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While We're Young Pledge!

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    The Southern California Golf Association has been pushing the pledge for some time now. I signed in back in the summer months. This is a great way to nicely prompt people to watch their pace of play.

    And remember, just because a course posts a sign that says a "normal round" at their facility should take 4 hours, or 4 hours ten minutes.... You can and should play faster than the posted time specification.

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    Devin_Gmitter
    pistolpeteChuckZpistolpeteWhere did I read recently that the #1 cause of slow play isn't ignorance of protocol or slothful play but simply, lack of skill! Makes sense to me.if one of every three or four shots is wild and in the weeds/trees, you are not going to play with much pace. Toss in a bunch of three and four putts and voila! you now have the makings of a sloooow round....

    There are a lot of articles regarding the reasons for slow play and before we run down a list of suggestions for speeding up play, it's important to note that many of these tips have nothing to do with rushing your play, but rather with simply being ready to play, and with using common sense and good etiquette on the course.

    The bottom line is, as soon as it's your turn to play, you should be ready to step right up and make the stroke.

    Here are some tips for speeding up slow play on the golf course:

    • Choose the correct set of tees from which to play. If you're a 20-handicapper, you have no business playing the championship tees. Doing so only adds strokes, which add time.

    • Members of a group should not travel as a pack, with all members walking together to the first ball, then the second, and so on. Each member of the group should walk directly to his own ball.

    • When two players are riding in a cart, drive the cart to the first ball and drop off the first player with his choice of clubs. The second player should proceed in the cart to his ball. After the first player hits his stroke, he should begin walking toward the cart as the second golfer is playing.

    • Use the time you spend getting to your ball to think about the next shot - the yardage, the club selection. When you reach your ball you'll need less time to figure out the shot.

    • If you are unsure whether your ball has come to rest out of bounds, or may be lost, immediately hit a provisional ball so that you won't have to return to the spot to replay the shot. If you are playing a recreational match with, shall we say, a "loose interpretation" of the rules, then simply drop a new ball somewhere around the area where your ball was lost and keep playing (taking a penalty, of course).

    • If you're following the rules, you won't be using mulligans. But if are using mulligans, limit them to no more than one mulligan per nine (you should never hit a mulligan if players behind you are waiting - or if you want to later claim that you played by the rules).

    • Begin reading the green and lining up putts as soon as you reach the green. Don't wait until it's your turn to putt to start the process of reading the green. Do it as soon as you reach the green so that when it's your turn you can step right up and putt.

    • Never delay making a stroke because you're having a conversation with a playing partner. Put the conversation on hold, make your stroke, then pick up the conversation again.

    • If using a cart on a cart-path-only day, take more than one club with you when you walk from the cart to your ball. Getting to the ball only to find out you don't have the right club is a huge time-waster on the golf course.

    .........it is amazing how fast you can move along following these tips, READY GOLF....thanks for signing up......cz  :  )

    All great ideas Chuck but the point of the article I cited is that if you spend five minutes looking for your ball because you hit it in the weeds, it is going to take a long time to get around the course. Put together a foursome of folks who aren't necessarily that skilled at the game and you typically will spend a lot of time looking for balls and that will slow down the pace of play.

    All of the suggestions you've cited make a great deal of sense and I completely agree that adopting these steps can help. But if you shoot 69 for a round, you will ALWAYS play faster than someone who posts a 96!  Very true, strokes take time and looking for balls in fescue takes even longer.  At some courses 4 1/2 to 5 hours is almost expected because they are such difficult tracks.

    You know,  a combination of all these things, are driving people away from golf......I cannot disagree with the fact that they are designing tougher courses.......same on them and I mean it, golf should be fun, as Arnie says, "move up and enjoy the game"...it is more fun when you hit fairways and greens"......when I go on vacation and play golf, I do not select the most difficult course I can find, I want to have fun, I research the course on line and I leave my ego at the door.....should courses restrict play based on handicap, is that an answer.....heard they used to do that at the old course in Scotland .....pace of play will always be a sore subject.....I will make sure that I do my part.....when my brother-in-law was learning the game, I taught him to play ready golf and now he has a respect for the game and he taught his son....that is how it works.....

    • 1362 points
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    I've also taken this pledge and originally thought it would be difficult to implement. I had to put it into use yesterday for a beginner with whom I was paired. He had a tough time with tee shots due to tension and took a very long time between addressing the ball and swinging. I kindly said that the 'Get Golf Ready' package would teach him how to deal with this and that it would be the best investment for him that would outlast any piece of equipment. He was very appreciative and understood when I explained that although golf is known as an individual game it actually demands a lot of consideration of others when you are first not aware.

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    pistolpete
    Where did I read recently that the #1 cause of slow play isn't ignorance of protocol or slothful play but simply, lack of skill! Makes sense to me.if one of every three or four shots is wild and in the weeds/trees, you are not going to play with much pace. Toss in a bunch of three and four putts and voila! you now have the makings of a sloooow round....

    i just read an article in Golf Digest about this.  maybe the one you're thinking about?  basically if you spend 20 minutes a round (each person in a foursome looking for a lost ball for 5 minutes), that will be a lot longer than all the time "wasted" by not playing ready golf.  their solution was to higher kids at cheap rates to act as forecaddies.  seemed to make a lot of sense to me.

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    course conditions will also play a big factor in speed.  i played on Sunday morning and the greens were like concrete.  i was shocked how fast they were.  i'd never played the course before, but looking at the rest of the course, you would never have thought they greens would be so fast.  and most of them had a lot of contours that made things even more difficult.  twice i hit approach shots to the middle of the green and watched them spin back down a hill and 15-20 yards off the front.  i guarantee play would have been faster if they slowed the greens down some.

    • 4647 points
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    Yes! That is the article tdogg. I caddied as a kid and forecaddying was always required. Without a person our there watching shots, there would be members STILL out there! Stationing forecaddies strategically on courses would save tons of time looking for errant shots...

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    Let me throw in one more statistic....95% of all golfers never break 100.....but can they be taught to play golf in four hours, I believe they can.....as to forecaddies, how many courses have caddies in the first place and how many would be willing to have forecaddies....not a bad idea.....but how many people would be willing to pay forecaddies to speed up play......I know of one course in our area that has caddies and it is the Ocean Course.....there might be a exclusively private course or two that might have them, but I am not sure.......ability and adability to conditions are factors.........we are not going to find the perfect golf course.....check it out before you go, practice on the putting greens, when I play a new course I do not expect a great score because I have not played it ....now if I am playing a tournament.....I do a practice round the day before....golf should be about fun....  

    • 4647 points
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    Yes, golf should be fun. I quite agree. And it would be more fun if ready golf was an ingrained part of the experience. Most courses choose not to have caddies because caddies do not generate the revenues carts do for a course owner.forecaddies could be employed by the course and stationed on holes where needed. Make it a summer job, part of the grounds crew. Cover the expense  by bumping greens fees a buck or two..This wouldn't be too difficult to implement..Tip your forecaddy when he or she finds tour ball..win win all the way around...

    ..

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    ChuckZ
    Let me throw in one more statistic....95% of all golfers never break 100.....but can they be taught to play golf in four hours, I believe they can.....as to forecaddies, how many courses have caddies in the first place and how many would be willing to have forecaddies....not a bad idea.....but how many people would be willing to pay forecaddies to speed up play......I know of one course in our area that has caddies and it is the Ocean Course.....there might be a exclusively private course or two that might have them, but I am not sure.......ability and adability to conditions are factors.........we are not going to find the perfect golf course.....check it out before you go, practice on the putting greens, when I play a new course I do not expect a great score because I have not played it ....now if I am playing a tournament.....I do a practice round the day before....golf should be about fun....

    the article i read was talking about having a couple kids on a hole or every few holes.  maybe 20 kids total.  you can pay them very little and offer some sort of playing privileges/lessons as an added bonus.  the thought being, you could reduce the number of rangers employed and at the end of the day, maybe only spend a few extra bucks.  certainly not saying it's a perfect solution for every where, but i think it would be good for courses with a lot of play.  think about a saturday morning when the course is packed with tee times spaced 10 minutes (or less) apart.  if one person in an early group spends 5 minutes looking for a ball, the rest of the course is going to back up.

    as far as conditions, i think courses need to be honest with themselves as to their identity.  the local muni that is packed on the weekends shouldn't have 5 inch rough and greens rolling 13+.  it won't make them look like a US Open course.  all it does is slow down play.

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    I have never seen a local "muni" roll their green at a 13+.......that would kill their greens if they ran that fast consistently with a large number of players.........our local muni gets over 70,000 rounds a year and our greens are lucky if they roll at 7-8 during peak season......they will only lower them at City Amateur Tournament time and they may go to a 10 or an 11 then, depending on the weather......and normally they punch the greens after the tournament.........Torrey Pines which is a muni may roll their fast during the time the PGA is there, but most amateurs could not keep their balls on the greens at 13+....that is unbelievably fast......I have seen our muni have high rough....when it rains and they cannot get to it to cut it because of all the damp ground....you cannot damage the course........I am not saying this does not happen.....but it would seem strange......

    • 1628 points
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    I find this campaign stupid....

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    Adam62482
    I find this campaign stupid....

    I must agree Adam. The idea of speeding up play is good, but I don't think this campaign will have any effect. Most of the slow people don't even know they are the problem. The USGA is just singing to the choir.

    • 1628 points
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    I have been a golfer since 1996 and I think for most of the years the USGA did a great job governing the game. Over the past 2 or so years, they have made quite a few poor decisions in my opinion. I just don't see their purpose with the game at this point. It should be up to the local course to enforce pace of play rules. While I find this campaign stupid, I think the "tee it forward" initiative delivers a much better message and it is a shame they aren't focusing on that more.

    • 1763 points
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    Thanks for sharing Chuck, great piece! I'm all in...Pledge signed.

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    Great stuff Chuck...thanks for posting