Pace Of Play. FIX IT!
THE INTERNET, CA - To the best of our knowledge, the MGA is generally well-liked by golf courses around the world. We bring a lot of business to them and their cart girls and we always have a good time while respecting the course and the game. The only time we seem to frustrate some courses is with our pace of play. While it stands to reason that the MEDIOCRE golf association would play a bit slower of a tournament, we still can improve our pace of play by picking up the speed in a few key areas. By following these simple suggestions, you can easily shoot that 125 in four and half hours instead of five and a half.
1. PLAY READY GOLF - Often people become overly courteous when playing in a tournament and three guys end up standing around while one loser hunts for his lost ball. In the MGA there will be countless lost balls and we can't afford to stand around while people look for them. When you get to your ball, look around, make sure no one else is hitting and then hit your shot.
2. BE READY TO HIT YOUR SHOT - Whether in the trees, on the fairway or on the green, you should always be ready to hit when it's your turn. Don't sit in the cart on your cell phone until everyone else is standing there waiting on you. Spend that time determining distance and picking a club. That should all be done before it's your turn to hit and then you'll be ready to go. On the green you should be reading your putt while others are putting and be fully prepared by the time it's your turn.
3. BRING YOUR PUTTER WITH YOU - If you ever leave your cart to hit a ball within 50 yards of the green, you better be carrying your putter with you. Extra trips back to the cart eat up a lot of time and turn a 4.5 hour round into a 5 hour round.
4. DON'T MARK ONE FOOT PUTTS - You'll play faster and make more of them if you just walk up and tap it in. The only exception to this is if you will be standing on someone's line while tapping it in.
5. KNOW THE RULES - It's important to know what red, yellow and white stakes represent. For instance if you hit a ball way up the right side and it goes into a deep forest marked with red stakes, you get to go up and drop where it went in for one penalty stroke. But if that same forest were marked with white stakes, you would need to drop another ball where you just hit for one penalty stroke and try it again. We added a video at the bottom of the page that runs through the stakes and their meanings.
6. JUST PAY ATTENTION DAMMIT! - You'd be amazed how much easier it is to find your wayward ball if you carefully watch where it is headed and memorize a few reference points before beginning your search. This will save you time and strokes.
7. IT'S GONE, GET OVER IT - Lost balls are obviously a big time sink for us. We can help this by always hitting a provisional if you think your ball is lost. Also, if you read the rules, you'll see you're only allowed 3 minutes to look for your lost ball before you have to drop a ball, add two strokes (penalty for a lost ball) and proceed onwards.
8. WRITE ON YOUR BALLS - Use a sharpie to uniquely and comprehensively mark every ball you play. This will eliminate any confusion and lessen the chance of some idiot on the other fairway playing your wayward tee shot.
9. YOU'RE THE SLOW ONE - If the group ahead of you is pulling away, assume that you're the slow golfer holding everything up and pick up the pace. If it's clearly someone else in your group, grow some balls and tell them to speed up.