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k-troop

Taking your time on the course

42 posts in this topic

Of course, no one likes slow play.  And we've all played with guys who spend way too much time sizing up a shot, checking wind, lie, making practice swings, checking the wind again, walking back behind the ball to line up...only to hit it 30 yards--then start the entire exercise all over again.

I try to take my time with each shot, giving myself a chance to make a good one, but without being excessive or slow.

The only place I really like to take my time, and feel rushed occasionally, is on the greens.  I mark my ball, clean it, fix my ball mark, read the putt from behind, maybe from the side, replace my ball with the alignment stamp lined up on my intended start line, and take a few practice strokes behind the ball.  For every putt over 10 feet I also pace off the putt.

Most of this I can accomplish while waiting for others to chip, putt, etc.  The only time folks are waiting on me is when I'm the last to reach the green and first to putt, which only happens a few times a round.  And, overall, I'm not really slowing folks up--except for that extra 45 seconds I spend right before I stroke my putt.

My question is this:  how much is too much?  Do I get a pass if I shoot 75, or if I take my time lining up that 40-footer and then roll it to within a foot of the hole?  Do I get credit for the fact that I'm a good putter (most days)?

I'm interested in feedback on this issue, because sometimes I feel rushed on the greens, and sometimes I feel self conscious about the fact that I might be taking my time on a putt when others in the group just line up and whack it most of the time.  I feel like overall, even taking my time, I'm taking far less time to hit my one putt (and then a tap-in) than others are taking to hit two or three.

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Does it put your group out of position on the course?

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It's simple really.... If you are concerned about it then you are too slow. Make the appropriate adjustments.
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Originally Posted by zipazoid

Does it put your group out of position on the course?


No, definitely not.

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If you're playing (walking) by yourself or with just one other buddy who's also a 70s player on an open course, how long does a round take you?  I'd say if it's over 3:15-3:30, you're too slow.  I'd bet, however, that given how good a player you are (ie, less strokes than other players) and that you care enough about pace that you feel internally generated pressure to not take too long, that you're probably not too slow.

And yes, I'd say you get credit if you're a good putter and player.  I too get super annoyed with people in my foursome if they're hackers hitting 2 slices, 1 shank, and 2 ground balls to get near the green, but they're taking forever to line up each shot, choose a club, and take 8 practice swings before hitting a grounder.  But if you generally take full strokes at a reasonable pace and are a little slow on putts but are hitting 28-30 putts en route to a 75, then yes, you're getting credit from me and I won't be bothered by the slightly slow pace on the greens.

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Originally Posted by k-troop

I'm interested in feedback on this issue, because sometimes I feel rushed on the greens, and sometimes I feel self conscious about the fact that I might be taking my time on a putt when others in the group just line up and whack it most of the time.  I feel like overall, even taking my time, I'm taking far less time to hit my one putt (and then a tap-in) than others are taking to hit two or three.



Sounds strange but people seem to have multiples of 45 seconds per person when teeing off or hitting a routine approach, but 45 seconds on the green makes people's blood boil. I'm going to start taking more time on the greens this season, especially when playing with high handicappers because lord knows I've done my fair share of waiting on the way to the green.

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Originally Posted by k-troop

No, definitely not.



Then it's not too slow.

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you can always inform your 4-some that you like to play ready golf.  i've been last to the green before, and first to putt, and said 'hey, if you're ready, go..'.  it'll buy you more time and you won't feel rushed.   putting's tough enough w/out having to stress about how long you're taking.

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I have to admit this…

Slow play by itself doesn’t really bother me.

Golf is a slow game.

The thing that bothers me is the combination of both slow and shitty play.

I know I sound like an elitist here, but I’m not (I’m actually a nihilist). For me, it’s a permutation of the old golfing refrain concerning the bogey golfer who hits a bad shot and then displays his displeasure over hitting that bad shot, “You’re not good enough to take your time on each shot.”

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I think Im on the other end of the spectrum. I think I play way to fast especially when Im by myself. I played 18 the other day by myself and finished in under 2 hours. I need to learn to take my time a little more and get a better read for my putts.

As far as the OP, take your time just as long as you aren't slowing other groups up a lot. You paid the same price to play so play how you want.

I have issue with players that aren't very good taking taking forever on one shot. Its embarrassing to see a player take 8 practice swings, throw grass up to judge the wind, use a range finder, then shank that shot all to just do it again on the next shot.  That can get pretty annoying, but taking your time reading a putt is the least of your worries, that's one shot that should take a decent amount of time.

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Originally Posted by Hoganwoods

It's simple really.... If you are concerned about it then you are too slow. Make the appropriate adjustments.


I don't agree with this. Since it's as unreasonable to demand someone play speed golf as it is to insist on taking five minutes standing over a shot, it's quite natural and responsible to compare your pace and sense of what's reasonable to other players.


Originally Posted by sean_miller

Sounds strange but people seem to have multiples of 45 seconds per person when teeing off or hitting a routine approach, but 45 seconds on the green makes people's blood boil. I'm going to start taking more time on the greens this season, especially when playing with high handicappers because lord knows I've done my fair share of waiting on the way to the green.


This is true, and ridiculous. Time spent on the green is a much more justifiable investment than time on a tee shot or approach. Even the pros are happy to hit a tee shot within a few yards of a target, so quibbling over exact line, etc, is pointless on the tee. On the green, a fairly good putter can actually benefit from a little more consideration of the shot.

For me, it's that consideration that is paramount. Do you actually benefit from taking the extra time? If so, you're not wasting time, you're just taking time. As long as your overall pace is acceptable, there's no problem.

On the other hand, if you're spending 3 minutes studying a putt, then missing by 10 feet every time, you need to just hurry up and hit, then work on your putting/green reading at the practice green.

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Originally Posted by zeg

This is true, and ridiculous. Time spent on the green is a much more justifiable investment than time on a tee shot or approach. Even the pros are happy to hit a tee shot within a few yards of a target, so quibbling over exact line, etc, is pointless on the tee. On the green, a fairly good putter can actually benefit from a little more consideration of the shot.

For me, it's that consideration that is paramount. Do you actually benefit from taking the extra time? If so, you're not wasting time, you're just taking time. As long as your overall pace is acceptable, there's no problem.


That's funny.  Actually, sometimes I'll be studying a putt, pacing the distance, cleaning my ball, and I'll realize that everyone on the green is just watching me, waiting.  Maybe I've just made a couple of bogies, and this is a makeable 20-footer for birdie to get me back on track.  I'm not holding up the round, but I'm not rushing this putt, either.  And I'll think to myself, "You better make this, because you're taking your time and they're all watching."  It seems that when this happens, I usually do make the putt--or at least hit a good one that narrowly misses and leaves a tap-in.

I'm glad that the majority of responders on this thread wouldn't hold that against me.  Actually makes me feel more relaxed about it.

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Lining up three putts takes longer than lining up one putt. If you shoot 70, your putts will take less time than mine even if your routine is much longer. Even on a good day, I need to line up a lot of second putts.

You are a good enough golfer to make a good first putt and tap in the second putt if needed most of the time. That's faster than most of us. Now if you are going through a long pre-shot routine before your 10 inch second putt -- just because you always go through that routine -- it can get annoying. One nice thing about playing with someone who is going to shoot in the low 70's is that they should be faster than the rest of the group. It is a shame when they are super slow on the green because they feel they have earned it through the green.

And, not being ready when it your turn can make it seem like you are taking a lot of time. I used to play chess with my father in law. He was a very good player and played very slow. I'd wait politely for him to move, sometimes over 15 minutes, thinking he was being slow to mess with my head (he was great at getting into my head). Many times he'd look up and say, "Are you going to move?" only to find out it was his turn. For the last years of his life, we played on a clock and when I won it was by beating him with time.

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As someone who shoots decently (low 80s most of the time), rarely duffs shots, and often plays in a group of hackers, I could be walking and take all day taking each shot, but what really slows down my group is people not playing ready golf.

When my friends are taking their shots, I am already going through my routine getting ready to shoot.  So after take their shot, I'm good to go.  The problem comes when everyone else in my group wants to watch each other hit while sitting in the cart.  Then after the person has hit, then they will get up and grab their club and go to their ball then start their routine.  Or they will take 10 minutes to decide who is away then they all promptly duff shots, walk back to the cart and wait for each other to hit.  Repeat.

It only ever really drives me nuts when I get in a groove and want to play a little faster before I go cold  I'm a faster tempo player, so the quicker I can get to shots the better.  So if you guys are maintaining the pace of play, take all the time you want and do what you feel you have to do.  But if you start falling behind, then speed things up a little.

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Not an issue.  The real issue is people who don't really know what they're doing; plumb bobbing because they've seen a tour pro do it, and then hit a 40 footer halfway to the hole.  Then, they repeat the process and putt the second one damn near off the green.  It's the guys who, in reality, are five and six putting every green that are wasting the most time.  I'd be willing to bet that your 20 footer for birdie - or tapped in par - takes a fraction of the time that the other players' nonsense.

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From you post, to me it sounds like you are slow.  What jumped out at me is the extra 45 seconds you say take right before you hit your putt.  That is a heck of a long time.  This is after you have looked at all angles and paced it off.  Then an extra 45 more seconds.  Wow!   It's way too long my friend.  You are gaining nothing by all of that extra stuff.  You don't do it on the preactice green and you probably putt fairly well there.  No need for it on the course.   Final score does not matter in slow play, just like it does not matter on tour.  Slow play is slow play regardless of score.

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Originally Posted by johnny2balls

From you post, to me it sounds like you are slow.  What jumped out at me is the extra 45 seconds you say take right before you hit your putt.  That is a heck of a long time.  This is after you have looked at all angles and paced it off.  Then an extra 45 more seconds.  Wow!   It's way too long my friend.  You are gaining nothing by all of that extra stuff.  You don't do it on the preactice green and you probably putt fairly well there.  No need for it on the course.   Final score does not matter in slow play, just like it does not matter on tour.  Slow play is slow play regardless of score.



I took a few playing videos last summer and you've be surprised how much time it takes just to walk to the flagstick, pull it out, then walk back to the ball for a 30 foot putt. 45 seconds is nothing. Seriously. Time your buddies next round and count how many times 45 seconds ticks by before they pull their head out and hit the ball. You might be surprised.

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I can't stand feeling rushed by a group or individual that just steps up and fires away. Even if their shots are good or bad, I don't feel I should be pressured because he wants to pump out a round.

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