When you ask golfers what is their biggest pet peeve about the game, there’s a good chance the most common response is going to be the pace of play. It seems everyone is in a hurry to get their round over with, like they don’t have the time to be playing the game right from the start. What’s that all about? If you don’t have the time to play the game, maybe you should consider something else…or playing only nine holes instead.
Don’t get me wrong, I get frustrated when a group in front of mine is intentionally slow and has no golf etiquette whatsoever. But it’s certainly not enough to ruin my day. After all, I’m exactly where I want to be…on a golf course. I’m doing what I want to do…playing golf. I’ve waited through a long week at work to have the chance to be out here on a Saturday or Sunday morning. I’m in no hurry to leave. But I must be in the minority.
Think about how long it takes to play a round of golf. We’re looking at 4 1/2 hours, give or take, right off the bat. Compare that to some of the other sports you watch on TV. That’s almost two full basketball games and easily a game-and-a-half of football or baseball…including commercials! So we’re talking about a slow moving, time consuming game to begin with. Knowing that going in…what gives you the right to complain? It seems like you should have planned your time better. Then consider that the skill level of most golfers out on the public links is…well…sub-par. So naturally, that’s going to slow the game down even further for everyone.
Being that I am one of those sub-par golfers, I do want to say that while my lazy approach to the game does slow my round down, I do certainly know the difference between poor play and slow play. If I’m moving too slowly, I’m more than happy to let the group behind me play through. As I said, I’m in no hurry. But sadly, in this rush-rush society in which we live, few people take the time to slow down and enjoy the good things for a while. There’s always some place else they have to be. Always time constraints. Never enough time to dedicate to something they enjoy. And they get stressed out over an additional 20-30 minutes for their round. They’re taking part of the enjoyment out of the game.
Not me. See, I don’t get to play golf as often as I would like. So when I have the chance, I do the best I can to dedicate that time to golf and the activities surrounding a day of golf. I’m not trying to get out there and rush through my round so I can jump back in my car and hurry off somewhere else. Instead, I want to enjoy my time outdoors, relax, sit down after the round with a beer and burger and just enjoy hanging out with my friends. I think too many people take the time for granted and just try to squeeze too much onto their plates. Consequently, they get stressed out during their round because someone else is not moving as quickly as they would like them to move. These are the same people that leave their house in order to be somewhere at a certain time and don’t account for traffic and red lights.
Why not try this – The next time you plan to go out and play 18, don’t make any other plans for that day. Go into the round relaxed, knowing you don’t have anything else to do and nowhere else to be. Your only post-round commitment is to hit the 19th hole for a bite to eat and a couple of brews with your pals. See how much more enjoyable your round is. See how much less stressful the game becomes. See how much more fun and relaxing the entire day will be. Trust me, just give yourself less to do and you’ll thank yourself at the end of the day.
Swing ’til you’re happy!