August Tip for Players: How to spot a 5-hour course (Part 2)

August Tip for Players: How to spot a 5-hour course (Part 2)

Here's Part 2 of our ten questions for "pace of play-savvy" players to ask themselves and the professional staff, in order to avoid signing up for a five-hour-plus round. Questions #1 - #5 are located in Part 1 (July Tip of the Month).


Question #6: Are carts restricted to cart paths? A "carts on paths only" policy adds about 10% - or approximately 20-25 minutes - to the average time to play a round of golf.


Question #7: Is yardage marked only on the sprinkler heads (or not at all?) Sprinkler heads are hard to find. Highly visible yardage markers are better.


Question #8: Are there always three or more carts parked on the tee of the first par 3 on the course? Keep your eyes open as you drive onto course property. If you drive past an early par 3, be suspicious if the green, and particularly the tee, are full.


Question #9: On the first five holes, is there a par 5 hole immediately followed by a par 3 hole? This sequence, especially on the first two holes, spells trouble. The trouble is magnified if your other observations point to an overcrowded course.


Question #10: Does the course have an official USGA Pace Rating? A pace rating, which considers such factors as course length, distance between holes, and course obstacles, gives you an estimate of the time it should take to play 18 holes. If the answers to the first nine questions in this two-part series are mostly negative, don't worry if the pace rating is over four hours.


One final point: Take time to discuss your experience and insights with the course manager. Good managers will welcome your comments, and poor managers need them!



Tip by Bill Yates, Pace Manager Systems


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    Pebble Beach Golf Links, California
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    Harbour Town Golf Links, South Carolina
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    Osprey Ridge at Disney World, Florida

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