Play Faster Golf


A movement across America in the last several years has been finding ways to play faster golf.  One of the main reasons why golf has been on the decline lately is because people don’t feel they can dedicate the time needed to play the game.  Such programs as “Play It Forward” and “While We Are Young” have been launched.  If you have watched any golf on TV you are sure to see these ads.  Here are a few tips that might help you move it along.  If we want golf to grow, it is up to all of us to speed it up!

In the video above, Mike discusses some of his favorite ways to make your round faster and more enjoyable.

Fay’s Top Tips For Playing Golf Faster

1.  Play Ready Golf-Playing when ready and not “waiting” for others to play will automatically speed up play.

-Who ever is first to the tee, tee off.

-Switch cart drivers-if your cart partner’s ball is not near you, drop your partner off with a couple of clubs.  By the time you reach your ball, your partner should have already hit.

-Lost balls-When looking for lost balls, it should be last all others hit first to keep the game moving.  Note on lost balls:  Allow two minutes to find it.  The rules allow 5 but if it takes you that long, then you probably won’t like your next lie anyway.

-Putt when ready, it’s not necessary to wait until someone who is on the way to the green and furthest away putts.

-Club in hand when it’s your turn.

2.  Pre Shot Routines

-Pre shot routines should not include practice swings.  The only place you should use practice swings is on uneven lies to find the ground or chips and pitches around the green.  Practice swings with all other shots don’t really matter much and can tire you out.

-Get a range/yardage finder.   Don’t waste time looking for sprinkler heads and yardage plates.   In fact, at Boyne Mountain we have an app for your phone that includes a GPS yardage finder.  Use it.

-Read the green before you putt, not when it’s your turn.  It’s a misconception that the players on TV walk around and read the the green when it’s their turn to putt.  You should have already done that before it’s your turn.

3.  In Between Shots

-Mark your scores on the scorecard at the tee while someone else is teeing off not when players behind you are trying to hit the green.

-Make sure you have fueled your body before the round.  Food and liquids should be taken before you tee off and brought with you to be used as the round progresses.   This will keep you from stopping at the turn and holding up play.

-Talk while walking not while stopping.

-During a walking round, place your bag on the side of the green nearest to the next tee.

-Get the rake before you get into the bunker.  Then you hit your shot, rake, and exit.

4.  Play It Forward

The PGA of America’s Play It Forward campaign is excellent and I highly encourage everyone to incorporate it’s ideas.   It encourages players to play the golf course at their level of play.  For instance, if you are a beginner you don’t necessarily have to start at a tee box.  It’s OK to tee up at the 100, 150, or 200 yard markers or closer.  As you progress with your game, move back to those plates.  Essentially, those are your tees.

5.  Big Numbers

If you are about to put up a huge number, pick it up.  The USGA handicap system allows for equitable stroke control.  Unless it’s a stroke play event, take your maximum you can take on that hole and move on.  If you don’t hold a USGA handicap, double the par is a good rule of thumb.

Hope these tips help you speed up your round.  Please leave your comments below.  If you have any tips that you might find useful, please share.  We are all in this together.

Mike Fay

Mike Fay

PGA Director of Instruction

With over 25 years of teaching experience, it’s easy to see why Mike has become a leader in the world of golf instruction. Everything from cutting edge social networking techniques to having his own podcast, Mike has helped to change the face of teaching golf.  He currently is the Director of Player Performance at the Boyne Golf Academy in Harbor Springs, Michigan.


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