michigangolfoutings.com presents the
September 7-9, 2007

Garland Resort

Home Chairman's Letter Financials Updates Courses Pace of Play
Pace of Play Suggestions

I know we have always considered this a “fun” outing and clearly interpret the USGA Rules of Golf more liberally than most to make it enjoyable for all. Nobody sets out to intentionally slow down the pace of play, but it happens nonetheless. My guess is that our outing has grown too large to allow everyone to interpret the rules however they want and still expect that we’ll finish in a reasonable amount of time. I don’t want our group to get a bad reputation among the resorts we rotate through, nor do I want any of our own guys to stop coming because the pace of play is so slow that it’s no longer enjoyable.  

The following suggestions are called just that because we are strongly suggesting that you play by our rules for the betterment of the outing. They are all related to “pace of play” and establishing a consistent procedure that we can depend on everyone to follow. Some of these courses are difficult, and if we aren’t careful about keeping up, things will get out of hand and off-schedule very quickly. Being on schedule, by the way, is expected and does not entitle anyone to interpret the rules differently. If anyone has additional or different ideas we should consider, the committee is open to suggestions. In the meantime, I’m sure we can count on each other to keep things moving, encourage our fellow players to “pick it up” if they slow down, and let the committee know if there’s a specifically persistent challenge that should be taken into account when inviting players next year. 

v     The first group is expected to complete their round in 4 to 4 1/2 hours. Each subsequent group is expected to         keep pace with the group in front of them.

v     There should never be a hole open in front of you. If there is, and you can't close the gap, you may be asked to          skip ahead (with sanctions for the missed holes to be determined by committee)

v     Two “mulligans” are allowed this weekend. One on the 1st tee on Friday and one on the 1st tee Saturday morning. If you choose to hit a mulligan, your first shot is out of play and you must play the mulligan.

v     You may roll, lift, clean or replace your ball (no nearer the hole) anywhere on the course except in a bunker or hazard. 

v     Play “ready golf”. As long as it doesn’t interfere with a playing partner or competitor whose turn it actually is, play away. 

v     Don’t waste time on the tee boxes. When arriving at a tee, if the fairway ahead is clear, get out of the cart and hit. If the player with honors is not ready to play, somebody else hit. 

v     Barring obvious circumstances, the driver of the cart should take his cart partner to the partner’s ball, drop him off and proceed to his ball. Rejoin after both have hit. If we encounter a “cart path only” restriction, please work out a plan among your four players to move the carts steadily towards the green in a way that will minimize delay. 

v     Looking for “lost balls” is one of the two or three biggest factors contributing to groups being out of position on the course. We are up here to play golf, not to scavenge for the spoils of unfortunate rounds preceding us. There are no trophies for the player who returns with more balls than he started with. Additionally, too many balls would be lost if we hit provisional shots for every original lost ball of our own, so this outing has a very liberal policy regarding lost balls:

o        First of all, please limit your searches to 3 minutes per lost ball. In most cases, it is a bad idea to have four guys searching for a ball unless everyone saw that the ball stopped pretty much right on the edge of the woods/rough. If four guys disappear into the woods, the next group is more likely to hit into them.

o        Please do not waste time searching for balls that are so deep into the woods you couldn’t play it out with a chainsaw. You’re going to have to drop where the ball entered anyway, so just get it over with and move along.

o        If you hit a ball that’s out of bounds, lost in the woods, in a water hazard, in a lateral hazard, or simply lost in leaves or deep rough, you may proceed under one of three choices, all of which incur a one stroke penalty:

        Hit another ball from the same spot where you hit your previous shot.

        Drop a ball within two club lengths (no closer to the hole) of the spot where your original ball crossed into the woods, hazard, out of bounds or the rough/leaves where a consensus among your playing partners believes it is lost.

        Drop any distance behind the point where your ball crossed into the woods, hazard, rough, etc, keeping that point between your drop and the hole.         

NOTE: There is no such thing as “line of flight” relief, unless you go all the way back to the point where you originally struck the ball. There is also no such thing as “this is about where it would have ended up” relief. If you hit a ball solidly off the tee that enters the woods 100 yards from the tee and you intend to look for it 200 yards down the way, you’d better hit a provisional, otherwise you’re going to have to trudge 100 yards back up the line to hit from where the original ball entered the woods. And if the tree line is irregular and your drop point does not have a line of sight towards the green, you are not entitled to back up on your “line of flight” unless you return to the spot where you hit the errant shot. 

v     Ball Unplayable – The player is sole judge of whether his ball is playable. If you declare your ball unplayable anywhere but in a bunker, proceed under same provisions as lost ball (above). If ball is unplayable in bunker, you cannot return to spot of previous stroke; ball must be dropped in bunker. 

v     Everyone is entitled to his pre-shot routine, provided it does not delay the pace of play. Please be prepared to hit when it is your turn to play, keeping practice swings and re-alignments to a minimum. 

v     On the putting greens, please try to minimize delays by putting out whenever reasonable. Additionally, if three players are on the green waiting for one player who is having a particularly difficult time getting on, go ahead and putt while you’re waiting for the one player.