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Dunstable Downs

Pace of Play & Etiquette

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 does not apply in Match Play but all players at Dunstable Downs are expected to play ready golf in all other formats. Aim: To encourage faster round times by improving the pace of play.

Examples of ‘ready golf’ in action are

  • Hitting a shot when safe to do so if a player farther away faces a challenging shot and is taking time to assess the options
  • Shorter hitters playing first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters have to wait
  • Hitting a tee shot if the player with the honour is delayed
  • Hitting a shot before helping to look for a lost ball
  • Putting out even if it means standing close to another’s line
  • Hitting a shot if a player who has just played from a bunker is still farthest from the hole but is delayed due to raking the bunker
  • Chipping to the green even if you are closer than other players already on the green
  • 3 minutes to search for a lost ball.
  • 40 seconds to play any stroke when considered safe to do so
  • Putting with the flagstick in the hole

Other ways that players can and should speed up the pace of play.

  • Play a provisional ball if your shot is off line and risks being lost
  • Place your bag/trolley between the green and the next tee
  • Walk faster between shots
  • Be ready to play e.g. have your putt already lined up if you are waiting for someone else to play
  • Mark your card while you are waiting to play on the next tee