240 Golf - The Math
Pace-of-Play is a Math Problem
You won't find this question on a SAT exam. The answer however, is a great one for all golfers interested in helping a "slow golfer" improve their pace-of-play.
Consider the following: - Your foursome, all walkers, finishes a round of golf in 4-hours. Exactly 240 minutes (14,400 seconds). - The average score of all four golfers equals 90 (360 total shots). - The total yardage you walked during your round was 7,480 yards even though you played from the 6200-yard tee box. The total time spent walking was 80 minutes. - Your group made a stop at the turn spending 5-minutes. - Your group spent time waiting on the group in front of you and searching for errant shots. The total search and wait time was 15 minutes.
Question: How many seconds, on average, did each golfer take to complete on shot when it was their turn? 1. 45 seconds 1. 40 seconds 1. 31 to 39 seconds 1. 26 to 30 seconds 1. 20 to 25 seconds 1. Less than 20 seconds
Total Time: 240 min (14,400 sec)
Walking Time: 80 min (4,800 sec)
Time at the Turn: 5 min (300 sec)
Time waiting on the group in front and searching for errant shots: 15 min (900 sec)
Time Left: 140 min (8400 sec)
Divide the "Time Left" in seconds by the total number of strokes taken by all four golfers (in this example that is 360): 8400 / 360 = 23.33 Seconds per Shot (Avereage)
Answer: #5 - 20 to 25 seconds
It is interesting to note that you can change the number of strokes taken and the answer is still 20 to 25 seconds up to an average score of 105 and down to an average score of 84. Foursomes comprised of golfers scoring below an average of 84 do have the luxury of taking a few more seconds per shot if needed but never more than 30 seconds on average. A foursome of exceptional golfers with an average score of 70, also need to comply. 8400 divided by 280 equals 30 seconds.
These numbers hold true for most golf courses. Courses with slope rating above 130 may require more time for walking and or searching for errant shots. The rule of thumb is to add one-minute for each point above 130. A course with a slope rating of 145 may allow an additional 15 minutes to complete the round.
Now you know how to spot a slow golfer and let them know a simple golf etiquette rule.
Be ready to play your golf shot in less than 30-seconds when it is your turn. A new Pace-of-Play program is being introduced to educate golfers about how to finish a round in 4 hours. It is called 240 GOLF and clearly explains pace-of-play etiquette rules and how to be ready to complete a golf shot in less than 30 seconds.
240 Golf - The Rules
Rule #1: Be Ready to Play When it is your turn.
This is the heart of 240 GOLF. It is the most important pace-of-play golf etiquette rule. Most of the other etiquette rules provide a method for complying with Rule #1 - Be Ready to Play When It Is Your Turn.
We all know of the golfer who seemingly stands over his ball forever before pulling the trigger. Certainly this habit can be a cause for slow play, but we do not believe that is the reason our rounds are approaching 5 hours. The primary reason is golfers are not ready to play when it is their turn and that is just poor golf etiquette. And by the way we would like to remind everyone that your 30-seconds starts as soon as the previous player strikes his or her golf ball.Rule #2: The Golf Glove
Rule #2 states, your golf glove should be on your hand before it is your turn. Many golfers question why this simple common sense rule is included. It is there because many golfers that wear a glove have a habit of putting on and taking off their golf glove before and after every shot. This habit is displayed most often when a golfer hits his tee shot and then takes off his golf glove. Then when getting ready to hit the approach shot he has to put the glove back on. If you want to take the golf glove off after hitting a tee shot that is fine, but it should be back on your hand before it is your turn for the approach shot. You should not be wasting any of your 30-seconds putting a golf glove on your hand.Rule #3: Determining Your Distance
Range finders have become as common a golf accessory as the long golf tee. They certainly can help a golfer during a round of golf however the jury is still out regarding the claim that range finders help to speed play. Too many times we see golfers using range finders when they are standing right on the 150 marker. Sure the pin may up or back and that can change the exact distance and your club selection. If you have the ability to hit golf shots at precise distances then we certainly understand the benefit of knowing the pin is 154 yards not 150.
The only thing 240 GOLF rules suggest is that you determine the distance before it is your turn. The habit of walking to your ball with the range finder in hand, shooting the pin, and returning to the cart to get a club is big time waster. Do this whenever possible before your turn. If you are first to hit we suggest taking two or three clubs with you to the ball along with your range finder and eliminate the walk back and forth. And most definitely, if you are not first to play, determine the distance and select your club before it is your turn!Rule #4: Select the Club you are going to use before it is your turn.
How many times do you see a golfer standing by his bag without a club in hand when it is their turn? What were they doing while you were hitting your shot? It is hard to explain this bad etiquette habit. Please be focused on your next shot and figure out the club you are going to use before it is your turn.Rule #5: Practice Swings
Pretty simple concept here. Practice swings take time. Based on our calculations, each practice swing takes 5 seconds. Do the math, if you are taking three or four practice swings when it is your turn you are wasting most of your 30-seconds. The USGA has a page on their website discussing pace-of-play and they clearly state to limit practice swings to one.
It is also very possible to take practice swings before your turn. This wastes no time.Rule #6: Be Ready To Putt.
If you are not the first to putt in most cases you can determine your line before it is your turn. Please do so. We all know there are some putts that taking a look from the other side of the hole is helpful. This can eat up a lot of time. Once again, please try and do this before your turn. Tip, when you approach the green walk in path that will allow you to view the line from the opposite side of the hole.
We understand, even the most casual game with only a $2 Nassau on the line, your competitive juices are flowing and taking time to read that six-footer from every angle is important. You can take a few extra moments and not feel as though you are slowing play. The etiquette rules and the math behind 240 Golf allow for a handful of shots to exceed the 30-second time parameter. Take a look at the math and just understand your average time for all shots during a round should be less than 23-seconds.Rule #7: Sitting In The Cart
You hit your drive to the left side of the fairway. Your cart partner hits his drive to the right side near the cart path. 240 players drop their partner off at the ball on the right side and immediately proceed to their ball on the left. 240 players do not wait for their cart partner to play a shot before proceeding to their ball. To those that want to watch golf rather than play golf, stay home and turn on the Golf Channel.Rule #8: Errant Shots/Looking for Lost Balls
The rules provide a time allowance for searching for your errant shots. Additional time is granted based on the slope of the course (see the Math). The key point here is if you or your group is having one of those days when the ball is going sideways more often than not you will eventually slow down the entire course. Please be considerate and do everything you can to pick up the pace.
When your group is searching for a ball hit into the woods or tall grass and the green is clear in front of you use some good common sense. All four golfers do not have to look for the ball at the same time. One of you should go ahead and play your shot and then help look for the unfound ball. By hitting and then looking you are keeping the pace of play moving.
And as stated in the rules when you are having one of those days when the ball will just not stay out of the trash take your penalty and move onto the next shot quickly. Just because the rules states you have five minutes to look does not mean you have to take the fully allotted time.Rule #9: Play from the appropriate set of tees
Please consider the set of tees your group chooses to play. Visit PGA.com for information about Tee it Forward. Teeing it forward will help you play on pace, and increase enjoyment.RULE #10: A Word About Ready Golf
If no one in your group is ready to play and you are, please go ahead and take your turn.
We have all heard of Ready Golf for non-tournament rounds. You know the deal: when you are ready to hit the ball, hit it. No need to worry about who has honors or who is away. Good concept and it does speed play. Many golfers are uncomfortable playing in this fashion. It must feel to them like they are butting in line or dishonoring the traditions of golf. There are times however in every round when Ready Golf makes sense. We encourage everyone to take advantage of those moments.Rule #11: (The rule that did not make the top ten) Searching for balls.
This may be the most annoying slow play habit displayed on the golf course. Golfers that spend time during a round looking for golf balls lost by others not in their group are an embarrassment to themselves. If you really want to scour the golf course for lost balls please do not try and play golf at the same time. We know you think wandering off into the tall grass on the way to your next shot is not slowing play and this rule does not apply to you. Here's the deal though, the rest of your group thinks you are an idiot and in spite of what you may think this habit is slowing pace of play for everyone on the golf course. When you pull out the ball retriever to get your ball out of the pond, and then go after three other balls, you are slowing down the entire course. You are an Idiot. And besides that, you already have a garage full of found golf balls at home. Let us know if you really need a ball, we will be happy to give you one. Stop purposely looking for lost golf balls! Really, stop looking.