The 14 Commandments of Tournament Play
For some, golf is definitely a religion. For others, a quick prayer before hitting over water or a ‘Please God’ before that 3 foot putt is part of their routine. As the ball heads straight for the bunker, we all pray to the golfing gods for divine intervention. St Anthony is the patron saint of lost and stolen items, I’m guessing he gets more prayers when balls go off the fairways.
At Go Golfing, we are best known for running the biggest tournaments for club golfers in Australia and Asia. So what do we pray for? On tournament days, we pray for good weather and no slow play! We choose tournament dates when the weather god’s are likely to be on our side and let’s just say we give the golfing god’s a hand when it comes to slow play.
So here are the 14 Commandments we send to players before the Ladbrokes World Masters on the Gold Coast, the Wrest Point International Masters in Hobart, and our international tournaments. And they work, our average tournament rounds are now 26 minutes faster than 2 years ago.
Ready, Set, Go
1. The first rule is to have fun. Even in tournaments, golf is just a game- wonderful game – but a game nonetheless.
2. Carry a few extra tees, ball markers and a spare ball in your pockets so you don’t have to return to your golf bag when you need one.
3. If it takes you longer than 15 seconds to calculate distances with your range-finder, don’t use one.
4. Turn your phone off or to silent. Phones should only be used for emergencies and should never delay play.
5. Be courteous and treat all players, staff and officials as you’d like to be treated – with respect. If a player in your group is ‘slow’, offer encouragement and help.
6. When sharing a cart, drop the first player off at their ball, drive on ahead to the second ball. The first player should walk over to the cart as the second player is playing his shot.
7. Begin preparing before you get to your ball. Use travel time to begin thinking over your next shot – the yardage, which club you’ll use, and so on.
8. When you think your ball may be lost or out of bounds, hit a provisional ball straight away.
9. Don’t spend more than 2 minutes searching for a ball. It’s nice to watch a good shot, it is more important to watch a bad one to see where the ball finishes. Get a line or a physical marker to help the search for your ball.
10. When you fall behind the group in front, play ‘ready golf’ until you catch up.
11. In stableford competitions, if you cannot score, please pick-up.
On the Green
12. Begin lining up your putt and reading the break as soon as you reach the green. When it is your turn, you will be ready to step right up and take the stroke.
13. Leave your bags and golf carts to the side of the green, and in the direction of the next tee, never in front of the green.
14. After holing out on the green, write down your scores. If you have the honour, go to the next hole, tee off and then attend to your scorecard.
So,while you wait for your prayers to be answered, here are some fantastic links to discover your next tournament play:
- GLORIOUS GOLD COAST: Ladbrokes Gold Coast World Masters (October)
- IDYLLIC SUMMER FUN: Drummond Golf Hobart International Masters (January)
- AS GOOD AS IT GETS: Barnbougle Callaway 4Ball Challenge (January)