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Playing alone

 frustrated_gilmore ·  
frustrated_gilmorefrustrated_gilmore Members  7WRX Points: 7Posts: 7 Bunkers
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 Members  3928WRX Points: 922Handicap: YESPosts: 3,928 Titanium Tees
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    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 Members  7WRX Points: 7Posts: 7 Bunkers
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    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 Members  3604WRX Points: 217Handicap: 13.7Posts: 3,604 Titanium Tees
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    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 MichiganClubWRX  4037WRX Points: 701Posts: 4,037 ClubWRX
    Joined:  edited Dec 3, 2019 #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.

  • gripandripgripandrip Members  1271WRX Points: 248Posts: 1,271 Platinum Tees
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    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 TXMembers  49WRX Points: 44Handicap: 1Posts: 49 Bunkers
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    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 Members  9791WRX Points: 1,674Posts: 9,791 Titanium Tees
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    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 Members  111WRX Points: 80Handicap: 6.4Posts: 111 Fairways
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    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 Members  7WRX Points: 7Posts: 7 Bunkers
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    That’s a good point, I should try and let them know I’m not looking to play through!

  • frustrated_gilmorefrustrated_gilmore Members  7WRX Points: 7Posts: 7 Bunkers
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    That’s a good idea playing more than one ball, it’s never occurred to me!

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  • bladehunterbladehunter south carolinaMembers  31008WRX Points: 7,293Handicap: NONEPosts: 31,008 Titanium Tees
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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! Members  1320WRX Points: 211Handicap: It is ClimbingPosts: 1,320 Platinum Tees
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    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!! Members  5951WRX Points: 470Handicap: 8Posts: 5,951 Titanium Tees
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    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 Members  239WRX Points: 139Handicap: InfinitePosts: 239 Fairways
    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 Members  4771WRX Points: 638Posts: 4,771 Titanium Tees
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    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.

  • Carl Spackler3Carl Spackler3 Members  1301WRX Points: 454Posts: 1,301 Platinum Tees
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    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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  • ArtMBgolfArtMBgolf Members  574WRX Points: 127Handicap: 8Posts: 574 Golden Tee
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    If there is nobody behind you, practice chips and putts. If a 1 to 3 some is behind you and play is slow, join them.

    If the course isn't busy and you know holes are open in front of a foursome, skip around them, especially if the sun is going down.

    If you play decent with good etiquette and pace, be prepared to join up with others, if you want to play on busy courses.

  • PulledabillPulledabill Members  460WRX Points: 72Handicap: 6Posts: 460 Greens
    Joined:  #21

    I play alone a ton due to work schedule. If empty course I might cart it to get holes in.If busy I walk and get thru where I can. If Im not gaining anyrhing I lay back and practice putting or play 2 balls.

  • wkndhckrwkndhckr Members  64WRX Points: 26Posts: 64 Bunkers
    Joined:  #22

    I play alone all the time. I may tee up an extra ball to see how far I can hit it or putt a bit while I wait to kill time.

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  • frustrated_gilmorefrustrated_gilmore Members  7WRX Points: 7Posts: 7 Bunkers
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    Thanks for all the feedback guys, it’s made me a lot less anxious about playing alone. I even joined a couple for a few holes the other day and it was nice to see the social side of golf (although mortifying that there were witnesses to my terrible shots haha)

  • AugsterAugster Members  4771WRX Points: 638Posts: 4,771 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #24

    Just remember, every single person you play with sucks at golf. We all do.

    For players that are any good at the game, they have tours that give them money to play and sponsors that pay them to play.

    Like I like to say, “If any of us was any good, we wouldn’t be playing here this weekend.”

  • meliason_14meliason_14 Members  28WRX Points: 32Posts: 28 Bunkers
    Joined:  #25

    Love playing alone and practicing short game with a couple of balls after playing the hole.


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