If you’ve watched anything on Golf Channel over the past 12 days, then surely you’ve seen one of the many commercials featuring Charlie Rymer and Matt Ginella screwing around on the golf course. Actually it’s Matt screwing around on the golf course and Charlie trying to make a point about pace of play.
The funniest part about the commercials is they’re fairly accurate. I think we have all played with someone who checks the range finder, then checks the phone app and then changes clubs two more times before settling in to hit the shot. When those things take place on the golf course, it really adds up over 18 holes. If you don’t think it does then just invite me to play golf with you next time and I will point them out to you.
I will never claim to be a golf genius or deny I have never done things that could slow down play. But in my eyes, slow play on the golf course is a major problem. I wrote about it recently when I was volunteering at the Valero Texas Open. Of course that was the professional level but I just posed the question on who should set the example in regards to pace of play on the golf course. I’m in the opinion it should start at the junior level and good habits should be continually instilled as players get older.
Over the next seven days, I am going to lay out my ideas for improving pace of play on the golf course with a different idea each day. You may be asking yourself – “Who is this guy to be lecturing me on how to play golf?” Well that’s a fair question but I really hope I don’t come across as lecturing. Frankly I am a nobody who just has some golf blog – therefore I have an outlet to talk about what I want. I would just really would like to see pace of play pick up on golf. In the end, I am just some normal-everyday-dude that loves the game of golf and I hate to turn down rounds of golf because they take five hours to play.
Below is my first idea of a 7-idea series in which I will share how I think pace of play on the golf course can improve.
Know the Limits of Your Golf Ability
You just hit your best drive of the day. It sailed 249 yards in the air and rolled out another 18 yards. You’re smack dab in the middle of the fairway staring down the green thinking to yourself you’re going to hit 3-wood and be on the dance floor in two.
Now stop and think about it a minute. You can only hit your 3-wood 240 yards, and that’s only when you “get all of it.” You’re still 256 yards away with a small landing area to hit. The foursome up ahead is still on the green finishing up their putts and the foursome behind you is just pulling up to the tee box.
What do you do? Well of course, you wait for the green to clear ahead of you so you can hit your second shot. After waiting a couple more minutes for the group to finish up ahead of you, you line up your shot and end up topping your 3-wood 35 yards ahead of you. “Shit,” you say to yourself,” not even thinking about the group behind you that you are now holding up for a couple more minutes while you figure out you’re next shot to hit.
Let’s step back and survey the situation again. You have 256 to the front edge of the green. You barely hit your 3-wood 240 yards and that’s only when you “get all of it.” Do you really need to try and be a superhero and hit 3-wood in that situation? If you’re 256 yards out with a small landing area, why not hit a 6-iron about 165-yards and have a nice lie with less than 100-yards into the green? Now you’ve just brought a more-likely par into play if you can hit your 100-yard 3rd-shot within two-putt range. Doesn’t that sound better than still hitting your 3rd shot from 200+ yards out?
Keep in mind, the whole time you are waiting for the green to clear, you are holding up play behind you because you think you can reach the green in two. In reality, you could only execute the 3-wood shot 1-in-50 times.
This is where knowing your golf ability comes into play. It’s okay if you don’t reach the green in two. Play for par. A score of five on a par-5 is great for amateur golfers like ourselves. Just knowing your golf ability and not trying to play superhero will help speed up play all around. Know the shots you can execute and know the shots you can’t execute.
If you’re now mumbling to yourself about having to wait on the group ahead of you on the green so it’s no big deal for the group to wait behind you, well that’s the wrong attitude to have on the golf course. The group ahead of you probably waited for the green to clear as well.
If we can all do our part in trying to speed up our rounds, then a trickle down effect will take place and the pace of play will surely pick up throughout the day.
What do you think? Share your thoughts on Twitter @Front9Back9 or let me know below what you think.