Summer is rapidly closing in, meaning you probably have a golf vacation or two lined up. While the unfamiliarity of a new course may be your primary concern, you should consider the ill effects of another resort golf experience: the mandatory use of carts.
While you can thank golf carts for quickening the pace of play, they nonetheless provide a challenge to your ability to remain focused on your game. If you’re a frequent walker, riding in a cart can negatively affect your sense of rhythm and personal pace. Moving quickly from shot to shot eliminates time that should be used to think about the upcoming play and to relax your nerves and instill a sense of calm. Regain your personal flow and rhythm with the following tip.
First, offer to ride, not drive. Not owning the responsibility of navigating the cart is one less thing to think about. After you tee off, have the driver drop you off 50 yards before the spot where your ball lies. Take three clubs: the one you think you need, one club more and one club less. As you walk to your ball, breathe in deeply and gather your thoughts. Use the walk to reestablish your personal pace. If your partner is the first to hit from the fairway, walk from his or her ball to yours. From short distance, bring your putter, and walk from the spot of your approach to the green, again using the time to gather your thoughts, reenter the flow of the game and to read the lay of the green.
This method should satisfy both your needs and the pro shop’s desire to keep up the pace of play.
PGA professional Eddie Lee instructs at the Wailea Golf Club on Maui, Hawaii.