A cure for slow play

I would guess the biggest day-to-day problem in golf is not anchored putting, or the juiced-up ball, or LPGA players who need their caddy to help them line up their shot. It’s slow play.

Slow play is terrible on the PGA tour, rampant on the LPGA Tour, and a disease in college golf. All of that trickles down to recreational play and it drives most of us nuts.

There are all sorts of suggestions about how to play faster. Ready Golf was a valiant attempt to get things moving along, but it turned out that people played Ready Golf slowly and we’re right back where we started.

Slow play is caused by slow people. They don’t just play golf slowly. They do everything slowly. They have slow lives. That’s their pace. No amount of faster play tips is going to speed them up.

I think, though, that the problem is not slow play, it’s inefficient play. Three golfers wait for the fourth to get everything done before the next one starts, instead of overlapping their activity.

Example 1: One player tees off, picks up the tee, and walks back to the group standing well off to the side. Then the next golfer walks on to the tee box, etc., in sequence. Instead, the next golfer to play should already be standing beside the tee box when the golfer on it is hitting, and stepping on as soon as the ball is struck.

Example 2: One player in the fairway looks over the shot, takes out a club, does whatever, hits the ball, and puts the club back in the bag. Then the next player starts up. Instead, Player B should have a club out of the bag, ready to hit, by the time Player A is addressing the ball.

Example 3: One player marks his ball, cleans it, puts it down again, reads the green, putts, goes up to this ball and marks it, then the next player starts up. Instead, every player in the foursome can read their putt as soon as they get on the green, so everyone is reading the green at the same time.

Overlapping play, which is efficient, is an easy solution to the slow play problem. You read it here first.

My new book, The Golfing Self, is now available at www.therecreationalgolfer.com. It will change everything about the way you play.

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