September Tip for Course Superintendents: Keep an eye on the small stuff!

September Tip for Course Superintendents: Keep an eye on the small stuff!

The reason that Course Maintenance and Setup is one of my “Five Major Factors™ that Impact Pace of Play” is that how the physical course is managed can easily make or break the pace of play. Placement of tee markers, signage, length and location of tall rough, tee placement…the list of what a superintendent has to consider seems almost infinite.

And you can add this surprising item to the list. During my recent trip to Australia, I stumbled across a small maintenance feature that was seriously damaging pace of play at a beautiful golf club near Sydney. Touring the course with the General Manager and others, I was pointing out some problematic areas and making recommendations.

When we came to the 17th tee I said, “I bet you have lots of people hitting into those trees out there?” “Oh yeah, it’s a big problem!” the General Manager confirmed. “Well, take a look,” I explained. “Your mowing pattern on the tee is parallel to the cart path and it’s aimed straight at the trees. So effectively, you’re setting people up to drive right into the trees.” It was an instant lightbulb for this responsive manager, and we talked about how altering the mowing pattern and adding some tall grasses would aim people in the right direction and make a significant difference in the flow of play on the course.  

Just a reminder that small things can have big footprints!


Tip by Bill Yates, Pace Manager Systems


  • "Bill Yates is the Guru of pace of play."

    Paul Spengler, Executive VP

    Pebble Beach Golf Links, California
  • "The pace of play in this championship was better than it has ever been."

    David Pepper, R&A Championship Comm. Chair

    The Open Championship, Muirfield, Scotland
  • "Your program was not an expense; it was a sound investment."

    Terry Boldt, Golf Division Manager

    City of Calgary Municipal Courses, Canada

Client Courses

  • The Bog

    Saukville, Wisconsin

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