Private clubs have a little more control over the pace of play than public clubs. Private clubs can use a carrot, a stick, or both to attain the desired pace of play. Some best practices:
- New members are thoroughly oriented on pace of play expectations and we ply them with good food and hearty drink to grease the skids. Setting the expectations right up front really helps set the pace.
- For those who are not familiar with the traditional pace of play tools—ready golf, marking cards on the following tee, putting your bag in the right place at greenside, cart routing between shots, clubs in bag after cart stops, etc.—we offer training sessions to initiate the willing.
- Traditionally deliberate players are carefully placed on particular holes in shotgun starts so as not to impede the tournament flow.
- Setting pace of play maximums depending on time of day is a great tool. For example, weekend morning rounds must be completed in 4 hours or less or the players will be blocked from making morning tee times for a minimum of two weeks should back to back “over times” be logged.
- Making the turn easier from an F&B perspective helps reduce the turn times, e.g. ordering food from an app or a golf course “F&B Hotline.”
Overall, it is a self-policing culture of “play without delay” that works best with a sprinkling of law enforcement from the Pro Shop staff. There is nothing like peer pressure or “pace shaming” from friends to light the pace of play fire!