Guest Experience

At Southern Hills Golf Course your experience is our top priority. Our entire team is dedicated to providing the highest level of guest service, while also managing pace of play with friendly starters and player assistants (“PA”). To ensure the best experience, all guests should acknowledge golf as a sport that requires sportsmanship through proper golf etiquette and pace of play cooperation. 

Pace of Play Guidelines: 

We expect all groups to complete an 18-hole round of golf in no more than 4 hours and 15 minutes.  Each group shall keep pace with the group in front of them.  Play ‘ready golf’ by playing your shot as soon as the group in front of you moves out of the way. Maintain an 8 to 9 minute gap between your group and the group in front of you.  If this gap is allowed to grow through slow play, your group is affecting the enjoyment of everyone playing behind you.

We have implemented a Notification System to provide consistency with all guests:

First Notice, the PA will inform the group that they need to speed up their play and keep pace with the group in front of them. Second Notice, the PA will inform the group they are now required to skip a hole to increase and maintain pace with the group in front of them. Third Notice, the group may be required to cease play and leave the course as they have acted unsportsmanlike and have not cooperated with these guidelines.

Southern Hills starters and player assistants are well-versed in these guidelines, and we hope our efforts ensure each of you have a consistently excellent experience at our course. If you have comments or questions, please reach out to our team.

Please take a moment to read the USGA Helpful Tips & Suggestions For Improving Pace of Play.

Tips and Suggestions for Improving Pace of Play

Start smart

Confirm your tee time in advance and make it a point to arrive at the tee early with your golf equipment in order, ready to play. Remember essentials like extra balls, tees, gloves and appropriate clothing for the day’s weather conditions.

“Tee It Forward” unless you are consistently able to reach greens in regulation from the back tees.

In other words, play from a set of tees that is comfortable for you – one where you are more likely to hit lofted irons into greens instead of hybrids or fairway woods. It is acceptable for players in the same group to play from different tees. (The USGA Handicap System provides a formula for adjusting handicaps from different tees.)

Try alternate forms of play to speed up your round

Match play, Stableford, best-ball and other formats are easy and fun alternatives to individual stroke play because not every player has to hole out on every hole. There are multiple resources online and in print to learn about the many different golf formats. Try one out.

Minimize your time on the tee

On the tee it is usually acceptable for players to “hit when ready.” You can also save time by playing a provisional ball (Rule 27-2) if you think your original ball might be lost or out of bounds.  Hazards are well marked, and many are lateral hazards, meaning you may take a drop from the hazard with a one stroke penalty.

Plan your shot before you get to your ball

Once you are off the tee, think ahead. Determine your yardage and make your club selection before it is your turn to play. Very often, you can do this while others are playing, without disruption. If you take your glove off between shots, have it back on before it is your turn to play. Even a small step like this saves time.

Keep your pre-shot routine short

Pick your line of play once and trust yourself. Try to take no more than one practice swing, then set up to the ball and play your shot. Most importantly, be ready to hit when it is your turn. Be efficient after your shot too. Start moving toward your next shot promptly.

Aim to play in 20 seconds

From club selection to pre-shot routine to execution, strive to hit your shot in 20 seconds when it is your turn to play. Help keep play moving at a brisk pace.

Develop an eye for distance

You don’t have to step off yardage for every shot. If you need to determine precise distance, try to find a yardage marker before you reach your ball, then step off the yardage on the way to your ball. Or, consider investing in an electronic range-finder or global positioning system for golf and use it when permitted by Local Rule. If others you are playing with are not familiar with the course, the Rules permit players to exchange yardage information without penalty.

When sharing a cart, use a buddy system

Don’t wait in the cart while your cart mate hits and then drive to your ball. Get out and walk to your ball with a few clubs. Be ready to play when it is your turn and then let your cart mate pick you up. Or, drive to your ball after you drop your cart mate off and then pick him or her up after you hit.  Park your cart on the cart path between the green and the next tee.  Wait to post your score until you reach the next tee.

Be helpful to others in your group

Follow the flight of all tee shots, not just your own. Once in the fairway, help others look for their ball if you already know the location of yours. Volunteer to fill in a divot or rake a bunker for another player if needed. Be ready to attend the flagstick for others.

Keep up with the group in front of you

Your correct position on the course is immediately behind the group in front of you, not immediately in front of the group behind you. Arrive at your next shot just before the group in front leaves the area in front of you. If you are consistently not able to keep up and a gap opens in front of you, invite the group behind you to play through, irrespective of the number of players in the group.

Be efficient on the putting green

Mark your ball and lift and clean it when you arrive at the putting green so you will be ready to replace it when it is your turn to play. You can usually line up your putt while others are putting, without disturbing them. Leave your clubs on the side of the putting green closest to the next tee, repair your ball marks and leave the green promptly after holing out. Wait until the next tee to record your score.

Remember that picking up your ball is permitted by the USGA Handicap System

If not in an individual stroke play competition, it is generally OK to pick up your ball and move on to the next hole if you are “out” of a hole and want to maintain pace of play. This applies in match play and many forms of stroke play, including Stableford and best-ball play.

© Newman Golf, All Rights Reserved