For those of us who are weekend fairway warriors, there are a few shots that get the old blood pressure pumping. It could be a birdie putt or even a double bogey putt. There is one golf shot that can make your palms sweat and your knees shake even more. The welcomed but stressful playing through a foursome.
In my Sunday rounds at Bacon Park I usually find myself playing alone and launching behind a foursome who always gets the first tee time. I usually give them a lead but due to the laws of time and space, I find myself nipping at their heals by the third hole. Luckily, the 4th hole is a par 3 and they either wait for me on the tee box or waive me up form the green. After that, I am off and running the course on my own thanks to their gamesmanship.
USGA Rules for Playing Through
When it comes to quality of golf play, pace of play ranks as a top concern for most players. The six hour rounds are dead and now we all want to play and at comfortable pace. In the USGA rules, section 1.2 Standards of Player Conduct, it states:
Showing consideration to others – for example, by playing at a prompt pace, looking out for the safety of others, and not distracting the play of another player.
This can be translated to letting a faster group through if there is room for them to advance. Your enjoyment of the round should not detract from the foursome behind you because you take 20 minutes to play each hole. When the course is stacked with foursomes, send them a beer from the beer cart in form of apology. If there is room, etiquette deems you let them pass.
Prepare for the Play Through Golf Shot
So you get the big wave using the whole arm to hit through, here are some mental checklist items to review:
- Play your game
- Do not change your swing strength or speed
- Play the safe shot
- Take your time
Remember, the foursome in front wants you to go by so they can enjoy their game too. It does them no good if you step up and flob your shot or slice it into the next zip code.
Best Holes to Play Through
Par 3s are the best spot to pass a group, preferably on the tee box. The tee shot and couple of putts (hopefully) generate a comfortable gap on the following par 4 or 5. Relax and choose your best club and pop it on the green.
Lastly, be a gentlemen or lady and doff you cap, thank them for letting your pass, and tell them to enjoy their day. We are all golfing ladies and gentlemen.