Sandbaggers Golf Club of Alameda, Pleasanton, California
The NCGA aggressively 
monitors pace in all its events.

NCGA Pace of Play Policy.

Golfers can play faster if it’s part of their consciousness every time they tee off.

Tips to speed up play:

1)  Hit when you are ready.  Sometimes the gap between shots is glacial.  It’s like golfers are afraid of appearing impolite if they jump in and hit.  If you are ready, get in there and go.

2)  After playing a shot, jump in the cart and move on.  Switch clubs after you stop.  And please, fill in your scorecard AFTER moving forward.  Don’t make the group behind you watch your shots AND then fill in your scorecard.

3)  Play a set of tees that fits your game.  Many golfers have an inflated view of their distance, playing too long of yardage for their ability. Even if the length seems fine, often playing the back tees will still introduce forced carries that you might not be able to handle.  These yardage guidelines might help you choose a tee:

Handicap Index Men Women 
2.4 or better No limit up to 6,600 yards 
3.4 - 9.9 up to 7,000 yards up to 6,200 yards 
10.0 - 14.9 up to 6,600 yards up to 5,600 yards 
14.9 - 19.9 up to 6,200 yards up to 5,200 yards 
20.9 - 29.9 up to 5,800 yards up to 4,800 yards 
30.0 and up less than 5,800 less than 4,800 

Some like to finish 18 holes in less than 3 ½ hours.  There are some who have no issues with a more leisurely pace. 
What do you think and what steps would you advise?   For additional tips, please visit
The NCGA has aggressively monitored pace in its championships for several years, establishing checkpoints that must be met at the 9th and finishing holes.  Failure to meet the established times, which varies from course to course and depends on the size of the group, results in a one-stroke penalty after nine holes and a two-stroke penalty (for a total of three) after 18.  As soon as the policy was  implemented, nearly an hour was cut off tournament times as players worked to meet time goals. The NCGA was amongst the first golf associations to utilize this policy, and it has been so successful that other tournament organizations have adopted it, including the USGA who will use the policy in all its amateur events in 2009.
We’re All Slow Golfers
by NCGA Golf

Hey you!  Yes you!  You’re slowing up play.

Much like the philosophy of a 12-step program, perhaps the first step to curing slow play is for languid golfers to self-acknowledge the problem.

But getting that to happen can be a herculean task, for how many golfers will stand up and proclaim,  “Yes!  I am slower than a line at the DMV!   Ben Crane is my favorite PGA Tour player and six-hour rounds are my birthright!”  

Yes, maybe the first step to helping pace of play might just be for all of us to admit we’re slow.

Here’s a test.  Go out late or early, when your home course is almost empty.  In a cart, playing by yourself, see if you can finish nine holes in less than 45 minutes.  Walking by yourself, can you finish in around an hour?  
If not, there might be some things you can do to speed up your personal pace -- from shortening the pre-shot routine (or doing away with it all together), to having an extra ball in your pocket to taking multiple clubs with you to every shot. 

Taking steps to improve pace will have an overwhelmingly positive impact on many facets of the game. 
And it can be easy to do with a little conscious effort.

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