Notes from Shaun – Competitions & Etiquette
Would you please mark your finishing time on the scorecard. I stress this is not "Big Brother watching" but simply a way of monitoring the pace of play during competitions.
The general pace of play is good and commendable. However, there will always be areas where players may be able to save a little time, lets call them minute savers. Here are just a few examples of where we all could save time:
We are all aware of how stableford scoring is scored. Any hole scoring a nett double bogey or more (two over par and more) scores no points. During our last competition I was surprised to see so many scorecards with 8's and 9's entered ! As soon as you are unable to score a point on a hole then PLEASE pick your ball up and move on. This is the responsibility of both the marker and the player in making sure this competition rule is followed. Medal play / strokeplay is the only format of golf where the ball must be holed out on each hole. So once again, when playing stableford, pick it up and move on.
Preperation: When it's your turn to play, be prepared. Simple minute savers such as making sure when your playing partner is teeing off you already have your glove on and ball, tee and club in hand ready to tee up. One may chuckle but I can't tell you how often I have whitnessed guys watching their playing partners ball come to rest before pulling on a glove, searching for the ball in their bag and then of course club selection. No, this does not refer to or directed to any of us but it does happen.
Line your putt up while your playing partner is putting providing you are not on his line of course. The lining up of your putt starts as you are walking onto the green and not just when you arrive at the ball.
Hole out from 12 inches. Do we really need to mark our ball when so close to the hole ?
If there is any chance your ball may be lost then PLAY A PROVISIONAL. The rules state you may play as many shots with a provisional ball until you reach the point where you believe the original ball may be lost. If you then find the original ball you may continue with that ball and all shots with the provisional ball are not counted and the ball is then lifted.
When searching for a ball and the group behind are waiting, WAVE THEM THROUGH. Believe me, they will respect you for it. Do not search for 5 minutes before deciding to wave a group through.
On completion of a hole, replace the flag and leave the green. Scorecards are to be marked en-route to the next teeing ground and not on the green.
There are times when playing out of turn can be beneficial. Rules on etiquette will state that the farthest away from the hole must play first. However, when safety and logic allows and one feels time could be saved then you are committing no crime.
Irrelevant of whether are name is Rory McIiroy, Jordan Spieth, Joe Blogs or Harry Hacker, the wonderful thing about this game we play is we are forever learning something new. If one of us takes just one point from my message then it's all been worth it.