August Tip for Players: How to spot a 5-hour course (Part 2)

August Tip for Players: How to spot a 5-hour course (Part 2)

Here's Part 2 of our ten questions for "pace of play-savvy" players to ask themselves and the professional staff, in order to avoid signing up for a five-hour-plus round. Questions #1 - #5 are located in Part 1 (July Tip of the Month).


Question #6: Are carts restricted to cart paths? A "carts on paths only" policy adds about 10% - or approximately 20-25 minutes - to the average time to play a round of golf.


Question #7: Is yardage marked only on the sprinkler heads (or not at all?) Sprinkler heads are hard to find. Highly visible yardage markers are better.


Question #8: Are there always three or more carts parked on the tee of the first par 3 on the course? Keep your eyes open as you drive onto course property. If you drive past an early par 3, be suspicious if the green, and particularly the tee, are full.


Question #9: On the first five holes, is there a par 5 hole immediately followed by a par 3 hole? This sequence, especially on the first two holes, spells trouble. The trouble is magnified if your other observations point to an overcrowded course.


Question #10: Does the course have an official USGA Pace Rating? A pace rating, which considers such factors as course length, distance between holes, and course obstacles, gives you an estimate of the time it should take to play 18 holes. If the answers to the first nine questions in this two-part series are mostly negative, don't worry if the pace rating is over four hours.


One final point: Take time to discuss your experience and insights with the course manager. Good managers will welcome your comments, and poor managers need them!



Tip by Bill Yates, Pace Manager Systems


  • "We cut more than 30 minutes off our average 18-hole round."

    Dane Bohrer, PGA, General Manager

  • "Our pace of play is much better and our members love it."

    Alice Plain, PGA, Director of Golf

    Vail Golf Club, Colorado
  • "Bill Yates is the Guru of pace of play."

    Paul Spengler, Executive VP

    Pebble Beach Golf Links, California
  • "Bill Yates unquestionably provides the most enlightening analysis of pace of play I have ever seen."

    Terry Florence, Director of Golf

    Wild Dunes Golf Resort, South Carolina
  • "What Bill did for us was fantastic. Every golf course should adopt his approach."

    Rod Cochrane, General Manager

    Predator Ridge Resort, British Columbia
  • "I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for us."

    Shawn Smith, Director of Golf

    Pebble Beach Resort, California
  • "It’s the best money I’ve ever spent. It’s like you’ve given me an additional course to use."

    Perry Cooper, Golf Manager

    Jasper Park Lodge, Canada
  • "We have now put 3:57 on all our range balls."

    Alan McGregor, General Manager

    St Andrews, Scotland
  • "Your training sharpened our focus on quality."

    Nathan Stith, Director of Golf

    Doral Golf Resort and Spa, Florida
  • "Thanks to Pace Manager, we can now communicate with each other and our guests with facts."

    Brian Shaw, Head Golf Professional

    Doonbeg Golf Club, Ireland
  • "Our members and guests couldn’t be more pleased!"

    Cary Corbitt, Director of Sports & Operations

    Harbour Town Golf Links, South Carolina
  • "Your program was not an expense; it was a sound investment."

    Terry Boldt, Golf Division Manager

    City of Calgary Municipal Courses, Canada
  • "Magnifique!"

    Alexis Davet, General Manager

    Golf de la Grande Bastide, Provence
  • "You’ve made a great difference. I always recommend you to other courses."

    Frank Jemsek, Owner

    Cog Hill Country Club, Illinois
  • "Thanks to you, we have experienced two magical years of smooth flowing golf and exceptional pace"

    Steve Harker, Mgr. Performance Excellence

    Osprey Ridge at Disney World, Florida
  • "We continue to see marked improvement and exceptional quality."

    Gregg Lindquist, General Manager

    Desert Willow Golf Resort, California
  • "Thanks to you, the pace of play was better than it’s been in years, even during the Thursday and Friday rounds."

    Dawn Coe-Jones, LPGA Tour Player

    U.S. Women's Open Championship, Pumpkin Ridge, Oregon
  • "The pace of play in this championship was better than it has ever been."

    David Pepper, R&A Championship Comm. Chair

    The Open Championship, Muirfield, Scotland

Client Courses

  • Osprey Ridge at Disney World

    Lake Buena Vista, Florida

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