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How to tell casual golfing friend that they are slow


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So i play golf with this guy, nice guy, met him at the course and we play about once a week together.    Really good guy so I don't want to offend him but he is way too deliberate and slow on every shot.  Goes through all kinds of ritual calesthenics, especially when putting.  I'm the opposite, really quick, sometimes quicker than I should be to make up for his slowness.

If this was a good friend of mine, I'd just tell him straight up, you gotta pick up the pace but as I tried to convey, still getting to know the guy and like playing with him otherwise.

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Played in a scramble recently with a fourth I had never met.  By the third hole, I knew what it was like to be paired with Bryson DeChambeau. 

I knew we were in trouble just by the way he dressed.  Official Masters hat, Official Pebble Beach jacket, everything perfect, super OCD.  Probably gets his eyebrows done.

Awful day, having to watch his "routine" every last shot.

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41 minutes ago, Dwayne Hoover said:

So i play golf with this guy, nice guy, met him at the course and we play about once a week together.    Really good guy so I don't want to offend him but he is way too deliberate and slow on every shot.  Goes through all kinds of ritual calesthenics, especially when putting.  I'm the opposite, really quick, sometimes quicker than I should be to make up for his slowness.

If this was a good friend of mine, I'd just tell him straight up, you gotta pick up the pace but as I tried to convey, still getting to know the guy and like playing with him otherwise.

I'd go with guilt and sarcasm.  But I'm an #######.

 

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I'm a slow player and I didn't know i was slow or why it bothered people because I only played with other people who sucked.  Then i played with good players and i was totally fine just picking up my ball because I realized they were trying to go faster and I wasn't good enough to keep up.  When you only play once in a while you go to enjoy it and take your time. You're not intending to be slow, you just don't see it as a timed game because there's no clock.  When you see a player go faster, you don't think they are going fast to make up for you, you just think that they play different and are probably better than you. 

Try something like I can't play this week because I have a hard stop and you like to play a little slower but I can play with you next week. And if he objects then offer to play with him but help him pick up the pace.  Then buy him a round afterwards (but not on the day you said you had a hard stop).  

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Golf a twilight round on a nice weekday after work. Find a course with tight tee times and a few difficult early holes followed by a par 3. Always seems to back up with this setup.

He should get the hint seeing all golfers waiting while he’s plumbing his 4 foot putt for the 3rd time.Always have him tee off last so he can see his slow ###. 

If that doesn’t work code red is in order.

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3 hours ago, Dumbo Octopus said:

Played in a scramble recently with a fourth I had never met.  By the third hole, I knew what it was like to be paired with Bryson DeChambeau. 

I knew we were in trouble just by the way he dressed.  Official Masters hat, Official Pebble Beach jacket, everything perfect, super OCD.  Probably gets his eyebrows done.

Awful day, having to watch his "routine" every last shot.

“Probably gets his eyebrows done”. 😂

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It’s hard. I never get mad at people’s routine over the ball. I get mad when 5 players watch each other shoot standing in the fairway. They don’t look at their lie, get distance, check wind etc BEFORE it’s their turn.  that’s what causes slow play 

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Make a point to have you and your buddies get together at your place and watch Zootopia. When it gets to the part with the DMV sloth, you and your buddies tell him "that sloth is just like you on the links" and laugh your ### off. Problem solved.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, bostonfred said:

I'm a slow player and I didn't know i was slow or why it bothered people because I only played with other people who sucked.  Then i played with good players and i was totally fine just picking up my ball because I realized they were trying to go faster and I wasn't good enough to keep up.  When you only play once in a while you go to enjoy it and take your time. You're not intending to be slow, you just don't see it as a timed game because there's no clock.  When you see a player go faster, you don't think they are going fast to make up for you, you just think that they play different and are probably better than you. 

Try something like I can't play this week because I have a hard stop and you like to play a little slower but I can play with you next week. And if he objects then offer to play with him but help him pick up the pace.  Then buy him a round afterwards (but not on the day you said you had a hard stop).  

Skill level does not have much to do with pace of play.  I play with really good players who are very deliberate and slow and vice versa.  I was always an average paced golfer until the last few years.  Mostly  because I was shooting the bull when walking up to my shot insead of getting ready to hit that shot.  Now when walking up I am already thinking about what club to use so when i get there i am ready.  Same when walking up to the green I look at the slope front and back so i don`t waste time walking around when I get there.  I am a mid 80s player and found I shoot pretty much the same scores even if I take way more time with each shot.  Speeding up is not rushing your shot, it is just getting prepared to hit your next shot faster.

Edited by Da Guru
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9 hours ago, bostonfred said:

I'm a slow player and I didn't know i was slow or why it bothered people because I only played with other people who sucked.  Then i played with good players and i was totally fine just picking up my ball because I realized they were trying to go faster and I wasn't good enough to keep up.  When you only play once in a while you go to enjoy it and take your time. You're not intending to be slow, you just don't see it as a timed game because there's no clock.  When you see a player go faster, you don't think they are going fast to make up for you, you just think that they play different and are probably better than you. 

Try something like I can't play this week because I have a hard stop and you like to play a little slower but I can play with you next week. And if he objects then offer to play with him but help him pick up the pace.  Then buy him a round afterwards (but not on the day you said you had a hard stop).  

Tee times are based on a clock, so there's that...

10 hours ago, Dwayne Hoover said:

So i play golf with this guy, nice guy, met him at the course and we play about once a week together.    Really good guy so I don't want to offend him but he is way too deliberate and slow on every shot.  Goes through all kinds of ritual calesthenics, especially when putting.  I'm the opposite, really quick, sometimes quicker than I should be to make up for his slowness.

If this was a good friend of mine, I'd just tell him straight up, you gotta pick up the pace but as I tried to convey, still getting to know the guy and like playing with him otherwise.

In this type of situation, I'd feel even more liberated to come out and tell him what the issue is.  This isn't a friendship you've invested a bunch of time on and worry about ruining something.  Tell him straight up and if he gets all weird about it, you know this isn't a guy you can be straight with and probably isn't worth investing time in.

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1 hour ago, Osaurus said:

Make a point to have you and your buddies get together at your place and watch Zootopia. When it gets to the part with the DMV sloth, you and your buddies tell him "that sloth is just like you on the links" and laugh your ### off. Problem solved.

This.  Do it outside of the golf environment in a funny way.  It will make him consider it.  Maybe he doesn't know how slow he is.

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Maybe the guy just likes being out there and enjoying the day.

 

I know when I golf I get to enjoy 4-5 hours of just being a guy. I don't have to be a husband, I don't have to be a father....I just get to do what I want for those glorious hours. I can drink a beer and play golf and talk smart with my buddies and have a good time.

I guess I just don't get the obsession with rushing through a round of golf. I mean, I understand it's frustrating when guys play slow, but anymore a lot of golfers play slow for whatever reason. It's just part of golfing these days, especially with a flood of new golfers out there.

 

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1 minute ago, ChiefD said:

Maybe the guy just likes being out there and enjoying the day.

 

I know when I golf I get to enjoy 4-5 hours of just being a guy. I don't have to be a husband, I don't have to be a father....I just get to do what I want for those glorious hours. I can drink a beer and play golf and talk smart with my buddies and have a good time.

I guess I just don't get the obsession with rushing through a round of golf. I mean, I understand it's frustrating when guys play slow, but anymore a lot of golfers play slow for whatever reason. It's just part of golfing these days, especially with a flood of new golfers out there.

 

I'll just throw out a couple. 4 hours is not awful.

Golf sucks if you have to wait 5 minutes for every shot. You can play fast without playing quick. Doing a lot of little things the right way will speed up a round without "rushing".... And if you lay 8 in the fairway get in your ####### cart and enjoy your beer

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In my experience, a large % of golfers (even good ones) play golf just to get away from their families for a few hours.  As Chief put it, they just want to be guys for a little bit.  So yeah, that means drinks, dilly dallying in the fairway, re-lighting their cigar/cracking a new beer in every tee box, etc. Just the way it is.

A lot of those guys dont WANT to play in under 4 hours because then their wife might discover that you can play a round of golf in under 4 hours.  Anything over 4.5 hours is really rough IMO. God forbid it gets to a FIVE hour pace. At that point, I'd rather just not play.

As others have stated, the main problem isn't people being bad or even having a long pre-shot routine. The problem is when you have a group with 4 guys who ALL have long pre-shot routines who refuse to even start them until its their turn to hit. That's how you get into trouble.

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Posted (edited)

My best friend is this way - too many practice swings - gets to the ball - watches you or lights a cigar or whatever and then when it is his turn to hit is like.. oh, mmm. what club should I hit.. to promptly duff it and then take a bunch more practice swings...  I was with him when he literally pissed off 12 old ladies playing behind us and because he is not good, he gets frustrated - that  pushed  him over the edge. I finally just suggested we pick up and go to the next tee to give the ladies some where to go. I love the guy but I can't golf with him regularly because it just is not any fun................. how the hell do I tell him golfing with him sucks?  Like just play - who cares if you go OB  - go up there and drop one. etc. Enjoy whacking golf balls with your buddies, have some laughs, and some beers and move on......... 

 

Edit - he does not practice or play enought to be good  OK but he expects to play at the same level of myself and another buddy that you know, actually practice once in a while and have played enough that we can play a decent round, keep pace and not horrifically embarass ourselves.  and I don't care.. suck all you want.. just don't expect to be good at something you have not put the effort into and for god sakes - when your drive gets topped or goes OB, just come drop with whoever is in your cart and keep it moving - no one cares about your golf game - they are there to hang out with you and enjoy the day ( that's what i need to tell him  - Dude, you aren't good and no one cares but you. So stop stressing about it, stop jacking up the course and enjoy the cold beers and your buddies) 

Edited by Angry Beavers
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1 hour ago, ChiefD said:

Maybe the guy just likes being out there and enjoying the day.

 

I know when I golf I get to enjoy 4-5 hours of just being a guy. I don't have to be a husband, I don't have to be a father....I just get to do what I want for those glorious hours. I can drink a beer and play golf and talk smart with my buddies and have a good time.

I guess I just don't get the obsession with rushing through a round of golf. I mean, I understand it's frustrating when guys play slow, but anymore a lot of golfers play slow for whatever reason. It's just part of golfing these days, especially with a flood of new golfers out there.

 

As other's have said.  This isn't the issue.  You can play leisurely and not be slow.  You can be bad and not be slow.  The guy that walks 40 yds to his ball without a club to size up his shot and then has to walk 40 yds back to the cart to get a club and then forget what he wants only to do it all over again is the problem.  Not being ready to hit when it comes around to you is the biggest problem.  Same with putts.  If you get to the green before your foursome and are ready to putt go ahead and do it.  You don't have to wait for everyone to be on the green.  Ready golf is more the problem than leisure golf.

 

The worst type guy is the guy that does all these slow play things and then yells at you to hurry because the group behind you is crowding you.  

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2 hours ago, Da Guru said:

Skill level does not have much to do with pace of play.  I play with really good players who are very deliberate and slow and vice versa.  I was always an average paced golfer until the last few years.  Mostly  because I was shooting the bull when walking up to my shot insead of getting ready to hit that shot.  Now when walking up I am already thinking about what club to use so when i get there i am ready.  Same when walking up to the green I look at the slope front and back so i don`t waste time walking around when I get there.  I am a mid 80s player and found I shoot pretty much the same scores even if I take way more time with each shot.  Speeding up is not rushing your shot, it is just getting prepared to hit your next shot faster.

This

If everyone just played ready golf golf would be more fun for everyone 

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I agree with the majority here that I don't begrudge people having pre-shot routines, as long as they are within reason (I did play with one guy who would just pause for like 20 seconds before starting his putting stroke, which was horrible - I think someone finally told him in between rounds and he got better).  But the people who don't get their club out until it's their turn in the fairway, don't start looking at their putt until they are up - ugh.  I don't like it but can tolerate it when the course is pretty spread out, but if we are holding people up it stresses me out and I start playing too fast to try to compensate. 

I've found it can be sometimes be helpful to go slightly out of order with a comment of "I'm just going to play ready golf if that's okay" as it can subtly clue them in that they need to pick up the pace a bit.  If I'm playing with someone who is typically slow but we are not the holdup, I will also sometimes make a comment about how slow the play is that day to at least get it in their head that I don't like to play at a glacial pace.

On the flip side, I used to play with a guy who acted like he was trying to break a speed record.  Stop to hit the ball in a few seconds, walk way up the fairway ahead of me when I haven't hit yet, and that was &!&$# stressful too.  I never did figure out how to broach the subject with him that he was wigging me out with his rushing.

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11 hours ago, Judge Smails said:

It’s hard. I never get mad at people’s routine over the ball. I get mad when 5 players watch each other shoot standing in the fairway. They don’t look at their lie, get distance, check wind etc BEFORE it’s their turn.  that’s what causes slow play 

When I was in h.s. our club pro joined me, my brother and dad for a round. Came to the first tee and announced “hey guys let’s play ready golf today.” We were both slow players and didn’t actually know what that meant but then he and dad proceeded to demonstrate it for us without saying a word.

Go directly to your ball unless you’re going to be in another players field of vision. Look for sprinkler heads / markers on your way to the ball. Be decisive. Be ready to play when you are away. Strive for 1 or 0 practice strokes (exception: chipping or partial shots.) Putt through completion and do so without stepping on someone’s line. Park the cart or your bag between the green and the next tee.

One of the best lessons I ever learned.

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13 hours ago, Getzlaf15 said:

Make a joke out of it.  Hey,  why do you play really slow? Ask him if he knows woz from the innerwebs 

Woz plays lightning fast FYI. 
 

What helped me is I joined an 8 ball cash game that played a four hour round. 

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4 hours ago, ChiefD said:

Maybe the guy just likes being out there and enjoying the day.

 

I know when I golf I get to enjoy 4-5 hours of just being a guy. I don't have to be a husband, I don't have to be a father....I just get to do what I want for those glorious hours. I can drink a beer and play golf and talk smart with my buddies and have a good time.

I guess I just don't get the obsession with rushing through a round of golf. I mean, I understand it's frustrating when guys play slow, but anymore a lot of golfers play slow for whatever reason. It's just part of golfing these days, especially with a flood of new golfers out there.

 

I’m one of the guys you described where it’s my time to get away from responsibility. However, I also just play fast and play better when the pace of play is faster. 
 

Waiting sucks. I haven’t done the math but I guarantee my net results are worse with a couple minute wait on each shot. 

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trying to really answer the question.....

first thing that came to mind is maybe telling him "hey, some of the guys that played behind us last time caught me after our round and asked us to maybe try and pick up the pace a little in the future if we go out again together.....they were trying to be friendly and just help us out but said it was a little frustrating for them.....they mentioned you seemed to play a little slower than me and thought maybe I could say something to you.....I know I need to pick up the pace sometimes myself.....maybe its something we can try to do next week.....we all know slow play frustrates some people"....

of course that is assuming you guys didn't actually know the guys behind you or would remember who they were....this way you get the message across while also kind of including yourself as part of the problem (even tho you aren't).....he should get the message....

for the record....I prefer the straight shooter approach and think some people appreciate it.....but if you are not sure and you have some value in the relationship, a little white lie/story won't hurt anybody......and really if someone telling you you need to pick up the pace a little pisses you off, you may be taking things a little too seriously.....its not like the worst thing you can say to somebody and that they should lose sleep over...

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Yeah to the OP this is tough bc you don’t know the guy that well. I think I still lean towards just straight up asking him to play a bit faster to keep pace with the group. Maybe toss in a little fib about your wife giving you #### for coming home later than usual. 
 

The above said though I’d understand not wanting to confront the guy. I like the passive aggressive suggestion of blaming it on passing a message along from a phantom group behind you. 
 

Have you talked to the other guys in the group? Maybe this just needs to be a group effort. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Bull Dozier said:

Tee times are based on a clock, so there's that...

In this type of situation, I'd feel even more liberated to come out and tell him what the issue is.  This isn't a friendship you've invested a bunch of time on and worry about ruining something.  Tell him straight up and if he gets all weird about it, you know this isn't a guy you can be straight with and probably isn't worth investing time in.

EXACTLY. 

Christ. Please dont make up an elaborate story. Just come right out and bust his chops. 
 

Edited by STEADYMOBBIN 22
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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Mrs. Rannous said:

Isn't that what the 19th hole is for?

My guess is that there are a lot of husbands that can justify it (either to themselves or their wives) as time spend "playing golf" (even if they're taking an absurdly long time due to extra circulars or just generally slow play)  but not if its time spent drinking at the bar.

 

 

Edited by TLEF316
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Maybe without telling him you could stop in clubhouse and ask if a ranger could find you guys around the 5/6 hole or so and remind you to pick up the pace. They would probably appreciate your situation.

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15 minutes ago, STEADYMOBBIN 22 said:

EXACTLY. 

Christ. Please dont make up an elaborate story. Just come right out and bust his chops. 
 

the OP kind of indicated this wasn't really an option and the reason for the thread in the first place....

don't think he is looking for a bunch of people to come out and say suck it up buttercup and just tell it to him straight...he is looking for other options....

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 What's he specifically doing that's taking so long?  3 practice swings?  4?  "Ritual calisthenics when putting."  What does that mean? 

And the most important.  Is he beating you when you play?

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4 hours ago, Dr_Zaius said:

I did play with one guy who would just pause for like 20 seconds before starting his putting stroke, which was horrible - I think someone finally told him in between rounds and he got better). 

Its in the 30-40 second range with his putting routine.  There are pauses, practice strokes, just general weirdness on every putt

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18 minutes ago, brun said:

Maybe without telling him you could stop in clubhouse and ask if a ranger could find you guys around the 5/6 hole or so and remind you to pick up the pace. They would probably appreciate your situation.

We have done this in the past.  Works.

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Just now, Dwayne Hoover said:

Also agree that it doesn't have anything to do with being a good golfer.  I'm not good but I am fast.  

Its all about being ready as everyone has stated and he's never ready.

He might disagree.  If he's kicking your butt you shouldn't say anything to him.  Honestly. 

If you're about equal players then sure.  Say something.  I'd disagree at that point that you can't bust his chops.  A simple, "hey man, we're not on Tour here.  There's no reason to take so much time on every shot" would likely work absolutely fine.  If he gets sore about it you probably don't want to play with him anyway.

 

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Just now, Grahamburn said:

He might disagree.  If he's kicking your butt you shouldn't say anything to him.  Honestly. 

If you're about equal players then sure.  Say something.  I'd disagree at that point that you can't bust his chops.  A simple, "hey man, we're not on Tour here.  There's no reason to take so much time on every shot" would likely work absolutely fine.  If he gets sore about it you probably don't want to play with him anyway.

 

We are about the same golfing wise.  Mid 20s index.

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