How to Play "Ready Golf"
We all know what Ready Golf means, don't we?
It means playing our shots when we're ready. Right? WRONG!
Ready Golf means THINKING AHEAD so that you're READY TO PLAY when it is YOUR TURN.
Our target is 4 hours for a foursome for 18 holes.
Ready Golf applies EVERYWHERE-- on the golf course; on the tees; on the fairways and on the greens. Golfers who are playing slowly are either talking and socialising, or taking too long to plan and execute their next golf shot.
"Your place on the golf course is directly behind the group in front of you…not directly in front of the group behind you!" Keep up with the group ahead of you!
If you have guests try to be quick and concise with your instructions on how to play each hole. Don't be a tour guide on the course.
On The Tee
Ready Golf, we often hear, means that the person who is ready at the tee, should hit first. That is simply not true. Ready Golf means that the player with the honors should be the First to hit. If the player with the honors isn't ready, then another golfer may hit first.
Hit when ready and safe. Use the Honor System but another player may play fist when appropriate.
Shorter hitters should hit first.
Tee-off as soon as the group ahead is clear.
Carry an extra ball in your pocket.
After hitting all your tee shots – get going – don’t spend time on the tee box chatting or practising.
On The Fairway
Golfers are typically at their worst AFTER they have hit their tee shots. How often do you see players watch other players hit first, and then start thinking about their own shot? How often do you see the cart drivers wait for their partners to hit before driving to their own balls? How many times do you see four golfers walk to the player's ball that is farthest from the hole, wait for that player to hit, then move down the fairway to the other balls, as if they were a caravan?
Ready Golf means that ALL golfers should go to their balls as soon as possible and get READY to play their shots. While waiting to hit, PLAYERS should SURVEY their shot, SELECT their clubs, and STAND at their balls READY to step up when it is their turn. That's Ready Golf!
Ready Golf particularly means that the CART DRIVERS should DROP OFF their partners, let partners CHOOSE their clubs (take extra ones if required), DRIVE to their own balls, and get READY to play. DRIVERS should NOT wait for their partners to hit the shot, and then drive to their own balls to make their shots.
All players should GO TO THEIR BALLS as soon as possible. The only time players should wait for other players is if the first player's ball is in front of the other players' balls in such a way that other players could be hit by the first player's shot. In particular, a CARAVAN of players should NEVER CONVERGE unless their balls are all in the same location. The only time players should stop in a group and wait for a player to hit is if the line of flight of that player's shot prevents the other players from going to their own balls.
Hint: Walk down the sides of the fairway to reach your ball, determine your club selection while waiting, then move towards the centre to your ball. You can usually get close to your ball and get ready to play the shot, while players behind you can still make their shots.
Hit when ready and safe. Use the honor system but another player may play first when appropriate.
Take appropriate clubs to your ball and hit without delay.
Watch the other player's shots.
Limit search for lost balls to three minutes.
When you've reached double par, pick up and place ball on green.
When driving a cart, drop your partner at his/her ball, and then continue to yours.
Helping To Find Lost Balls
It is important that everyone try to help out to find a lost ball in order to keep play moving. But players should do it AFTER hitting their shots, not BEFORE. How often do you see four players searching for a lost ball, while NONE of them are getting ready to hit?
Use common sense. The player who is closest to the pin and scheduled to hit last should be the first to help the player whose ball is lost, while the players who are farthest away from the pin should PLAY THEIR SHOTS FIRST. When the players farthest away have played their shots, they should resume looking for the lost ball, while the players who are closest should get ready to PLAY THEIR SHOTS. In this way, slow play is not compounded because of a lost ball. Maximum time for searching for a ball is 3 minutes.
Entering and Exiting Greens
How many times do you see players leave their clubs in front of a Green? When the players finish, they should walk to the front to get their clubs. ALWAYS, leave clubs at the back or side of the Green closest to the next tee. If a shot is played in front of the Green first, the player should move his/her clubs to the back or side of the Green before playing the next shot. NOTHING is MORE ANNOYING than watching players walk to the FRONT of a Green to retrieve their clubs AFTER everyone has putted out. AND don't stand around chatting and writing down scores either! Go to the next tee.
- Place your clubs between the green and the next tee.
- Study your putt while others are putting.
- Continue putting until holed out.
- Leave the green immediately.
- Place your clubs between the green and the next tee.
- Complete your scorecard when off the green.
Speeding Play On The Greens
Emulating the pros around the putting green has done more to slow down golf than any other single event. How often do you see players walking around the putt as though they were putting to win a green jacket at the Master's?
Playing Ready Golf around the Greens means getting READY to putt BEFORE it is your turn! Players should line up their putts WHILE other players are putting, so they're ready to putt when it's their turn.
Ready Golf also means putting CONTINUOUSLY if the ball is not in someone else's line, and if the player does not need time to survey the putt. If you miss a putt, for example, and have an open stance to make the next putt, you should MAKE the putt INSTEAD of MARKING the ball--unless it is a tricky putt and you want extra time to survey it. In that case, mark the ball and survey the putt while someone else putts. When it is your turn, walk up to the ball, take your stance and make your putt.
While there are no time rules associated with putting, a rule of thumb is to get off your putt within 20 seconds from when it is your turn. This means you should be able to approach the ball, take your stance and make your putt within 20 seconds. Obviously, you can only do this if you SURVEY the putt WHILE other players are putting. When you putt, you should always take your time, so you make a smooth, unhurried stroke. Ready Golf DOES NOT mean RUSHING.
Farthest From The Hole
There is no reason Ready Golfers can't play in the order of who is farthest from the hole. In Ready Golf, the person farthest from the hole should be READY to play first. There are, however, a few common sense exceptions.
In a foursome in which one or two players are walking and one or two are using carts, the players with the carts should hit FIRST if they reach their ball first and are Ready to play.
When someone hits a shot, but is still farthest from the hole, players should hit BEFORE that player if they are Ready. Here are two examples. If a player hits a tree or some obstruction with a second shot and is still farthest from the hole, the players closer to the hole should hit first to speed up play.
If someone is off the Green in a sand trap and hits the ball farthest from the hole, the other players should not wait for that player to walk around the green to play the next shot. Play should continue until that player is READY to make the next shot. In fact, NOTHING is more DISCONCERTING than watching three players on the green WAITING while the fourth player cleans up the sand, walks to the ball, surveys the putt and then plays.
Ready Golf means BEING READY to play; not playing when you're ready. Here are some simple rules.
- Walk to your ball as soon as possible, so that you can choose your club and think about the shot in ADVANCE, not when it is your turn.
- When driving a cart, drop off your partner first, let your partner choose his/her club, and then drive to your own ball to get READY to play.
- When a ball is lost, hit your shot FIRST and then help look for the lost ball.
- Walk down the SIDES of the fairway to reach your ball and then APPROACH it from the centre. NEVER play in a caravan, moving in a group from ball to ball.
- When on the Green, line up your putt BEFORE it is your turn, and putt out immediately instead of marking, if you are not in someone else's line.
- Remember – keep up with the group ahead of you and watch your time (maximum is 2 hours per 9 holes). Keep moving at a steady pace and it will make it enjoyable for everyone.