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The Recreational Golfer

How to Play Through Another Group

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bomb a couple drives over their heads..     They'll get the point.  :-P

no, actually, I typically only play through if the group in front waves you through.  You never actually know whats happening in front of them, and it's embarrassing if you play through and find yourself waiting holding up the group you played through because you are waiting on a different group. 

 

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Quickly....:-P. I've always found it's best if the group in front hits their drives and then waves the group playing through up. Both groups can proceed up the fairway together and the group playing through hits their second shots while the slower group waits. If you do it this way, everyone stays in position better. If the slower group just waits on the tee and doesn't hit, it creates a gap and slows everyone behind them.

Edited by NM Golf

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Nobody does this anymore, but when I was young it was customary to wave the group behind on a par-3.  The slower group would wave the group behind through after everyone had found the putting surface and marked their balls.  That seemed to work really well.

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35 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Quickly....:-P. I've always found it's best if the group in front hits their drives and then waves the group playing through up. Both groups can proceed up the fairway together and the group playing through hits their second shots while the slower group waits. If you do it this way, everyone stays in position better. If the slower group just waits on the tee and doesn't hit, it creates a gap and slows everyone behind them.

Except, while the group in front waits for the behind group to walk/ride up, they should hit their second shots if there is time.  The behind group then plays their second and finishes the hole while the group that was ahead waits to hit their third shot.  The goal is to minimize the hold up to the groups behind the passing group.

Edited by No Mulligans

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Yeah, I agree with what "lasting" posted above. You have to know what's going on in front of the group you are following. 

I seen it several times that there was no place to go, even if you did try to play through. 

I played yesterday as a single walker. Just me and my trolley out for stroll. A foursome in two carts were playing well, and catching me. I just found a bench, and let them play through. They were accomplished players playing faster than me. 

I let them get to the next green, before I tee'd off. No one was behind me, so my wait didn't bother anyone. 5 holes later, I caught them, due to groups in front of them. We finished up the final 7  holes as a 5 some. 

Myself, as a single, I don't care to play through anyone. I don't have a problem waiting on others. When with others, if there was room in to play through, we would just ask the group in front of us if they would allow us to play through them. 99% of the time we recieved a positive answer. 

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It really depends on how the group in front of you handles it. Some golfers are more attentive and better at observing etiquette than others.

The last time I played through a group, they were really slow and didn't think to let my group pass until the par 5 5th hole, when I put my 2nd shot about 20 yards from the green while they were putting and got up and down for birdie. They waited on the 6th tee (after they hit) and let us through. I don't recall if they even looked behind them at any point before that, because there were other opportunities foe them to let us through earlier that they didn't take.

The time before that I can remember, a foursome waved my group (a twosome) through on a par 3 after they hit their tee shots and were standing around the green.

This one time there was this twosome holding up my foursome and they were completely oblivious to the fact that they were sloooooooow, even after several attempts on our part to get their attention (without being jerks about it). Luckily for us they didn't know the course layout and after the 10th hole, they walked down the hill and teed off on the 16th.

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1 hour ago, lastings said:

bomb a couple drives over their heads..     They'll get the point.  :-P

no, actually, I typically only play through if the group in front waves you through.  You never actually know whats happening in front of them, and it's embarrassing if you play through and find yourself waiting holding up the group you played through because you are waiting on a different group. 

 

I guess that depends on the course.  Most places I play, you can often see even 2 or 3 holes ahead.  There are even a couple of vantage points where I can see the whole front 9 and part of the back on my home course, aside from a few areas blocked by trees.   Makes it easy to decide if it's worth bothering to play through or not.

1 hour ago, The Recreational Golfer said:

When a group plays through another group, what is the best way to do it?

Depends on the size of the groups.  If our four is letting an equal or smaller group play through, we would play our shots, let them play theirs, then all head up the hole, with us lagging behind to let them play their second shots without us hanging over them.  Once they are out of range or off the green, then we continue play and neither group has lost much on the pace.  

If it's one or two of us letting a foursome through (unlikely, but possible), then we would likely wait on the tee until they clear the driving area.

On a par 3, both groups play from the tee and all go forward to the green, then let the group playing through putt out and head to the next tee.  Once again, very little time lost on the pace.

Edited by Fourputt

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59 minutes ago, golfnz34me said:

Nobody does this anymore, but when I was young it was customary to wave the group behind on a par-3.  The slower group would wave the group behind through after everyone had found the putting surface and marked their balls.  That seemed to work really well.

I agree, we let faster groups hit up on par 3s and play through. Now we play pretty fast, we play ready golf and usually from the forward tees, (in New York that is the gold tees), but sometimes we have a twosome behind us and then we let them play through. What slows us down is my playing partners being unwilling to give up on a ball they hit into the woods, they have to spend time searching for their ball versus taking a quick look and throwing another ball down, take a stroke, and continue.

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1 hour ago, No Mulligans said:

Except, while the group in front waits for the behind group to walk/ride up, they should hit their second shots if there is time.  The behind group then plays their second and finishes the hole while the group that was ahead waits to hit their third shot.  The goal is to minimize the hold up to the groups behind the passing group.

I disagree with this, let people play through on the tee shot, its a pain in the butt to have 8 balls on or around the green at the same time. Much easier to do on the fairway.

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1 hour ago, Patch said:

I seen it several times that there was no place to go, even if you did try to play through. 

I see this all the time, the course is totally packed and we will get a call into the clubhouse about slow players not letting people play through. The marshall will go out there only to find out there are 2-3 groups on every hole and no one is behind, it's just slow. You can't play through if there is not a gap to fill, people don't realize that.

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23 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

I disagree with this, let people play through on the tee shot, its a pain in the butt to have 8 balls on or around the green at the same time. Much easier to do on the fairway.

It's faster to have the balls up by the green. The group playing through can hustle to the green a bit, the other group can dawdle along behind. It's faster, though, to get them into a smaller area.

That's why playing up on par threes is the way to go. Same idea - everyone hits their "approach" shot and the group playing through putts out first.

14 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

You can't play through if there is not a gap to fill, people don't realize that.

That's BS, though, from a certain perspective. People mistakenly use that all the time.

Let's say @NatalieB and I are playing. We're fast, and there's only two of us. We're behind a foursome A. They're behind a foursome B. They're behind a foursome B. Ahead of that foursome… nothing.

But foursome A thinks "there's no gap so we shouldn't let them through." Even foursome B might think that. Yet there is a gap, and within about four or five holes, we can play through.

So, word of note to others out there… don't always assume that because there's not a gap IMMEDIATELY in front of you, that there isn't a gap at all. There may be.

From the Rules of Golf, Etiquette section:

Quote

Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, priority on the course is determined by a group's pace of play. Any group playing a whole round is entitled to pass a group playing a shorter round. The term "group" includes a single player.

There's no mention of a gap needing to exist… because unless the course is packed, there's almost always a gap, or a twosome they could join up with a few groups ahead, or something.

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I hate playing through  . The amount of times Ive had a decent round going only to be waved through which just makes me rush my shots and I invariably mess up.  Now I'm quite a quick player but what do we actually gain by playing through a couple of groups?   The 19th isn't going anywhere .

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2 hours ago, Patch said:

Myself, as a single, I don't care to play through anyone. I don't have a problem waiting on others. 

I usually go out as a single during twilight, and I never play through either. There's never anyone behind me and I'm in no hurry to go anywhere. Once I hole out I will just stretch or practice putting.

Our league plays on Tuesdays. I don't ever go out on weekends anymore. It's so painfully slow out there I can't stay in rhythm at all.  The last couple of times I went out on Saturday morning there was lot of aggressive playing through with nowhere to go and I could tell some people were on edge. Not worth it. 

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3 hours ago, NM Golf said:

Quickly....:-P. I've always found it's best if the group in front hits their drives and then waves the group playing through up. Both groups can proceed up the fairway together and the group playing through hits their second shots while the slower group waits. If you do it this way, everyone stays in position better. If the slower group just waits on the tee and doesn't hit, it creates a gap and slows everyone behind them.

I like this and encourage it if I'm playing through, or letting someone else through.  We all hit our drives and the 'through' group plays a little faster and the lagging group just relaxes and let's it open up to the appropriate gap.  Any hole, though it seems most effective at a short hole.

If the course layout allows it, I try to see a few groups ahead and if it's not busy, I'll just stay in the queue - it's not a big deal for me to relax and enjoy the day.  I make a point of staying in the cart and not even giving an ounce of an appearance of rushing the group in front of me - I'm ready to hit, I don't need a big production for that and no one else does either.  Too much I see people pacing and pointing and acting like they are missing a critical surgery out there.  Frankly, it's just super rude to act that way if there's no place to go.

Also, if I'm aware of the groups in front, even if it seems slow and pointless , I've sent a 2 some ahead noting to them that another 2 some is just a couple group up.  Combining groups, IMO, is the best way to relieve pressure.

Frankly, the only time I even want to play through is if the course itself seems tight and I know there's a group I can join in front of me.  And I make a point of that when I ask to play through "Hey, there's a 2 some up there I can join, can I tee off with you and then jack rabbit up and join them?"

Edited by rehmwa

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3 hours ago, lastings said:

bomb a couple drives over their heads..     They'll get the point.  :-P

 

No, you had it right. Fools gotta know who's boss. 

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

It's faster to have the balls up by the green. The group playing through can hustle to the green a bit, the other group can dawdle along behind. It's faster, though, to get them into a smaller area.

That's why playing up on par threes is the way to go. Same idea - everyone hits their "approach" shot and the group playing through putts out first.

That's BS, though, from a certain perspective. People mistakenly use that all the time.

Let's say @NatalieB and I are playing. We're fast, and there's only two of us. We're behind a foursome A. They're behind a foursome B. They're behind a foursome B. Ahead of that foursome… nothing.

But foursome A thinks "there's no gap so we shouldn't let them through." Even foursome B might think that. Yet there is a gap, and within about four or five holes, we can play through.

So, word of note to others out there… don't always assume that because there's not a gap IMMEDIATELY in front of you, that there isn't a gap at all. There may be.

From the Rules of Golf, Etiquette section:

There's no mention of a gap needing to exist… because unless the course is packed, there's almost always a gap, or a twosome they could join up with a few groups ahead, or something.

This is a good point. I am one of those who thought if I was on the tee, and see a group in the fairway, and see a group on the green, there is no place for them to go. However, I will not let a group play through on the 18th... 

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

It's faster to have the balls up by the green. The group playing through can hustle to the green a bit, the other group can dawdle along behind. It's faster, though, to get them into a smaller area.

That's why playing up on par threes is the way to go. Same idea - everyone hits their "approach" shot and the group playing through putts out first.

That's BS, though, from a certain perspective. People mistakenly use that all the time.

Let's say @NatalieB and I are playing. We're fast, and there's only two of us. We're behind a foursome A. They're behind a foursome B. They're behind a foursome B. Ahead of that foursome… nothing.

But foursome A thinks "there's no gap so we shouldn't let them through." Even foursome B might think that. Yet there is a gap, and within about four or five holes, we can play through.

So, word of note to others out there… don't always assume that because there's not a gap IMMEDIATELY in front of you, that there isn't a gap at all. There may be.

From the Rules of Golf, Etiquette section:

There's no mention of a gap needing to exist… because unless the course is packed, there's almost always a gap, or a twosome they could join up with a few groups ahead, or something.

The only problem with letting such a twosome play through multiple groups is that most players aren't as efficient as those of us who have the experience and understand that there are both good and bad ways to do it.  I've seen too many groups fall a full hole behind while they wait for the group that played through to finish the hole.  With the wrong methods, even a single trying to play through on a busy day can cause a rolling blockade on the course that slows up everyone behind him.

What you are saying may be good etiquette, and it might work with experienced players, but most casual players have never read the rules, only have a vague idea of what etiquette even is, and in such a case, I would be inclined to just take my time and enjoy the day.  I hate slow play, but when you have to play a public course on a weekend, sometimes the better idea is to just go with the flow.

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