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Playing a Round of Golf Solo

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I am creating this topic after reading through the thread about the USGA's decision to not allow solo golf rounds be posted for handicap purposes....

In the very early years of my golf endeavor (well before I ever thought about establishing an official handicap), I learned that it would be virtually impossible for me to play a round of golf by myself while adhering strictly to the rules of golf.  Once I did establish a handicap, I always deemed my solo rounds as practice rounds (no matter what).  For me, I just can't help myself to do some "practice" when I'm playing alone.  Heck, when I play alone, I usually can't get past the 4th hole before my brain turns into practice mode.  I may re-hit a shot because I did so poorly on my first attempt; or I may re-hit a shot to see if I can replicate the great results I got the first time.  It's just not the same as when I play with a group of guys.  The funny thing is, when I play with a group, this mentality never even crosses my mind.  I play all rounds with a group strictly by the rules. 

My first question is, does anyone else fall into the same boat as me?  Do you struggle to play a round of golf by yourself and never stray from the rules?

My second question is for the guys that say they play a lot of solo rounds strictly by the rules.  I hope these lines of questions aren't off-putting.  Remember, these questions are coming from someone that does not have the willpower to do what you say you do and is skeptical because of that:

-  Have you never played a round that was just terrible and decided not to post your score?
-  Have you never re-hit a shot from off the green (even if you didn't "count" that shot)?
-  Have you never lost a ball and decided not to go back to the tee box to re-hit for the sake of time?
-  Have you never missed that 2' putt, chalked it up to just rushing it, and just gave yourself that putt?
-  Have you never left the pin in the hole when you putted out to save time?

I'm just in awe at how many folks say they can play golf alone and play 100% by the rules.  I may try to make a concerted effort to do it sometime.  I'd probably be fighting my "practice" mode mentality with my "it's a real golf round" mentality the entire way.

Jason

 

 

 

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How can you post a score playing solo,you need someone to mark your card.

Pretty boring playing solo.

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Golf is golf, rules are easy enough to follow with or without a witness.  I don't play any different alone or with others. if you need a babysitter it's time to rethink everything golf isn't your problem. 

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Actually, I find it very enjoyable to play solo sometimes.  I try to get to the course after work one night per week to play 9 holes.  It's a great way for me to wind down and to practice.  The thing is, it is just practice for me, because my mind makes it that way and I do all kinds of things to break the rules.

Until this year, you could post any solo rounds.  Even now, you can post a score without someone to mark your card.  If you play with a total stranger who's name you don't even know, you can post your score.  They don't need to sign your card...

 

4 minutes ago, Dave2512 said:

Golf is golf, rules are easy enough to follow with or without a witness.  I don't play any different alone or with others. if you need a babysitter it's time to rethink everything golf isn't your problem. 

Sorry I ruffled your feathers...  I guess I'll rethink everything :hmm:

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Back in the day I played a ton of solo golf. I played really well, and had the itch to play as much as possible. I'd get off work, go home, shower and change. Maybe grab a quick bite. Throw the clubs in the car and head to Mill Creek. Sometimes I'd arrive at the cashier just as they were getting ready to close up, and they would ask me if I thought I could finish the 9. I told them I didn't care. I'd play until I finished or it got too dark to see. This was rarely a problem. I walked and carried then, and if I wasn't held up, I could play 9 in about an hour and a half. My record was around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

I didn't find it boring in the least. I was totally involved in the game! There were no distractions. There was a thread here somewhere that talked about playing golf without thinking. I responded to it, saying that I played some of my best golf without a conscious thought in my head. These times are when that happened. I was playing the best golf of my life, those times are precious to me, and I will treasure them always! 

And, I played by the rules, one ball! Of course, I was good enough to do that back then. But I can understand the USGA's thinking on this.

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Playing solo is a different game for me. I know there are rulings I would not know how to handle, so solo rounds are a time to relax. I'd be lying if I said I play every time exactly by the rules, even though I try.

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48 minutes ago, boil3rmak3r said:

 

My first question is, does anyone else fall into the same boat as me?  Do you struggle to play a round of golf by yourself and never stray from the rules?

My second question is for the guys that say they play a lot of solo rounds strictly by the rules.  I hope these lines of questions aren't off-putting.  Remember, these questions are coming from someone that does not have the willpower to do what you say you do and is skeptical because of that:

-  Have you never played a round that was just terrible and decided not to post your score?
-  Have you never re-hit a shot from off the green (even if you didn't "count" that shot)?
-  Have you never lost a ball and decided not to go back to the tee box to re-hit for the sake of time?
-  Have you never missed that 2' putt, chalked it up to just rushing it, and just gave yourself that putt?
-  Have you never left the pin in the hole when you putted out to save time?

I'm just in awe at how many folks say they can play golf alone and play 100% by the rules.  I may try to make a concerted effort to do it sometime.  I'd probably be fighting my "practice" mode mentality with my "it's a real golf round" mentality the entire way.

Jason

 

 

 

I don't struggle to do it. I just don't. They're practice rounds. I'm out enjoying the outdoors and practicing my game.

-  Have you never played a round that was just terrible and decided not to post your score? It never gets that far - it turns into a practice round, and I start hitting extra shots.
-  Have you never re-hit a shot from off the green (even if you didn't "count" that shot)? I've re-hit a shot from off the green.
-  Have you never lost a ball and decided not to go back to the tee box to re-hit for the sake of time? When I lost a ball in the woods, I've dropped a ball on the fairway and taken a "two stroke penalty" to save time. Yeah, my "provisional" landed in the fairway where I dropped the ball. I'm sure the people behind me appreciate that I didn't walk back to the tee and re-hit.
-  Have you never missed that 2' putt, chalked it up to just rushing it, and just gave yourself that putt? I've picked up those 18" gimmes to save time.
-  Have you never left the pin in the hole when you putted out to save time? I've left the pin in the hole when I've putt to save time.

But since you can't record scores played as a single, it doesn't matter, does it? They're for practicing and learning how to play a course.

That said I don't have an official handicap at the moment so my scores don't matter. I play in the 90s. I'm no threat to anyone.

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1 hour ago, Lihu said:

Playing solo is a different game for me. I know there are rulings I would not know how to handle, so solo rounds are a time to relax. I'd be lying if I said I play every time exactly by the rules, even though I try.

Seriously? I maybe have a rules dilemma once a year if that. It's all clear cut drops after penalties, npr from cart paths and hitting provisionals. 

Is this an @MEfree thread? 

 

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I can play 18 holes of 'solo' golf and play by all of the USGA Rules of Golf.

One ball, down, provisional, etc..

Is this so hard to believe? And yet, this round does not count.

I play the same way when I'm playing with a 'witness'. I don't see the difference. I guess, the USGA does not trust you when you are alone out on the course.

I have 'witnessed' many FC not playing 'by the rules'. And yet, they can post their scores. Is it my duty to contest the score they posted? Because, I was a 'witness' to being with them when they played.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Dave2512 said:

Seriously? I maybe have a rules dilemma once a year if that. It's all clear cut drops after penalties, npr from cart paths and hitting provisionals. 

Is this an @MEfree thread? 

 

First of all, I almost never get to play alone any more. The rule makes no difference to me.

Guessing by your strong response that you think you know all the rules perfectly?

I'm likely 97% most of the time, but who knows? More sets of eyes on something and you get differing opinions and possibly new insights. I can see the new rule having some merit, and am getting opinions of more experienced golfers regarding the pros of this new rule.

20 minutes ago, CCC said:

I can play 18 holes of 'solo' golf and play by all of the USGA Rules of Golf.

One ball, down, provisional, etc..

Is this so hard to believe? And yet, this round does not count.

I play the same way when I'm playing with a 'witness'. I don't see the difference. I guess, the USGA does not trust you when you are alone out on the course.

I have 'witnessed' many FC not playing 'by the rules'. And yet, they can post their scores. Is it my duty to contest the score they posted? Because, I was a 'witness' to being with them when they played.

No one doubts your ability to play honestly, everyone tries to play by the rules.

If you catch people breaking the rules during a tournament you need to let the RO know immediately. If they cheat while playing a handicap round you should let your club know. However, it's really hard to tell when someone is missing putts or chips on purpose or not, though, so not sure if they could do anything about that kind of cheating?

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It's not a strong response. We don't need an RO to follow us for day in day out golf we just play. There are no critical calls we don't teeter on million dollar stroke decisions we have a 10 plus stroke variation in our last 20 rounds. 

Being alone shouldn't change anything this is a basic principal of golf.  Find yourself in a sticky spot with rules? Strict is better than loose. There are no hall passes. 

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7 hours ago, boil3rmak3r said:

I am creating this topic after reading through the thread about the USGA's decision to not allow solo golf rounds be posted for handicap purposes....

In the very early years of my golf endeavor (well before I ever thought about establishing an official handicap), I learned that it would be virtually impossible for me to play a round of golf by myself while adhering strictly to the rules of golf.  Once I did establish a handicap, I always deemed my solo rounds as practice rounds (no matter what).  For me, I just can't help myself to do some "practice" when I'm playing alone.  Heck, when I play alone, I usually can't get past the 4th hole before my brain turns into practice mode.  I may re-hit a shot because I did so poorly on my first attempt; or I may re-hit a shot to see if I can replicate the great results I got the first time.  It's just not the same as when I play with a group of guys.  The funny thing is, when I play with a group, this mentality never even crosses my mind.  I play all rounds with a group strictly by the rules. 

My first question is, does anyone else fall into the same boat as me?  Do you struggle to play a round of golf by yourself and never stray from the rules?

My second question is for the guys that say they play a lot of solo rounds strictly by the rules.  I hope these lines of questions aren't off-putting.  Remember, these questions are coming from someone that does not have the willpower to do what you say you do and is skeptical because of that:

-  Have you never played a round that was just terrible and decided not to post your score?
-  Have you never re-hit a shot from off the green (even if you didn't "count" that shot)?
-  Have you never lost a ball and decided not to go back to the tee box to re-hit for the sake of time?
-  Have you never missed that 2' putt, chalked it up to just rushing it, and just gave yourself that putt?
-  Have you never left the pin in the hole when you putted out to save time?

I'm just in awe at how many folks say they can play golf alone and play 100% by the rules.  I may try to make a concerted effort to do it sometime.  I'd probably be fighting my "practice" mode mentality with my "it's a real golf round" mentality the entire way.

Jason

 

 

 

Thanks for posting Jason. I rarely get to play alone here in the Boston area because there is usually always someone else there to pair up with. The only times the courses are empty and I get to play solo are late fall or early spring which are out the the posting dates for our area. Then I play as practice, but I always play it as it lies. I may redo shots or practice bunker and short game shots, but I can't post the score anyway.

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I play solo almost every day. I play by the rules. yesterday I flubbed a bump and  run and dropped a 2nd ball and hit a shot but played the first and picked up the 2nd. I think that was the only time i did that. I use my garmin watch to upload my scores and it is painful to upload a high score but i shot it right? Sometimes I will catch up to another group and join them. I find that when I do I go into a different mode. I play more focused and subconsciously want to beat whoever I am with. I like playing alone as I can finish 18 in 2 1/2 hours playing slow.

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5 hours ago, CCC said:

I can play 18 holes of 'solo' golf and play by all of the USGA Rules of Golf.

One ball, down, provisional, etc..

Is this so hard to believe? And yet, this round does not count.

I play the same way when I'm playing with a 'witness'. I don't see the difference. I guess, the USGA does not trust you when you are alone out on the course.

I have 'witnessed' many FC not playing 'by the rules'. And yet, they can post their scores. Is it my duty to contest the score they posted? Because, I was a 'witness' to being with them when they played.

 

 

I believe you, CCC.  I was just trying to get an idea of how many guys do this.  It'll be interesting to see if there is anyone who responds that they would struggle to do this like I would...

Also, this isn't about the rules change.  I think that is pretty well discussed in another thread (FYI - I agree that the change is asinine, but must be leading to something bigger),

3 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

Thanks for posting Jason. I rarely get to play alone here in the Boston area because there is usually always someone else there to pair up with. The only times the courses are empty and I get to play solo are late fall or early spring which are out the the posting dates for our area. Then I play as practice, but I always play it as it lies. I may redo shots or practice bunker and short game shots, but I can't post the score anyway.

I play the ball as it lies as well.  That's easy for me.  What's difficult is to NOT do what you say in your last sentence - re-hitting shots as practice.  I may find a pin that is in a certain corner of a green and see it as a great opportunity to practice some chip shots; or have a 50 yard pitch that I fly a little long and try it again to get a better feel for how big of a swing I should have made to have better distance control.  My home course is virtually empty most evenings, so I can afford to be leisurely if I'd like.

I have a regular Sat/Sun group that I play with each week  I suspect if I didn't have that and was forced to maintain a handicap by playing alone (I realize this can't happen now, but that's not the point), it would be easier for me to turn off that "practice" mode part of my brain?  Idk...

 

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7 hours ago, Scotsclaff said:

 

 

8 hours ago, boil3rmak3r said:

I am creating this topic after reading through the thread about the USGA's decision to not allow solo golf rounds be posted for handicap purposes....

In the very early years of my golf endeavor (well before I ever thought about establishing an official handicap), I learned that it would be virtually impossible for me to play a round of golf by myself while adhering strictly to the rules of golf.  Once I did establish a handicap, I always deemed my solo rounds as practice rounds (no matter what).  For me, I just can't help myself to do some "practice" when I'm playing alone.  Heck, when I play alone, I usually can't get past the 4th hole before my brain turns into practice mode.  I may re-hit a shot because I did so poorly on my first attempt; or I may re-hit a shot to see if I can replicate the great results I got the first time.  It's just not the same as when I play with a group of guys.  The funny thing is, when I play with a group, this mentality never even crosses my mind.  I play all rounds with a group strictly by the rules. 

My first question is, does anyone else fall into the same boat as me?  Do you struggle to play a round of golf by yourself and never stray from the rules?

My second question is for the guys that say they play a lot of solo rounds strictly by the rules.  I hope these lines of questions aren't off-putting.  Remember, these questions are coming from someone that does not have the willpower to do what you say you do and is skeptical because of that:

-  Have you never played a round that was just terrible and decided not to post your score?
-  Have you never re-hit a shot from off the green (even if you didn't "count" that shot)?
-  Have you never lost a ball and decided not to go back to the tee box to re-hit for the sake of time?
-  Have you never missed that 2' putt, chalked it up to just rushing it, and just gave yourself that putt?
-  Have you never left the pin in the hole when you putted out to save time?

I'm just in awe at how many folks say they can play golf alone and play 100% by the rules.  I may try to make a concerted effort to do it sometime.  I'd probably be fighting my "practice" mode mentality with my "it's a real golf round" mentality the entire way.

Jason

 

 

 

 

First, I do not keep a handicap.  Never have.  There are times though, that I try to play a complete round by the rules to see where I stand.  

I am very similar to you that it is pretty hard not to play in "practice mode".  I find myself replaying shots quite often.  I typically keep playing the first ball, but rehit a practice ball.  

 

7 hours ago, Scotsclaff said:

How can you post a score playing solo,you need someone to mark your card.

Pretty boring playing solo.

This is simply a matter of opinion.  I am a fairly extreme introvert.  I like to play golf by myself.  That is how I get some of my "alone" time.

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I get exactly what the OP is saying. I play 90% of my rounds with other people. Even when I'm clear to go solo, I'll tell the starter, I'd rather wait for a group, if possible- particularly if I'm interested in getting a score posted.

In fact, I have two distinct modes of play when I golf: with others and solo. There's a comfortable rhythm when playing with others- alternating shots, general discussion about the round, golf, life, whatever. The pace and tempo feels familiar, and having the audience (such as it is) makes me actually want to put up with whatever bad shot I've hit, or extricate myself from whatever jail I've put myself into. ROG apply, and it's a fun challenge to put up an honest score, with both good and bad shots along the way.

A solo round feels so different to me, however, and it's far more enjoyable for me to use the round for practice. It feels uncomfortable to me to play one ball and do all the things that go with completing a round per the ROG, because I'm always away!! It's always my turn, and it almost feels rushed.  The only way to get it back to my familiar golf experience is to kill time along the way- typically that means hitting extra tee shots (love hitting a few on par 3's). As @boil3rmak3r said (this sums it up perfectly:

51 minutes ago, boil3rmak3r said:

I may find a pin that is in a certain corner of a green and see it as a great opportunity to practice some chip shots; or have a 50 yard pitch that I fly a little long and try it again to get a better feel for how big of a swing I should have made to have better distance control.

I find that sorta thing above so enjoyable, and after all, I paid money to play. I can get great practice out of it, and enjoy it more. Win-win. At this point in my golf hobby, it's not all about score. I'm looking to improve with lessons, and a practice round alone is often better for getting a sense of where my swing change stands than several range sessions. 

The reverse is true when with others: scoring is more satisfying than just going out to hit balls around the course, or getting practice with my swing. If I don't keep score when playing with others, the round feels incomplete, like it was a wasted opportunity to get a benchmark for where I stand.

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1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

-  Have you never re-hit a shot from off the green (even if you didn't "count" that shot)?

I'll have to admit to a bit of ignorance here. It never occurred to me that hitting a second ball that doesn't count was against the rules. I don't do it very often, but after a horrendous short-game shot, I may drop a second ball and see if I can do better.

Is the thought process that the feedback I might get from chipping a second ball going to help me later in the round? Hardly ever bares out that way.

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9 hours ago, Scotsclaff said:

How can you post a score playing solo,you need someone to mark your card.

Pretty boring playing solo.

There is no requirement to have anyone mark one's card under the USGA handicap system.  I agree that playing alone is boring.

8 hours ago, boil3rmak3r said:

Actually, I find it very enjoyable to play solo sometimes.  I try to get to the course after work one night per week to play 9 holes.  It's a great way for me to wind down and to practice.  The thing is, it is just practice for me, because my mind makes it that way and I do all kinds of things to break the rules.

Until this year, you could post any solo rounds.  Even now, you can post a score without someone to mark your card.  If you play with a total stranger who's name you don't even know, you can post your score.  They don't need to sign your card...

 

 

9 hours ago, boil3rmak3r said:

I am creating this topic after reading through the thread about the USGA's decision to not allow solo golf rounds be posted for handicap purposes....

In the very early years of my golf endeavor (well before I ever thought about establishing an official handicap), I learned that it would be virtually impossible for me to play a round of golf by myself while adhering strictly to the rules of golf.  Once I did establish a handicap, I always deemed my solo rounds as practice rounds (no matter what).  For me, I just can't help myself to do some "practice" when I'm playing alone.  Heck, when I play alone, I usually can't get past the 4th hole before my brain turns into practice mode.  I may re-hit a shot because I did so poorly on my first attempt; or I may re-hit a shot to see if I can replicate the great results I got the first time.  It's just not the same as when I play with a group of guys.  The funny thing is, when I play with a group, this mentality never even crosses my mind.  I play all rounds with a group strictly by the rules. 

My first question is, does anyone else fall into the same boat as me?  Do you struggle to play a round of golf by yourself and never stray from the rules?

My second question is for the guys that say they play a lot of solo rounds strictly by the rules.  I hope these lines of questions aren't off-putting.  Remember, these questions are coming from someone that does not have the willpower to do what you say you do and is skeptical because of that:

-  Have you never played a round that was just terrible and decided not to post your score?
-  Have you never re-hit a shot from off the green (even if you didn't "count" that shot)?
-  Have you never lost a ball and decided not to go back to the tee box to re-hit for the sake of time?
-  Have you never missed that 2' putt, chalked it up to just rushing it, and just gave yourself that putt?
-  Have you never left the pin in the hole when you putted out to save time?

I'm just in awe at how many folks say they can play golf alone and play 100% by the rules.  I may try to make a concerted effort to do it sometime.  I'd probably be fighting my "practice" mode mentality with my "it's a real golf round" mentality the entire way.

Jason

 

 

 

I play by the rules in 99% of the golf I play.  It's just what the game is.  If you don't play a game - any game - by the rules, are you actually playing that game?  Or are you playing some other game that's similar?  The rules are what define any game, so for golf I play by the Rules of Golf.  

There is only one rule that I will at times fudge over when the course is busy and returning to the previous spot is unreasonable, and that is the stroke and distance penalty for a lost ball.  At times a ball is not found for no good reason.  There was no apparent reason to play a provisional ball because the first ball looked like it was good, yet when you get there you don't find your ball.  When that happens, I mark my score for that hole according to the handicap manual.  This pretty much never happens on the rare times when I'm playing alone, because I almost never play alone when the course is busy.

For me golf is a social game.  I expect to play with others, whether a prearranged round with friends, or as a walk on with strangers.  I prefer it that way.  I'm not an extrovert by any stretch of the imagination, but for golf, I prefer the people aspect.  I'll go for a hike or take a drive when I want alone time.

10 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

I'll have to admit to a bit of ignorance here. It never occurred to me that hitting a second ball that doesn't count was against the rules. I don't do it very often, but after a horrendous short-game shot, I may drop a second ball and see if I can do better.

Is the thought process that the feedback I might get from chipping a second ball going to help me later in the round? Hardly ever bares out that way.

Practice is never allowed during the play of a hole.  After a hole is finished, then chipping or putting is allowed on the putting green of the hole just finished, or around the teeing ground of the next hole, as long as play is not unduly delayed.

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    • I'm not really sure why you quoted me there and then wrote this. None of this has anything to do with anything I wrote in this thread. The next time I write the word "tragic" here will be the first.
    • And you or a loved one could get killed by someone running a red light, making sudden lane changes at a high rate of speed, texting, falling asleep at the wheel or a myriad of other distractions.  If your loved one died due to these would it not be as tragic, or is it only if alcohol is somehow involved, then it makes it worse?   +1 - Once emotions get in anything bad laws are sure to follow.   Auto crashes may be the biggest threat to children, but that wouldn’t be from drunk drivers killing them.  Lots of innocent people get killed in auto crashes every year, not all are killed by drunk drivers.  I’ll pose a question to all who said yes to the post, if all drunk driving fatalities are unavoidable if the person who is drunk didn’t drive, why are there any other traffic fatalities? Obviously if you haven’t been drinking you should never get in an accident?   I don’t agree that it will save that many lives.  I believe there are something like 6,000 traffic fatalities during sunrise and sunset, when visibility is poor.  Why don’t we ban driving during these times? You’re 61% number is incorrect.  And I posted this on another thread a couple of years ago and @iacas mentioned it already, but I’ll go ever further then he did, not only are more than 50% of all alcohol-related fatalities a single car crash, killing the driver and occupants with them, but not all alcohol-related fatalities mean that the person driving was impaired.  An alcohol-related fatality is if anyone in the car has alcohol in their system.  So a Designated Driver could be in a traffic fatality with 3 drunk passengers and this is 4 people involved in an alcohol-related fatality. Or you could have a beer and some dope runs the red light hitting you and causing a fatality, but you being a driver and having alcohol in your system are probably going to be the one who goes to jail. I’m glad you’ll accept the inconvenience, I’m not.Plus you’re not going to phase out all older cars in 15 years.   Sorry for your loss, but same question as before, would you feel any different if it was a red light runner that caused the same pain?  Not to be callous, just what is the difference. As stated before, more than 50% of the 10,000 are the drivers of the vehicles.   Et tu Brute.... + A Bunch...... + A bunch More... No, my vote would not change in the least.   Most people that cause alcohol-related fatalities are people with BAC around 0.15, almost twice the legal limit.  With as many Bars, wineries, distilleries, breweries, restaurants and how prevalent alcohol is, it’s amazing how safe it is on the roads or is it really becasue it’s not as much of a threat as the media and the government make it out to be.   I think @Pretzel said it great, emotions = bad laws.  
    • A good source to look is often on eBay. While there may not be manufacture specifics, there usually is some descriptive information. I did a brief search on two items that listed the shaft flex in terms which were most likely used back when the clubs were made. One item indicated the shafts were medium/regular and another were described as regular. Your dealing with "Vintage" items which were popular long before the internet.
    • Day 22 Got to take full swings today. First time since injuring my tailbone. It felt pretty good. it will be interesting to see how I feel in the morning.  Funny, putting a ball on a tee, or plucking it out of the hole still hurts a lot. 
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