The Rules of Ready Golf
Introduction: Ready golf means THINKING AHEAD so that you’re READY TO PLAY when it is YOUR TURN. Ready golf applies everywhere on the golf course – on the tees, the fairways and the greens.
On the Tee: Ready golf means that the player with the honors (the player with the lowest score on the previous hole), should be READY to HIT FIRST. If the player with the honors isn’t ready, only then should someone else hit first. Everyone should be ready to hit first.
On the Fairway
- Ready golf means that ALL golfers should go to their balls as soon as possible and get READY to play their shots. While waiting to hit, PLAYERS should SURVEY their shot, SELECT their clubs, TAKE them from their bags and STAND at their balls READY to step up and make the shot when it is their turn. That’s ready golf!
- Ready golf particularly means that the DRIVERS of carts should DROP OFF their partners, let them CHOOSE their clubs (take extras if needed), DRIVE to their own balls, and then get READY to play. DRIVERS should NOT wait for their partners to hit the shot and then drive to their own balls to make their shots.
- All players should GO TO THEIR BALLS as soon as possible. The only time players should wait for other players is if the first player’s ball is in front of the other players’ in such a way that the other players could be hit by the first player’s shot.
Hint: Walk down the sides of the fairway to reach your ball, determine your club selection while waiting and then move towards the center to your ball. You can usually get close to your ball and get ready to play the shot, while players behind you can still make their shots.
Finding Lost Balls: It is important that everyone try to help find a lost ball in order to keep play moving. However players should do it AFTER hitting their shots, not before. Use common sense. The player who is closest to the pin and scheduled to hit last should be the first to help the player whose ball is lost. The players who are farthest away from the pin should PLAY THEIR SHOS FIRST. When the players farthest away have played their shots, they should resume looking for the lost ball, while the players who are closest should get ready to PLAY THEIR SHOTS.
Entering and Exiting Greens: ALWAYS leave clubs at the side or in back of the green, closest to the next tee. If a shot is played in front of the green first, the player should move her clubs to the back or side of the green before playing the next shot. AFTER everyone has putted out, go to the next tee to record your scores, so the group behind can play their shots. GOLF CARTS SHOULD NEVER BE PARKED IN FRONT OF THE GREEN.
Speeding Play on the Greens:
- Playing ready golf around the greens means getting READY to putt BEFORE it is your turn. Players should line up their putts while other players are putting, so they’re ready to put when it’s their turn.
- Ready golf also means putting CONTINUOUSLY if the ball is not in someone else’s line and if the player does not have to spend a lot of time surveying the putt. For example, if you miss a putt by one or two feet and have an open stance to make the next putt, you should make the putt instead of marking the ball and waiting for another turn.
- While there are no time rules associated with putting, a rule of thumb is to get off your putt within 20 seconds from when it is your turn. Obviously, you can only do this if you SURVEY the putt WHILE other players are putting. When you putt, you should always take your time, so you make a smooth, unhurried stroke. Ready golf DOES NOT mean RUSHING.
Farthest from the Hole: There is no reason ready golfers can’t play in the order of who is farthest from the hole. In ready golf, the person farthest from the hole should be READY to play first. There are, however, a few common sense exceptions.
- In a foursome in which one or two players are walking and one or two are using carts, the players with the carts should hit FIRST if they reach their ball first and are ready to play.
- If someone is off the green in a sand trap and hits it furthest from the hole, the other players should not wait for that player to walk around the green to play the next shot. Play should continue until that player is READY to make the next shot. In fact, NOTHING is more DISCONCERTING than watching three players on the green WAITING while the fourth player cleans up the sand, walks to the ball, surveys the putt and then plays.