HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE BEHIND?
You are behind and playing slow if you are "out of position".
The USGA defines "out of position" as follows:
The first group(s) to start will be considered out of position if, at any time during the round, the group is behind
the prescribed schedule on the course Pace of Play Time Chart.
Any following group will be considered out of position if it:
(a) is taking more than the allotted time to play
- and -
(b) reaches the teeing ground of a:
- par-3 hole and the preceding group has cleared the next tee;
- or reaches the teeing ground of a par-4 hole and the putting green is clear;
- or reaches the teeing ground of a par-5 hole when the preceding group is on the putting green. Both (a) and (b) must
apply for a group to be out of position.
The position of the group BEHIND has no bearing as to whether your group is out of position and playing slow.
HINTS TO SPEED UP YOUR GAME
In general, most players don't think they are slow. Regardless of whether or not you may be slow, here are some hints that if followed, will speed up your game.
- ON THE TEE:
- Tee off as soon as the group in front is clear.
- Carry an extra ball in your pocket, especially if there is an OB.
- Limit conversations until you leave the tee - in other words, be ready when it is your turn.
- Short hitters hit first. There is no honors in stroke play, only in match play.
- Watch where others hit their ball.
- Mentally mark each straying ball by a tree or bush, to locate it faster.
- ON THE FAIRWAY
- Plan your shot while walking to your ball or while others are playing.
- Select club and hit without delay. If you are behind, take no more than 1 practice swing, if any.
- Watch your ball. Mark it if it leaves the fairway.
- Help search for lost balls, AFTER you hit your shot.
- Drop your cart passenger, THEN drive to your ball. (Or if carts are to remain on the cart path, take several clubs with you to your ball.
- Walk directly to your golf ball; don't follow others unless assisting in a search
If your ball lies ahead of the others, walk up the side of the fairway if necessary to reach your ball, safely staying out of the "line of fire".
- ON THE GREEN
- Place clubs and carts between green and next tee.
- Study your putt while others are putting. Be ready to play when it is your turn.
- Use continuous putting, if possible without disturbing the line of other players.
- If you are lagging behind, after holing out immediately walk to the next tee and tee off.
- FROM GREEN TO TEE
- Leave green immediately after last player has putted out (or if your group is behind, 2 players go to the next tee and tee off).
- Mark scores AFTER you leave the green, but prior to leaving the next tee. (Calculate competition after finishing 18 holes).
- Hit tee shot without delay. Have your club out and ready to hit after another player has teed off.
Don't wait till it's your turn to get your club.
- IN GENERAL
- You MUST keep pace with the group ahead or play within 4 1/4 - 4 2/3 hours.
- No Golf lessons on the course.
- Keep practice swings to a minimum.
- Always be ready to hit your next shot.
- Move to your ball quickly, do not saunter, this is not a Sunday stroll.