It’s summer time and life is easy. For many there is no better way to spend a summer’s day than on the course for a round of 18 holes. Golf is a great way to get away from it all, switch off from work, get out of the house, and maybe spend a few hours away from your spouse and kids.
Always a good time for a tee time
There should never be any rush when you are on the course. Golf is a game that requires time, patience and focus. But it is true that playing 18 holes takes up a large part of your day and so every now and then you need to pick up the pace of the game.
If you’ve booked an early start time to beat the summer heat, you might want to consider getting up early and getting ready before noon, when the sun has a chance to take its toll from high in the sky. Or maybe you get off work around 4 or 5 p.m. and are trying to play one more round before sundown. Whatever the reason, it’s never a bad idea to try and speed up a round of golf.
The average playing time for a round of golf is about four and a half hours. This means that each hole takes about 15 minutes on average. If you enjoy playing golf but don’t need that long, here are some tips to help speed up your pace of play.
Early start time
You might not be an early riser, but if you want to beat the rest of the traffic that can back up on the course, make a habit of setting that early alarm. The more people you tee off in front of you, the more chance there is of being slowed down by slower groups. When you’re first on the track, no one can stand in your way and slow your pace.
This is probably the biggest no-brainer, but there’s no denying that cruising around in a cart is infinitely faster than lugging your clubs from shot to shot. On days when space requires it, you can take the cart and your clubs just about anywhere on the course except the green. Golf carts are faster, but don’t tell that to Jürg Randegger, who played 252 holes in 12 hours without a cart!
Grab and tear
While golf requires a tremendous amount of focus and focus, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in pre-shot routines and visualize where the ball is going. Setting a 20-second shot clock, like in basketball, can be useful to avoid overdosing on swing preparation.
Sometimes it’s best to get up and swing. The more you practice and the more time you give yourself to think, and thinking too much when you’re on the links is never a good thing. There are times when the best solution is to just grab and rip it.
Take bat to ball
Let’s say you are in a car with a buddy and the two of you are on opposite sides of the fairway. Instead of staying together to watch each other hit, either have your buddy drop you off or have him or her walk over to their ball with a couple of racquets. Once they’re on their ball, they can measure the distance and choose which club they’re going to hit. When you pounce, they should be ready to try and boom, you’ll be right there waiting to pick them up.
Skip hot dogs at the turn
That would probably be the hardest thing for me. The turn is a staple of my golf game. When I’m having a bad round of hot dogs, a few fries and a refreshment may be all I need to turn the helm on the back nine. If I’m on a good lap, refueling at the clubhouse will give me what I need to finish strong. Four and a half hours or however long it may be is a long time and it is human nature to get hungry and thirsty. But if you want to speed up your lap, this is one of the best ways to do it.
Wait until the 19th hole for drinks
I take back what I said above. That would be the hardest for me. Listen, I’m not a pro. I don’t take things too seriously on the course. When I’m out in the summer sun it’s good to stay hydrated but sometimes the ice cold coolers at the start of each hole just aren’t enough. Sometimes it takes a cold beer or a stiff Jack and Coke to make your rounds from bad to good or good to great. There is no doubt that after a certain number of drinks, the alcohol takes its toll and affects your game. If you want to speed up the game, it may be worth waiting until the 19th hole to crack your first cold hole.