Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Slow Play is a Golf Course KILLER!!!

Barefoot Resort & Golf strives to provide a top notch facility for both their members and customers. We constantly are refining our ways and are taking our guests suggestions and putting them to good use. We here along the Grand Strand are full swing into our "peak" season and it becomes known very quickly which areas of your facility need refinement. During "peak" season many courses receive a bad rap solely based upon the facilities pace of play. Being around a golf course day in and day out, you hear some horror stories. 

Barefoot's employees challenged one another by improving on our track record. Management from all departments got together and put in place firmer policies and procedures. We realized that this was going to be a team effort and our staff in all facets, has stepped up to the challenge. Our main objective is for all of our guests to enjoy the experience and have their expectations of our golf courses and our service be fulfilled and exceeded. Since our initiative, we have seen our monthly average pace of play not once exceed the 4:30 minute mark. One should note that this was also accomplished with roughly 20% more business than the previous year. The following holds true for both complexes:

Resort (Norman, Love, Fazio)
January - 4:14
February - 4:11
March - 4:24

January - 4:08
February - 4:10
March - 4:19

Below is test to see if you are slow golfer...
It is a fact that we have all had to endure the company of slow golfers from time to time. The one thing that all slow golfers have in common is that they do not see that they are the slow ones. A comment like "nobody is pushing us" is the favorite expression of the slow golfer. Nobody is pushing you because they either went home or they jumped you. It is your job to stay up with the group in front of you, not ahead of the group behind you. If you are unsure of what category you fit into, I have come up with a test... 
  1.  You might be a slow golfer if ... you wait in your cart for your partner to hit, so he can drive you six yards to your ball.
  2. You might be a slow golfer if ... when it is your turn, you are not even close to being ready, i.e., the guy beside you is running down the fairway after his hat and you are throwing up grass to see if there is any wind.
  3. You might be a slow golfer if ... you leave your cart and walk 50 yards to your ball (in an effort to ascertain some mysterious information) and then make the journey back to select 3 clubs from your bag.
  4. You might be a slow golfer if ... you spend quite a bit of time discerning that you have 245 to the hole and not 243, despite the fact that you have not hit it either 245 or 243 since 1962.
  5.  You might be a slow golfer if ... you have decided for a multitude of reasons that you are not going to follow the trend of buying a gps system ... but when someone in the group has one, you will make them come over and give you a reading for everyone of your shots that day.
  6. You might be a slow golfer if ... you are quite happy to use a delegation to help you read a triple-breaking, 45-ft putt.  Seriously, who are you kidding?
  7.  You might be a slow golfer if ... you are of the opinion that each golf course employs 18 rangers and that explains why there is always one on the hole that you are playing.
  8.  You might be a slow golfer if ... you hear comments like "Get off the green," "What now?" or the doozie, "You are without question, the slowest golfer that I have ever seen." These might be indicators to look out for.
Pearse Mahon,
Oak Ridge, NC

If you have taken the test and one of the above categories fits you to a tee, here are some recommendations to get you around the golf course just a little bit quicker...

Here are some tips for speeding up slow play on the golf course:
  • Choose the correct set of tees from which to play. If you're a 20-handicapper, you have no business playing the championship tees. Doing so only adds strokes, which add time.
  • Members of a group should not travel as a pack, with all members walking together to the first ball, then the second, and so on. Each member of the group should walk directly to his own ball.
  • When two players are riding in a cart, drive the cart to the first ball and drop off the first player with his choice of clubs. The second player should proceed in the cart to his ball. After the first player hits his stroke, he should begin walking toward the cart as the second golfer is playing.
  • Use the time you spend getting to your ball to think about the next shot - the yardage, the club selection. When you reach your ball you'll need less time to figure out the shot.
  • If you are unsure whether your ball has come to rest out of bounds, or may be lost, immediately hit a provisional ball so that you won't have to return to the spot to replay the shot. If you are playing a recreational match with, shall we say, a "loose interpretation" of the rules, then simply drop a new ball somewhere around the area where your ball was lost and keep playing (taking a penalty, of course).
  • If you're following the rules, you won't be using mulligans. But if are using mulligans, limit them to no more than one mulligan per nine (you should never hit a mulligan if players behind you are waiting - or if you want to later claim that you played by the rules).
  •  Begin reading the green and lining up putts as soon as you reach the green. Don't wait until it's your turn to putt to start the process of reading the green. Do it as soon as you reach the green so that when it's your turn you can step right up and putt.
  •  Never delay making a stroke because you're having a conversation with a playing partner. Put the conversation on hold, make your stroke, then pick up the conversation again.
  •  If using a cart on a cart-path-only day, take more than one club with you when you walk from the cart to your ball. Getting to the ball only to find out you don't have the right club is a huge time-waster on the golf course.
  • After putting out, don't stand around the green chatting or take any practice putting strokes. Leave the green quickly so the group behind can play. If there is no group behind, then a few practice putts are fine.
  •  When leaving the green and returning to your golf cart, don't stand there fussing with your putter or other clubs. Get in the cart, drive to the next tee, and then put away your putter.
  • Likewise, mark your scorecard after reaching the next tee, not while lingering on or near the just-completed green.
  • When using a cart, never park the cart in front of the green. Park it only to the side or behind the green. And don't mark your scorecard while sitting in the cart next to the green (do it at the next tee). These practices open up the green for the group behind.
  •  If you're the type who likes to offer tips to playing partners, save it for the driving range - or only do so on the course when you're sure that you're not slowing down play (and sure that you're not annoying your partners!).
  • If you are searching for a lost ball and are willing to spend a few minutes looking for it, allow the group behind to play through. If you are playing a friendly game where rules aren't followed closely, just forget the lost ball and drop a new one (with penalty). If you're not playing by the rules, you should never spend more than a minute looking for a lost ball.
  •  Don't ask your playing partners to help you search for a lost ball - unless you are absolutely certain there is time for them to do so (e.g., there is no group behind waiting). If the course is crowded, your partners should continue moving forward, not slow things down further by stopping to help your search.
  •  On the tee, pay attention to your partners' drives. If they lose sight of their ball, you can help direct them to it and avoid any searching.
  •  When waiting on the tee for the group in front to clear the fairway, don't be so strict about order of play. Let the short hitter - who can't reach the group ahead anyway - go ahead and hit.
  •  Work on building a concise pre-shot routine. If your pre-shot routine is a lengthy one, it's probably in your best interests to shorten it anyway. Limit practice strokes to one or two at the most.
  •  Leave your cell phone in the car.
  • Carry extra tees, ball markers and an extra golf ball in your pockets so you never have to return to your golf bag to find one when needed.
  • When chipping around the green, carry both the club you'll be chipping with plus your putter so you don't have to return to the bag.
  • Try playing ready golf, where order of play is based on who's ready, not on who's away.


  1. I cant stand slow golfers. Especially when there in my group. And dont forget about mr. Ten practice swings, then chunks one. Then ten more practice swings only to back away when he feels a bit of breeze. And mr. Forgets his shades/headcover on every other hole. And the guy who smokes a cigarette every other hole and has to sit in the cart to take his last couple puffs before deciding what club he should hit. Ive seen it all today playing a 5 and a half hour round today in a two sum letting multiple 3 sums play through us. Some people just dont get it.

  2. We picked our courses for recent golf outing to MB based mainly on pace of play. NOTHING makes golf less fun that waiting every shot. We played Barefoot Fazio on the third day of high season and never waited once!! Fantastic organization, beautiful course and well worth a few extra bucks. This blog just quantifies what I already knew. To have a good pace of play, golf course attendants must pay attention and be willing to confront slow play. Great job Barefoot!!