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From Golf Digest (here), let's take a quick look at these… I'll bold their notes, and add mine below.

1) Play like you have only three hours to finish the round before the sun sets. 

Okay, so, "play faster." We're hardly off to a rousing start. :-)

2) Ditch your headcovers. Taking them on and off all day is a serious time suck. 

Or, better yet, just put them on while driving from the tee to the fairway, or when other players are hitting their tee shots.

3) Play it forward at least one tee box.

Well, okay, but that won't necessarily speed play a bunch. Two tee boxes, now we're talking. :-D

4) Check the time when you tee off and check again every three holes. For some reason, it helps make you play faster.

Good one.

5) Mixed foursome? Forward-tee players should ride with other forward-tee players. Back tees with back tees.

If they don't want to, that's not going to happen much. If it's a pair of couples, then the wives may ride together, or they may want to ride with their husbands.

But they could still take one cart to the forward tee and be ready to tee off right away, then just get back into "their" cart when the husbands drive forward.

6) Agreeing to play "ready golf" is essential for a casual round. But you'll play even faster if you keep putting until your ball is conceded or holed.

Not if you have to re-read your putt. If you have a tap-in, though, tap in.

7) Only mark a short putt to clean it.

Or just tap it in. You often have to mark short but not tap-in putts because they're in someone else's way.

8) Don't wait for dawdlers. They'll start playing faster as a result.

What's that mean exactly? Just put the flag in and move to the next tee while they're still lining up their putt? :-)

9) First golfer on a par 3 gets the yardage and announces it to everyone.

Yeah, that's fine.

10) First to hit on a par 3 stands at the ready to fill divot holes.

I almost never see players filling in divots with sand mix on most courses.

11) Glean as much knowledge as you can about your next shot while approaching it.

Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared.

12) Approximate yardages instead of walking them off.

Buy a laser.

13) Waiting? Take as many practice swings/strokes as you want. Your turn? You get one.

That's fine.

14) Always be moving forward. If you have to double back for anything—bag, cart, clubs—you're losing time.

If your shot goes backward, well, you're out of luck. You lose the hole. Forward only! :-)

15) Hit your ball first, then help others search. They'll typically find the ball without your help.

That doesn't always work out for the best.

16) Always have a spare ball handy.

Cheater. ;-)

17) Two players in the same bunker? The last one to hit rakes. The first one to escape marks and reads the putt during the raking.

Just do what's most efficient. The problem with these hard and fast rules is that there are countless ways it can be done better in different circumstances. Maybe a third player could rake. Maybe the first player hit a good shot and won't have to putt for awhile and could rake.

18) Unless the cart is going to or from a tee box, there should never be more than one person in it.

See my answer to #17: there are plenty of times this makes no sense. Players hit from near each other and both are near the green… but one has to walk, why?

As for the general idea, yes, more players should walk even when they have a cart. You should only be in a cart maybe 2/3 of the time or so.

19) A little radical for some, but leaving the flagstick in the hole saves a lot of time.

A little radical? Against the rules. Done properly this can't save much time at all… if the first person to putt out gets the flagstick, it takes an extra second a hole, maybe?

20) Refuse to leave the flagstick in? First to putt out grabs the flagstick and waits to put it back. Always.

Thank you.

21) Have an exit strategy. Know where the next tee box is and be prepared to make a direct exit toward that box as soon as the hole is finished.

I've found that people who walk a lot growing up - particularly kids - tend to learn this kind of thing all on their own. They will leave a bag between the fairway of the two holes and take their driver, wedge, and a putter to the green of the hole they're on.

22) Jokes and stories are best told after teeing off, not before. Otherwise you're interrupting another player's preparation.

But how are you supposed to tell a joke when you're the only one in the cart? :-)

23) Beverage cart approaching? Wave it over to where your ball is located, if possible. Play your shot, and then order. And keep the conversation brief.

They tend to stay on the cart paths. They should have said "nominate one person to get the drinks for all."

24) Playing on the tail of the people in front of you will subconsciously push them to play faster, even if they try not to.

And if you get too close to them, a fight might break out. :-P

25) Nothing else working? In the age of smartphones and social media, it's easy to document slow play. Single out the slow players on Snapchat, Instagram, et al. If it does nothing else, it will serve as cheap therapy.

Yes, because nothing screams retribution like a small video with unidentifiable people playing golf in a series of videos or photos on your Instagram or Twitter account that your wife and 14 other people follow.


All told, weak sauce. A few good ones, but they also left out some others. Like…

1. WALK FASTER.

2. Drop your friend off at his cart and go to your ball.

3. Take a few clubs. Including a few wedges near the green.

4. Bring your partner his putter if you've parked near the green and he doesn't have it.

5. Play provisionals when appropriate.

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A big time killer I see very, very often and it drives me nuts.
When players all miss the green short or out to a side, first player chips on and comes up short.
The ball is in no ones line, but he insists he must mark it.
Then the next player does the same thing, as the other players wait.

I often bark at them "stop, your ball is ok"
Friggin ten minutes of watching guys walking 50 feet, just to mark a ball....  :pound:

Leave the friggin ball alone and let other players play on. Walk and mark it when it doesn't disrupt other players.

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Im not a very good golfer as compared to most on this forum. I have head covers, even on my irons. (laugh all you want :-P). I sometimes lose a golf ball I have to hunt, and occasionally Ill have to tighten my shoe laces. Im too cheap for a range finder, so I take an extra second or two to get a yardage cus I dont know how far it is to carry the hazard. Im not very good at math or counting.

:pound: And yet Im ALWAYS waiting on slow pokes ahead of me!!!! What in the hosel are people doing to play so freakin slow!? I just dont get it!!!!! :cry:

4 hours ago, CarlSpackler said:

Funny commentary @iacas:-)

Have to agree! That was a great commentary!

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The very best way to speed up the game?   Hit your drive in the fairway, and not in the woods.   In my experience, looking for someone's ball is the biggest time waster.  

As for the one about jokes, #22, I can't go along with that.   The best time to tell a joke is when it comes into your head.   Personally, I don't care if I'm addressing my drive, if you have something funny to say, say it.   I love a good laugh.  That's what we're here for.   Play some golf, have a few laughs.   Just don't start your joke in the middle of my back swing. 

 

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I saw the original list and was similarly unimpressed.  The added commentary was pretty good.

A few other things I have found helpful are:

1. Watch your shot closely, especially poor ones.  So many times I see a person turn in disgust and then have no idea where their ball went. Yes, sometimes we lose a ball in the sun or because of an unexpected trajectory but generally one should know where their ball went.

2. Watch where the other player's shots go.  An amazing number of people have poor eyesight, short attention spans, bad short-term memory or an inflated idea of how far they hit balls.  Rather than spend 3 minutes looking for a ball in the rough 250 yards off the tee, I like to point out the tree it hit 60 yards back and move on.

3. If you have trouble lasering a target, get a GPS or a better laser with target acquisition assistance. 

As to to @iacas suggestion to "WALK FASTER", that is so spot on.  If someone can't walk fast then they really need to consider using a cart.  I understand that people like to get some exercise but if their maximum speed is 2 mph, get the walking in at the mall or in one's neighborhood.  I am a walker and believe golf is best played walking.  It is not a foot race but there have been some walking groups in front of me recently that we could easily skip around, on foot.  

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20 minutes ago, bkuehn1952 said:

 

As to to @iacas suggestion to "WALK FASTER", that is so spot on.  If someone can't walk fast then they really need to consider using a cart.  I understand that people like to get some exercise but if their maximum speed is 2 mph, get the walking in at the mall or in one's neighborhood.  I am a walker and believe golf is best played walking.  It is not a foot race but there have been some walking groups in front of me recently that we could easily skip around, on foot.  

I agree 1000%!!! One of the courses I play has a group of golfers with blue handicap flags on their carts. Theyre all over 65 and most of them can barely walk. They park right next to the green but it still takes them 4 minutes each to get back in the cart. Why golf courses would allow such things is beyond me. Then you got players who got a cart but walk most of the course anyway. Why not save ur money and forego the cart? 

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Here's one that I have never seem mentioned...

You electronically monitor each player's time from tee box to tee box.  Each player is issued a GPS/RFID device when they sign in.  Players are given a set amount of time to play for each particular hole, say 10 minutes, with a 2 minute grace period. Greater than 12 minutes results in credit card charged charges. Better than 8 minutes results in credits.  Tee boxes read the RFID and monitor the time.

Need to figure out what to do about slow groups that don't care about the additional fees and hold everyone up.  But the marshal can monitor the progress of slow groups electronically, by hole, and have a record of who is playing slow.  May restrict certain players to certain non-busty times.

Downside is the potential loss of business from a few disgruntled players.  Upside is being able to attract new players who want to play at a faster pace.

John

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3 minutes ago, 70sSanO said:

Here's one that I have never seem mentioned...

You electronically monitor each player's time from tee box to tee box.  Each player is issued a GPS/RFID device when they sign in.  Players are given a set amount of time to play for each particular hole, say 10 minutes, with a 2 minute grace period. Greater than 12 minutes results in credit card charged charges. Better than 8 minutes results in credits.  Tee boxes read the RFID and monitor the time.

Need to figure out what to do about slow groups that don't care about the additional fees and hold everyone up.  But the marshal can monitor the progress of slow groups electronically, by hole, and have a record of who is playing slow.  May restrict certain players to certain non-busty times.

Downside is the potential loss of business from a few disgruntled players.  Upside is being able to attract new players who want to play at a faster pace.

John

So how does this calculate waiting time for the group in front of you?  What if it's a single and a group of three paired up and the group of three is there to just have a slow day on the course, should the single be punished?  The rules *allow* for 5 minutes to search for a lost ball, that leaves you 7 for the rest of the hole so how does that get calculated, especially on a long par 5?

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52 minutes ago, amished said:

So how does this calculate waiting time for the group in front of you?  What if it's a single and a group of three paired up and the group of three is there to just have a slow day on the course, should the single be punished?  The rules *allow* for 5 minutes to search for a lost ball, that leaves you 7 for the rest of the hole so how does that get calculated, especially on a long par 5?

Obviously there would be allowances for single play, or waiting for groups, or ???  Initially it would be a nightmare and there would be a transition period where there would be no charges, but the golfers would know how long they took.  Plus the marshals would have real data on particular golfers and not just a bottleneck.  This idea is just an initial thought not a complete design of a workable system.

And it may mean an additional RFID reader between green and tee box, but the truth is that there is no good way to speed up play despite all of the good suggestions, there are thousands of golfers who are not reading TST or Golf Digest or anything about how to speed up play or really don't care.

For some people it is all about their world and even though they may complain about waiting for others, it is a totally different story when they have to hit.  But if you are hit with a $40 add charge because you just can't seem to take less than 10 practice swings. or you have to find your ball or you never realized that after you made that pitch, you would be putting and didn't bring your putter, it will be more tangible than having people just trying to get slow golfers to play faster.

John

Edit added... Par 5's would have more time than Par 3's, 10 minutes is just a number I threw out.  And if you need 5 minutes to find your ball, maybe you should be penalized.  If it takes more than a couple of minutes it should be lost, or play at times when the course is not busy, don't play on the weekend, or take a drop and penalty and do better next time.

Edited by 70sSanO
5 minutes to find a ball
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23) Beverage cart approaching? Wave it over to where your ball is located, if possible. Play your shot, and then order. --And keep the conversation brief--.

but...   she always laughs at my jokes..  :beer:

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3 hours ago, 70sSanO said:

You electronically monitor each player's time from tee box to tee box.  Each player is issued a GPS/RFID device when they sign in.  Players are given a set amount of time to play for each particular hole, say 10 minutes, with a 2 minute grace period. Greater than 12 minutes results in credit card charged charges. Better than 8 minutes results in credits.  Tee boxes read the RFID and monitor the time.

Waving players through would be penalized, too.

Probably too many hassles at this point to make that at all practical.

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4 hours ago, 70sSanO said:

Here's one that I have never seem mentioned...

You electronically monitor each player's time from tee box to tee box.  Each player is issued a GPS/RFID device when they sign in.  Players are given a set amount of time to play for each particular hole, say 10 minutes, with a 2 minute grace period. Greater than 12 minutes results in credit card charged charges. Better than 8 minutes results in credits.  Tee boxes read the RFID and monitor the time.

Need to figure out what to do about slow groups that don't care about the additional fees and hold everyone up.  But the marshal can monitor the progress of slow groups electronically, by hole, and have a record of who is playing slow.  May restrict certain players to certain non-busty times.

Downside is the potential loss of business from a few disgruntled players.  Upside is being able to attract new players who want to play at a faster pace.

John

Seems like something that would cost quite a bit of money and would punish a lot of people who get stuck behind a slow group which isn't very practical, I mean courses have marshals for this exact reason, they just need to do their job. A vast majority I see (around my area) just causally drive around the course not doing much at all.

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The electronic monitoring may not work, I don't know, but I would like to see more than a re-hash of decades old suggestions to speed up play.  If course marshals were really keeping the pace moving, there wouldn't be an issue.  For the most part that has doesn't happen, but it is a tough job when you have regulars out there.  And courses will never enforce playing the correct tees.  I think there are enough people who figure they paid their money and they will play as they like.

I hate waiting and watching golfers take an eternity to play.  I'll take a day off and play during the week or, if I am visiting the kids in Arizona, play in 100+ degree weather.  We play ready golf and don't spend a lifetime on the greens figuring who is away.  If the course is clear we can rip through it pretty fast and I am not a good golfer.

John

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21 hours ago, iacas said:

Yes, because nothing screams retribution like a small video with unidentifiable people playing golf in a series of videos or photos on your Instagram or Twitter account that your wife and 14 other people follow.

That was funny.

I think a lot of these bits are written by interns. One is likely better for the rules forum, but the scenario of a ball coming to rest on a bit of brush within the hole was given as place the ball at the edge of the hole. My understanding of loose impediment and moveable obstruction is that the ball is deemed to rest on the spot underneath this removable object. If that's the correct interpretation, my point is that there's not a lot of quality writing or golf knowledge in some of these filler pieces.

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Number 6, about Ready Golf on the green (aka "clean up your tap-ins") is definitely something to discuss with your playing partners before you do it. That's the way my normal group usually plays, but in a different group a few weeks back a couple of them got uppity when I left a 10-foot putt a foot to the side and walked up to give it the coup de grace. Whether it's appropriate depends on the group, how long you left it and whether you left it in anyone's line of putt.

As for headcovers, I only have them for the driver, 4h and putter. My matte-finish gunmetal Ping G10 duffhammers can chatter all they like (your brand-new mirror-chrome CBs might deserve more babying), and my 3w ends up nicely nestled between the driver and 4. And I always have at least one spare ball (and tee) in my pocket; comes with the territory of losing a ball and a half per hole on average for the first three years I played.

 I agree that learning where the next tee box is and positioning your bag/cart so it's on the way from the green to the tee is something pretty much every walker learns, however depending on hole layout and how you're hitting your shots it's not always practical. I don't bring my driver onto the green; that would look a little silly (or disturbing depending on how new you think I am given my handicap), but I do make my best effort to leave my cart in between green and tee box where practical.

And "slow shaming"? No. In fact, turn the cell phone off and leave it in your bag (or in your car). The last thing you need to be doing on the course when we're talking about speeding up the pace of play is messing around on Instagram. If you're behind a slow group and there's a clear hole ahead of both of you, they should let you play through, and if they don't/won't, just drive or walk ahead of them to the next tee. You can come back to the hole later when it's convenient, or just fill in a fair number for the hole and move on. Playing the holes in order is one of the easiest (and most-often) waived rules of the game. In competition, of course, the go-to option is to bring the matter to an official's attention, and they'll handle it as the competition rules dictate. If the rules are anything like the Tour, they'll put the group "on the clock" and penalize each player who fails to make each stroke within some allotted time.

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Actually I think rule number one is all that is needed. If you are playing a round as if you only have three hours to complete it, you will hurry up. But slow players just don't do that. They play as if they have all effing day long. I don't know what else to say other then "play faster". 

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