a lecture.  How you break golf etiquette is your business.  The rule is simple and states let faster groups play through.  You are searching for justification, the circumstances always warrant letting faster groups play through asap.

Look.  You are probably a nice guy, but I've worked at a public golf course where part of my job was to be constantly informed about the pace of the course.   There are any number of times when your theory has been proven incorrect.  It's far more effective to encourage the group who has fallen behind to catch up, not to start having other groups play through them.  Maybe you play sparsely played courses, or private clubs where the pace is quite different.  Just admit that YOU really don't know everything there is to know about it.

I've also played for 40 years.  I'm a fast player and the guys I usually play with are equally fast.  I've been in situations many times where we could have theoretically played through a group, but it would have accomplished nothing.  Often enough that group is only temporarily off pace due to a brief but legal ball search.  As long as they immediately make the effort to catch back up, the best that playing though would have accomplished is for the two groups to swap places.  No improvement in course flow would have been realized - in fact the act of playing through actually slows that slow group down even more, allowing other following groups to begin to stack up behind them.  As long as the delay in question isn't grievous, playing through them is a stupid idea because nothing has been done to address the cause of the problem.  On a busy golf course it just doesn't work to have groups on the course playing at different paces.   Ideally the morning starts out with faster groups, and as the day goes on everyone plays at a reasonable pace.  If they don't, that's when the starter and the ranger get busy to keep pace moving.  If necessary they will have the slow group skip forward rather than wasting time by messing around with the order of play.

If there are natural gaps in the flow on the course due to unfilled tee times, then you start looking at the possibility of faster groups playing through, but that still doesn't mean that you ignore a group which is off pace.

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Again you are trying to find a way to justify your point of view, period.   I could give you many examples, but it's a waste of time.   You look at the etiquette rule from the incorrect point of view, IMO.  You are trying to find a reason to NOT let people play through instead of just using common sense and let anyone play through who is playing faster than you.  If every group on the course let faster groups through, your 5 hour round would be cut way down.  Instead people attempt to justify with, there is no where to go.  That is bs,  If every group adheres to the rule, that single or twosome would move right through everyone in front of them, until they ran into someone like you.

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Look.  You are probably a nice guy, but I've worked at a public golf course where part of my job was to be constantly informed about the pace of the course.   There are any number of times when your theory has been proven incorrect.  It's far more effective to encourage the group who has fallen behind to catch up, not to start having other groups play through them.  Maybe you play sparsely played courses, or private clubs where the pace is quite different.  Just admit that YOU really don't know everything there is to know about it.

I've also played for 40 years.  I'm a fast player and the guys I usually play with are equally fast.  I've been in situations many times where we could have theoretically played through a group, but it would have accomplished nothing.  Often enough that group is only temporarily off pace due to a brief but legal ball search.  As long as they immediately make the effort to catch back up, the best that playing though would have accomplished is for the two groups to swap places.  No improvement in course flow would have been realized - in fact the act of playing through actually slows that slow group down even more, allowing other following groups to begin to stack up behind them.  As long as the delay in question isn't grievous, playing through them is a stupid idea because nothing has been done to address the cause of the problem.  On a busy golf course it just doesn't work to have groups on the course playing at different paces.   Ideally the morning starts out with faster groups, and as the day goes on everyone plays at a reasonable pace.  If they don't, that's when the starter and the ranger get busy to keep pace moving.  If necessary they will have the slow group skip forward rather than wasting time by messing around with the order of play.

If there are natural gaps in the flow on the course due to unfilled tee times, then you start looking at the possibility of faster groups playing through, but that still doesn't mean that you ignore a group which is off pace.

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Originally Posted by cda77

Again you are trying to find a way to justify your point of view, period.   I could give you many examples, but it's a waste of time.   You look at the etiquette rule from the incorrect point of view, IMO.  You are trying to find a reason to NOT let people play through instead of just using common sense and let anyone play through who is playing faster than you.  If every group on the course let faster groups through, your 5 hour round would be cut way down.  Instead people attempt to justify with, there is no where to go.  That is bs,  If every group adheres to the rule, that single or twosome would move right through everyone in front of them, until they ran into someone like you.

Sorry, you are wrong, but you are so stuck on your one size fits all theme that you can't see what's written right in front of you.  It's like someone who has read that you play the ball as it lies, then goes to the course with that as his only rule.  He's going to have tough time playing the game that way, and your theory of everybody plays through no matter what is just as unworkable.  Since you are immovable, I'm done with it.

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Originally Posted by cda77

Again you are trying to find a way to justify your point of view, period.   I could give you many examples, but it's a waste of time.   You look at the etiquette rule from the incorrect point of view, IMO.  You are trying to find a reason to NOT let people play through instead of just using common sense and let anyone play through who is playing faster than you.  If every group on the course let faster groups through, your 5 hour round would be cut way down.  Instead people attempt to justify with, there is no where to go.  That is bs,  If every group adheres to the rule, that single or twosome would move right through everyone in front of them, until they ran into someone like you.

Haha, I totally agree.  If he's this big of a know it all on a golf forum because he's worked at a golf course (as many of us have in our high school/college years) then there's no way he's letting the average player pass him, it's an ego thing.  Many have already stated what the proper etiquette is, if a group is waiting on you consistently for 2 holes or so and there's no one in front of you let them through regardless of how you think you're doing, it's pretty simple and guys appreciate it more than you think.  If the whole course is clogged up just tell them you're waiting as well or you would let them through.  Oh yea, and if your opinion differs from that, you are entitled to it and I will not try to change your mind.

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Originally Posted by Nutter

Haha, I totally agree.  If he's this big of a know it all on a golf forum because he's worked at a golf course (as many of us have in our high school/college years) then there's no way he's letting the average player pass him, it's an ego thing.  Many have already stated what the proper etiquette is, if a group is waiting on you consistently for 2 holes or so and there's no one in front of you let them through regardless of how you think you're doing, it's pretty simple and guys appreciate it more than you think.  If the whole course is clogged up just tell them you're waiting as well or you would let them through.  Oh yea, and if your opinion differs from that, you are entitled to it and I will not try to change your mind.

I bolded a piece of your text that demonstrates a lack of reading comprehension on your part.

All he's said is that just letting every faster group through makes no sense. One of those times is when the course is full in front of you. He never said he never lets groups through. In fact, he said he does quite often.

Just not when it doesn't make sense to.

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Originally Posted by cda77

Again you are trying to find a way to justify your point of view, period.   I could give you many examples, but it's a waste of time.   You look at the etiquette rule from the incorrect point of view, IMO.  You are trying to find a reason to NOT let people play through instead of just using common sense and let anyone play through who is playing faster than you.  If every group on the course let faster groups through, your 5 hour round would be cut way down.  Instead people attempt to justify with, there is no where to go.  That is bs,  If every group adheres to the rule, that single or twosome would move right through everyone in front of them, until they ran into someone like you.

There's no doubt Fourputt is stubborn when he gets to arguing about rules, but he is right. If you are playing at an acceptable pace, you can't let everyone play through. By the time one group gets through, the next group will be close behind. All you can do is play at as fast a pace as possible, when the course is completely full.

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