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Playing alone

 frustrated_gilmore ·  
frustrated_gilmorefrustrated_gilmore  5Members Posts: 5
Joined:  in Rules of Golf and Etiquette #1

Hi all,

New to the forum and new to golf! I was just wondering what the general consensus is for players who play alone? I am new and trying to get as much practice in as I can, I often want to play 9 holes alone (less pressure and I don’t know anyone that plays).

I was just wondering if this annoys other players as I obviously move quicker than groups and they might feel I’m pushing to play though (which I’m not). I sometimes feel a bit self conscious about playing alone and wondered if generally speaking anyone on the course cares?

cheers guys.



  • BMCBMC  3708Members Posts: 3,708
    Joined:  #2

    You're fine to play alone. If the course is fairly full in front of you, just lag back and give the players ahead some room.

    Don't stand in the fairway leaning on your club like you're impatient.

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  • frustrated_gilmorefrustrated_gilmore  5Members Posts: 5
    Joined:  #3

    ok cool, is it ok to take a few practice swings or do you think that freaks people out that you’re going to hit the ball?

  • GreenieGreenie  3521Members Posts: 3,521
    Joined:  #4

    I play in groups and I also play as a single a lot. I enjoy playing as a single because I usually play better because I seem more focused on what I m doing. As the above poster replied lag back and give the players some room. It's ok to take some practice swings while waiting. I do it all the time to stay lose while waiting. Sometimes I'll take those practice swings in a different direction instead of towards the group ahead.

    You will meet all kinds of people on the course. You have those that think every single expects to fly through all groups on the course and may have an attitude towards a single. You will have other people on the course that are more understanding of a single. As you say not every single expects to fly through groups. I certainly don't. I'll sometimes talk to the group ahead and let them know that I'm out to enjoy the day and say take your time I'm not in a hurry.

  • DpavsDpavs OverWRX'ed Michigan 3562ClubWRX Posts: 3,562
    Joined:  edited Dec 3, 2019 12:58pm #5

    As long as you don't hit up on the group in front and aren't making a lot of noise while they are playing, you are doing your part.

    As for their mind set, you cannot control that. They should be focusing on their game and not your practice swings or whatever else you might be doing for that matter.

  • sui generissui generis  4181Members Posts: 4,181
    Joined:  #6

    Playing alone can be one of life's sublime pleasures. Most of us play alone from time-to-time and enjoy it immensely. We choose times when the course isn't too busy and respect the group ahead by lagging back so as to not seem impatient. Playing alone, when we are prohibited from posting scores, is a time to hit the occasional practice shot or even play two balls. Sadly, we may encounter the grumpy souls who seems to think we don't belong however, that's their problem, not ours.

    Knowledge of the Rules is part of the applied skill set which a player must use to play a round of competitive golf.
  • gripandripgripandrip  1114Members Posts: 1,114
    Joined:  #7

    I play alone a lot and have a couple different approaches. If possible I talk to the group ahead and tell them no hurry, I'm not going to push. But if I don't get a chance to talk to them, I just make sure that when I puttzing around with practice swings and such, I have my back to them, or at least not taking practice swings in their direction. That kind of shows that I'm not in a hurry.

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  • jacob7071jacob7071 TX 26Members Posts: 26
    Joined:  #8

    Just don't take divots with practice swings. It's ok when you're hitting your ball, but it's just unnecessary damage to the course on a practice swing.

  • Z1ggy16Z1ggy16  8318Members Posts: 8,318
    Joined:  #9

    As long as you aren't holding up play behind you, no harm in taking a few extra putts and practicing a few shots. I do this routinely on my local track.

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  • david.c.wdavid.c.w  38Members Posts: 38
    Joined:  #10

    Playing alone is great. You just need to have realistic expectations. Don't expect to play alone at 9:00 on a Saturday. Target later afternoons on the weekends and early afternoons on the weekdays. Talking to the group ahead and letting them know you don't want to push great idea. If there is space in front and they let you through, go on ahead. If the course is full and you are solo don't expect to play through.

    Some other things to consider:

    • Try walking. It takes a bit longer if by yourself so will eat up some extra time
    • Try playing a game with yourself. Best ball of 2 or 2 ball scramble, or the reverse scramble where you play your worst ball. I try to play a 2 ball scramble and make sure I make par or better.
    • practice putting and maybe some chipping if you are not holding up the group behind while you wait for the group in front to clear the tee box or fairway.

    Go out and have fun. Everyone is out to have fun. you might eventually get paired up with another beginner who wants the same you do.

  • frustrated_gilmorefrustrated_gilmore  5Members Posts: 5
    Joined:  #11

    That’s a good point, I should try and let them know I’m not looking to play through!

  • frustrated_gilmorefrustrated_gilmore  5Members Posts: 5
    Joined:  #12

    That’s a good idea playing more than one ball, it’s never occurred to me!

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  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolina 28874Members Posts: 28,874
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    I agree with that so much I had to reply !

    I started this game as a single with nobody to play with. And for a long time I preferred that. To this day I remember how singles are treated and try to do the opposite.

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  • SBH9458SBH9458 Go Army! Beat Navy!  1073Members Posts: 1,073
    Joined:  #15

    I get out there by myself some. I do try not to pressure the group in front of me. Among the best points made (and I have to remind myself of this) is don’t get out there alone on Saturday morning. Enjoy it!

  • Ri_RedneckRi_Redneck Leather for Life!!  5620Members Posts: 5,620
    Joined:  #16

    I get stuck with this situation a lot. As everyone said, don't push folks. Pace yourself and make the most of the time you've been given. I almost always play two balls and the reverse scramble is my favorite format. Makes you focus more. I also sometimes will play a ball off two different tee boxes. Gives me an idea of what difference it makes. Planning to do this next week in Houston because it is supposed to be cold, rainy and windy. I figure I'll be the only person on the course.

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  • bking556bking556  24Members Posts: 24
    Joined:  #17

    I enjoy playing single. I'll join a group if the course is busy but if it isn't, I'll often play a second ball. I prefer practice on the course rather than the range.

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  • AugsterAugster  4513Members Posts: 4,513
    Joined:  #18

    If you’re only planning on playing 9, get to the course early and ask to go off the back. There should be nobody out there and you’ll have the entire 9 to yourself. Hit putts. Play 2 or 3 balls. Nobody ahead and nobody behind.

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  • Carl Spackler3Carl Spackler3  1136Members Posts: 1,136
    Joined:  #19

    A lot has to do with body posture. If you want the group ahead to know that you’re not interested in catching them or playing through, for example on a par 3 , don’t stand on the tee box like you’re lining up a shot, stand sideways or face away, people will get your drift easily

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