All golf courses count on you completing your round, on time, in usually four and a half hours for a regulation 18-hole round of golf. Tee times are usually staggered for every six minutes so that you have a six minute head start on the group behind you. This means that you must keep the stagger up! You must also keep pace with the group ahead of you.
These guidelines are true most of the time, but there are a couple exceptions you should be aware of.
Exception 1: Did you tee off right behind them?
If you didn’t, then they have a head start, so don’t worry about the stagger.
Exception 2: How many golfers are there in the group ahead?
Even if you did tee off right behind the group ahead, if they are a group of two and you are a group of four, the odds are good that they will be faster than you. Once again play quickly and don’t worry too much about the stagger.
Exception 3: Are they better golfers than you and your group?
Are their shots longer and in the fairway? If yes, then they will be moving faster than you, so you may not be able to keep pace, but play as quickly as you can.
As to the group behind, if you believe that you are slowing them down then it’s polite and within convention to waive them on. You should do this at the next hole. Simply wait for them to join you on the tee and extend this courtesy. I am sure they’ll appreciate it.
Manage how long you look for wayward shots and time spent making shot decisions to keep up the pace of play. And if you’re looking for a great group of friends to play your next round with, remember to register at Find My Golf Buddy and have fun my friends!