The never ending battle to curb the disease that is killing golf: SLOW PLAY.
I remember as a youngster playing 18 holes in about three hours. We shot around 110; we ate the sandwich mom made for us, bought a coke and played another 18 holes in about three hours. There were no yardage markers, distance measuring devices or golf carts. How was that possible? Mostly, we played when it was our turn. Professional golf had just begun to be televised, and we mimicked the pros and the pros played in about three hours. Today, the average round on the PGA/LPGA Tours is around FIVE hours! One can then simply reason that SLOW PLAY is a result of televised professional golf. Until slow play on the Tours are severely penalized (strokes not money), slow play across the nation will continue. A flicker of light appeared this past weekend when Morgan Pressel was penalized for slow play during the LPGA's match play event, and it was contributory to her losing her match. I sincerely hope the PGA Tour was taking notes.
The follow are some tips for combating SLOW PLAY:
Choose the correct set of tees from which to play. There is a movement underway to make golf more fun and at the same time, reduce the time it takes to play a round of golf. PLAY IT FORWARD is supported by the PGA of America and the United States Golf
Similarly, it has been suggested by the above leaders of the game to break from tradition and play 6 holes or 12 holes.
When two players are riding in a golf cart, drive to the first ball and drop off the first player with his/her choice of clubs. The second player should proceed to his/he ball. After the first player hits, he/she should walk towards the cart or green as the second golfer is playing.
Walkers should proceed to their balls and PLAY WHEN READY, not necessarily using the 'whose away' system.
If you're unsure if your ball is out of bounds or potentially lost, play a Provisional ball, so you do not have to return to the original spot to replay the shot. In a 'recreational game' (with loose interpretation of the rules), simply drop a ball somewhere around the area where your ball was lost or OB.
Begin reading the green and lining up putts as soon as you reach the green. Don't wait until it's your turn to putt to start the process of reading the green.
If during a cart-path-only day, take more than one club with you when walking from the cart to the ball; I suggest a minimum of three clubs.
When leaving the green and returning to your golf cart, don't stand around fussing with your putter or other clubs. Get in the cart, drive to the next tee, and then put away your putter.
Likewise, mark your scorecard after reaching the next tee, not while lingering on or near the just-completed green.
On the tee and fairway, pay attention to your partner's shots so you can assist him/her in case the ball is hit into the rough/woods.
Work on building a concise pre-shot routine (not the Kevin Na one). Limit practice strokes to one or two.
When chipping around the green, take the club you will use to chip plus your putter.
Remember, golf is suppose to be fun ..make it fun!
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