Before I begin, I have a few confessions to make. One, I readily admit that patience is not my strong suite – ask anyone who knows me. Two, my idea of an ideal round of golf is 3 hours, give or take. That’s by myself or a foursome. It’s not a track meet or a polo match, just nice steady golf. I know it’s not the norm, but it is for me.
Aside from tournaments or events where traditional golf applies, and touching on one of my favorite subjects – pace-of-play, what’s wrong with playing ready golf?
I’m sure all of you have watched the foursome in front of you finally arriving at the green. After watching this marathon on a few greens you know it must be the U. S. Open or they’re playing for 50 bucks a hole. It’s mark, clean, sight, practice, putt, and mark and then do it again forever. By this time I’ve either taken a short nap or read a few chapters in my current favorite whodunit. I’ve certainly lost focus on the game. Cause of the above? Not sure, but maybe watching too much tournament golf on the tube has something to do with it. That being said, here’s how ready golf works.
One, there’s no such thing as “you have the honor.” First person on the tee tees it up and hits. Same thing applies in the fairway. If you’re ready to hit even though you’re not away (and assuming no one is in front of you or swinging) hit the ball! Now, when you get to the green, you’ve repaired divots, cleaned your ball the player away putts and continues until he’s in. Next away, same and you’re done. How easy and simple is that?
You’ll be surprised how the above changes the flow and pace of the game. I rest my case with an interesting excerpt from a recent golf article:
TOP 4 WAYS TO SPEED UP PLAY –
Based on Crystal Springs Resort’s (New Jersey) Fast track Golf Program, which promotes rounds of under four hours.
1. Use a stroke maximum of 7… With scores in the mid-90’s, this saves about 16 shots per foursome.
2. Putt a maximum of 3… Bonus: golfers relax and make more putts.
3. Abandon lost balls after one minute… This saves 16 minutes per foursome, assuming each player loses one ball.
4. No honors. Fire when ready! Ready golf saves up to 2 minutes per hole – more than 30 minutes off a round.
Now, I’m not sure I subscribe to #1 and #2, but I sure like #3 and #4. It certainly shows you what can be done to cure the 5 hour rounds.