It’s inevitable. Play tourneys long enough, you’re going to get paired with a sloth. Or behind one. Or both.
Listening to @jon ‘fess walking out midway thru a tourney; word bro.
Despite every effort, I can feel myself speeding up, just want the ordeal to end. I lose rhythm, focus and interest.
I realize it’s all in the bunker between my sideburns, but anyone have any tips?
It’s inevitable. Play tourneys long enough, you’re going to get paired with a sloth. Or behind one. Or both.
I walk in a less than straight line so I don’t get to my ball too soon. I walk to the right rough then do a u-turn and go to the left rough and go back and forth. There are also some places on my course where you can find lost balls. Instead of waiting on a tee I might go down a bank to recover some lost balls. Standing over your ball feeling frustration is not the situation you want to put yourself in.
Learn to be patient.
This was one of the virtue I had learned from this game when I was younger. Unless one has membership at an exclusive private golf clubs; the waiting on the public golf courses is facts of life we have to live with.
Why ? Because many of the new to the game learned how to golf on the public golf courses. I was one of them; even growing up with my father’s membership to many of the country clubs. I really did not pick up this game until much later. So I learned how to golf on the public golf courses, benefitted from the elderly golfers whom had taught me the rules and the etiquette.
I was a typical younger golfer, who liked to do everything fast and faster. The game of golf is designed like driving on a one way single lane roadway, no shoulders for passing.
I learned to enjoy the company a little more ( usually I’d walked on as a single to avoid spending more time arranging a group outing ). I learned to look around me ( stop and smell the roses ).
Most of all, I had learned to focus on demand; which is one of the tool a good golfer or for that matter, any good athlete will possess.
I learned to be more tolerate to those newbies who got paired up in my group. That was what we were taught in kindergarten, if we didn’t forget.
If I need to leave to get to my appointment, and I had to get on the golf course for the nice weather and the time slot I had available; I’d leave without finishing the 18, excuse myself when time ticked close to making my next appointment whenever the green was closer to the club house. Left the game on the back nine many times. A lot of times I was on track to break par but had to leave.
A friend who would take advantage of the twilight rate and running into some slow groups ahead of him, he would skip the group (s) and went ahead of them, then come back to finish the hole(s) he had finished the 18 many times if the day light allowed. Riding a golf cart would be much easier to do this maneuver, but be careful as you cut in front of some slow playing group; make certain the action is worth the effort and not disrupting others on the golf course. Meaning, if the whole golf course was packed with golfers, then , obviously this will not work.
Some golf courses will have Course Marshalls pushing the slower group of golfers mostly in the earlier tee time to make sure the whole day would not be back logged.
If I have slower golfer in the group, the faster golfers could move to the next tee after they finished putting instead of waiting as a group.
Sometimes a word of reminding or encouragement to the slower golfers in your group would do the magic. Be careful pf picking the right words and the right moment to do this; as misunderstanding could happen.
Wish I did have some good tips for this! (Other than indulging in some swing juice / attitude enhancer / mood relaxer )
But those ^ are all the same things that happen to me, and … I suspect … many others…
Actually just thought of one quote that may be helpful -
… from the inestimable Rory McIlroy: “Let your attitude influence your golf; don’t allow your golf to influence your attitude.”
That’s the real tricky bit!
Funny, when I’m playing whacks-n-giggles with mates (or strangers) there’s no problem. Then again, I don’t care that much either; it’s mostly camaraderie and the memory of the occasional shot that turns out exactly as planned. It could be said my focus is perpetually turned off for those outings.
It’s when I ‘have a dog in the hunt’ that my focus is always on, both during and between shots. Tough to turn off for 5 minutes then back on again for 20 seconds and still maintain performance but something I need to improve.
This is down to expectations, as most frustrations are. If you can have the mind set that your round will be 4 1/2 to 5 hours then if its quicker you will feel pleased if not there will be less frustration.
We all get held up, its just part of the game as is controlling our emotions. As DJ said about bad shots, ‘you know you are going to hit some, so getting really worked up makes no sense’.
All easier said than done, takes some focus and practice, but hey, your playing golf so things are going pretty well in your life!
This is what I try to keep in mind lately. I am still healthy enough and can afford to play golf. If this particular round is slower than usual or I’m playing worse, that’s not that big a deal. It can be tough to walk the line between being competitive and beating yourself up unless you remind yourself how lucky you are.
It’s a learned skill; some were born with the gift and some will struggle with it.
Trevino could flip the light switch on/off at will, Nicklaus does not like to be disturbed when he is in the “zone”. Watson is a single minded focused on his current task; Hogan never talk to anyone much when he was in a round of tournament play. Palmer will shake hands, sign autograph, take pictures whenever he could.
Think of it this way, if a marathon runner runs a 10K, wouldn’t it seems to be an easier task?
For those who do not have the time or do not care to learn to focus on demand, then, it’s only a game; but learn to be patient. Unless one could join a private golf club and play during the weekdays.
There would be scarcely any golfers on the private golf courses during the weekdays.
Retired folks usually would like to golf different golf venues instead of a few.
There are all kinds of players. I am a hit it, find it, hit it again kind of player. If I have to play out of a difficult situation that I put my own self in, I will take my time and evaluate my options. I walk most of the time, so I’m evaluating temperature, wind etc. as I am walking up to my ball. Now, when faced with slow play or I am trying to keep myself calm, I will slow my pace down… considerably! You can’t do that in a cart… I always hear my partners complain about waiting while they are sitting waiting, I’ll take my time, maybe ball-hawk in a penalty area taking my time to get to my ball. Hope that helps. If you’re in a cart…watch youtube
I’ve just had this happen today, playing in a 4 ball but we had to wait on nearly every shot because the course was backed up in front of us all day and the 4 ball in front were even slower (and they were mates). I had my worst round for a month or two. Previously i’d had 4 great rounds that i played on my own, and went round for each 18 holes in just over 2 hours with a cart. Shooting 78,75,78 and 83.
I was full of confidence today on the first 3 holes, then it started to get to me. Too much time to think about each shot, getting frustrated with having to wait, 2nd guessing myself, upsetting my usual rhythm, etc etc etc. It had the effect of me not giving a sh*t about the game at all, especially after going 4 over on a par 3. Ended up shooting 90 but the round felt like it was over by the 7th.
How does anyone maintain concentration when having to wait on every shot? It’s the worst part of the game by far for me. Couldn’t wait for it to end today, even though i pulled it back a bit on the last 4 holes.
I’ve heard some Pro’s say the thing they hate the most is slow play, so i’m guessing everyone hates it.
Sorry for the rant, just needed to vent and see if there’s any decent tips for dealing with it.
Don’t ya just feel like yelling “while we’re young!” I have found grabbing the phone, hitting you tube and watch some short videos or listen to music or strike up a conversation or start to search for some wayward balls. I pretty much wrap myself up into my routine and can turn that off and on. Unless I have somewhere to go, or a 4 hour round is turning into something obnoxious like a 5.5 hour round with the group in front having like 3 or more holes open in front of them I can deal with it. When it gets that obnoxious, call the pro shop, they’ll usually send someone out. That kind of slow play costs them money on a public course. I just tell our group to slow their pace, take your time because we have time. I’m adding this as an addendum because it happened to me yesterday. The things that bother me on course start with this new trend of blaring music out of your cart. I hate that. I come to the course to get away from city noise. Second is etiquette. We had a single spot open yesterday, it was filled by a young kid who we have played with before. I usually don’t pay any attention to anyone but on the 11th hole yesterday we both hit our approaches into the same green side bunker about 6’ apart. He played first no worries, I’m getting ready to hit my shot next thing I know I hear and see him raking the trap. I back off and told him please wait until I play my shot we’ll take out together, he apologized and exited he bunker, as I’m loaded into my downswing I then hear a loud smash, i mishit the shot and look behind he’s banging the bottom of his shoes with his wedge. I just picked up my ball with steam coming out of my ears and walked to the next tee. I then told him as we were walking up the next hole. “Dude… you said you are playing in the clubs opening tournament tomorrow. I’ll give you a hint don’t do that stay still until everyone has played onto the green. I just got pissed for a minute. There are some guys who will run you over with their cart. “ Obnoxiously slow play is bothersome, Slow play I can slow down too, being rude and not understanding course etiquette like that example, that drives me bonkers,
Remembering this from one of the greatest golfers in our time.
Tiger woods said it ( I believe it was one of the short interview on broadcast). " be able to switch the focus on or off like a light switch ".
I’m certain that when he got stuck behind others on Sunday, his usual grouping in the last few groups will encounter many situation like this.
Quite a few times he finished the last approach shot almost in darkness.
The more capable ones could excel during the extraordinary situation. This is what separate the champion and the runner ups.
As I told my children when they were younger, there is but a fine line between the good and the excellent. It does not take much more to cross that line.
You have achieved the next level in self control and the ability to focus on demand. This takes a little practice and training, almost anyone could do it if they try.
I’m guilty of checking my messages while waiting on the tees for a prolonged period of time. Otherwise, it’ll be a good time to chat with your group if you care for it or just look around you and enjoy the nature. Our public golf courses are abandon with wild life. Bald eagle, res hawks, deer, fox, black bear … thank goodness no alligator. One local links have all kinds of water fowls. Grey heron, mallards, black Ovstercache… because the location used to be farmlands with wetlands next to it. Recent invasion of Canadian geese and seagulls overwhelm several fairways. Don’t care much for the geese, they crowd the place and especially their droppings on and around the fairways. The greens keeper used to have a border collie which he would take it around in his golf cart to different spots to chase away the geese.
Enjoy the surrounding while run into slow play is an escape of mind. No one enjoy a round of golf close to 6 hours. But with the demand for the sports near metro area, we’ll see slow play more often these days.
Yeah like several others have mentioned there’s not a whole lot you can do once you get hung up on a slow moving course…
But … what you CAN do is control your own attitude and emotions!
This is a really great example and thx @MJTortella for this!
… gonna work on that myself Two things I’m adding to that in-between time is a seat on my pushcart and also practice some random chipping in the fairway or the rough.
And @Dewsweeper snippet about Tiger is a great lesson …
I don’t play a ton of tournament golf, but do enough to know that tournaments are just slower. Our club tournaments usually finish in 4:20-4:45, even though it is all members and the formats are usually friendly to picking up and moving along if you are out of the hole. Our normal pace of play every day is 3:45-4:00. I have just learned to expect it and am usually ok.
HOWEVER, what I cannot stand is waiting on folks in my own group when they are the reason for the slow play. This past 2 days we had our member member (Fourball format). The first round we were paired up with 2 guys who were never even out of the cart until it was their turn and then started throwing grass up to check the wind and discussing the shot prior to going into their routine and hitting the shot. They also refused to play ready golf and play out of turn even though this was not a match play situation. So frustrating because we finished 2 holes behind the group in front and we were and our round time was the second highest group in the field. I have to do better with this. The second round, was slightly quicker, but we were only waiting on the group in front, and our group was ready to go and stayed right behind them so my whole attitude was better and the experience way better.
Does your club have tournament officials making sure the pace of play is smooth and everyone could enjoy the outing? If not, then some member should have suggested a solution to the tournament board.
At the minimum group those notoriously slow players in their own group and out those groups in line for the last ones of the day.
Everyone else could finish fist and wait for them in the club house.
It is a club 4-ball tournament, so not a big deal to change the starting sequence to avoid the jam.
As marathon running events, the higher ranking runners will usually be placed in the front of the crowd. Because they will not block everyone else in the event by quickly moving forward.
The rules of allowing those to play through while your group is lagging behind is a good etiquette to observe on the golf course, especially your group was two holes behind the one you’re following.
Tournament official should make certain to allow everyone have a fair share of fun so more will sign up for the next event.
We have a great staff and they do “ranger” and try to keep things moving along, and are also actively putting out information on speeding up play. They do try to put the slower players at the back in the first rounds, but when it comes to the final round they kind of have to pair based on the leaderboard.
What they did this past weekend was make sure that the leaders in each flight went off of 1 and the others (which included the slower players for the most part) went off of 10 and honestly that helped pace of play quite a bit. We were 20 minutes faster than the previous day.
I honestly think another factor that I see in tournaments is the set up. We tend to see flags that we don’t normally see and the greens are already a challenge and primary defense of the course. Add a little wind in and that is certain to slow speed down.
A friend of mine used to be the superintendent at a TPC club that is public and gets a ton of play. They actually measured round times and saw a correllation to green speeds and pin spots having a lot to do with pace. I don’t recall the exact numbers, but greens stimping at 10 had faster rounds by 20-30 minutes on average vs green speed at 11.
Totally agree on this observation.
Unless the club tournament is set up to separate the men from the boys, the set up should not be as the qualifying rounds for the U.S. Open. Perhaps 30% of the pin placement should have been the toughest spot but leave the rest as the regular set up. It is a club event, not a regional or even a competition between clubs.
Even with our daily fee golf courses, they will have chance of rotating the pin placement to “tournament” placement on some of the days just to give the regular spot a rest from all the traffic. It would make a difference on the pace of play and your assessment of 20-30 minutes per round is a tight estimate; I had seen much longer delay with local tournament golf (6 hour round is very possible ). Especially under the pressure a little for the bragging right and n inscribed spot on the tournament trophy.
I know some of the clubs will run a Calcutta which will also put additional pressure on the players. Especially for the weaker ones in the group, not wanting to under perform.
Well, if the club runs these events like an U.S. Open and the members expect a tougher than average condition then, play delay is expected.
Not much anyone could do since you mentioned they already put the course ranger to work and tried educating the members about the playing pace. The only thing they could do next is to limit some club events with handicap index.
Our City open has a minimum of 7.4 index before signing up. Some of the club events could be for every member, and a few could have the qualifier to have the top golfers room to stretch their arms.
I know one who slow-plays purposely in competition to “get into their opponent’s head”. Speaking to some of those opponents afterwards, that tactic is sleazy, but it works.
In Match play, the practice of “gamesmanship” was common when one golfer was pitted against another. I doubt the tactic of slow play would be very effective when there is rules against it with the stroke play format.
Although, I have not seen players been put on the clock in recent years.
There was quite a few cases in the 80s and the 90s when golfer was put on the clock for slow play.
I think, at least a warning should be issued to slow play in tournaments. Often times we’ll see close to 5 hour round in local tournaments.