Pace of Play
Today I played with newer golfers. One it was only his 2nd or 3rd round. All things considered, he played well enough, he hit the ball pretty good. He was able to take some quick tips. I didn’t really offer any, as I couldn’t really watch his swing, not to mention I despise advice on the course. My other friend plays well enough, but needs help with club selection.
They did play slowly. I did notice the slow pace threw off my timing. It could have been the high winds and fact I was freezing as well. I was all layered up, which also threw my swing off.
Usually, as a 2 some, we can just whip through the course, playing 18 in 2 ½ hours on average. The front nine took that today. We did have a good time together. They only played 9, so the back took just over an hour, taking our time. I played about 15 strokes better on the back. It was also more shielded from the wind. I can feel the wind burn on my face now. Usually I only lose 1 ball a round (the 18th hole gets me every time), today I lost 3 or 4.
So I thought about my best rounds. All of them were under 3 hours. The 5–6 hour specials, I can do 10+ strokes worse. There have been days it was so slow I lost interest. This is just the joys of Long Island weekend golf, so I tend to avoid it like the plague. I think the problem is I can’t get into a rhythm. During the week is mostly ready golf, so I can just go. Days where it is hit your ball, then get comfortable for a bit should equal ‘hit my 1st shot, wait, shank the 2nd and 3rd shot….’. Yes, I know my game that well.
While I am at best a mid tier golfer, this must drive the scratch golfers up a wall. So some advice to speed it up a bit: If 1 is hitting to the left, the other to the right, let one out, then walk up to the cart where the other player is. If you are hitting the ball 20–30 yards a shot (we’ve all been there) just walk up, and take your club. If you launch your ball into the woods, take a quick glance, if nothing, just take a drop.
If you are all new, play best ball. We started out with this, now we play our own ball, and lose very few. If you have a terrible lie, move your ball a little bit. Trust me; no one cares if you improve your lie, especially if the course is going slow. We will all admit this game is hard enough with experience.
Whether or not to mark a ball is another issue. We only will if we are grouped with people we don’t know. If one is blocking the other, we just let the closer one go 1st. Since Covid hit, we don’t even pull the pin anymore. We also added a rule where it hits the pin, we consider it in. Don’t worry, the only way the pros have to worry about me if they are standing on the right side of the fairway.
By Sebastian Wyczawski