How do You Balance Golf Etiquette with Proper Pace of Play?


Most people don’t want to hold up play—especially not when they’re playing in an event or tournament—but at the same time, they don’t want to feel rushed on the course. So what’s the solution? When you look at both the etiquette rules of golf and the basics of sound pace of play, they’re actually two pretty simple things to combine, because they both boil down to the premise of “being ready.”
By Le Ann Finger for
Here are three great tips that will help you play “ready golf,” which will improve both your on-course etiquette and the time it takes you to finish your round:

When your group is on the tee, make sure you’re wearing your glove and have your golf ball, tee and club in your hands so you’re ready to set up and hit the minute it’s your turn. Many times the three players who are not hitting stand way over to the side (or sit in the cart) and don’t get their club from the bag until it’s their turn – rather that doing that while another player is hitting. As long as you’re quiet, you can “get ready” while another player is hitting her shot.
In the fairway, we all know it’s okay to play out of turn if you’re ready to go (as long as it’s safe), but it’s good to be proactive so that you’re ALWAYS ready. This means it’s okay to get out of your cart and walk over to your ball and figure out your plan of attack while other players are hitting rather than wait to drive to it until after they’re done.
On the putting green, good etiquette equals having the first person to hole a putt be the one to put the flagstick back in the hole. If you’re first to putt, you should walk over to the flagstick after you’re done and pick it up while player two and three are putting. You should be holding the flagstick when player four hits her putt, so that all you need to do is replace the flagstick when she’s done and you can all quickly exit the green.

These three things may not seem like a lot, but combined they will save your group 30 to 60 seconds per hole – and that means you will finish your round nine to 18 minutes faster. And that makes everybody happy!
Le Ann Finger, a PGA of America and LPGA Class A teaching professional, is the Director of Player Development for the EWGA. Click here to learn more about Le Ann and the EWGA.
(Ed’s note: Copy has been edited for clarity.)

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