Tips for speeding up slow play on the golf course:
On The Tee Box
• When waiting on the tee for the group in front to clear the fairway, don’t be so strict about order of play. Let the short hitter – who can’t reach the group ahead anyway – go ahead and hit.
• Carry extra tees, ball markers and an extra golf ball in your pockets so you never have to return to your golf bag to find one when needed.
• On the tee, pay attention to your partners’ drives. If they lose sight of their ball, you can help direct them to it and avoid any searching.
• Whenever 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.
Leaving the Tee Box
• 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.
• Don’t ask your playing partners to help you search for a lost ball when the hole is open in front of you or other golfers are waiting behind you. If the course is crowded, your partners should continue moving forward, not slow things down further by stopping to help your search.
• 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.
• Walk at a good pace between shots. No, you don’t have to look like a race-walker. But if your between-shot gait can be described as a “shuffle” or an “amble,” you’re probably going too slow. Speeding up your gait a little is good for your health, but also might help your game by keeping you lose.
• 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.
Around the Green
• Try playing ready golf, where order of play is based on who’s ready, not on who’s away.
• When chipping around the green, carry both the club you’ll be chipping with plus your putter so you don’t have to return to the bag.
• When using a cart, never park the cart in front of the green. Park it only to the side or behind the green close to the next tee box.
• 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.
• Don’t bother marking lag putts – go ahead and putt out if it’s short enough and you won’t be trampling on another player’s line.
• After putting out, don’t stand around the green chatting or take any practice putting strokes.
• When leaving the green and returning to your golf cart, don’t stand there fussing with your putter or other clubs. Get in the cart, drive to the next tee, and then put away your putter.
• Mark your scorecard after reaching the next tee, not while lingering on or near the just-completed green. This practice opens up the green for the group behind.