In the sporting world golf is the tortoise compared to hockey’s hare (not hockey hair, although I have seen a few golfers on the PGA tour rockin’ the mullet).
I understand the peaceful walk component of the game but some weekend warriors out there take the relaxed walk thing a bit too far.
Too many times on too many courses you can see players who are not paid to play but are paying to play, acting like each drive, wedge or putt is for truckloads of money and thus require so much time you can feel yourself getting older just watching.
Most courses expect a foursome of average golfers to be around their track in about 4.5 hours, give or take a bit on either side of that mark. I have heard the horror stories of a round taking more than five hours and that includes foursomes that are riding in a cart.
There are some things players can do to speed things up without disrupting their routine too much and that includes playing ‘ready golf.’ All this means is when it’s your turn to hit, be ready!
Another suggestion is for those who carry or use a cart for their clubs. Make sure you leave your clubs to the side of the green nearest to the next tee. I have seen plenty of examples where a player goes to the left side of a green, hits his shot to the right side, then leaves his clubs on the left and finishes the hole. The group waiting to hit to the green then has to watch as buddy takes a nice stroll back across the green, fetches his sticks and then casually walks back to where he was moments ago.
To top things off, the slowpoke then stands on the green to count back all the strokes he took on that hole and then marks his card.
Courses can do a little something as well beyond having a marshal urging people to pick up the pace.
Some courses have trimmed up tree branches hanging near the ground in order for players to easily find wayward shots and then be able to get back onto the short grass. Other courses have cleaned out some of the punishing brush within those trees so once again a misplaced shot can be found quickly and the round continues.
Another suggestion is to play from the proper tee box according to your level of golf. Too many times I have seen players who are well north of a 15 handicap sticking a tee in the ground to hit from the back tees when they should be at least a couple of tee boxes up.
The bottom line here folks is enjoy the fresh air, the walk, the camaraderie that golf brings but try to do it wee bit quicker and we all will benefit.