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New To Game

Playing Fast Even When You Can Barely Hit the Ball

Latina Golfers Association
Ready to roll. Young professionals fitting golf into their busy schedules
Jenn Harris, CEO High Heel Golfer, Inc.

Series: New Golfer

Published: Friday, July 18, 2014 | 11:32 p.m.

Many women who are new to the game fear that their skill level will slow them down, but it’s really quite the contrary. As long as newbies follow these 10 strategies to speed up play, they can keep up with the best of us!  

Pick up your ball after you shoot double par. On a par 3, pick up after six shots; par 4 after eight shots; and a par 5 after 10 shots.

Take a ‘Yoga Breath’ before each shot, instead of a bunch of practice swings. It will help you relax, and give you a better chance of hitting a good shot.

Keep conversations short. Stories should be held to two minutes or less, and questions should only elicit a maximum two-minute response. For example, “Where are you from?” “How long have you been playing golf?” “How many kids do you have?” They should be quick "get to know you" questions and comments.

Be ready for every shot. You should always be thinking about your next shot. If we all waited until the last guy or gal hit the ball to pick which club to hit or line up our putts, each round would take well over five hours. So, think ahead, and you’ll be moving right along!

Leave your clubs along the path to the next hole. Many newbies will leave their clubs as far away from the next tee box as possible. When you are walking up to the green, figure out where the next hole is located. Then, park your golf car or leave your golf bag on that side of the green.  Also, if you bring an extra club, such as a pitching wedge or sand wedge to the green, lay it down next to the flagstick after it is pulled out of the hole. That way, you can easily find your club and won’t accidently forget to take it with you after you putt.

Take the gimme. If you’re not playing in a tournament and someone gives you a “gimme,” pick up your ball. The point of saying a “putt is good” is to speed up play.

Play a scramble. In other words, after you hit off the tee, drop your ball near the best player’s ball— instead of trying to play your own ball. Just let your partners know you’re not keeping score, and they’ll most likely understand and encourage you to continue to do so, in order to maintain pace of play.

Wear comfortable shoes. If you start to get a blister or your feet are killing you, the game will slow down and be less fun. If in doubt, just wear tennis shoes!

Help look for lost balls and know when to give up. It's common courtesy to help your playing partner find his or her ball. Only look for a couple minutes before going to hit your own ball.

Stay Positive. When we start to get down on ourselves, our game suffers—and so does our speed of play. A positive attitude will keep you moving and make a better impression on your playing partners!

These strategies should help you feel more confident to get out and play. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to hit the links!