Why I play at 7:30 a.m.

I’m not the grizzled angry guy who stabs people with a broken 6 iron if someone won’t let me play through. I’m also not the U.S.S. Nicklaus firing shots down range to send a message to the seemingly oblivious group ahead to let me play through. But I do enjoy a faster pace of play than spending nearly six hours on a Sunday afternoon to complete my round.
I have played rounds with friends that have taken no more than two and a half hours, but have also spent the better part of an entire Sunday waiting on Ricky Routine, Every Angle Andy, Cell Phone Steve and I’ll Wait In The Cart Till You Bring Me To My Ball Then Get A Distance Then Choose The Wrong Club Cause I Think I Can Hit My Six Iron 180 Yards Cause Once Down Wind In Denver On A 40 Yard Downhill Par Three I Hit A Ball 180 And Still Think I can Do That Every Time I have 180 Yards In Then I Come Up Short On Every Approach On Every Hole On Every Course I Play Except That One Time Charlie. (Breath).

It’s called SLOW PLAY! I don’t think most golfers really know what causes slow play or even how to speed up. My solution is to play at 7:30 a.m. or whatever the first available tee time might be.
Obviously, this is to keep from having anyone ahead of me and my quick paced “ready” foursome. Are we all scratch golfers? Do we run in between shots? Do we not have drinks, talk, cut up, get angry and tirade about missing 3 footers (John), not have routines, use the cell phone, read greens, find yardages etc.?

No!

We are a 5, 7, 15 and 17 handicap. We use a cart, we walk to shots, sometimes a cell phone is used and we even have routines and read greens. Why then do we not take dog years to complete the round? The Holy Grail is about to follow so get ready, here it comes … we play our shots when we are ready and are ready to hit shots when it’s our turn. That’s it! Every course can mail be a big old check for the ten extra rounds a day they can book because of my sheer genius!!!

Here’s the skinny. First, go to the range and hit 15 balls with every club in your bag to figure out your TRUE yardages, not what you think you can hit. You’re welcome, I just saved you 10 strokes.

Next, have a routine that from pulling your club to hitting the ball takes about 15 seconds. So what should you do before your routine? While your cart partner, all the way across the fairway, is doing his thing, gauge the wind, grab the laser or GPS or find a marker and make a decision on club choice and shot shape. After he hits his shot you are up … 15 seconds.

Third, after you and your cart mate hit just get back in the cart with your iron in tow. Choose and swap your next club at your next shot. If putting, pull the cart to the rear of the green so when finished, the green is clear and you are moving toward the next hole and have cleared the green for the next group.

Fourth, when all players have holed out and are back to the carts, do not record scores on the green! Move along to the next tee box and then record the scores.

Just an aside, and this is a huge pet peeve of mine … If you use a glove, take it off or put it on while riding to the next shot in the cart not on the tee box or on the green! Also if you slice a ball in the spinach, take a quick look, you’re going to take a penalty of some sort anyway and trying to hit out of the junk will undoubtedly end in a higher score than simply taking your medicine and moving along with the round.

Lastly, and I think this is the most important, if you get to three strokes over par or will be hitting a shot that results in triple bogey then pick your ball up and put it in your pocket. It won’t count on your handicap anyway, it will save you from breaking clubs, it will save you money on extra golf balls and it will save TIME. I don’t think anything good comes of taking any score over triple.

So to wrap up … Know how far you hit your clubs, be ready to hit when it’s your turn, know when it’s your turn, use etiquette with a golf cart, swap clubs at the next shot, use your glove and the obnoxious Velcro appropriately, record score on the tee box not the green, pick up your ball at triple bogey.

Occasionally look behind your group. If you look back and I am standing around waiting on your group to finish putting on consecutive holes and you can’t see the group ahead, please let me play through. Unfortunately it probably won’t be me because I teed off at 7:30 a.m.

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