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Ready golf, or out to in?


Rob Person

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I mostly play solo or with 1 other friend over the last year. we maintain a quality pace of play, so we play furthest away hits next.

Recently I've been paired into a few foursomes, and the Marshall stated to play ready golf.  I had never heard of that before, so naturally I played as I normally do. an issue came up where I was 20 yards short of the green and other 3 were on it or just fringed. They began putting (in my line of approach) so I waited.  2 of the guys got angry and said I had to play quicker.  we got testy a bit with each other because they were in the way, (I didn't want to hit someone, and the group behind us was just getting to the tee)

I left the group and jumped ahead a couple holes (Noone was there)

I'm not familiar with ready golf rules, but would assume that it would apply when everyone was on the green.  any insight would be helpful.

 

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Just an old newbie golfer, trying to learn and improve 1 club at a time.

 

 

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edit to add, I play golf for MY enjoyment and learning.  I'm a higher handicapper, and if I get rushed, it runs the QUALITY  of the play for me.  maybe I should just keep playing solo... I don't know...lol

WITB-Foremost 551's - 3w, 5w, 5-SW (circa 1998), Top Flite 460cc Driver, Adam's 7w, Warrior GW and 60⁰, Odyssey AI-One DB putter.

Just an old newbie golfer, trying to learn and improve 1 club at a time.

 

 

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ok, I get that,  but why would I have to wait to get on the green? should I have just pitched it on and possibly into the guy standing in front of the cup?

 

I mean, these guys were racing onto the green

Edited by Rob Person
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WITB-Foremost 551's - 3w, 5w, 5-SW (circa 1998), Top Flite 460cc Driver, Adam's 7w, Warrior GW and 60⁰, Odyssey AI-One DB putter.

Just an old newbie golfer, trying to learn and improve 1 club at a time.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Rob Person said:

ok, I get that,  but why would I have to wait to get on the green? should I have just pitched it on and possibly into the guy standing in front of the cup?

 

I mean, these guys were racing onto the green

If they got to the green before you got to your ball and they were ready to putt out then you have to wait to hit onto the green.

or get to your ball and be ready to go so we so that you are on the green with everyone else by time they get there.

 

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9 hours ago, Rob Person said:

ok, I get that,  but why would I have to wait to get on the green? should I have just pitched it on and possibly into the guy standing in front of the cup?

 

I mean, these guys were racing onto the green

With my normal playing group, we play ready golf.  As @RickyBobby_PR said, it's whoever is ready can hit instead of waiting for the player who is further out to hit first.  

Now with that, there is some common courtesy once you get to the green and someone is off the green.  They shouldn't be blocking the pin location if you are chipping.  Once you have chipped and they are ready to putt, then it would continue with the ready golf scenario.

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Ready golf all day long. 

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Speed of play is a huge concern when it goes slowly so most players don't want to be "that guy" and we look for ways to save time, like choosing which club on the way to the ball and having it in hand ready to use before getting to the ball, playing with eyes open and watching where people are to be safe and considerate (yes sometimes people get too eager and get in front of others but it is usually a mistake), and not standing on any ceremony with who hits next, just who is ready and then be ready as soon as possible for your turn, sometimes having to wait because everybody is ready!  

I'm often first to the tee box with ball and tee in hand unless everyone else is hitting from the longer tees, and when I get there I am ready to plant the tee, make sure the Sharpie ink isn't facing the clubface, and go through my short and regular routine that often has the ball downrange before anyone else is ready to tee their ball.

It's like knowing how to dance and anticipating what is next, and just like dancing, Ready Golf keeps us from stepping on toes and being "that guy."

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There are many threads on etiquette, so read up if you're not familiar.  All I will say is, be ready to hit, whether it's your turn or not.  Just be ready & aware of your surroundings while also aware of where everyone in the group is.  If the group you are playing with is riding & they get to the green before you, then they need to be aware of etiquette as well.  Play at your own pace, but play deliberate & fast.  What your fast is might be quite different than someone else's "fast."   If they continue to be insistent then do exactly what you did ... politely say "adios" let them go ahead or you go ahead.  Enjoy your round one way or another & don't let someone else ruin it 

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Those guys you were playing with were probably very used to playing together and their normal course of action was probably to have the guys on the green watch for your 20 yard shot and get out of the way if necessary.  If they were the ones hitting the 20 yard shot they would be comfortable chipping up knowing this but shouldn't have expected the same from you, at least initially. 

People I play with a lot play this way.  The chipping guy will call out heads up so they have fair warning!  We haven't hit anyone yet in all my years of playing, although a bladed shot (or one of those 's' word shots) can cause a couple quick steps!  

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We usually play ready golf, but if we’re all ready to hit we let furthest out hit first. We make one exception teeing off, birdies or better have honors ready or not. However, once on the green we usually putt from furthest out first, might as well take advantage of getting a free read from someone on your line.

All of us make every effort to be ready to hit - e.g. if I’m closer I’ll shoot distance and pick a club while waiting for others to hit. If one of us is in a greenside bunker and blasts out onto the green, the rest of us may putt out regardless of distance while the bunkered player rakes and gets ready to putt. It’s all just common sense, whatever leads to fastest pace of play. I for one don’t miss strict furthest away goes first.

No one has mentioned the ultimate in pace of play, everyone hitting at once. I’ve seen some super seniors who routinely do that everywhere possible, most often approach or chip shots, other than teeing off or putting. They can’t hear anyway, so they’re not disturbing each other…

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12 hours ago, Rob Person said:

I mostly play solo or with 1 other friend over the last year. we maintain a quality pace of play, so we play furthest away hits next.

Recently I've been paired into a few foursomes, and the Marshall stated to play ready golf.  I had never heard of that before, so naturally I played as I normally do. an issue came up where I was 20 yards short of the green and other 3 were on it or just fringed. They began putting (in my line of approach) so I waited.  2 of the guys got angry and said I had to play quicker.  we got testy a bit with each other because they were in the way, (I didn't want to hit someone, and the group behind us was just getting to the tee)

I left the group and jumped ahead a couple holes (Noone was there)

I'm not familiar with ready golf rules, but would assume that it would apply when everyone was on the green.  any insight would be helpful.

 

Morning Rob, what a great post, I'm sure it will get a lot of traction as "pace of play" or "ready golf" as the marshall called it can be a bit subjective. 

From 10,000 feet you should have made the group aware that you were unaware of "ready golf" and that may have cleared things up right off the bat, although I can see the 3 other players confusing you as they probably had their own idea of "ready golf".

Just an Fyi, most courses have an approximate time that the round should be played, our for example has "4 hours if you tee off before a certain time, 4:20 if after that time. So check on that in the pro shop. 

A little history of the recent history of the speed golf should be played and it is discussed at the highest level ie USGA, R&A, RCGA probably most governing bodies around the world.

When I first started in the late 1960's early 1970's I was fortunate to be coached by my dad who was an avid golfer and experienced in the game, he would say "keep up with the group in front of you, if your group is getting out of position do something ie "ready golf" to catch up.

More recently and mostly due to professional or television golf and the complaint of newer players to the game that it takes too long and they are away from their families or work too long to play golf, the game in general is looking for ways to make it quicker. Not unlike the rules changes in MLB to make the game quicker. 

Anyway as usual I digress. 

It makes me sad to hear you had an uncomfortable experience on this occasion and there are a lot of good ideas on this thread, maybe talk to someone you trust and will help you understand some of the nuances of this great game. 

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I play solo a lot as well and if I were in your situation, I would probably do similar to you and wait, but I'd try to find a pause in the action on the green and communicate that I'm hitting. I feel like if they're clearly playing way ahead of you, it's their job to get out of your way when you're ready to hit.

Just last week, I went to a nicer muni course in my area with a friend and we got paired with two others. We were playing a game called dots, where traditional furthest away hits mattered towards collecting dots. So we played furthest away hits when it counted towards a dot and ready golf otherwise (even on the tee box and putting green). Before the round started, one guy said that when you're approaching the ball to hit your shot (after practice swings), yell that you're hitting. It seemed to work out great all day and it was nice to have a plan before the round began.

 

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13 hours ago, Rob Person said:

I mostly play solo or with 1 other friend over the last year. we maintain a quality pace of play, so we play furthest away hits next.

Recently I've been paired into a few foursomes, and the Marshall stated to play ready golf.  I had never heard of that before, so naturally I played as I normally do. an issue came up where I was 20 yards short of the green and other 3 were on it or just fringed. They began putting (in my line of approach) so I waited.  2 of the guys got angry and said I had to play quicker.  we got testy a bit with each other because they were in the way, (I didn't want to hit someone, and the group behind us was just getting to the tee)

I left the group and jumped ahead a couple holes (Noone was there)

I'm not familiar with ready golf rules, but would assume that it would apply when everyone was on the green.  any insight would be helpful.

 

I'm willing to bet there are many definitions to what "ready golf" means, but I'll toss mine in as best I can describe. We play a hybrid of ready golf and furthest out first, depending on the hole and how play is going.

To me, ready golf is just that - if you're ready, you play. But there are a couple key points to take into consideration.
- Don't hit if someone else is already in the process. This comes down to the group communicating with each other and paying attention to each other.
- Don't putt if you may stand on an approach line of someone who is either just off the green or in a bunker. This is a bit more common sense mixed with golf etiquette. But do look at your line, get your break in your mind along with speed, so when it is your turn you're ready to roll.
- Help someone look for a ball if they've hit off the fairway, if you can, to help pace of play, but only up to a point. Then go find your ball and hit, but keep the first note above in mind. Again, communicate that you're heading to your ball to play if they're still looking.
- Never tee off ahead of a birdie/eagle/albatross player from the previous hole. Teeing out of order is fine if someone is standing there ready to go while others are still deciding club or distance or whatever. Just never ahead of a negative number from the previous hole.
- Communicate. Again, this is common sense. If you don't know your playing partners, inquire how they prefer to play - ready golf, furthest out, mix. Then hole by hole communicate who's up or if someone can go ahead of them while they either look for their ball or get situated. This is probably the biggest one of my list personally.

I've always felt that a hybrid model is the best way to play, but it all comes down to everyone in the group communicating with each other. It allows pace of play while still allowing proper etiquette on the course, especially on the green. So that's my $0.02.

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This topic is a great read. I’ve never heard of this. I hadn’t played golf for 12 years until recently picking up the clubs again.  It was always farthest away first. I play with my dad who’s in his 70’s and he still fusses at me for taking a practice swing why someone is getting ready to hit 75 yards across the fairway and I m not in any lines of sight. “Don’t be in a hurry, wait your turn “.  

so for the ones that play ready golf, do they help the other players look for their balls? It sounds like no, they just go to their ball and get ready to hit?

 

Edited by UNCRoss

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great tips and pointers.  we were gelling fine on the fairways, but the green obstructing was the issue. he wasn't even putting, but just standing there lining up his putt from 15' out. I was behind him ready to chip_ pitch on. he didn't say or ask if he could putt out first.

 

appreciate the feedback

WITB-Foremost 551's - 3w, 5w, 5-SW (circa 1998), Top Flite 460cc Driver, Adam's 7w, Warrior GW and 60⁰, Odyssey AI-One DB putter.

Just an old newbie golfer, trying to learn and improve 1 club at a time.

 

 

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Where I play ready golf is considered to be from tee to green everyone hits when they are ready, not waiting for anyone else to hit just because they are farther from the green. Once you are all on the green it goes back to who ever is farthest from the hole putts first, the next farthest from the hole putts second, etc.

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I don't think I can add much more than what others have already said, but ready golf is essentially whoever is ready to hit, hits. There is obviously some common courtesy involved - two people shouldn't be hitting at the same time, players on the green should be aware of players hitting into the green, etc...

Traditional golf rules dictate that the golfer furthest from the hole should play first. However, this tends to slow down pace of play and result in courses getting backed up.

My friends and I typically play ready golf at all times. It doesn't matter who had the lowest score on the last round, whoever is ready to tee off hits first. As others have mentioned, I'm guessing that group you were playing with were used to playing at a quicker pace @Rob Person. However they should've been aware that you still had to hit onto the green and that they needed to move.

Ready golf should not take away the quality of your golf experience but actually enhance it. There's a big difference between ready golf and sprinting between each shot and rushing everything. Basically just stay out of peoples' way, be ready to hit your ball, and don't worry about honors or who's furthest from the hole. Instead of waiting for someone to hit a shot before starting your routine, you can start it while they're hitting.

At the end of the day, do what makes you comfortable. Just make sure you realize that ready golf is probably the norm on most courses for amateur play.

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My friends and I always play ready golf. Keeps the pace moving and gives you chance to look for a lost ball while everyone else hits that way they aren’t just waiting for you. Most of us are 15 handicaps and up so this isn’t uncommon lol. 
 

I typically am the first one to the green so I’ll mark my ball, watch their chips, and read the line from an angle where I’m not in the way. We don’t have a rule but generally we wait to putt until most of us are on the green or just on the fringe. More just to avoid any distraction when rolling a putt. But at that point I’m ready to go so I immediately take my putt and then the next guy and so on. 
 

Not sure why those guys felt the need to start arguing with a stranger. They were in the wrong for being overly rude. Golf etiquette also encourages being respectful of your playing partners as well as pace of play. As long as you are keeping up with the group a head of you then I’d say you did nothing wrong.


 

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18 hours ago, Rob Person said:

I mostly play solo or with 1 other friend over the last year. we maintain a quality pace of play, so we play furthest away hits next.

Recently I've been paired into a few foursomes, and the Marshall stated to play ready golf.  I had never heard of that before, so naturally I played as I normally do. an issue came up where I was 20 yards short of the green and other 3 were on it or just fringed. They began putting (in my line of approach) so I waited.  2 of the guys got angry and said I had to play quicker.  we got testy a bit with each other because they were in the way, (I didn't want to hit someone, and the group behind us was just getting to the tee)

I left the group and jumped ahead a couple holes (Noone was there)

I'm not familiar with ready golf rules, but would assume that it would apply when everyone was on the green.  any insight would be helpful.

 

@Rob Person, good post & great question posed.  A lot of good commentary too.  

@Jim Shaw made a good statement about "Pace of Play" for the course.  Most courses do have a Pace of Play rating, meaning how long it should take, on the average to play the course.  Example: my home course is rated for 4 hrs for 18 holes. We monitor pace of play pretty well, thanks to GPS on carts.  We can actually see if groups are starting to lag behind, their carts on our screen turn "yellow" indicating 8 mins to 15 mins behind pace or "Red" meaning 15 minutes or longer.  4 hours is pretty much at a 15 minute per hole time. That should be plenty of time to play. 

TV golf definitely has had an impact on the pace of play, negatively I believe.  We watch the pro's exercise the further away plays first. Pro furthest away evaluates his/her shot, determines yardage, wind, slope. pulls a club couple of practice swings then hits. After player 1 hits, The next player then starts assessing his/her shot, then finally pulls a club, approaches their ball & then may make the shot. 2 to 3 minutes have now passed.  Ready golf, basically would be, as Player 1 is assessing their shot, if I'm player 2, I'm assessing my shot. After player 1 hits, I've already determined yardage, club selection, ball lie & ready to hit. 

Pro's On the green.  Furthest away putts first, right? Player assesses his/her putt, walks around the hole, checks the line, pats down a spot on their line, goes back & places the ball down.  Steps back looks at the line. Steps towards the ball, squats down adjusts the ball, then picks up their ball mark.  Steps back behind the ball & does a plumb bob. Then finally walks to the ball to address the ball, takes three looks and strokes the putt.  2-3 minutes or longer have now passed, far exceeding the 40 seconds to play your shot. This impacts the amateur players, well Jon Rahm does it. Rahm is playing in a 2 some. We play in 4 somes.  Multiply 3 minutes times 4 players, it can be over 12 minutes of playing time just on the green. If you don't sink the first putt, do you go through the same routine as the first putt? now you're at 15-18 mins on the green.  That's entirely too long. 

Ready golf can be a good thing & does help with the pace of play.  @UNCRoss the 4 & 5 somes I'm playing with, play ready golf, but we also are respectful to assist our playing partners in looking for their golf balls. We do watch each others tee shots, to keep a bead on the line.  We don't abandon our buddies looking for their golf balls.  Today was a good example, we were looking for golf balls on holes 1, 2, 10 & 13, we all helped look, we all helped.  In the end, our 4 some walked 18 holes in 3hrs & 10 mins, well under the 4 hour course pace of play rating.  

From my perspective as a Ranger/Marshall golfers can be too "methodical", especially us amateurs. Nothing wrong with showing courtesy & respect. However, if you're ready to play your shot, go ahead & your buddy/playing partner should be ok with that, so long as you are not interfering with their play.  


For me personally, I take no offense if my buddies are up at the tee & ready to tee off, even if I've made a birdie on previous hole. But My superstition, I'm not jumping in front of a birdie & certainly not in front of an eagle 🤣.  The group I play with in the mornings, I'm usually the longest hitter (the youngest too) & can make birdies, so I don't take offense when the older guys make their way to the tee box first & I'm still walking up to the box.  After they putt out on a hole, they are walking to their push carts, watching everyone else putt, but also walking to the next hole. 

As for chipping onto the green.  Just inform the individual on the green, you are coming up. don't rush your shot.  That's what we do, if one of the 4 gets to the green & is at their ball yet another player needs to chip up. We warn each other.  Ready golf is good. You don't want to ruin the comradery, but you chat on the tee box, in the fairway walking to next shot or even on the green.  

Good Luck @Rob Person.  In the end I hope you enjoy the game.  As you get more comfortable with the game, you'll find some more cordial playing partners who play ready golf without being rude. 

 

P.S. My apologies for the long winded reply! 

Edited by tdroma98

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10 hours ago, unccross said:

This topic is a great read. I’ve never heard of this. I hadn’t played golf for 12 years until recently picking up the clubs again.  It was always farthest away first. I play with my dad who’s in his 70’s and he still fusses at me for taking a practice swing why someone is getting ready to hit 75 yards across the fairway and I m not in any lines of sight. “Don’t be in a hurry, wait your turn “.  

so for the ones that play ready golf, do they help the other players look for their balls? It sounds like no, they just go to their ball and get ready to hit?

 

Yea you help the other people look, it actually helps pace of play because usually someone finds the ball well before the 3 mins compared to someone looking by themselves 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Definitely ready golf if I’m with friends and always make sure everyone is aware your taking a shot, but if I’m with randoms then I start with out to in and then as we play I try to fall into a rhythms with them. Can never expect people I’ve never played with to do what I expect them to do. 

Been playing for about 2 years in total. Winter breaks and a 6month period when I got sick. Starting to feel like myself again and recently played a “okay” round. 
I currently have custom fit Cobra LTDx irons/wedges, a Vokey 60(cause my short game has been the best part of my game, and a Maverick 9 deg. Driver. Driving is the worst part of my game so My 4 iron usually takes alot of the long game abuse. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Two other things that can help pace of play…

If the course isn’t jammed up or a course has sufficient carts, let us grab an extra cart for a few bucks.  We can disperse, hit, and keep it moving.  
 

The second thing for me is the amount of time people spend looking for a ball.  If you’re blasting in the woods regularly, downgrade from Pro-V1 and use a ball you won’t be so financially attached to.  I’ll never spend more than 30 seconds looking for a ball, unless I’m in a tournament.  
 

A round that nears or goes over 4 hours is not enjoyable.  Ready golf is the answer, in my opinion.  There have already been numerous tips shared on this thread that were very helpful and on-point!


 

 

Edited by SliceBoss
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If you didn't say "Ready" you're wrong! Don't at me.

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In answer to your question, ready golf is the best way to speed up play.  

On 11/14/2023 at 6:31 PM, Rob Person said:

I mostly play solo or with 1 other friend over the last year. we maintain a quality pace of play, so we play furthest away hits next.

Recently I've been paired into a few foursomes, and the Marshall stated to play ready golf.  I had never heard of that before, so naturally I played as I normally do. an issue came up where I was 20 yards short of the green and other 3 were on it or just fringed. They began putting (in my line of approach) so I waited.  2 of the guys got angry and said I had to play quicker.  we got testy a bit with each other because they were in the way, (I didn't want to hit someone, and the group behind us was just getting to the tee)

I left the group and jumped ahead a couple holes (Noone was there)

I'm not familiar with ready golf rules, but would assume that it would apply when everyone was on the green.  any insight would be helpful.

 

We play ready golf here as much as possible, though a few in men's league are a little old school about using furthest out hits first.  For many, this is how we were taught and what we see on TV.  RG most definitely speeds up play and, for the most part, it seems we end up pretty much playing FOHF anyway.  I say that because unless we're further down the fairway and way left or right, we tend to stop for the shorter drives to hit first, so they don't see carts moving ahead of them while hitting. 

Now there may be some competition formats, like match play, where FOHF is either the rule and/or advantageous but my groups don't play those.  Your example suggests guys are putting before all players are on the green isn't something we do unless someone is making a really long lag putt while another is still chipping onto the green (but not in the line of a guy still chipping).  Generally, everyone just keeps moving up and hitting until all are on the green.  At that point, we tend to go back to FOPF but, unless all are in position, ready to putt, we might have a couple guys who are closer go ahead and putt to keep pace moving along.

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I'm all for ready golf and we practice it regularly.  Our usual foursome plays in 3 hours and 15 minutes; if my wife and I are paired with others, it can take an hour longer, and kills me.  

I will say that when we all go to our balls and I'm hitting, I pity the poor person who is in front of me and to my right.  There is a high probability that I will hit them... or come very close!  I see it on TV; pros in front of other pros, but I'm not a pro!!  No matter how much I focus on the ball and the shot, I am fully aware of the person in front of me, and that is where I hit the ball 🥴.  This situation ruins my shot and my game, and I suspect they don't appreciate either.  I do warn strangers on the first tee, and if it happens I'm pissed.  I will ask them to move, but if they don't, they are less likely to do it again!!

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I've learned to adapt, and had this instance occur the one time. I've incorporated more ready golf into my round, except on the green. We play out to in, unless someone has a tap in putt. They get it out of the way.

It is nice to read that others have had the impression of out to in play was a standard. And for someone new to the game, tv and yt still shows it played that way, and that's how most newer golfers learn these days.

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Just an old newbie golfer, trying to learn and improve 1 club at a time.

 

 

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Since I am a single and get paired with others, I will go along with whatever the others are comfortable with. I do know when I am paired with a familiar group and they love to play fast and ready golf, I really enjoy the fast pace they set.

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For SPEED, play ready golf.

For SCORE, play either ready golf or by who's away - let logic and courtesy apply.

For a MATCH, play by who's away - that's why the rule book has different rules for stroke vs. match play.

After retiring from the PGA of America, I did some demo days and club fitting for TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, Ping, Cobra, Srixon and Mizuno.

 

 

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