Pace of Play

10 Tips for Improving Pace of Play

  1. Be early to your tee time:Your whole group should be at the first tee 5 - 10 minutes before your tee time.Be ready by having your glove, GPS, multiple tees, a divot repair tool, and two balls in your pockets.
  2. Learn how to share a golf cart:The relationship you have with your golf cart mate should resemble a game of leap frog -- not a three-legged sack race. If your group has walkers and riders, let the walkers tee off first.Drop your partner off at their ball and go to yours (and when they hit they can walk back to the cart). If being dropped off, always take a few different clubs to your ball. If you and your cart mate's balls are relatively close to each other, park in between them and you can get ready to hit at the same time.Bring putters or other wedges to the green for one another if necessary.
  3. Don't play balls you can't afford to lose: As a general rule, if your ball trickles into the woods and you think you might have a shot, do a quick once or twice over before dropping (making sure no one is waiting on the tee behind you).But if it sailed in deep, leave it behind and drop somewhere near where it entered and take a penalty stroke.
  4. Be efficient on the putting green:Mark your ball and lift and clean it when you arrive at the putting green so you will be ready to replace it when it is your turn to play.You can usually line up your putt while others are putting, without disturbing them.Leave your clubs on the side of the putting green closest to the next tee, and leave the green promptly after holing out.Wait until the next tee to record your score.
  5. Go easy on the practice swings:We know, the golf swing feels weird, but when you're on the tee, try and make a practice swing or two off to the side while others are preparing to tee off.Shoot for 30 seconds.
  6. If you have to ask if it's your turn, you probably should have hit already:Enough said.If you're away or even if it's a close call, just go.
  7. Minimize your time on the tee:On the tee it is usually acceptable for players to “hit when ready.”You can also save time by playing a provisional ball (Rule 27-2) if you think your original ball might be lost or out of bounds.
  8. Be helpful to others in your group:Follow the flight of all tee shots, not just your own.Once in the fairway, help others look for their ball if you already know the location of yours.Volunteer to fill in a divot or rake a bunker for another player if needed.Be ready to attend the flagstick for others.
  9. Remember that picking up your ball is permitted by the USGA Handicap System:If not in an individual stroke play competition, pick up your ball when you reach your Equitable Stroke Control and move on to the next hole.


    Course Handicap

    Maximum Number

    9 or less

    Double Bogey







    40 and above




  10. Keep up with the group in front of you:Your correct position on the course is immediately behind the group in front of you, not immediately in front of the group behind you.Arrive at your next shot just before the group in front leaves the area in front of you.If you are consistently not able to keep up and a gap opens in front of you, invite the group behind you to play through, irrespective of the number of players in the group.

You are "Out of Position" if your group reaches the teeing ground of a par-3 hole and the preceding group has cleared the next tee; reaches the teeing ground of a par-4 hole and the putting green is clear; or reaches the teeing ground of a par-5 hole when the preceding group is on the putting green.