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Slow play…. AKA, ruin your golf game…and others

It had to happen that I’d write about slow play at some point in time and I’m likely tardy in doing so…sorry for my slow play.

The key point to make in my argument for faster play is there is no argument that slow play has any positive merits. It can hurt your game, the people in your group, and the several groups waiting for you.

What got me fired up today was the group ahead of me today…….very slow. My host was the head professional and the group did not respond to his requests to “speed it up…”

I have a couple of friends who have lost their regular golf groups because of their slow play, and they may not even be aware of their situation. I know these people have been told, but they are in a state of denial.

Let me offer a few ideas on how to help this issue that is like death and taxes, we can’t solve it, but maybe improve on it.

• Be ready to play. Know the yardage, be observant and be ready.

• Watch where your ball goes and do the same for your playing partners. Use a landmark, ie…”It’s by the big tree missing a limb.” You can walk right to it, quite often.

•Get an idea of the line of your putt when you mark your ball and first get on the green. First impressions are often the correct one.

• Tell the funny story or joke while you’re waiting, not when you are ready hit your shot.

• If using a golf car, here are a couple of key ideas. Mark the scores at the next tee. If you walk out to your ball, take 2 or 3 clubs so you have a choice. I hate to see a player walk back to the golf car for another club. Lastly, buddy-up on moving the car up the fairway, see if your friend needs help, be observant.

Some of these ideas may help you and your group play more quickly, which will help the flow on the course and help your game.

As a golf instructor, my opinion is that you should spend little time over the ball. This should be the time to relax and think about the shot, not what version of your swing you want to take. Do your preparation while your friends are hitting and when you get up and ready to go…you can do just that. Good luck and see you at the 19th hole and not on the next tee…again.

Handlery Union Square Hotel


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