Are you tired of slow play and endless waits on the golf course? Are you struggling to play 18 holes in under 5 hours? Well, you're not alone!
Say hello to the fast-paced world of ready golf, where getting into the swing of things takes on a whole new meaning! In this era of instant gratification and super-busy lifestyles, even the timeless sport of golf is evolving to speed up the game. So, if you're looking to step up your game while stepping up your pace of play, you've come to the right place
In the paragraphs to follow, we'll delve into the ins and outs of ready golf, from the simple fundamentals to the new rules from the USGA and R&A to tips for speedier play. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a curious beginner, our entertaining exploration will leave you eager to embrace this golfing revolution. So, dust off your clubs, grab your favorite golf ball, and let's dive into the exhilarating world of ready golf – because, as they say, time is of the essence!
Green Light Golfing: The Ready Golf Movement Explained
What exactly is ready golf? It's an approach to playing the game that encourages golfers to keep things moving, minimizing downtime and boosting the pace of play. Instead of adhering to the traditional "honors" system, which states that the player with the lowest score on the previous hole tees off first, ready golf encourages players to hit their shots when they're prepared and it's safe to do so.
But what happens after your foursome hits their tee shot? Under the old-school rules of golf etiquette, the golfer who is the farthest from the hole is the first to play. Well, with ready golf, you can skip the traditional order and hit your shot when it's safe and convenient. Simply put - you are allowed to play out of turn. As long as all four players are comfortable with the arrangement, you can go ahead and hit away.
When you're on the green ready golf applies too. Let's take a look at an example. You hit your approach shot on the 9th hole to the front of the green. It's a 20-foot birdie putt and another green in regulation. Your opponent hits his approach to a back greenside bunker. He's away and his shot should be played next but it's a tricky shot with a plugged lie. So you line up your putt and knock it in for a birdie giving your opponent time to gather his thoughts and figure out how to hit his next shot. Now that my friends is a beautiful example of ready golf.
Ready golf is all about making a round of golf more enjoyable for everyone involved including those playing behind you. While it speeds up play it also allows golfers to stay in their rhythm and remain focused even when other players in the group are struggling with their game constantly looking for their ball.
Ready golf can also be a great solution when you have a big disparity in the skill level of your foursome. There's no reason beginners or shorter hitters can't tee off first while the big bombing scratch golfer waits for the group ahead to clear the fairway. This will save time and ensure that everyone has more fun.
The USGA and R&A Weigh In: Ready Golf Gets The Nod of Approval
The United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal & Ancient (R&A) have given their official stamp of approval to ready golf, encouraging golfers worldwide to adopt this faster-paced approach. Recognizing the importance of keeping golf accessible and enjoyable for everyone, these organizations are promoting ready golf as a solution to slow play, which has long plagued golfers around the globe.
In 2019, the USGA officially defined this rule (5.6 Unreasonable Delay; Prompt Place of Play) in the rules of golf: "In stroke play, players may play “ready golf” in a safe and responsible way (see Rule 6.4b(2)." This rule was also applied to match play as long as the players agreed.
Green In A Flash: 11 Smart Strategies For Ready Golf Success
Ready to put ready golf into action? Here are nine tips to help you ace this new style of play:
- Pre-plan your shot: While others are taking their turn, and you're walking to your ball, assess your position on the hole and what the next shot requires. Select your club and visualize your shot.
- Be ready when it's your turn: Improve pace of play by minimizing downtime and being prepared and in position. This includes having an extra ball handy just in case.
- Keep an eye on your ball: Tracking your ball saves time and helps maintain the game's pace. This is especially important if heading toward heavy rough, trees or bushes.
- Limit practice swings: One or two practice swings are plenty. There is no need for a full-blown rehearsal before each shot.
- Be efficient on the green: Read the green and line up your ball while others putt. And be ready when it's your turn to putt.
- Use continuous putting: Rather than marking your golf ball, finish up if you're within a few feet of the hole.
- Communicate with your fellow players: Let others know when you're ready, and encourage a faster pace.
- Leverage the new local out-of-bounds rule: If you go out of bounds or can't find your golf ball, use the new local stroke and distance rule allowing you to drop the ball at the edge of the fairway behind and perpendicular to where the ball went OB.
- Know the club you're hitting on the next tee: If you're in a golf cart bring an extra club or two if you're in between clubs or unsure of what you want to hit.
- Allow shorter hitters to tee off first: If you're waiting on the group in front of you let the shorter hitters in your group tee off first when it's safe.
- Hit a provisional: if you think you lost your ball or you're possibly OB and you don't want to take advantage of the new local out-of-bounds rule (see point #8), play a provisional.
Ready Golf's Greatest Hits: Top Games for Faster Play
Ready golf isn't just about improving the pace of play; it can also enhance your enjoyment of the game by introducing new formats. Here are four popular games that pair perfectly with ready golf:
Speedy Strokes: Stroke Play
The classic game of golf, stroke play is well-suited to ready golf. Players simply take their shots when ready, keeping the game moving smoothly and minimizing downtime.
Howling Good Times: Wolf Golf Game
In this fun team-based game, the "wolf" selects a partner after seeing their tee shot, creating a 2-on-2 dynamic, or decides to go lone wolf for a 1 vs. 3 match-up. The ever-changing partnerships make for a fast-paced, engaging match.
A Trio of Triumphs: 3 Ball Golf
In this wild and crazy format, there are 3 players and 3 teams of 2 players. So each player partners with the other player and competes in 2 matches simultaneously. Sound confusing - wait until you have to add up the points in 3 ball betting.
Calling All Captains: Captain's Choice
In a scramble format, Captain's Choice involves teams of players who each hit their shots, then the Captain chooses the best shot among them to play from. This format not only speeds up the game but also fosters camaraderie and teamwork among players, making it an ideal choice for the person who loves team play.
The Final Putt: Ready Golf's Grand Slam Finish
As we reach the final hole in our rapid journey through the world of ready golf, it's time to take a step back and marvel at the undeniable efficiency and camaraderie it fosters. With faster rounds, reduced wait times, and a more engaging experience for players of all skill levels, ready golf is truly revolutionizing the way we approach the game. So, next time you find yourself on the course, remember to embrace this high-speed mindset – because as the saying goes, time flies when you're having fun (and playing ready golf)!
In conclusion, ready golf is more than just a new rule – it's a bona fide game-changer in the world of golf. By adopting these savvy tips and tricks, you'll not only contribute to the overall enjoyment of the game but also help to shape a better future for the game. So finally, it's time to grab your clubs, slip into your favorite golf shoes, and prepare to experience the game in a whole new way. Ready or not, the fairway awaits, and with ready golf, it's never been easier to make every swing count.
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"Keep it in the short grass"