Letting other groups play through.

Why does it leave such a bad taste in people’s mouths to let other groups play through?

I have been lamenting this question for 25 years. Is it emasculating to men? Is it submissive for women? I don’t understand why it is such a big deal. If I am in a foursome and a cart with two 70 year old women is pushing my group with no one in front of us…

“Ladies, would you like to play through?”…and I am happy to do it.

I have been a single late in the afternoon with a foursome in front of me and open holes in front. Instead of just waiving me through, they grind for score and run to their carts.

It is not uncommon occurrence for me to be a single, finish a hole and get to the next tee before the group in front of me has teed off. They finish, all give me a dirty look and drive off. I then get an even dirtier look when I skip the hole they haven’t even hit their second shots to and go to the next tee.

What’s up with that?

A perfect example of what I am talking about. A few years ago I was playing with all my friends (by myself, in other words) at around 4 or 5 PM. I teed off about 20 minutes after a foursome and I caught them by the 3rd tee. They saw me and didn’t offer to let me play through. One guy was giving lessons (not a pro, a 10 giving lessons to 20′s) to two of the other players and I was not happy. On a 340-350 yard par 4 they finished putting and started getting putting lessons. I whistled and raised my hands when they looked back. They kept on putting for another 2 minutes. I got tired of waiting so I hit my tee shot and hit it in the green side bunker.

When I pulled up by the green, they were still putting. Mr. Scratch looks at me and says, “you in some kind of hurry?”

I decided to treat this in the manner that seem most appropriate to the situation. I said nothing, hit my sand shot to a few feet, took out the pin, putted in, put the pin back in, went to the next tee and teed off.

Moral to the story: If there is no one in front of you and there is a single behind you, let him play through. It might be me and I am hostile, combative, a jerk and I will hit into you. 😉




  1. olwin

    I often wondered the same thing. Being from Sweden, I can vouch for the same behaviour here too – you more or less have to elbow your way through slower parties ahead of you. Since I (hcp 6) often play with my fiancée (hcp 34) and we play efficiently, we´re often faced with the situation and it is really frustrating, but we’ve developed a good routine playing through and keeping our stress levels down.

    That said, just the other week I played a match with a colleague and we played through six (!) parties over 18 holes. That has never happened before and probably never will again.

  2. Walter

    WhenI first started playing Golf, the fellows I played with told me it is not how play, that matters, but it is” HOW YOU PLAY” ( meaning fix your divots,and ball marks pick up your ball after double par, and of course, INVITE faster players to pass through)
    It makes for much more pleasant time..

  3. James H

    Preachin’ to the choir my friend… that’s why I won’t play as a single anymore.

    However, if there are six foursomes in front of us on a Saturday morning and we’re waiting on every shot I won’t let anyone through. A single should know better than to go out on a Saturday or Sunday morning and expect a quick round.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      If everyone is waiting, there is no reason to go through. It’s just a general routine that no one lets anyone play through.

      • banner12


        Haven’t found that much here in Ventura. I usually play with my wife as twosome and a 4 will always let us play through when it’s open ahead. Of course, when we play a place like Lost Canyons where they get 6 players an hour we take our time and let singles play through all day long. It’s simply common sense and courtesy.

        We were at a course recently as a twosome and the starter asked us if we wanted t play as a 2 or have another 2 join us. Since the course seemed wide open and you never know what you’re getting with another 2 we declined only to find out by the 3rd hole the pace was slow as sh*t so as the 2 behind us arrived at the 3rd tee we invited them to join us since it would have been crazy to have 2’s out there when there was so much waiting. Later a single came behind us and asked if he could play through us and join the 3some ahead of us. We said sure and that’s how it’s supposed to work, yes?

  4. Hank

    thats is really funny, not!!!,,,that happens to me a lot at the course where i play, its a nine hole course, and a small town, so i see the same old guys every day. i get a lot of two on carts and two walking, and they never look back at me, so i have to skip some holes to get around them.

  5. michael

    The worst is when you’re playing really well and this happens. They won’t let you play through, and you’re having to wait on every shot. Good round? Ruined. All momentum and lack of thought is lost.

    I don’t know how the pros can play a 5 hour round and still break par.

  6. bentshaft

    A few years ago I was playing with all my friends (by myself, in other words)

    hilarious (and I can relate!)

  7. Andrew

    Sometimes I play with all my friends and this one A-hole that I can’t stand to be around….still by myself:)

  8. ringerdaman

    If I catch up to them on the tee, I ask to play through. To this day not a single group has ever told me no. The trick is ASKING.

    • Dean


      You shouldn’t have to ask. Asking someone if they would like to play through should be common courtesy just like fixing ball marks and not taking extra tee shots while the group behind you is already at that tee. Just sayin”.

      • ringerdaman

        I don’t disagree. I should have to ask in the first place, but at the same time if it’s that important that I get through asking is often the best route.

  9. jp

    Great post! Can I copy it and post it up at my course?

  10. Todd Larsen

    I’ll vouch for your last sentence Monte! I’ve seen it (Monte’s wrath) many times (oy, that poor golf cart)! Anyways, I’m sure time mellows but hopefully not too much. Come on out to La Quinta and let’s tee it up, it’ll be fun!

  11. retired guy

    I see you young fellas getting yoursevles worked up all the time behind me and my buddies. We could give a shit. We act like we don’t see you but we do.The minute you start leaning on a club or putting it across your shoulders, we will never let you through. Never I say. We don’t like the way you dress, the way you act and the way you spend so much on your equipment and fancy clothes.

    In conclusion, SCREW YOU.

    • Bob34

      Wow, hope I don’t get that grumpy when I grow old 🙂

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Allow me to respond. I am going to buy you a membership to Costco so that you can buy Ensure in bulk.

      • retired guy

        Thanks Monte, that’s very nice of you. I like chocolate. Put a little vodka in there and I’m good to go. What were we talking about ?


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