Yet another post on routines and pace of play.

I think I am not alone in absolutely deploring 5-6 hour rounds of golf. As a matter of fact, I believe 10% or less of the golf public is slowing it up for the rest of us and they either don’t care or don’t know any better.

I can’t help the first group, but the second group needs to realize that slow play is not helping their score, it is hurting it. The best way to lower scores is getting into a rhythm with your swing and putting stroke.

How can you develop a rhythm when you are going through a 20 step pre-shot routine that takes 2 minutes and parking over the ball for 30 seconds while you go over your 15 step swing check list?

The answer is you can’t.

A pre-shot routine does not have to be long and intrusive to all of the golfers behind you. It just means you have to do the same thing every time. Stand behind the ball, take a practice swing, line up, walk up to the ball, setup, look once at the target, waggle and fire. 10-15 seconds for a pre-shot routine is all your need.

Also, be ready to play. Know your distance and have at least 2 clubs (preferably 3) ready to go when it is your turn. For those who think stepping off yardage and selecting a club is part of your pre-shot routine…that is terrible. You need to have as few thoughts as possible when you are ready to hit. You need to know the yardage and be ready to play when it is your turn in order to give full attention to the target.

That brings me to my next point. Large swing checklists. BAD BAD BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You need to have one swing thought over the ball and rhythm is the best one to have. If you need a mechanical key…it has to be just one. Your focus needs to be the target, not your swing checklist that should only be one thought on the range, never mind having multiple thoughts on the course.

You ever see that person driving 50 mph in the left lane on the freeway, then decides their exit is only 5 miles away and they need to signal, brake, look and break again before they get over one lane? Then they repeat this process for each lane change until the entire flow of traffic is stopped and backed up for 15 miles.

Well, that is what one slow player does to the entire golf course and just like the bad driver, slow doesn’t equal safe and good driving, it often ends up in a wreck.

Now if you play slow and you don’t care about the others in your group or behind you, that is rude and all you can expect is others to react in kind. You never know when a former long drive champion, who doesn’t give a rodents rear end about you keeping your routine even on a 2 footer for a triple bogey, is in the group behind you on a 350 yard par 4 and isn’t going to wait for you to putt out before he launches one on the green…especially when there are two open holes in front of you.




  1. hackgolfer

    This is again spot on. I’ve been playing bad/no improvement for the last week so yesterday I thought I’d try to get back on track on the course by just playing. Not a chance. Approaching the turn at the 3 hour mark, I just walked off the course not being able to stand the torture.

  2. TonyK

    They should bring back golf course marshals….except they should be 6’5″, jackt and scary looking…not like those sarcopenic old hags that marshaled my home course back in the 80’s.

  3. GO_GOLF

    That’s why I stay away from public courses and play semi-private where the norm is 5 hrs. It you are concerned about yardage – buy yourself a GOLF GPS….


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