1. Speed Captain (SC). All IESGA members have played golf for many years. You are not beginners. We should be playing golf in 4 and 1/4 hours or less, even with tournament golf. All it takes is an individual and group commitment to achieve that. Each pairing will be assigned one person to act as the overall Speed Captain (SC) for your group, and we will be assigning this responsibility to different people for every tournament. The SC will be highlighted in Yellow on your scorecard. For each round, he is the guy that has the final responsibility for helping and directing your group to follow all the fast play hints and rules. If the marshall has to talk to your group, he will talk to the SC. If your group is flagged for continuous slow play, and I have to talk to your group following the round, I will talk to the SC to determine who/what the problem was. Please respect the added responsibility that the SC has been given for your group this round, and help him by following his "directions" and "hints" during the round to speed up play.
2. Par Threes. We are going to use the old-time rule that has somehow gotten dismissed over the years in public play. When your group has all your golf balls on the green, and the group behind you is on the tee box, wave them up to hit. When that group is all done hitting from the tee, proceed on with your putts. (This also means that when you are on the tee box, have your clubs chosen and be ready to hit, and look for the group ahead of you to wave you up!)
3. Forget "being away". The order of play is based on who is ready and can hit safely, not on whose ball is away. Also, see 12, about Putting, Inside Out, if you find your group has fallen behind.
4. Forget "honors". Shorter hitters can hit first off the tee, when you have longer hitters in your group who might hit into the group ahead of them. Otherwise, whoever is ready on the tee box first, go ahead!
5. Be ready on the green. Park your cart, leave your bag, drop your wedge, etc. in a direct line with the next tee. Then you will not waste time and annoy the group following by back-tracking to retrieve equipment. On the green, begin lining up your putt and reading the green as soon as you reach the green. When it is your turn, step right up and putt. You don't have to mark every putt. It is OK to follow your lag putt by immediately putting next. If your group has fallen behind, and you are done putting, leave your partners and walk off the green to the next tee box, and tee off. See 10A about putting "inside out". Also, the scorekeeper should move to the next tee before recording your scores.
6. Stop the multiple practice swings. One should be enough. If you need more, take them way ahead of the time you are supposed to be ready to hit. Likewise, determine your club selection as quickly as you can.
7. Be ready in the field of play with cart. If sharing a cart, get out of your cart and WALK a little. Drop the first player off at his ball, drive on ahead to the second ball. Occasionally, close to the green, you can grab some clubs and walk to the green or your chip/pitch shot as your partner parks the cart on the cart path between the green and the next tee box.
8. Cart Play. When you complete a shot, go to your cart and do not put your club away until you arrive at the next ball to hit. Carry the club in your lap or beside you. This way, you can move quicker out of the field of play for the group following you, and they can hit their ball(s).
9. Be ready in the field of play while walking. Occasionally, if the next hitters are on the opposite side of the fairway from you, you can continue walking down the fairway closer to your ball.
10. Rules, Lost ball and out of bounds ball. You must limit your search for lost balls to 3 minutes by the new 2019 rules of golf. (Rule 18-2.) Also, the IESGA has implemented a local rule that offers an alternative to the stroke-and-distance penalty for lost balls or shots hit out-of-bounds. A player may drop a ball anywhere between where the original ball was believed to come to rest (or went out-of-bounds) and just into the edge of the fairway, but no nearer the hole. The golfer takes a two-stroke penalty and plays on instead of returning to the tee. This way, the Local Rule mimics your score if you had played a decent provisional ball. Therefore, provisional balls have no longer have meaning, and so to speed up play, don't hit a provisional ball since it is a waste of time.
11. Rules, maximum score of 10 on any hole. The IESGA has implemented a local rule that requires the player to "pick up" after a player reaches a maximum of 10 strokes. Just tell your scorer what you are doing and put the ball in your pocket.
12. Falling behind. Any group can occasionally fall behind the pace of play. When you notice that the group ahead of you has pulled away from you, start picking up your pace of play to catch up. For sure, you are behind when the group ahead of you has put a full hole's distance between them and you.
13. Falling behind, putt "inside out". Use this method as an option to be determined by the Speed Captain: An effective way to speed up play of groups that are behind is to putt "inside out". After all members of the group are on the green the closest to the hole putts first and keeps putting until he is in the hole. He then leaves the group and goes to the next tee and tees off while the rest of the group is putting. The next closest to the hole goes next and then goes and tees off and so on. Using this method, by the time the third and fourth putters make it to the tee box, two players have already teed off, thus saving that amount of time on each tee box. Use this until you have caught up to the group in front of you!
John Hanke, Tournament Chairman