As more and more people take up the game of golf, the amount of time it takes to complete a round has increased. Most people don’t like to play with a slow player. The constant waiting can get a little irritating making it difficult to get into a nice swing groove. Here are a few subtle pointers to follow so you won’t be the one holding up your playing partners.
If you spray your tee shot, keep your eyes on the ball. Line it up with an object (tree, rock, etc.) and go right to it. Don’t turn away in disgust, watch where the ball ends up.
In searching for your ball, a couple of sweeps is enough. Don’t make your playing partners wait. If you cannot find the ball after a couple of sweeps hit another one.
When helping someone find their ball, offer your help until it’s your turn to hit. Always be prepared to hit when it’s your turn. You can resume your help after you hit.
Resist the temptation to hunt for extra golf balls. You can always come back after your round to collect golf balls.
It’s OK to play "ready" golf.
If you cannot take your cart to the ball, take a few clubs with you.
When you get to the green, park the cart or drop your bag at the closest point to the next tee box.
If you have honors at the next tee, get there and be ready to hit. If you want to wash your balls or you’re not ready to hit, give away you honors.
If you want to survey the entire green to read your putt, read the slope of the green while walking up to it. Walk around and read your line while another person is doing it. Don’t wait until it’s your turn to putt to get ready.
Always try to stay on the same hole as the group in front of you. If you start lagging behind, tell your group to pick up the pace.
Even though these pointers seem to save only a few moments, the wasted time really does add up. If you try these simple pointers, and try to get your group to do the same, your group and the group behind you will have a more enjoyable round of golf.
Behavior on the tee
Tee off once the ranger gives you the okay or when the group in front of you has cleared the landing zone from your hitting distance. Be on the tee ready to go but do not hit up on anyone.
If you have honors on the tee, be ready to hit. Don't make your playing partners wait for you to get ready.
Talking, swinging a club and wandering around is OK until a member of your group places a tee in the ground. Once this happens refrain from all the above as this person is ready to hit and deserves the respect of group.
Stand in an area to the side of the tee box. Do not stand in the back of someone teeing off as you are in their peripheral vision. Never stand in the front quadrants of anyone hitting a golf ball as it increases your chances of being hit.
If you are teeing off, make your practice swing toward the fairway. This way the people of your group will not be splattered with soil if you accidentally make contact with the ground.
Tee your ball within one club length behind the tee markers, never forward or outside of them.
Follow your own ball and pick out a line to it. Don't depend on others to find your ball, but ask for help as soon as possible if you didn't see where the ball landed. If your shot is heading toward someone, shout "fore left/right" depending on the location of the person. Always apologize for hitting near someone whether you warned them or not.
If your tee shot is in the woods or close to out of bounds, hit a provisional tee shot after every one in your group has teed off. Announce the shot as a provisional that you will play if your first shot is lost or unplayable, but remember if your first ball is found playable you must play it. Do not hit a provisional for a shot lost in a hazard unless your only relief is on the tee box. In most cases this will cost you more strokes than taking a drop on the edge of the hazard.
Repair any damage you do to the tee box.
Follow the tee shots of your group and be prepared to provide assistance if asked. This definitely helps in speeding up play.
If your group is letting someone play through but they are not ready to go, tee off and follow this group out to your tee shots, then but let them hit to the green and finish playing through by themselves.
Do not give instruction on the tee. Most people do not listen after hitting a bad shot anyway.
Behavior on the green
The person furthest from the hole has the honor (of hitting first).
Survey and line up your putt while the person with the honor is doing it as long as you don't interfere with this person. Once this person stops reading and is ready to putt provide the proper respect by standing still.
Be aware of each person's line to the hole and do not step in it. Even soft spikes and sneakers leave impressions in the green.
Always fix your ball mark and one additional one on the green. You can fix additional ball marks if you have the time, this helps considerably in maintaining the condition of the greens.
If someone gives you a putt, pick it up. If you putt it and you miss both strokes count.
Mark your ball on the green. This is proper golf etiquette.
Ask if you think your mark is in the way of someone else's line move it. When moving it, one putter head is usually sufficient. Pick an object in the background to line you up in the direction you're moving your mark. This way, it will be easier to move your mark back to its original position.
If you are wearing metal spikes remember not to drag your feet. This leaves marks which you must fix or the green will be damaged.
If you are playing slow and wish to have the group behind play through, mark all the balls on the green and wave them up only if they are on the tee ready to go. After they hit, start putting out until they get up to the green or are ready to continue playing the hole. Let them finish the hole and get to the next tee box. Then your group can finish putting out.
Behavior in the fairway
Typically the person furthest from the hole has the honor. If this person is looking for their ball and you are next to hit, ask if you can hit and when you are finished help them look for their ball.
Be ready to hit once it's your turn.
Never hit into the group in front of you no matter how slow they are playing. Always wait for them to clear (walk or drive away) the landing zone or the green before hitting. If you are in doubt if you can hit them, wait!
If your ball is in front of the person with the honor do not walk or ride in front of them. This is of bad taste and will increase your chances of being hit by the golf ball even if you are off at an angle. Anyone can cold shank or skull a shot.
Replace any divots you create in the fairway and rough.
Never let a group play through from the fairway as this really backs up play. Let them play through on a par three or wait for them on the next tee after your group has teed off.
Behavior in line for the tee
Walk or ride up to the tee so you do not disturb the group teeing off.
The group on the tee has the honor. Keep off the tee until it is your turn. Keep the noise down when the group is teeing off. This includes rooting through your bag, washing your balls and looking through your clubs.
If you want to warm up, do it away from the teeing area.
If someone hits a bad shot, do not laugh or react to it until after they pull away. This is a courtesy you would want if you were the one hitting the bad shot.
With all this great golf advice don't forget your spouse and your family. As advised in Ephesians 5:22-33 Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.... each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Treating your family best of all will pay dividends in life and in golf!
If you find our method of instruction helpful, but need more direct golf instruction for further improvement - consider a Personal Services Membership. With this type of Membership we act as your personal golf coach - coaching you through whatever golf problems you need help with. Click here to learn more about Personal Services memberships.