Golf Course Aerial Shot
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 us hackers? Nobody enjoys a 5-hour round of golf. We should aim for 4 hours and 15 minutes, accept 4.5 hours and be concerned if it's looking like more than that. All team members should take responsibility for pace of play. Don't be frightened to discuss it with your group. 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 foursome saves 5 seconds per shot, that's around 30 minutes per round.

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

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

  • 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.

  • Play "Ready Golf". If you are ready before someone further away, you should play first (as long as you can safely get to your ball).  

  • Players in bunkers who are ready should be allowed to play first (they have to rake the bunker).

  • 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.  Do not help search until after you have played your shots.

  • After playing our shot, get into the cart with our club(s) in our hand. We can clean and put them away when we get to our partners ball, the green or the next tee box (the next time the cart stops).

  • 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 (talk) 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