Working with high school golf nationally, we hear a lot of feedback from coaches and athletic directors on ways that the high school game can improve. When it comes to a round of golf, the pace of play is a hot topic issue for almost every level of the game, and high school golf is no exception. Check out some of these easy, quick and simple ways that you and your team can help improve the pace of play for your high school matches.
Play ready golf
Tournament golf is more serious than a regular round – however, there is no excuse for the round to take longer. One of the simplest ways to speed up play is playing ready golf. Rather than waiting for the player to hit who is the farthest away, agree early in the round that your group is fine with playing ready golf. This way regardless of who is out, the player that is ready to hit will play. When another player is hitting, the other players in the group can walk to their ball and go through their pre-shot routine.
Enforcing double par
High school golf coaches struggle with some of their more inexperienced players taking too long on holes. A way to combat this is to enforce a double par rule. Simply put, multiply the par of the hole by 2, and if you get to that score and haven’t holed the ball out, pick up and move onto the next hole. This will not only save time but encourage players to have more fun.
Play a provisional ball
How many times have you hit a tee shot close to an Out-of-Bounds marker, thinking the ball is in bounds only to find that it isn’t and proceed the 250+ yard walk back to the tee? I know I have. Any time you are unsure where your tee shot or golf shot ended up, you are entitled to hit a provisional ball. Make sure you announce to everyone in your group that you are playing a provisional – this will not only save time but help eliminate added frustration of walking back to hit your previous shot again.
Aim to hit your shot in 20 seconds
Think about how many other major sports like football and basketball have a play or shot clocks that players have to complete their shots. Golf is no exception. Mentally, once you get set for your shot, go through your pre-shot routine, get set and pull the trigger within 20 seconds. This will save on wasted seconds standing over the ball and help you be more decisive with your shot-making.
Keep up with the group in front of you
As long as you are not the lead group (first group off for the day) do your absolute best to keep pace with the group in front of you to eliminate large gaps on the course. Once you finish out a hole, you want to ensure that the group in front of you is a shot ahead (hitting their second shots on that same hole).
Encouraging your team members to abide by these above tips during a tournament round will help with rounds taking less time and players ultimately having more fun!