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Willamette Valley Country Club

Pace of Play

The number one concept we want everyone to follow to the best of their ability is to maintain your proper position on the golf course. The proper position is immediately behind the group in front of you.  You are in that position if your group is preparing to hit as soon as the group in front of you is safely out of range.

Your positive attitude and awareness on the golf course about maintaining proper position will be very beneficial in making play enjoyable for everyone. Virtually anything that allows you to play faster without compromising safety, courtesy, success, or your enjoyment of playing is worthy of consideration. Each article will focus on a  particular facet of play and serve as a reminder of the many small things we can do that add up to a big impact.

As you read this and subsequent articles, please reflect on your own play and what you can do to be part of the solution. This may very well include the rest of your group as well as yourself.  Rarely will taking actions to influence the play of the group in front of you result in a positive outcome so we encourage each of you to focus on yourself and the rest of your group.

If you have any limitations that cause you or part of your group to play slower, it simply means you need to be better at the other things that can be done by you and your group to stay in position.  As long as you keep your position behind the group in front of you, groups behind you will be more accepting of the pace of play

Pick the right tee: One of best ways to help keep up pace of play is to pick the right tee for your game.  You will probably enjoy it more too if you play the course the way it was designed. Here are some suggestions to help you choose.

The driving range now has colored posts that show how far you hit the ball and what tees should work best for you. Try playing the color of tees that match the color of the post you can reach consistently with your driver.

The performance center will help you determine your swing speed and how far you hit the ball for free. Multiply your driver distance by 28 and you have a suggested length of course.

How you play will also give you a good idea how much course is appropriate for you. Move forward if any of the following apply to you.

1. You can’t reach all the par 3’s with less than driver.

2. You can’t reach almost all par 4’s in two shots.

3. You don’t expect to break 100 when you tee off.

In addition, you should consider moving up if the following apply from your usual tee.

1. You generally need fairway woods, hybrids, or long irons to reach most par 4’s in two or par 5’s in 3.

2. You don’t feel you have a chance to break 90 when you tee off.

Ready Golf-Tee and Fairway: Except in tournament or match play, it is appropriate to play ready golf at all times. Ready golf suggests everyone plays as soon as they are ready and it is safe to do so. What does this mean?

On the tee: Ready golf on the tee means the first person ready to hit is first to hit.  If the group in front is in range for some of the group, but not all, the shorter hitter(s) hit and get out of the way so the longer hitter can tee off as soon as it is safe to do so. Stay aware so you are not having a conversation when you should be hitting.

On the fairway: Walk or ride all the way to your ball unless it would not be safe. Upon arriving at your ball, immediately determine your yardage and strategy, pull your club of choice, and be ready to hit. Hit when ready, but safely, no “honors”.  Shorter hitters should hit if longer players need to wait to hit safely.  Try to limit your practice swings to one and develop a reasonable pre-shot routine. Watch other players hit shots to avoid looking for golf balls.

Thank you for caring for the golf course by sanding and replacing divots, but be aware and do it when you are not slowing down play. If you can fix extra divots while you are waiting-great. If you are last to hit in your group, fix yours quickly and move on.

Think about being efficient as you approach the green. Leave your cart or clubs between the green and the next tee where you can get off the green and out of the way quickly.

Ready Golf-Around the Green: Being efficient in your approach to play around the green can significantly improve pace of play without adverse effects on your enjoyment or results. The following are strongly 


1. Park your cart between the green and the next tee.

2. Leave your extra clubs on the side of the green closest to the next tee.

3. Mark your ball, repair ball marks, and do everything you can to read your putt without disturbing others before it is your turn to putt. Be ready to putt when it is your turn.

4. Whenever possible continue putting until holed out.

5. If one player is having trouble around the green, others should putt up until player in trouble is ready.

6. Move quickly off and away from the green after you have putted out.

7. If the next tee is open, the first two to complete putting should move to the next tee and tee off without waiting for the entire group to complete putting.

8. Mark your scorecard at the next tee where you are clear of the green.

9. Never leave your cart where you will be blocking the green from the next group after you leave the green.