Pace of Play: Who is to Blame?

It is every facilities concern and a golf course ranger’s nightmare, for sure. As the late George Carlin said, “Anybody who plays slower golf than me is an idiot and anybody that plays faster than me is a maniac.” And boy, does it apply to the pace of play issues we have in golf today. Nobody thinks slow play is his or her fault, but I am here to tell you that everyone is guilty. We all have a tendency to play too slow.

Watching tour players and emulating their routines is not always such a good idea. As amateurs, we are just trying to fit in what golf we can in our ridiculously busy lives. If we all play faster, then we can all get to play more golf. Awareness and education are the keys, not pointing your finger at someone else.

Beginning golf at the age of 27, I was not even allowed on the course until knowing these two things: Proper Etiquette and Pace of Play. My instructor was adamant that the two go hand and hand. Also, expressing that you do not necessarily have to be a good golfer just keep pace and have fun.

The USGA & PGA have come up with some ideas such as Tee It Forward and ads on television that focus on the adage “While We’re Young” with such greats as Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer just to mention a few. Butch Harmon is also a spokesperson for this campaign, and I like his saying “Golfer’s need to leave their ego in the car.” This means play from the correct set of tees. A course of 6,200 – 6,300 is enough of a challenge for an average player, and the game is certainly more enjoyable. Leave the tips (back tees) for the professionals and scratch golfers. Butch also says to take only one rehearsal swing, picture the shot, commit and trust it and then hit!

Since the introduction of Tee It Forward, statistics show 56% of golfers played faster, 85% said they had more fun and 93% continue to tee it forward. Players are able to hit more lofted irons into greens, putt for birdies and pars, play faster, and score better. All of these factors equal having more fun!

To learn more about Tee it Forward,

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