I hope that all have had a relatively good summer and that with the leaves now falling from the trees, the number of lost balls is not too painful. I have a few discussion points for your information.
Did you know? If each player in a four-ball takes 5 seconds less to play each shot, the round time can be improved by over 25 minutes.
Very few golfers would admit to being slow players but we can all do our bit to play a little bit faster. For example, use your time wisely so when it is your turn you are ready to play and consider shortening your pre-shot routine.
Play when ready, here are some helping tips on how to improve your speed of play using the Play when ready method, i.e. playing out of turn! It is ok to;
• Hit a shot when safe to do so if a player farther away faces a challenging shot and is taking time to assess their options
• Shorter hitters playing first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters have to wait
• Hit a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play
• Hit a shot before helping someone to look for a lost ball
• Putt out even if it means standing close to someone else’s line
• Hit a shot if a person who has just played from a greenside bunker is still farthest from the hole but is delayed due to raking the bunker
• When a player’s ball has gone over the back of a green, any player closer to the hole but chipping from the front of the green should play while the other player is having to walk to their ball and assess their shot
• Mark scores upon immediate arrival at the next tee, except that the first player to tee off marks their card immediately after teeing off”
If a group cannot keep its position on the course for whatever reason, and is delaying the group behind, then it should invite the group behind to play through so that group can play at the pace it is capable of.
Inviting a group behind to play through means that it will take longer for the group doing the calling through to complete the round. This is due to having to wait for the “playing through” group to get out of range before continuing play. However, while the round time may be slightly increased, it is likely that the “inviting“ group will enjoy its game more without being constantly pressurised by the group behind, and the group that has been allowed to play through will have had their enjoyment enhanced.
Sometimes, if a number of groups on the course are playing slowly, playing through does not always achieve its objective, but it remains good etiquette.
Players need to be aware of their group’s position on the course, and how they are impacting on the pace of play of other groups.
The basic advice in this regard is that if a group keeps up with the group in front, the players in that group will rarely be accused of slow play. Players should always be looking forward to ensure that they are maintaining a good position in relation to the group in front, for example, making sure that they do not have an empty par 4 hole in between them.
If ground has been lost on the group in front, then all of the players in the group should take responsibility for making up that ground as quickly as possible. It is inevitable that there will be holes that take longer to play than would normally be the case, either due to bad play or some other delay, but the key is for the all the players in that group to ensure that the group gets back into position promptly.
There is no need to wait on a par 4 for the green to be clear before teeing off. If you can’t reach the group in front of you, PLAY!
I remind members that the locker rooms are not to be used for storing of clubs and trolleys. The locker rooms are getting a little bit messy at the moment and I would be grateful for all members to assist by trying to keep them tidy. If any member has trolleys or clubs in the locker rooms, please remove them.
I remind all members that buggies are not to be driven between the green side bunkers and the greens. This also applies to single seat buggies, which are to be treated in the same way as two seat buggies.
DRINKS GLASSES ON THE COURSE
For Health and Safety reasons it is now forbidden to take drinks glasses from the clubhouse out onto the course. Glasses should not leave the clubhouse other than for use on the patio.
Members are reminded that the climbing of any boundary fences is expressly forbidden. No Member shall pass over, under or through any fence or boundary surrounding the course, except that if a Member crosses the course as a bona fide walker using one of the public rights of way, he/she may enter and leave the course using the stiles provided for this purpose. The stiles may not be used to cross the fence to recover golf balls ‘lying out-of-bounds’. The penalty for breach of this rule shall be a period of suspension.
If a member’s guest or guests commit the above offence they will not be permitted use of the course at any time in the future. The member who introduces such guest or guests will also be in breach of this rule and shall be subject to a period of suspension.
All complaints shall be made in the first instance to the Club Secretary. If not satisfied they may be submitted in writing to the Committee, whose decision on the matter shall be final. In no instance shall an employee, or official of the Club, be directly reprimanded by a Member.
Before leaving a bunker, players should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints. The rake should be used for this purpose.
Divots, Ball-Marks & Shoe Damage
Players should carefully repair any divot holes and any damage to the putting green made by the impact of a ball (whether or not made by the player himself). On completion of the hole by all players in the group, damage to the putting green caused by golf shoes should be repaired.
PREVENTING UNNECESSARY DAMAGE
Players and caddies should avoid causing damage to the course. For example:
Do not remove divots when taking practice swings or by hitting the club into the ground, whether in anger or for any other reason. Ensure you do not damage the putting green when putting down bags or the flagstick.
Avoid standing too close to the hole and take care when handling the flagstick and when removing a ball from the hole. Do not use clubhead to remove a ball from the hole.
Do not lean on a club on the putting green.
Replace the flagstick in the centre of the hole before leaving the putting green.
SPIRIT OF THE GAME
Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players, care for the course and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be.
This is the spirit of the game of golf.
I wish you all a good winter season and remind you that our Professional Chris Weston is running teaching sessions throughout to improve your game. Look out for the Sunday Lunches and Dinner Nights in the clubhouse and I remind you that there are many social events happening at the club in the coming months and I hope to see as many of you at them as possible.