Convention for the village idiots…LOL.

I went to play golf the other day and saw/heard the funniest/saddest thing.

Two foursomes of golfers/friends (I am making wonderful use of slashes) were on the range warming up to play. I am so happy I was not playing behind them. They were all about 8-15 handicappers and I would say the average golf magazine subscriptions they each had at home was about 6.

Each one of them had a pre-shot routine on the range that could be measured with a sundial. Imagine what it would be like on the course?

They were telling each other to (and these were the only ones I heard):

Swing more inside/out
Hold the lag
Complete the back swing
Coil more
Restrict the hip turn to gain more X-factor
Straighten up that left arm
Swing like you are inside a barrel
Widen that arc and get your hands higher at the top
Less pronation of the left forearm
(I had my iphone out and was taking notes after I heard the 2nd cliche as I knew this would be gold)
Keep that right arm glued to your side to stay connected
More forward shaft lean
Keep your head down
…and keep yourself stacked on that left side until your feel your head tilting toward the target.

I teed off at 9:30 and saw them on the first tee when I was on the first green. My threesome finished at 12:45, so that was 3 hours and 15 minutes to play 18…we play fast.

The FIRST of the two foursomes were just getting out of their carts on the 9th green. 3 hours and 5 minutes to not even be done with 9. I have no problem with people enjoying the day, especially when the course is empty like it was, but there is no question in my mind this octo-scratch-a-thon play at a similar pace regardless of how many groups are behind them.

I hope I am making a small effort to rectify this situation on all fronts.




  1. Calvin

    That is hilarious. 🙂 That is if you are a group ahead of them.

    My favorite instruction to give: make sure you are dressed left
    and then stay all bent over and up on your toes.

  2. woody

    Falsehood isn’t any good unless it has some truth in it.

    Coil more (most people probably don’t have enough windup)

    Restrict the hip turn to gain more X-factor (hip turn is limited because you probably aren’t doing anything on purpose with your hips, and your back foot is on the ground)

    Straighten up that left arm (McIlroy said he does it…but extended isn’t the same as stiff)

    Swing like you are inside a barrel (the idea is not to sway, from Percy Boomer’s classic book)

    Hmmm…all bent over and up on your toes…I think I just found out what goat-humping is.

  3. Jim Dunlop

    I was visiting my grandkids in Florida last week and managed to get out for 18 holes. I reported to the starter at 8.20 a.m. and could see that the front 9 would be slow as molasses – countless foursomes of older people in carts. I was permitted to start on the back 9. For 9 blissful holes I played on my own with nobody ahead of me at any time. I arrived back at the 1st hole to find it clear. Another 9 holes of pure emptiness, until my last hole when I had to wait a short time for the green to clear. Total playing time was 2 hrs 40 mins, walking and carrying my clubs (actually my son’s clubs). Weather lovely, cost $19, score 75 (par 67). Priceless.

  4. john

    As far as slow play is concerned, it is everywhere and caused by people of all skill levels, not just the type you mentioned. It is mostly attitude – having played in the UK for example, where people consciously move along and play at a good pace. People take their sweet time here and it sucks and I just don’t see it going away, ever. The smartphone is the greatest invention ever to get things done if there is slow play.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      I agree skill level is not directly related to slow play.

      …but a slow good golfer will play faster than a slow bad golfer. 😀

      • john

        You’ll get no argument from me on that.

        UK golfers can teach the US much on speed of play. So much.

  5. Jason

    Slow play absolutely wrecks my game. I need to have a good flow going. I may take a little time over the ball but everything else in between I am like lightning, I don’t muck around getting to the next shot and I have maybe 1 or 2 practice swings to tell my central nervous system, OK you are swingning a 7 iron now and that’s it. People are arrogant when it comes to waving people through. There is a thing called etiquette that people rudely ignore.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Agree on arrogance and letting other groups play through.

  6. meateater

    Some courses I have played, if you took three hours to play the front nine, you better be wearing a hard hat because there will be incoming.

    Nice job of marshalling too. It always infuriates me that course marshals do f*ckall when a group is backing up 30 or 40 other players and ruining their day.

  7. Don

    My favorite FAST play story is from Ireland. I was playing the Old Course at Ballybunion. I was paired with a 65-year-old woman and her nephew who had already played 18 holes on the newer course at Ballybunion. The woman had a hip replacement 9 months earlier. The wind was blowing at 30 – 25 mph. The 3 of us played the old course in 3 hours and 15 minutes.

    • john

      US is the worst at keeping pace of play. The pits.

  8. Andrew from Addis

    Great point Monte, but please do not give the message that 3hrs and 15 minutes is fast. That should be normal. I played in 2:10 today (only two of us and quiet course) and when alone almost always break 2 hours while playing in the seventies. OK course is quite short (6000 yds par 70).

    In my homeland, Scotland, 3 hours is considered quite normal.

    Fast is good
    Andrew from Addis


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