Playing in an AJGA event can be nerve-wrecking; there is
no doubt about that. The competition is fierce and every competitor is vying
for the top spot at the end of the week. Making sure your group is Red Card
free for the entire round can relieve you of the unnecessary stress of trying
to go back on Green Card. Which brings us to a good point: What does it take to
never receive a Red Card? How can you play in such a way that you’re making the
most of your time on the course? Here are a few tips on how to play ready golf
from the start of your round:
· Communicate: Remember that everyone is not
used to playing ready golf, so a conversation before your round in the
starter’s tent might be a good way to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Reminders during the round are helpful too – a simple, “Go ahead if you’re
ready,” is a good way to keep the ready golf going.
· Get Your Yardage Beforehand: As you are
walking to your ball, look for sprinkler heads on the course with yardages on
them, or locate an AJGA stencil. Pace off your yardage from these to your ball
on your way up the fairway. Rarely should you have to walk ahead of your ball
to locate a yardage. Be sure to peek a glance at your hole location sheet as
well – when you arrive at your ball, you should be able to pull a club and go.
Ready, Set, Glove: Knowing where your glove
is located either in your bag or pockets may seem like a silly thing, but there
is no harm in finding and putting your glove on before you arrive at your ball.
Little things like this save 10-15 seconds per shot!
· Walk With a Purpose: Both before and after
shots, you should be walking with a purpose. This does not mean run! It is okay
to walk ahead a bit to get closer to your shot, just as long as you are being
safe and not interfering with anyone else.
· Shot Preparation: Take advantage of the time
when others are hitting, especially on the putting green, to analyze your next
shot. Study your putts while your competitors are in the process of making a
stroke. This way, when it’s your turn to play there is no delay.
These five things are
simple and can be put into practice by anyone at any level of the game. By implementing
these techniques into your tournament rounds, the chances of your group going
on red card can be drastically reduced!
For more information on the AJGA's 'Setting the Pace' educational series, or the AJGA Pace of Play Policy, please contact Tournament Coordinator Samantha Hirshberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.