Tips for Playing Ready Golf
Play as soon as it is safe to do so
How many times have you reached your ball before your playing partners have and stand around waiting despite the green being clear, purely because you “shouldn’t” play out of turn?
Ready Golf suggests that golfers disregard ‘playing in turn’ and instead play when it is safe to do so. It makes sense doesn’t it? Why waste time stood staring at an empty green when you could have played the shot in the time it takes your playing partners to select a club?
First to the tee goes first
Never mind “I made birdie, I’m going first,” whoever makes the tee first tees off first in Ready Golf. It is quite common to reach the next tee, yet be waiting for the person whose honour it is because they’re messing around in their bag, cleaning their ball and marking their card despite the fairway being clear.
Does any amateur golfer really feel that “honoured” that they made the lowest score on that hole? Let’s stop waiting around and get on with it.
Let the shorter hitters tee off first
If the group in front of you are in reach for just one golfer, then surely it makes sense to let the shorter hitters go first? Often when someone thinks they can reach the group in front, they tend to hit their worst tee shot of the day.
You could argue this could mentally help the longer hitter as they won’t have to worry about reaching the group in front if they tee off last, nor will they have to try and justify that they can in fact hit it that far.
Hit your ball before helping search for one
Many golfers spend time going back and forth to their ball and looking for their partner’s. Why not save time walking backwards and forwards by going straight to your ball, playing it, and then going on to help find the lost ball?
Putt when you’re ready
A lot of time is spent on the greens during amateur golf, so anything to help speed up the process is a bonus in my eyes. If you’re 10ft away, ready to putt and won’t impede on anyone’s line, then it makes sense to play your putt if one of your partners is still lining their putt up.
As you watch from the fairway 150 yards away, you often see someone play out of a greenside bunker and their playing partners wait for them to rake the bunker, clean their club, mark their ball, line up the putt, then play it. With Ready Golf, the golfers waiting on the green should play while their partner in the bunker rakes the sand and marks their ball.
The proposed changes to the rules that come into play in 2018 will also help with this side of Ready Golf. This is because you will be able to putt with the pin in. If you’re in a two-ball and your partner has just played onto the green, but you are 50ft away, you will no longer have to wait for your partner to clean their club, go mark their ball and then go and attend the pin.
Mark your card at the next tee
Another way to speed up play is to mark your card at the next tee, except for the person who is going to play first. By doing this, you eliminate two things: 1) You’re not blocking the previous green by marking your card on the fringe and 2) you’re not all just stood around the tee box marking your scores when someone could be teeing off.
You may be thinking that these tips hardly speed up play but when you put them into play over 18 holes they all add up. With golfers showing more awareness, a four-ball could speed up their round by five minutes a hole, which in turn equates to 90 minutes a round.