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Playing with Pace

PGA of America
Playing with friends, coworkers or clients should be relaxing - especially when you keep the pace of play!
Debbie Waitkus
author of “Get Your Golf On! Your Guide for Getting in the Game”

Series: New Golfer

Published: Friday, February 20, 2015 | 5:35 p.m.

Pace of play is a hot topic for new and professional golfers alike.

Professionals playing slowly can be penalized and may even lose money. As a new golfer, you might fear that being a straggler could cost you another invite to play. If you’re playing with clients or coworkers, you might even worry that it will indirectly cost you money, too!

Have no fear though. While there aren’t any speed limits posted on the golf course, keeping up with the flow of play will ease your mind and create a more enjoyable golf experience for you! Here are six stress-free tips to help you keep up when you feel like you’re slowing down:

  1. Don't worry about the group behind you; rather, focus on keeping up with the group ahead.
  2. On the green, stand by your ball so you're ready to play when it's your turn. Line-up your putt while the others are putting, being careful to not distract them.
  3. Mark the scorecard when you reach the next hole.  Two reasons: you don’t want to get hit by incoming balls and you have time at the next hole while your playing partners are selecting clubs and teeing off. 
  4. When you must walk to your ball, take an extra club or two. If you think you need a 7-iron, take your 6 and 8-iron too.  This is called "bracketing."  If you're close to the green, take your putter. Your playing partner can drive the cart to the green.
  5. If using a cart, don't put your club away after hitting. Hang onto it and drive or ride to the next shot. When you step out of the cart again, put your club(s) back in the bag. 
  6. If you are really worried about falling behind, just pick up to keep up! As a new or seasoned recreational golfer, it is always ok to pick up your ball and drop it closer to the green or another playing partner’s ball. Finish the hole by putting with everyone else.

By using just one or even all the above tips for keeping up when you’re slowing down, you’ll enjoy your round of golf more and be able to play with anyone!