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Golf Question: How Should I Deal With Slow Play On The Golf Course?There can be no doubt that slow play on a golf course is a problem affecting every level of the game.




The top professional tours must take some of the blame. If common sense prevailed, the players who take the least strokes should be the ones who navigate a course the quickest, however, this is not the case. Professional competition rounds can take more than six hours to complete; a ludicrous amount of time. Players new to the game (especially juniors) can think this is normal which is bad for golfs future. As peoples lives get busier they can be turned off golf by the thought a round of golf will take five hours plus. This will drive them away from the sport.

There are ways that golfers can speed up their rounds. One such way is for players to ensure they are ready to play their shot when its their turn. Many golfers wait until their playing partners have hit their shots before even picking their club.

Good players often have a solid pre-shot routine before hitting the ball. Give this pre-shot routine a try whilst your playing partners are hitting their shots.

  • Start the routine behind the ball assessing the different elements which affect the shot.
  • These include how the ball is lying, which direction the wind is blowing, other weather conditions such as rain, trees or obstacles blocking the shot, etc.
  • Whilst doing this, your playing partner should be about to hit their shot. After assessing the elements, pick the club to be used and what type of shot you would like to play.
  • Try to time this so after choosing the shot to play you can watch where your playing partner hits their shot.
  • Stand behind the line of the shot and take a few practise swings, imagining the ball flying towards the target.
  • Pick out the target line, set up the club and body to the ball and let the shot go.

The whole routine should take no more than 30 seconds to complete from beginning to end.

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Some professionals sometimes take an absolute age over the ball before hitting their shot, dont be sucked in by this. Players who spend a long time over the ball are often indecisive about the shot. Be decisive and dont waste time.

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Although people who play slowly can cause people to become frustrated, its important not to subject them to harassment as this could put them off the game. A polite conversation will suffice.

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Whilst people generally play too slow, having someone sprinting around the course is an odd sight. Golf should be enjoyed in a responsible period of time, however, if someone is playing faster than you, let them through. Slow play is becoming a problem for many people, make sure you are ready to play your shot and dont dawdle on the course.