Originally Posted by Fourputt
Walking or riding makes no difference in such pace considerations. You've made your decision 50 yards from your ball? Unless it is in the fairway, you can't even see the lie from that far back most of the time. If I'm riding, I'll be at my ball by the time you are at that 50 yard point. I can see my lie, choose my target and get an accurate distance, select a club and hit before you have even arrived at your ball.
Of course, as always, that only applies if the way is clear ahead of me. And when have you ever seen a pro make such a decision that far ahead of time?
Fair enough - and I'll agree with you in principle. If there's only one guy, then sure, I think it could work out like you describe, and obviously, a guy who can hit the fairway and decide on his shot as he drives up to the ball in a cart will play faster than someone walking and doing the same. No debate from me there.
...but while you may make decisions that way, and you may be able to drive your cart right up to the ball and take a quick smack at it and be off again.... what I see from most cart drivers, and from experience with the few times I've driven, it works out much differently -- especially if there's a 2nd guy in the cart (only one guy? different story, right? But note: if you're walking, there's only ever one guy, 'cause, you know, I've yet to see piggyback golf...).
That said, and I'll readily admit that this is anecdotal, I really do get a better sense of the topography and the shot I need to play when I walk. Something about actually walking over the fairway/course instead of rolling over it. I think it also helps to walk the most direct route to the ball and really be able to see how the shot sets up instead of wending and winding along the cart-path and only getting to see the shot / angle once I get over the ball. The decision-making happens during the whole walk up to the ball, and, as a result, I don't need much time over the ball to make a decision.
Now, if there are 2 guys in the cart, then they have to really observe cart etiquette to play faster than a walking pace. At the very least, if I'm walking alone, I usually outpace a two-some in a cart. Just personal experience, and obviously a slow walker who can't hit the fairway or find their ball will be easily outpaced (as would the same guy, if he were driving a cart). You know how it goes: Guy #1 and 2 are driving to their balls, talking, fiddling with the junk on the dash, looking for their beers, and vaguely paying attention to where they are driving the cart. You get to guy #1's ball, he gets out of the cart and stares at the flag, at his ball, at his bag, at the flag, at the ball, at the flag, at his bag... meanwhile, guy #2 is just sitting there, waiting on him, watching, maybe even still jabbering away at him, these days, he's probably on his phone checking facebook.... Guy #1 hits the ball, puts his club away, gets in the cart, and they drive off to Guy #2's ball...