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Tips For Improving Pace of Play

By: Nia Fredrich

Last week during my Saturday tee time, we were stuck behind a two-some on every hole. The backup would even pile up from time to time. It was clear they were new to the game, but in my opinion that’s not always the best excuse for some on course behaviors that hold up the groups behind them. Below you will find tips for improving pace of play, a few preached by my first golf coach, and others that I have been taught over the years.

  1. Always have the forward group in sight

To ensure you’re keeping good pace, make sure you can always see the group ahead of you. If they are in the fairway, you should be ready on the tee. If they are on the green, you should be ready to approach the green. Obviously be aware of the distance between you, you do not want to constantly be yelling FORE or have the forward group fear you will hit them, but use your best judgment to keep a good distance for pace.

  1. Finish the scorecards on the next tee so you can clear the green for the next group

Nothing bothered me more than when the slow group ahead of us stopped to record their scores on the green before putting the pin back in. As if they weren’t already taking plenty of time, it was simply rude for them to stand on the green with groups behind them visibly waiting to approach. The biggest way to avoid backup on the greens is to record scores on your way to the next tee, or while other members in your group are teeing off on the next hole to avoid a cluster on the green.

  1. Play ready golf

You’ve probably heard this concept before, but really it means not only being ready for each shot before you approach it, but taking shots even if you are not the furthest away. It also means preparing for your shots as the other is playing their ball. In a sense, it means when it is your turn, be ready to hit.

  1. Keep your things organized for a faster round

Easy to access tees, balls, divot tools, and gloves is the best way to not get held up on the course. I recommend a push cart with easy access storage, putting your necessities into the cart cubbies, or even just organizing your golf bag to know where everything is when you may need it!

How a Team Titleist Member has organized their bag (Titleist)
  1. Fix and fill your own divots and maybe one or two more

If we each spend those few seconds cleaning up the fairways and greens, its less likely someone behind us encounters those poor conditions. Filling in divots on the fairways takes just a few seconds to pour the sand or replace the sod. This will keep groups behind you from tough landing areas and from feeling the need to repair it themselves. Same goes for on the green. Everyone is always looking for the perfect smooth roll on their ball, and fixing ball marks that you made and maybe one extra can go a long way in keeping the greens nice.

  1. Warm up and prepare for the first tee BEFORE your tee time.

This one is big for me. Your tee time is not the time to start warming up or start making your way to the tee box. It means you should be off and swinging. The easiest way to ensure that you are not behind is to give yourself extra time. You shouldn’t be rolling into the parking lot and checking in with just 10 minutes to spare, but instead make sure you have time to practice a few putts before making it to the tee. Your warmup routine is also something to be conducted before making it onto the tee, especially considering there are so many good places on the course to warmup effectively for your game.


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