GUIDANCE GURU Gail Rogers challenges golfers to make one small change and shave minutes off the time of their round. Yay, less slow play in golf means more time for the 19th hole! Please don’t forget to take the one-question poll at the bottom.
Are you up for a challenge? Ask the group with whom you regularly play golf to evaluate you and then each other as to whether you are an average, slow or fast player. Do you play efficiently? What is your weak area when it comes to pace of play for the group? Then remind them that you will all be friends at the end of the “stamp out slow play in golf” exercise and you hope you can each work on changing one aspect of your game during the next month.
Only one change? Yes, studies tell us it takes time for a new habit to become ingrained. A month is a good time to focus on one aspect of change in your routine. When a new month arrives take the opportunity to incorporate a second change. Playing effortlessly faster is what it is all about. We love golf and our time with our friends and we certainly do not want to feel we are racing around the course, but if we move efficiently we will never have to have the sense of rushing or of being pushed by the group behind us.
CONSIDER THESE POINTS DURING YOUR MONTH OF STAMPING OUT SLOW PLAY IN GOLF.
- Changes to pace of play may begin on the driving range or the practice putting green. Practice each shot with a preshot routine you will take to the course. Determine your alignment, make one practice swing and hit the ball. On the putting green you need to analyze the speed, length and break while others are putting. Practice putting using one ball. Determine the line by walking around the hole, make one practice swing, commit and hit the putt.
- Streamline your cleaning routine. Are you are a very tidy person who likes to keep head covers on your woods and putter? It certainly does protect them, but if you are sharing a cart with another player, change your pattern to hitting your shot, holding on to your club and driving to the location of the other player’s golf ball. Then while your friend is getting ready to hit her shot, wipe off the club and put on the head cover. That minute saved each time you change to this routine makes your round effortlessly faster.
- Score at the next tee. You may be doing all of the items just listed, but you like to score the hole for the group as soon as you complete the hole at the putting green. Change this routine to scoring at the next tee while others are hitting their tee shots. To help a friend make this change, do not tell her your score until you reach the next tee. That will reinforce the change and eliminate seeming to nag your friend by continually saying, “Remember, score at the tee.”
- If you play with a friend who is a great story teller, her long tales can stop play. Talk about it before your next round, and then when you say, “Hold that thought,” she will be aware the game needs to keep moving and the story can continue as you move to the next player’s shot.
If after your initial conversation about developing good habits for playing your next round, it is determined that you don’t think about putting until it is your turn, pledge to work on this during your month of change. Peg will learn to tell her stories in manageable segments, and Joan will shorten her preshot routine.
Next month, 4 hours and 20 minutes will be an easy reality, and your reward will be more time to enjoy with friends over a beverage of choice at the end of an efficiently played round.
NOW IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO TAKE THE SLOW PLAY POLL
Consider carefully — you only get to pick one answer.