We all love golf. It’s the common denominator for the thousands of people who participate in the World Am each year. We all have found something to love in the game of golf, and the time spent on the golf course is special to each of us in its own unique ways. We invest hours practicing, playing, and thinking about golf. It’s truly a beautiful thing.
But chasing the little white ball around the golf course doesn’t have to be an all-day affair.
Slow play. Two words we all love to hate. The most common and universal complaint in the game of golf is the same, slow play. Even in the fastest of groups, with the fastest play, there is the slowest player. For some it is an accepted inevitability, and for some it is the thorn in their side during every round played. Millions of dollars and thousands of hours have been spent on campaigns, projects, mottos, and quests to speed up the game of golf. But does any of it actually work? ABSOLUTELY.
In the never-ending quest to improving both the World Am (and selfishly our own rounds of tournament golf), we have compiled a fun list of the different types of slow players and how to potentially improve them in our next rounds at the golf course.
The Practice Swinger
Golf is hard. Whether you are a range rat that hits buckets of balls practicing hard, or someone who just shows up to the course with the dream that they got better magically, we all have the same wish we could shave a few strokes off each round. We all know someone that tries to get better right there on the course during a round too. Here’s how that usually goes…
They meticulously place their tee in the ground in the perfect spot, little left or maybe a little right. Hold on, lets check the alignment too, they want this ball started right on line. That’s the spot! Alright, now they’re ready. But wait, they need to get that grip right, don’t want too strong with the left hand. Here come the practice swings. One, two, three, now we are ready. Nope, just kidding, they need two more and a few waggles. And were off! One minute later the ball is airborne and heading straight down the middle. That routine is the ticket, better make sure we do that every single swing… Yikes.
“The Practice Swinger” is the slow player that we all know and love to talk about. Their routines are legendary, and not for good reason. Taking time to get in the right mind set before a shot is common, and necessary for good golf. But there is an art to it, and cutting down on your practice swings and other pre-shot activities can add up really quick. If you get one or two of these golfers in the same group, you’re doomed for an all-day affair. Don’t be “that guy”: next time you are on the course make it a point to shave off some time by taking less of it on the tee and the fairway.
The Swiss Army Knife
The old saying goes, “always come prepared”. Sometimes in golf, people take that way too literally. They make hundreds of accessories to add into your golf bag that are supposed to help make your round more enjoyable. Range finders, GPS systems, ball scoopers, boomboxes, coolers, ceiling fans… shoot, we had a golfer that brought a fully portable air conditioning system that attached to their golf cart!
Long story short, golfers have a love for golf stuff. We can all appreciate that, but that doesn’t mean you need to make it the focal point of your round.
There is no need for multiple range finders and GPS style watches to be in play and used by the same cart. Be proactive in getting distances before it is your turn to play, this saves a ton of time on the links. Not much is worse than watching someone walk across an entire fairway to shoot a laser for distance, only to then watch them then walk all the way back to the cart to grab the right club, and all the way back again. Talk about a human rain delay… Help each other in the group out and share your distance readings throughout the round. Don’t be “that guy”: next time you are on the course put the playlist on shuffle, and get your yardage(s) before it’s your turn to play!
The Ball Hawk
Imagine how many golf balls are lost on a busy day at the course? Whether we dunked it in our favorite body of water, or sliced a drive straight into the heart of the largest grouping of trees available, losing golf balls on the golf course is unavoidable. And darn, those nice ones are expensive! We all lose golf balls, but that doesn’t mean we all need to spend the whole round looking for them either. Some rounds are filled with watching golfers try to find more golf balls than they came to the course with.
Helpful tip, playing a provisional shot is one of the easiest ways to speed up a round. Best case scenario, you find that ball no problem and you’re on your way (and you got a free extra swing!). Unfortunately, it’s usually a goner. And if you are the group behind, our condolences to your pace of play. Five minutes search, and then the dreaded trek back to the tee box to reload. This is going to be a long day… Instead, we suggest calling a provisional after you send one into the nearest area of tall grass, and hitting another ball that you can play in case you can’t find it after a brief look. Don’t be “that guy”: next time you are on the course try to spend less time looking for golf balls, and more time playing golf.
A round of golf is really only done two ways, walking or riding in a cart. Walking a round is inherently faster for pace of play simply because each golfer goes on to their own ball and keeps on playing, free to do their own thing in between each shot. Riding in a cart can be a god send, giving relief on a hot day and giving our feet a welcomed break in between shots. We all know the World Am would be nearly impossible in that summer Carolina heat without the help of golf carts. Riding doesn’t have to be a ticket to Slowville though, and there is an art to it. We call it the “Art of Cart Golf”, and it is best explained as thinking ahead.
Like chess, being two moves ahead is the name of the game, and playing cart golf is just the same. Figure out who has the tougher shot and head there first. Get the distance, have one of the golfers in the cart grab a few different clubs and drop you off. Now while they begin their routine and setup to play, you can do all the same at your ball. Once you get into the flow of it, its truly natural and makes way too much sense to not do. How many times do you see the golf carts in front of you seemingly driving in circles each hole from one ball to the next.
Nothing is worse than being behind a group and having to watch each of them drive to each ball every single swing. It is grueling. So much time can be saved by intelligently navigating each hole with your cart partner. Bad cart golf is our vote for the most commonly committed slow play violation in the game, and most of these golfers just don’t know any different. Don’t be “that guy”: next time you are playing cart golf try and think two moves ahead. The group behind you will appreciate it.
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