Pace of Play Tips For Everyday & Tournament Players
- Work on a quick and effective pre-shot routine: You shouldn’t need a full minute to gather yourself and focus for your shot.
- Be prepared for your turn: Just because you’re not away doesn’t mean you can’t be reading your own putt or checking your own yardage.
- Play ready golf: Just because it’s called “honor” doesn’t mean it’s dishonorable to play out of turn, even if it’s a tournament. It’s far more dishonorable to keep the group behind you waiting all day long.
- Observe while walking: Too many players wait until they’ve reached the golf ball before thinking about the next shot. There is so much you can learn from observing while you’re walking. You can notice elevation, perceived distance, on occasion you get better views of your approach than where the ball lies and you can look for yardage markers along the way instead of blindly searching after the fact.
- Take multiple clubs with you to the ball: I see it all the time: you brought the club that was perfect while at the cart. You trek across the fairway only to realize it isn’t the right club. You trek all the way back to the cart and to get the right club. Bring a range of clubs with you, that way you always have the right one.
- Stop searching so much: Just because you are entitled to five minutes of search time doesn’t mean you should use it. First, hit a provisional, then go and look. If the only place the ball could be is nasty, stop looking. You don’t want to find it.
- Don’t over-read your putts: Yes, professionals look at putts from every angle. They also are playing for millions of dollars. If you want to get multiple angles, do so before your turn so that when it is your turn all you need is one last look before pulling the trigger. Chances are your first instinct is correct. Trust it. And never, EVER plumb-bob. The pros don’t even know how to use it effectively and it sure can’t help you.
- Place your equipment properly: There is nothing more annoying than watching a player walk back and forth to the far side of the green to retrieve her clubs after completing a hole. Know where you’re going to walk and place your clubs there.
- Proceed to the next hole if you’re the first one to hole out: Use this when your group is behind to help catch up. There is no penalty for playing out of turn in stroke play to save time so be ready to tee off.
- Fill out scorecards after leaving hole: Record your scores when you arrive at the next hole.
- Any player reaching 10 strokes must pick up: In all FWGA events, if an individual player reaches “10” strokes they are to record the 10 and adjust when posting.
Rule 6-7. Undue Delay; Slow Play
The player must play without undue delay and in accordance with any pace of play guidelines that the committee may establish. Between completion of a hole and playing from the next teeing ground, the player must not unduly delay play.
Note 1: If the player unduly delays play between holes, he is delaying the play of the next hole and, except for bogey, par and Stableford competitions (see rule 32), the penalty applies to that hole.
Note 2: For the purpose of preventing slow play, The Committee may, in the conditions of a competition (Rule 33-1), establish pace of play guidelines including maximum periods of time allowed to complete a stipulated round, a hole or a stroke.
Note: A group is considered “out of position” when it:
- Reaches a par-3 hole that is clear of all play and all players in the preceding group have played their strokes from the teeing ground of the next hole.
- Reaches a par-4 or par-5 hole which is not clear of all play but which becomes clear of all play before all players in the group have played their strokes from the teeing ground.
- Reaches a par-4 or par-5 hole which is clear of all play; and
- Completes play of a hole (replaces the flagstick) later than the maximum allowable time given.
Note: If a ruling or some other legitimate delay occurs which causes the group in question to be out of position, that group is expected to regain its position with a reasonable time.