Having recently served as a tournament official for both the EWGA Championship and EWGA Cup, I observed instances that could have helped with the overall pace of play. Most people don’t want to hold up play, but at the same time, they don’t want to play feeling rushed. When you look at simple etiquette hints we all know, remember it becomes a key to pace of play - “being ready.”
When your group is on the teeing area, make sure you have your glove, golf ball, tees and your club so you can hit. Many times the three players stand to the side (or sit in the cart) and don’t get their club from the bag until it’s their turn – rather that doing that while another player is hitting. As long as you are quiet, you can “get ready” while another player is hitting her shot.
In the fairway, we all know it’s okay to go to our ball and “get ready” while other players are hitting (as long as it’s safe). This means when you ride a cart, it’s okay to walk over to your ball rather than waiting to drive to it or watching your playing partners go through their pre-shot routine and hit.
On the putting green, good etiquette takes place if the first person to holes a putt is the player to put the flagstick back in the hole. You can walk over to the flagstick and pick it up while player two and three are putting. You should be holding the flagstick when player four hit the putt, so when the putt is holed, all you need to do is replace the flagstick. Players two and three can move toward the edge of the green so when all players have putted, you can quickly exit the green.
This may not seem like much, but it saves :30 seconds to a minute per hole – and that means you finish your round nine to 18 minutes quicker. Now you’ve just saved time on the course without feeling rushed and will have more time to enjoy with your golf group in the clubhouse.