6 Pace-of-Play Tips for Beginners

If you’re a beginner in the game of golf, you might find that mastering the etiquette of the game can be a lofty task. One of the central aspects you will want to keep in mind when learning how to play golf is maintaining an acceptable pace for your game. 

Playing at a good pace is not about rushing around the course, but it’s being mindful of your time and everyone else’s so that everyone can enjoy the best game. Take a look at some of our favorite golf tips for beginners looking to have better pace-of-play for the next time you hit the course.

1. Come Prepared

couple golfing

Make sure you come to the course with your bag stocked with everything you’ll need for your round of golf. Bring your wedges, putters and plenty of golf balls, and make sure you’re appropriately dressed for the weather and in accordance with the course’s dress code.

You’ll also want to keep your tee time in mind. If your tee time is 10:05, that doesn’t mean that that’s when you show up. Try and get to the course 20-30 minutes before your game starts — no one wants to be waiting around for the straggler to show up, and no one wants to be the person holding up the group. Be considerate and show up early.

2. Keep your Pre-Shot Routine Short

Be considerate of those you’re playing with by keeping your pre-shot routine as short as possible. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that your routine shouldn’t be any longer than 45 seconds.

Walk up to tee prepared. Take advantage of the time before you’re up to select your club and take a couple of practice swings. You’ll also want to use this time to try and size up the yardage and direction you’re looking at for your next shot.

3. The Perfect Pace

man playing golf
Source: Golf Digest

One of our top golf tips is that you will want to find yourself consistently right behind the group in front of you. No one wants to be the group holding up others who are behind them on the course, so do your best to stay aware of where others are in comparison to where you are, and be considerate with your time and theirs.

4. Be Considerate of Those You’re Playing With

Who says golf isn’t a team sport? As you progress through the game, make an effort to help your teammates look for balls, or offer to fill their divots. This can prove to be extremely helpful in maintaining a good, normal pace throughout the game, as well as helping you gain some friends.

5. Golf Cart Etiquette

couple riding golf cart
Source: Golf Car UK

Golf carts can prove to be extremely convenient while on the course, but be sure to think ahead and be considerate of others when you’re behind the wheel. While it might be fun to turn up the radio and speed along in the golf cart, remember that you are around other golfers. Maintaining as much silence as possible is key to being able to focus, so it’s respectful to encourage that.

You’ll also want to remember to stay behind any golfers by at least 200 yards, preferably more. You don’t want to be in range to get hit by any golf balls on your way to the next hole, possibly injuring yourself or others in the cart.

6. Remain Present

Tuck that phone into your golf bag or keep it in your car—you’ve paid your fee, are enjoying a day outside, and deserve to be present during the game. There is nothing worse than having someone in your foursome say “Am I Up?” Chances are that if you’re asking, it’s your turn— Don’t be that person. Be considerate of those you’re playing with and focus on the game.

Time to Hit the Course!

Now that you have your arsenal of tips for maintaining a good pace of play, it’s time to grab your bag and hit the course. The main theme in every one of our tips is to remain mindful and respectful of those you’re playing with, as well as others on the course. Be considerate of those around you, and you’re sure to enjoy your time on the green. Have a good game!