Speeding up Golf

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7 Things you can do to Speed up Play at your Club
  Last May, The R&A published   their Pace of Play   manual - a 72-page document giving guidance to clubs and   golfers on ways of speeding up the game. It was framed around three key   areas - management, course set-up and player behaviour. Here are just 7 ways   The R&A have set out in their manual to improve the speed of the   game. 

1) Alter   Starting Intervals
  If tee times are too close together overcrowding can result. Widen   intervals – sending two-balls out in at least eight-minute gaps, three-balls   in 10 minute and four- balls in 11 or 12.

2) Introduce   Ready Golf
  Ask players to take their shot when they are ready to do so, rather than   sticking to“farthest from the hole plays first”as laid down in the Rules of   Golf.

3) Talk to   players
  Communication can be a key part of ensuring good pace of play. Educating new   members and juniors, along with making players aware of what is expected of   them, can have great results.

4) Get golfers   off the right tees
  The tees that players pick can have a big impact on pace of play. Those who   take on a course too difficult can not only affect their enjoyment but also   affect the time they take. Offer a reasonable variety of tees for members and   guests.

5) Consider   height of rough
  A lot of time can be spent looking for balls in rough. Increasing fairway   widths, or generally reducing the severity of the rough so it is less likely   to conceal a ball can help. Extending the width of the first cut can be more   cost efficient than widening fairways.

6) Factor in   green speeds
  The faster the greens are, the harder it is for less-skilled players to putt.   It is more important that greens are smooth and true than fast. For context,   at The Open, The R&A sets a maximum green speed target of 10.5 feet on   the stimpmeter. This is reduced to well below the maximum when strong winds   are forecast.

7) Look at   hole positions
  The positions in which holes are cut has an impact on pace of play. If holes   are cut too close to slopes, this makes it more challenging to stop the ball   close to the hole. Positions can also have a significant impact on approach   shots.

The full Pace   of Play manual is available to download from The   R&A website.

This   article was first published in The Golf Club Manager – the official   journal of the GCMA. If you would like to receive the journal, either join   the GCMA today, or subscribe to the magazine.

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