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Planning & Advice

Ultimate Pace of Play Guide

We know there's nothing like being out on the course with a group of buddies, playing at the top of your game, enjoying a beverage and catching up- but when it's tournament time, slow and steady isn't helping anyone. Instead, tournament organizers must make sure they facilitate a pace of play that allows participants to enjoy their day while keeping everyone- and everything- running smoothly.

Set Up a Playable Course

Unless this is a pro golf tournament, leave the difficult courses for another time. If possible, design a tournament course that is playable for golfers of all handicaps and don't forget about the triple's when it comes to pin positions: six easy, six medium, and six difficult.

At the end of the day no one is playing for a million dollar purse, so make your tournament fun for everyone~ and not an event everyone spends missing long puts.

Limit Mulligans

To one. Ok, that may not be fair, but still limiting the amount of mulligans will help to significantly speed up your round during a friendly recreational tournament.

Consider one of these options and stick to it:

  • Limit mulligans to the first or 10th tees only.
  • Limit to nine holes, but anywhere on each nine.
  • Limit to three mulligans per round, total

Get Off the Phone

Don't shoot the messenger because this may not be a popular opinion~ but we bet it works. With the internet, social media, cameras, news and so much more available 24 hours a day right in the palm of our hands, cell phones are no longer "merely phones." From stopping to take pictures (multiple times) to watch funny videos online to actually taking phone calls, having 4 phones per group severely threatens the speed of play.

Decide on your position on the matter and insist on either limited~ as in photo op before or after and emergency calls only~ or no phone usage allowed at all while actually on the course. You might be surprised how fast foursomes can make it through when they're not stopping to take selfies every other hole.

Choose a Scramble Format

Scramble formats are great for speed of play while also allowing player of all skill level an opportunity to have fun. While it can be played with fewer people, the four~man scramble is most popular. In this format, every player hits from the tee and then the team members choose the best of them all for the next shot. Play continues in this manner until the hole is completed for all 18 holes.

Use Marshals and Enforce Shot Limits

Ask the course or your tournament sales person if you can use the existing marshals at their course to help with Pace of Play. Use these guidelines to help each team move quickly thorugh the course:

  • Maximum of 30 seconds to hit each shot.
  • Move promptly to your ball after hitting.
  • Encourage teams to be ready for their shot.