Tips To Speed Up Your Next Round Of Golf
Golf is one of the world's most popular sports, but if there is one major bugbear shared by golfers of all levels and abilities, it is the long amount of time each round can take. With people becoming more and more time-poor, it is becoming increasing difficult to justify the time it takes to play 18 holes. With rounds on many courses exceeding 5 and even 6 hours, usually in the hot summer heat, the application of these tips can speed up your foursome and hopefully allow everyone on the course to get down to playing 4 hour rounds, leaving more time either on the home front or more importantly, celebrating your successes over your playing partners at the 19th hole.
Playing ready golf
This is the simplest method to greatly increase the speed of your foursome, forget about ancient golfing precincts of honor, where each player diligently hits off in the order of best score to worse score from the proceeding hole, if you're on the next tee and it's safe to do so, tee off. Countless hours are wasted each day on golf courses where playing partners wait patiently on the tee for someone who is not ready to hit off. They might be tying a shoelace, filling up a drink bottle or busy telling a story from the office, but their selfishness at not realising it is their turn and to make sure they are ready should not delay the entire group. The principle of "ready golf" should be extended to the whole course. It doesn't matter if you are 5 yards closer to the hole off the tee then a playing partner, if you are ready to hit and they are not (assuming it is safe), then blast away. Practicing "ready golf" is a guaranteed way of making sure you keep up with the group in front, ensuring everyone on the course has the shortest round possible.
Keeping A Spare Ball In Your Pocket
This tip is most important to the high handicappers and to those who can be a little 'wild' off the tee. With motorised golf carts becoming more and more prevalent on courses, with many courses only allowing play if you are using motorised transport, it is not uncommon for distances to be of up to 50 yards from a golf cart parking area and tee area on elevated tees. If a golfer blasts a ball out of bounds or into another undesirable area and needs to hit a second tee shot, the entire group has to wait for them to cover the distance back to their bag and back again to replay their tee shot. By carrying a second ball in your pocket at all time, the conscientious golfer can save time for everybody by being able to play a second or provisional shot from the same location with minimal delay.
Lining Up Your Putt While Your Playing Partner Is Putting
Over one third of all golf shots played in a round take place on the putting surface, yet even though it is a comparably small area of the entire course, large amounts of time are wasted "on the dance floor". This tip is really just an extension of the "ready golf principle", while maintaining the integrity of the game and therefore being very careful not to distract your playing partner who is preparing to putt, do everything possible to be ready to quickly putt once your partner has putted out. This means assessing the putt, lining up your golf ball and undertaking your practise putting routine. This will allow you to be ready to pull the trigger on your own putts shortly after your playing partner has either marked their ball or picked the ball out up from the bottom of the cup.
Helping Others Find Lost Balls
This tip would seem obvious but it constantly amazes me how often a nice 4 hour round can quickly blow out due to playing partners delaying (or worse yet, not bothering at all) to help a fellow golfer find a lost ball. It might not always be fun, especially on a hot day if you are on the other side of the fairway from where your playing partner is searching, but it sure beats spending additional time on the course. By actively watching the ball flight on all you partners shots can greatly decrease the time wasted finding lost balls. By helping others find their wayward balls it is much more likely that they will reciprocate in return and even the best golfer will hit an errant shot or take a bad bounce that you didn't see and believe me, you will be grateful for their assistance when it is your ball that can't be easily found.
Marking Your Card After Teeing Off
The tip would seem like common sense, but in my experience over thousands of rounds of golf, this would seem to be the most common time waster on the tee. When the person who is due to be teeing off is too busy marking their card with the score from the previous hole, or worse yet, recording in-depth stats, not only is the group delayed but it has a knock on effect slowing down play for the entire golf course. By being a little more thoughtful, valuable time can be saved making the golf experience that little bit better for all involved.
These simple tips, especially when coupled together can radically increase the speed of playing of golfing foursomes, leading to shorter rounds and greater enjoyment for all golfers sharing the course. Playing quicker golf does not mean rushing on your shots, (though you are one of those golfers who feel that taking 32 practice swings will mean the difference between a good and bad round please do everyone a favour and have a hard look at yourself), but by being smart around the golf course and minimizing wasted and unproductive time, everyone can enjoy this wonderful game.
Have you ever wondered what the best golf courses are at Walt Disney World in Florida? Check out my in depth review in this article, The Best Golf Courses At Walt Disney World.