As a way to keep the game flowing, is it time to rethink golf’s regimented system of always playing in turn?
Read more at Golf Monthly
Even the R&A Agree Ready Golf works
"Slow play is always a huge discussion point within the game at all levels, and the R&A are taking steps to address it by implementing Ready Golf during this year's Amateur Championship at Royal St. George's."
· Tee off as soon as the group ahead is clear.
· The player who is ready should hit, not necessarily the one with the honour.
· Don't all "cluster" at one ball, go to your own ball!
· Hit when ready without delay.
· Take your practice swings immediately if it does not disturb the player hitting. Watch their shot land to guard against the possibility for a lost ball, and then go through your own routine and swing away.
· If you are the first one at your ball and you're ready to safely hit, let the others know that you are hitting.
· Limit lost ball search to 3 minutes, except under competition rules.
· Study your putt while others are putting.
· Continue putting until holed out. Don't mark unless you will step on someone's line or it's a really tricky putt.
· If you can't score, quit putting and pick up.
“Ready golf” is a commonly used term which indicates that players should play when they are ready to do so, rather than adhering strictly to the “farthest from the hole plays first” stipulation in the Rules of Golf.
“Ready golf” is not appropriate in match play due to the strategy involved between opponents and the need to have a set method for determining which player plays first. However, in stroke play formats it is only the act of agreeing to play out of turn to give one of the players an advantage that is prohibited. On this basis, it is permissible for administrators to encourage “ready golf” in stroke play, and there is strong evidence to suggest that playing “ready golf” does improve the pace of play. For example, in a survey of Australian golf clubs conducted by Golf Australia, 94% of clubs that had promoted “ready golf” to their members enjoyed some degree of success in improving pace of play, with 25% stating that they had achieved 'satisfying success'.
When “ready golf” is being encouraged, players have to act sensibly to ensure that playing out of turn does not endanger other players.
“Ready golf” should not be confused with being ready to play, which is covered in the Player Behaviour section of this Manual.
The term “ready golf” has been adopted by many as a catch-all phrase for a number of actions that separately and collectively can improve pace of play. There is no official definition of the term, but examples of “ready golf” in action are on the left of this page.
Hitting a shot when safe to do so if a player farther away faces a challenging shot and is taking time to assess their options
Shorter hitters playing first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters have to wait
Hitting a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play
Hitting a shot before helping someone to look for a lost ball
Putting out even if it means standing close to someone else’s line
Hitting a shot if a person who has just played from a greenside bunker is still farthest from the hole but is delayed due to raking the bunker
When a player’s ball has gone over the back of a green, any player closer to the hole but chipping from the front of the green should play while the other player is having to walk to their ball and assess their shot
Marking scores upon immediate arrival at the next tee, except that the first player to tee off marks their card immediately after teeing off