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The bottom line? A single should never have the expectation that he's entitled to play through when he encounters other groups of 2 or more...period.  

I disagree with this.  If a single catches up to a group, and there is open holes ahead, the single should (and should expect to) be waved through.

From my perspective, it is simply common courtesy.

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There is WAAAAAY too much focusing on who is behind and how many players there are.  And for those clubs that cling to the "singles have no standing" nonsense I fully expect them to be consistent in t

I have skipped ahead before (when possible), and then come back to hit the missed hole.

At our course, it's well understood by everyone that singles have no standing whatsoever. We won't let singles go through...period. But when somebody else joins you, now it's a different ball game. If

To some degree this may depend on whether a course can typically fill its tee sheets with foursomes or at least more than singles. Around here, I think some of the more popular public courses are this way. Usually they'll make every effort to match people up. You see them do this on the Golfnow where they'll steeply discount a 1 or 2 player tee time to fill out a full foursome. 

Some of the courses that I play will happily take your fees and point you to the first tee whoever you are, however many you are and whenever you show up. 

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Some great response and feedback for both sides, which just goes to show what a minefield this is.  I'm sure the more experience I gain and as I grow in confidence, then my own attitude will probably change.. as yet not sure what direction.

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I appreciate what you're saying, but I think that the concept of singles having no standing is more the norm than the exception. Now if a single comes up behind us and there's nobody in front of us for several holes, then we probably would wave him through. But the more likely scenario is that there are multiple groups in front of us, with nowhere for the single to go even if we did let him through. 

A course where I used to play had a blanket rule that no singles were ever allowed...period. It was that way there for at least 25 years until they altered the policy to only allow singles at the discretion of the pro shop during off-peak hours. There's a reason that the "no singles" policy was in effect there for so long. If you're going to allow singles to play anytime with no guidelines, you're just asking for problems. Every now and then, I'll go out by myself, but it's always late in the day and I'm out there trying to work on one part of my game or another. During those times, I would never expect others (be it 2-some, 3-some, 4-some, whatever) to let me go through. 

The bottom line? A single should never have the expectation that he's entitled to play through when he encounters other groups of 2 or more...period.  

Obviously if there is nowhere for the single to go I would expect they would see this when they got up to our tee and saw the log jam ahead. While a business is free to make their rules I would say no singles allowed is a pretty poor way to grow the game. Maybe they don't want that market but some people like myself started out without knowing anyone else who plays golf. I've met anyone I golf with through joining up with other singles or groups. Now if you mean singles can play but they will be joined up with another group of three or less if it is crowded then I have no problem with this.

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Obviously if there is nowhere for the single to go I would expect they would see this when they got up to our tee and saw the log jam ahead. While a business is free to make their rules I would say no singles allowed is a pretty poor way to grow the game. Maybe they don't want that market but some people like myself started out without knowing anyone else who plays golf. I've met anyone I golf with through joining up with other singles or groups. Now if you mean singles can play but they will be joined up with another group of three or less if it is crowded then I have no problem with this.

Bang on with my situation!  Only way i will meet people generally is by playing a single, and then joining up during the round..

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There is WAAAAAY too much focusing on who is behind and how many players there are.  And for those clubs that cling to the "singles have no standing" nonsense I fully expect them to be consistent in their clinging to the past and see them playing in plus fours, button down shirts, jackets, and ties.  It is either the 21st century, or it isn't.  And keeping antiquated rules like this, whose very reason for existing really no longer exists, does not demonstrate any kind of special golfing purity, it just indicates a degree of weirdness.

This is so simple I find it hard to believe how much we over-complicate it:

If there is a group or person behind you that is staying right behind you and waiting on their shots for you and your group to play, while there are open holes in front, then they are faster than you and since there is room, LET THEM PLAY THROUGH.  There it is, the whole thing in one easy sentence.  The # of people in the group is irrelevant.

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Our course doesn't let singles out alone. That being said, when I was at another course where the play was not very crowded I used to go out as a single often. If I ran into a group I either asked to join them, go through or I would just play two balls and stay back behind them and just enjoy the day. 

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22 hours ago, Pendragon said:

 

The bottom line? A single should never have the expectation that he's entitled to play through when he encounters other groups of 2 or more...period.  

 

The single may not have the expectation, but that doesn't make the group right or polite.  The OP mentioned that there was no one ahead of the group for at least three or four holes.  A group of people then not letting the person play through are being a bunch of inconsiderate or pompous assholes.  It doesn't take golf etiquette to see the obvious after several holes that a person is behind a group and the group are delaying them and that it wouldn't take anything nor harm anyone to let said person play the next hole before teeing off when there are no people on the holes in front of the group.  That is just group dick behavior. 

 

Edited by Gator Hazard
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I believe that traditionally golf tended to be played as match play versus stroke play.  So anyone out on the course was presumed to be playing a match of some sort.  A single golfer clearly could not be playing a match and so it was felt he/she had no standing and should not disrupt actual matches that were being played.  In the USA, we play stroke play or the player against par versus match play.  The USGA actually changed the "Single players have no standing" portion of the etiquette section and per the USGA, if a single player overtakes any group and there is space in front, the slower group should allow the single to play through.  Some clubs likely still follow the old standard of no standing for singles out of tradition.

Frankly, golf is supposed to be a social game.  Pairing up singles is the social thing to do. I like it when the course takes the initiative and slots me in with another 1-3 golfers when I show up as a single.  It reduces the disruption to larger groups from a parade of singles moving so quickly.  Certainly at slow times playing as a single is perfectly acceptable and I do that, too.  Most of the time people find it easier to let a single through but I won't push anyone ahead of me or expect them to just stand aside.

It's always good to learn something new when it comes to etiquette. I suppose we all view golf differently. I don't mind playing alone, nor do I mind playing with others - although I have been paired with some real "winners".

As far as playing as a single, people offer for me to play through all the time. I actually prefer not to unless they are really struggling. I've let faster singles in a cart play through as well.

As @turtleback suggested, its normally pretty easy to know what to do in a given situation.

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I disagree with this.  If a single catches up to a group, and there is open holes ahead, the single should (and should expect to) be waved through.

From my perspective, it is simply common courtesy.

Reread my post to which you replied. I said that a single "should never have the expectation that he's entitled to play through". You didn't address that at all. 

In the scenario that you bring up, where there are open holes ahead, I'd agree with you. That wasn't the question, though.

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Reread my post to which you replied. I said that a single "should never have the expectation that he's entitled to play through". You didn't address that at all. 

In the scenario that you bring up, where there are open holes ahead, I'd agree with you. That wasn't the question, though.

My thoughts still do not change.  I think a single is " entitled" to be treated with common courtesy.

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15 rounds a year? Really? How come? 

Simply the schedules my friends and I keep. Maybe I shorted it a bit at 15 rounds, but most of my lot work on weekends. I work Monday thru Friday. Someone has to take time off work to make it happen. 

I suppose that if playing as a single were some big problem around my area, I'd make better use of the men's association events. You know, actually try to be social and that sort of thing. It's a stretch for me.

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Simply the schedules my friends and I keep. Maybe I shorted it a bit at 15 rounds, but most of my lot work on weekends. I work Monday thru Friday. Someone has to take time off work to make it happen. 

I suppose that if playing as a single were some big problem around my area, I'd make better use of the men's association events. You know, actually try to be social and that sort of thing. It's a stretch for me.

Hey, I understand. It's tough when you're working full time and there are other things in your life besides golf. I retired about a year ago, and my wife is still working full-time (until next April), so right now I'm playing 5 or 6 days a week. That may change once she retires, but I'm enjoying it right now. 

I see that you're a Canadiens fan...they look awfully good so far this season. I grew up in Boston when there were only 6 teams in the NHL, and I always liked the Canadiens.They had some great players back in those days...the Richard's, Bernie Geoffrion, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey, Dickie Moore, the great Jacques Plante, and so many more...I know I'm forgetting a few. Anyway, it's nice to see them picking up where they left off last year. Go Habs! 

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Hey, I understand. It's tough when you're working full time and there are other things in your life besides golf. I retired about a year ago, and my wife is still working full-time (until next April), so right now I'm playing 5 or 6 days a week. That may change once she retires, but I'm enjoying it right now. 

I see that you're a Canadiens fan...they look awfully good so far this season. I grew up in Boston when there were only 6 teams in the NHL, and I always liked the Canadiens.They had some great players back in those days...the Richard's, Bernie Geoffrion, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey, Dickie Moore, the great Jacques Plante, and so many more...I know I'm forgetting a few. Anyway, it's nice to see them picking up where they left off last year. Go Habs! 

Yes indeed. Very pleased with the start of their season. Kind of a weird story how I became a Habs fan, but it was only afterward did it dawn on me that my dad was born and raised in Cambridge, MA. 

Would have loved to see a bit from that era. The stories of Rocket Richard primarily inspired my fandom.

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The single may not have the expectation, but that doesn't make the group right or polite.  The OP mentioned that there was no one ahead of the group for at least three or four holes.  A group of people then not letting the person play through are being a bunch of inconsiderate or pompous assholes.  It doesn't take golf etiquette to see the obvious after several holes that a person is behind a group and the group are delaying them and that it wouldn't take anything nor harm anyone to let said person play the next hole before teeing off when there are no people on the holes in front of the group.  That is just group dick behavior. 

 

I don't understand the part you underlined.  I was playing today with a foursome and seeing that the twosome behind us was waiting for us when we were on the second green, when they approached the green, I asked them if they wanted to play through, they did and they thanked me.

However, while they tee'd off and were walking the fairway of the second, we tee'd off on the par 4 third hole.  Were we wrong to tee off while they were playing the previous hole as you said above?  That makes no sense to me, please explain.

 

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I don't understand the part you underlined.  I was playing today with a foursome and seeing that the twosome behind us was waiting for us when we were on the second green, when they approached the green, I asked them if they wanted to play through, they did and they thanked me.

However, while they tee'd off and were walking the fairway of the second, we tee'd off on the par 4 third hole.  Were we wrong to tee off while they were playing the previous hole as you said above?  That makes no sense to me, please explain.

Probably a language barrier on my part, but to confirm what I think you stated: You were on the tee box for the 3rd hole, and asked them if they would like to play through on the 3rd before they finished putting out on the second. So they putted out, and you teed off at the same time. Then as they teed off your group was walking down the 3rd? That sounds kind of dangerous? Unless, you were already at your balls and walked well off the fairway? Even so, it seems kind of risky.

It seems like if you offer to let someone play through, you could just let them tee off before teeing off yourselves?

I know that pace of play is an issue, but not at the expense of safety?

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Probably a language barrier on my part, but to confirm what I think you stated: You were on the tee box for the 3rd hole, and asked them if they would like to play through on the 3rd before they finished putting out on the second. So they putted out, and you teed off at the same time. Then as they teed off your group was walking down the 3rd? That sounds kind of dangerous? Unless, you were already at your balls and walked well off the fairway? Even so, it seems kind of risky.

It seems like if you offer to let someone play through, you could just let them tee off before teeing off yourselves?

I know that pace of play is an issue, but not at the expense of safety?

That is close but we did not put ourselves in danger.

As they approached the green I asked them if they would like to play through.  The last two to tee off from our group tee'd off while they were on the green putting.  We then stood off to the side of the tee box and waiting for them to tee off and start down the fairway.  We followed them from a respectable distance.

Done this way as opposed to not teeing off, they play through at the same speed, we finish the hole quicker (and our round a little quicker) and thereby lessen the chance of slowing someone else down that might catch up to us later (as it turns out, no one else caught up with us).

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