What is Ready Golf and does it help pace of play?

“Ready golf” is a term used only in stroke play golf, which encourages golfers to play when they are ready to play if it is safe to do so and it can help the pace of play, rather than to strictly follow the “farthest from” procedure. the hole must be played first” under Rule 6.4b of the Rules of Golf. Indeed, you will now find “ready golf” specifically mentioned in this rule and many believe that we should now adopt “ready golf” more often.

“Golf ready” is not appropriate in match play golf due to the strategy involved between opponents and the need to have an established method of determining which player plays first (so you don’t have the right to engage a three-footer not conceded in match play if your opponent is further away). If you do, you may be asked to replace the ball and play again (at your opponent’s discretion).

There is, however, an exception in Rule 6.4a whereby you may agree among yourselves to play out of turn in match play to save time.

While “ready to play golf” is now actively encouraged at many clubs, players should act reasonably to ensure that playing out of turn does not endanger other players.

4 Ready Golf Examples

* Hit a safe shot if a farther player faces a tough shot and takes time to assess their options

* Shorter hitters play first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters have to wait

shorter hitters ready to play golf first

In ready golf, shorter hitters may come off the tee first in stroke play even if it is not their honor

(Image credit: future)

* Hit a tee shot if the person with the honor is late getting ready to play

* Hitting a shot if a person who has just played from a bunker is still furthest from the hole but is delayed due to raking the bunker

golf mopping bunker ready

In ready golf, someone else even closer to the hole might play first while you rake the bunker

(Image credit: future)

The R&A says there is strong evidence to suggest ‘golf ready’ improves pace of play, citing a survey by Golf Australia which showed that 94% of clubs that had promoted ‘golf ready’ to members had had some success in improving the pace. gambling, with 25% declaring that they had “satisfactory success”.

ready golf difficult decision

In ready golf, someone else closer to the hole might play first while you settle a tricky decision

(Image credit: future)

It’s worth saying that ‘golf ready’ is likely to have the most impact on a less crowded course to help prevent groups from losing contact with the group in front of them. But on a groomed course where no one is really going anywhere fast, this will probably only have a significant impact if groups towards the front of the field embrace it, as playing out of turn to complete a hole faster will potentially not see you having to wait longer at the next tee!

Finally, a word of caution in moveplay. If you agree to play out of turn to deliberately give one of the players an advantage, that would be a breach of Rule 6.4b and result in the general penalty of two strokes for both players. An example of this might be someone closer to the hole putting in front of someone else further down the same line who maybe has a score that will show them the line.

Michael C. Ford