A frequent question wrestled with on-the-course has been what impact the use of creative visualization has on pace-of-play. A recent personal experience has been that concern with maintaining pace-of-play can be a major distraction when attempting to use imagery during the pre-shot routine. When pace-of-play is of concern, my choice has been not to take the time to either be the ball or be the golfer. My experience has been that it is much easier to forgo the visualization process; go through my normal pre-shot motions; and just hit, pitch, chip or putt the ball.
As discussed in Golfer’s Palette, slow play is the most perplexing problem in golf today. A slow player can ruin the day for all players. In the interest of all, players have an obligation to play at a reasonable pace. An added variable in the pace-of-play equation is the number one revenue producing item on the golf course: green fees. Course management has an obligation to its board to fill as many available tee times with foursomes as possible. From this perspective, pace-of-play becomes a team effort between golfers and course management.
As members of the culture of golfers, each of us can contribute to pace-of-play efforts on the courses we choose to play:
• Be our own best pace-of-play coach by identifying the ways we can pick up the pace-of-play.
• As a general guideline, before proceeding to the green to putt, it helps to place golf cars, golf carts or golf bags between the green on which you plan to putt and the next teeing ground.
• Give “Tee It Forward” a try: play from a set of tees most suited to your driving distance.
• Play “Ready Golf” during stroke play: when you are ready to shoot, shoot!
• Set an example for those with whom you are playing.
• Give alternate formats a try: match-play, Stableford, four-ball, alternate shot, Speed Golf, best ball and two-ball Chapman.
• Play more quickly, play better and have more fun.
• Become familiar with your course’s pace-of-play guidelines; and become familiar with the pace-of-play guidelines for other courses you may choose to play.
• Go to to learn about USGA publications, programs and suggestions concerning pace-of-play.
What does the forgoing have to offer about developing the skill of creative visualization?
The number one lesson for this golfer is to practice this skill until the imaging process is effective and efficient. Even though distracted by concerns about pace-of-play, it feels like it will be better to go through an expedited visualization process and not abandon the process. Will keep you posted on progress: have just recently discovered that ball spin characteristics are a fundamental issue with my chip shots all being short.

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