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Forget about ranting I want to know what you're opinion is on playing through... 

 

Almost 3/4 times I play alone...and generally in under 2.5 hours driving and 3 walking. Needless to say I usually end up playing through once or twice a round... In one infamous round I played 9 holes in an hour playing through 8 groups... including two on a par 3 but that's besides the point. ... So I've yet to find a consensus on the best way to play through.

 

There's plenty of questions with playing though: Is it up to the person behind to ask permission or should the group in front offer if the person is a single and playing right behind them? How about if the person is walking and the group of 4 is riding? What if the single trailing a foursome stinks and would take 3 holes to clear? Should you just skip the hole?

 

Then there's this: What if it's a group behind instead of just a single, how does that change the equation.

 

My thoughts are this:

If you're in a group of 3 or more and see a single you should ask within one hole if the single would like to play through. For instance If your putting on 8 and the single is in the fairway, before teeing off hole 10 if the single is still right behind, you offer. IF the single wants to play through before that, it's up to him/her to ask. If a single is walking and the group is riding and keeping up, then same rules apply.  If the single drops multiple balls, then the rule goes away. 

 

With a group behind another group you follow the rule of two.  if there's two more members in the first group than in the second it's up to them to offer. So for instance a group of 4 should ask a group of 2 behind them if they want to play through.. while a group of 3 with a group of 2 behind them wouldn't have to offer and would be up to the group of 2 behind them to ask.

 

I know it's simple but figured it's a start. Oh last rule: If I'm behind you always allow me to play through : )

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Nothing worse than the group in front being asses and not letting you play through, even though they are 2 holes behind. My Sunday partner and I encounter it often.

 

The group in front should be the ones to initiate it. If they don't within a reasonable time frame, tell them you are playing through...we do.

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I never ask to play through,  I just wait patiently hoping the group ahead will ask.  Usually it works out fine but occasionally it makes for a long round.  If that does happen and someone catches up with me,  I will ask if they would just like to play along.  If my group is playing and it's wide open or a couple holes open ahead,  we will always let them play through.  However,  if it's busy and every hole is packed it's pointless. 

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For me it doesn't matter how many are in each group.  If the group behind is playing faster than the group in front then the group in front should offer to let them play through.  Of course this is assuming there are empty holes ahead of that front group.  My rule is if the group behind is on the green while the group in front is still on the tee box then wait and let them play through.

 

The front group should all hit their tee shots and then wait for the group behind and let them go.

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90% of all my rounds are played as a walking single (like I've said elsewhere, golf is dying out here, there is no one on the courses).   So I play through alot.  My rules of thumb are these:

 

1.  The trailing group NEVER asks to play through, the leading group must always offer.  

2.  If the trailing group doesn't actually catch the leading group on a tee box, the leading group need not ever offer.

2.  If the trailing group does catch the leading group on a tee box, the leading group must either tender an invitation to play through or with them, or give an explanation as to why slow play can't be avoided, or why it's senseless to play through.

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There aren't many singles in Florida.......Here the courses are very busy on Saturday & Sunday.  Occassionally, late on Sunday afternoons, there may be a single.....Usually, if my group is not full, we simply ask the single to join us.

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As a single, I don't like to ask to play through because I feel it's the responsibility of group in front to ask.  It's a little different during the week vs the weekend. During the week, I expect to play rather quickly and the course is usually open, so I play through a lot.  When my wife and I play on the weekend, we expect it to be slow so we either play early/late when there are less people or we just relax and enjoy the outdoors.  

 

The course I played this last weekend kept putting out twosomes and they never paired up.  We had a foursome and we were the first group after the morning gangsome where they all had their own carts, so there were open holes in front of us after the first few holes.  We were not playing slowly (4 hour round walking).  But that round could easily have been 5 hours if we had let all of the twosomes play through.  We let one group play through at the turn because they didn't stop, but none of the groups were ever off the green before we were off the tee.  I cannot imagine how long it would take a group of duffers to play a round.  They would have to let a group play through every hole or two!  

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If I am the one wanting to play through I usually ask if I haven't been offered by the 3rd hole that I've waited on.

 

If I'm in the slow group I will usually offer within one or two holes depending on where we are on the hole.

 

If I know them or they are a single and we have room I always offer them to play through or with. You never know when you'll meet a new golf buddy.

 

If the course is packed I usually engage the group in conversation and explain that we would let them go through but they would just be waiting on the 8 groups ahead of us.

 

Usually they understand, many of them I see as singles or doubles start playing two balls at a time.

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In my opinion, its always the responsibility of the group ahead to make the decision.  If they are not keeping up with the groups ahead of them, its their responsibility to invite a faster group to go through, even if it means a twosome inviting a foursome to play though.  If they ARE keeping up, there is no obligation to invite anyone to play through, although i think its polite to explain what's going on.  Having said that, I think there should always be some flexibility.  If the "ahead group" know that there are just two or three groups ahead, and then a big gap, it may make sense to invite a single or two-ball to go past, hoping they can get past the log-jam, If the course is full, its always appropriate to invite a group to pair up with mine, as long as there's room.  I think that for a single to play a crowded course and expect to play through all the time is unrealistic.

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There aren't many singles in Florida.......Here the courses are very busy on Saturday & Sunday.  Occassionally, late on Sunday afternoons, there may be a single.....Usually, if my group is not full, we simply ask the single to join us.

 

 

This is true on our side of the Bay also.  I can't recall the last time that I was in a foursome with an open hole in front of me and a single behind me.  Most courses here will automatically pair up singles and two somes.  In fact many courses don't allow singles out except well after Twighlight.

 

I hate to be the poopy nose guy but singles do not have the right of way on the course so that's a complicating factor to this thread.  Having written that I would let one through if there were an open hole and I was in a foursome.  I can't recall the last time that happened though.

 

In regards to the proper etiquette it is the reasponsibility of the trailing group to invite the faster group to play through.  They are the ones who actually know whether or not there is a hole open, whether or not they've slowed down because of a bad hole, if they will be able to pick up the pace, etc., etc.  Again though having written that I will ask a slower group to play through if I think it's appropriate - I'm always polite and if they say no, it's no.  Normally they'll say yes though.  I'll also explain to a group behind us why if we aren't inviting them to play through - there's nothing worse than a group pressing from behind when there's no where to go because of a group ahead. 

 

While we're on this topic does anyone know why the practice of calling groups up on a par 3 was suspended?  I notice that this often happens on the PGA tour with drivable par 4's.  Is it simply a matter of safety?

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There aren't many singles in Florida.......

I beg to differ....I have been to the Villages and I was the man with the older single women.

 

Oh, wait you meant on the golf course:)

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I agree it's the responsibility of the group in front to wave you thru, and the window is pretty narrow, within one or two holes of the encounter, after that it's gone.  When that happens I usually just play 2 ball worse ball to kill time.

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Group in front needs to be the one that offers, although thats only when they are trailling behind and holding people up in my opinion. Ive had instances where people have rudely requested to play through despite the fact that we are waiting on every shot for the group in front, and that is repeated for the next few groups. If there is space in front of us we will let them through but if its bumper to bumper I don't really see the point.

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This is true on our side of the Bay also.  I can't recall the last time that I was in a foursome with an open hole in front of me and a single behind me.  Most courses here will automatically pair up singles and two somes.  In fact many courses don't allow singles out except well after Twighlight.

 

I hate to be the poopy nose guy but singles do not have the right of way on the course so that's a complicating factor to this thread.  Having written that I would let one through if there were an open hole and I was in a foursome.  I can't recall the last time that happened though.

 

In regards to the proper etiquette it is the reasponsibility of the trailing group to invite the faster group to play through.  They are the ones who actually know whether or not there is a hole open, whether or not they've slowed down because of a bad hole, if they will be able to pick up the pace, etc., etc.  Again though having written that I will ask a slower group to play through if I think it's appropriate - I'm always polite and if they say no, it's no.  Normally they'll say yes though.  I'll also explain to a group behind us why if we aren't inviting them to play through - there's nothing worse than a group pressing from behind when there's no where to go because of a group ahead. 

 

While we're on this topic does anyone know why the practice of calling groups up on a par 3 was suspended?  I notice that this often happens on the PGA tour with drivable par 4's.  Is it simply a matter of safety?

I don't know why that has been suspended.  I think that's the easiest time... you can drive up... putt and head to the tee box while they putt out. 

 

I'll be honest I'm not shocked at what you all saying but I am shocked that it's so unanimous the group in front should offer. One of the hardest things I've noticed playing as a single is that many groups will not want you to join up but rather play through if the course is open. I usually much prefer that to playing with 2-3 randoms for 7-8 holes. 

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http://www.usga.org/etiquette/tips/golf-etiquette-101/

 

The USGA suggests that a group that loses a clear hole in front, and is delaying another group, the first group should invite the faster group through.  The group behind can't always see whether there's space in front, but the lead group can tell if they're falling behind, so they're the logical group to make the determination.

If I'm in a 3-ball, holding up a single, and there's room in front, I'll always invite the single to either play through or join my group, his (or her) choice.  If the course is full, I'll invite the single to join, but there's no reason to invite him through if there's no place to go.

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http://www.usga.org/etiquette/tips/golf-etiquette-101/

 

The USGA suggests that a group that loses a clear hole in front, and is delaying another group, the first group should invite the faster group through.  The group behind can't always see whether there's space in front, but the lead group can tell if they're falling behind, so they're the logical group to make the determination.

If I'm in a 3-ball, holding up a single, and there's room in front, I'll always invite the single to either play through or join my group, his (or her) choice.  If the course is full, I'll invite the single to join, but there's no reason to invite him through if there's no place to go.

 

 

Exactly - I always give the group behind me an explanation as to why we aren't letting them through if they are pushing us.  Experience has taught that often times they are unaware that there is a group in front holding my group up.

 

BTW I was unaware that the rule book has been amended and that singles are now consider a valid match on the golf course.  Therefore all rules of etiquette apply.  Regardless I would always invite a single to join or play through where applicable anyway.

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This is true on our side of the Bay also.  I can't recall the last time that I was in a foursome with an open hole in front of me and a single behind me.  Most courses here will automatically pair up singles and two somes.  In fact many courses don't allow singles out except well after Twighlight.

 

I hate to be the poopy nose guy but singles do not have the right of way on the course so that's a complicating factor to this thread.  Having written that I would let one through if there were an open hole and I was in a foursome.  I can't recall the last time that happened though.

 

In regards to the proper etiquette it is the reasponsibility of the trailing group to invite the faster group to play through.  They are the ones who actually know whether or not there is a hole open, whether or not they've slowed down because of a bad hole, if they will be able to pick up the pace, etc., etc.  Again though having written that I will ask a slower group to play through if I think it's appropriate - I'm always polite and if they say no, it's no.  Normally they'll say yes though.  I'll also explain to a group behind us why if we aren't inviting them to play through - there's nothing worse than a group pressing from behind when there's no where to go because of a group ahead. 

 

While we're on this topic does anyone know why the practice of calling groups up on a par 3 was suspended?  I notice that this often happens on the PGA tour with drivable par 4's.  Is it simply a matter of safety?

 

Around here, 1's and 2's aren't unusual, but the rules are 4's dictate pace of play, meaning that there is no obligation to allow play through. If you are going out was a 1 or 2 here, it is accepted that you may end up waiting.  Being allowed to play through is a courtesy thing, not an obligation. 

 

That said, when I am in a position of letting someone play through (which I often am when I take my wife or kids out) we do everything we can reasonably do to accommodate the 1's and 2's that are playing faster than we are.

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revkev, I'm with you, I was taught from my beginnings in golf (in the late 60s) that singles had no standing on the golf course, no "rights" so to speak.  I didn't realize anything had changed until I googled the issue, and found out that the wording was changed in the 2004 issue of the Rules of Golf.  A single player is explicitly considered a "group", with all the rights and obligations that term implies. 

The biggest thing in my mind is the consideration of others.  I invite faster players through, I repair ball marks, pick up trash (even when its not mine), and generally try to behave as a gentleman.  That's what being a "golfer" means to me.  

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I didn't take the time to read everyone's post, so forgive me if i repeat something someone else has said, my thoughts on playing through May tick a few people off, if you come out as a single or 2 and the course is full there is now way you are playing through, of I am always waiting to hit my shot, there is absolutely no reason to let anyone go through. If there is a gap between the group in front of me and myself I will let anyone play through, but I assure you when I play there is never a gap in front of me, so there will be no instance for anyone to play through. If the '4'some is waiting you can wait to. Here is why I say you will not catch me if there is a gap in front of me, my nephew, my buddy, and myself played our course on a Friday from the blue tees , it took 2 hours and 10 min. For 3 of us. When you go to the course as a single you are not entitled to play through. If the course is open it is up to the people in front of you to offer.

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Hmm. interesting. If I play as a single I usually can speed my way through in 2.5 hours or less. If a group of 3 is playing at that pace... I'd have no problem hanging out behind. I've very rarely ever seen it which is why I'm so used to either playing through or having to wait. Hell if A threesome was playing as fast as I do as a single, I'd pick up a beer at the bar for them.

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