Eight ideas for golf club committees to consider

Slow play solution 1: Have periods when only two-ball matches are allowed on the course. This does not mean that four golfers cannot meet up and all play together during this time – they merely have to play foursomes, not fourball.

Slow play solution 2: Allow adequate space between groups on the starting sheet. The R&A guideline is for eight-minute intervals when play is in two balls, 10 or 11 minutes when in three balls and 12-minute intervals for fourballs.

Slow play solution 3: Leave some slack in these timings, maybe by having a five-minute fallow period on the booking sheet every hour. This helps clear any delays that have arisen. Otherwise if a group arrives late on the tee, on a busy day all subsequent groups will be teeing off late.

Slow play solution 4: Have distance marker posts. Some courses only have measurements on sprinkler heads, so everyone spends time hunting around for the nearest sprinkler head and then they have to walk up to it to peer at it to read it before walking back to their ball.

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Slow play solution 5: Ensure green-fee players know how to get around the course. Have a sign by the green pointing you where to go to the next tee when this is not obvious. That way players can leave their bag in the right spot and don’t waste time afterwards working out where to walk to.

Slow play solution 6: Does the rough have to be so long? The average handicap for men in the UK is 16, for women 25 – most golfers find golf hard enough already. Does the extra length of the rough achieve much other than slowing the pace of play through having to stop to hunt for balls?

Slow play solution 7: Similarly, what about keeping the ground below the trees in woodland areas reasonably clear so that players can swiftly find their errant shot? The player will still end up penalised for their bad shot as they are likely to have to ‘take their medicine’ by chipping out to the fairway between tree trunks, branches etc.

Slow play solution 8: Ensure players can get round the course quickly. For example, are there enough bridges across that wide stream? If there is only one bridge and its on the left of the fairway, is this slowing down golfers who have hit to the right side of the fairway?

  • George

    Roderick, this is a great start. We have developed technology that communicates pace to the player and reduces the transaction time of every food and beverage order. If you would like to discuss this further, check out http://www.pacesettertechnology.com

  • Dereck Guilfoyle

    Snipers in the bushes….also required for the morons that yell out. ..In the hole or mashed potatoes… during pro tournaments. Seriously…cut the rough, clean out under trees, play ready golf..If. you get to your ball and your ready say so and hit. (Agree to this prior to teeing off)…course marshalls.

  • Yeti owner

    It’s funny, but 15 years ago my course was a lot busier than it is nowadays and slow play was the exception, not the norm unlike now.

    People have to take responsibility for their own actions and play “ready golf”. If you can’t find a ball allow the group behind through and don’t leave it til the end of the time allowance to do it.

    Players need to play provisional balls if they are in any doubt as to wher their ball has gone. (and please don’t spend ages looking for balls that have gone OOB.)

    Walk to your ball first, not to your partners and be ready to hit when your partners have played.

    Golf maybe social but please don’t spend all your time chatting and not paying attention to what is going on around you.

    At the same time whilst standing around idly on the greens, try mending a few pitchmarks, or at least yours and one other.

    Is it really necessary to stand over the ball so long that your spikes take root in the fairway / teeing area before taking your shot.

    There is no need to all stand around on the green after holing out discussing your scores, do it on the way to the next tee.

  • Concetta Rossetti

    Encourage over 70’s to take golf carts. Speeds play up incredibly.

  • Also discourage groups of 4 playing individual games and all holing out