How to Avoid Slow Play

Pace of play or slow play has been a hot topic in both the PGA tours and the revamp of the Rules of Golf. So, what about we hackers? Nobody enjoys a 5-hour round of golf. We should aim for 4¼ hours, accept 4½ hours and be concerned if it's looking like more than that. All team members should take responsibility for pace of play, but more especially the experienced "A" player. Don't be frightened to discuss it with your 4-ball. Below are some guidelines on what we can all do to keep up with the match in front and finish before dusk.

If each player in a 4-ball saves 5 seconds per shot, that's around 30 minutes per round.

  • We have 40 seconds to play our shot. That's plenty of time if we're ready when it's our turn and without having to rush our shots.

  • We have 3 minutes to find our ball once we get to where we think it is. Do not take more than that. If it's not found in the first couple of minutes, we probably won't find it. Most of us think 5 or 7 minutes is just 3 minutes. Be aware.

  • If one cart is looking for a ball, the other cart should play their shots if it doesn't endanger the searchers.

  • After playing our shot, get into the cart with our club(s). Clean and put them away when we get to our partners ball or the next tee box.

  • Mark scorecards at the next tee whilst others are teeing off.

  • If our and our partners ball are fairly close, park the cart between them and both get ready together.

  • Putt or chip to the green when we are ready. We can leave the flag in so that helps.

  • Don't chatter on the green. Clear the green and surrounding area quickly. There's plenty of time to chatter whilst riding or awaiting the slow-pokes in front...!

  • Play Ready Golf. Forget the etiquette of playing in turn. If it's safe to do so and your are


We can keep pace without rushing our shots if we apply the common-sense approach above.

Have fun, enjoy your golf and be sure it's not you that's spoiling it for others by taking 5 hours.

© 2017 by The VILLAGES GOLF CLUB. Webmaster Mike Tomlinson