The Case for Executive Courses: Big Fun in Small Packages

You’re short on time. Short on patience. And maybe a little short on disposable cash.

What’s a golfer to do?

Short answer: Tee it up on an executive course.

Hadn’t thought of that, had you?


The term “executive course” was coined by architect William Mitchell, who championed scaled-down layouts as a way for business executives to squeeze in a round “at the tail end of a hectic workday.”

As an alternative, Golf Digest architecture editor Ron Whitten has suggested “precision course” – a name that may well appeal to lower handicap golfers.

No matter what you call them, when you play them, these mighty mites never come up short.  Here are five good reasons to play an executive course soon… and often:


You’ll finish sooner

The typical executive course features more than eight par 3s, a handful of par 4s, and perhaps a par 5. Compare this to the average regulation layout with multiple par 4s & 5s and not as many par 3s, it stands to reason that an executive round is less time-consuming.

That’s never been more important and convenient than it is today during the winter months when darkness falls early.

On most executive courses, you can sneak in 18 holes in three hours or less. When’s the last time you played a full-size track that quickly?

charlie yates

Designed by famed golf course architect Rees Jones, The Yates Course offers a mix of challenging Par 3’s and 4’s with remarkable views of the downtown Atlanta skyline. Photo by: Charlie Yates Golf Course

Great bang for your buck

Because they’re more compact than conventional courses, executive facilities cost less to maintain. In general, you’ll pay about half to three-quarters the price of a regular round, but you’ll still use your full set of clubs.


Laid-back and family-friendly

Serious golfers tend to steer clear of executive courses. Their loss is a net gain for casual players, including beginners and families with kids.

While it’s still important to practice good golf etiquette, mellow types and neophytes find the game more relaxing when surrounded by their peers. What’s more, executive layouts are rarely as hazard-laden or thick of rough as their big siblings.


Sporting four sets of tees to suit every golfer’s ability, Seven Bridges at Springtree GC is the popular choice of South Florida’s golfer. Photo by: Spring Tee Golf Club

Perfect for walking

Many full-size courses require players to rent a cart. Some are simply not walker-friendly due to length or topography.

Executive courses, on the other hand, usually welcome walkers. At 3,500 – 5,500 yards for 18 holes, the trek is quite manageable, and you’ll seldom encounter long traverses between greens and tees.


Carved out of the pines with no harsh transition areas and no artificial landscaping, the Mountain course is all natural and a real challenge and joy to play. Photo by: Incline Village Golf Course

Good for your game

It’s probably the biggest misconception about executive courses: They’re not challenging enough for better golfers.

If your idea of a nice test is tackling the back tees at PGA West’s TPC Stadium Course, most executives probably won’t do it for you. But if you want to sharpen your irons and short game while getting in some work on your driving, then a heavy dose of one-shotters mixed with a few longer holes is just what the doctor ordered.


Here are some of our favorites on GolfNow:



Augusta Ranch GC – Mesa

Executive at Mountain Shadows GC (currently under renovation) – Paradise Valley



Lincoln Park GC – San Francisco

Oaks North GC (27 holes) – San Diego

Executive at Vista Valencia GC – Valencia



Seven Bridges at Springtree GC – Sunrise



Charlie Yates GC (9 holes) – Atlanta



Mountain at Incline Village GC – Incline Village

Desert Willow GC – Henderson



Spotswood Executive at Golden Horseshoe GC (9 holes) – Williamsburg

Beat the Heat With Early Rounds

The first official day of summer has come and gone and it is hot! Beat the heat, along with your opponent, by playing early rounds this summer. GolfNow’s Play Fast courses make it easy to get to the tee bright and early. Book a tee time for this weekend at one of the featured courses below or at another Play Fast course near you.

Riviera Naples

Located in Naples, Fla., Riviera Golf Club is a great course to enjoy with golfers of any caliber. Photo by Riviera Golf Club.

Riviera Golf Club (Naples, Fla.) — Enjoy the executive length course with a player friendly layout at Riviera Golf Club in Naples, Florida.

Carmel Mountain Ranch (San Diego, Calif.) – Play the challenging course with beautiful mountain views at Carmel Mountain Ranch, just 25 minutes from downtown San Diego.


With only 9 holes to play through, Brackenridge Heights makes for a quick, enjoyable round. Photo by

Brackenridge Heights Country Club (Natrona Heights, Pa.) – Just outside of Pittsburgh, Pa., Brackenridge Heights is a 9-hole course featuring two sets of tees for golfers with varying skill levels.

Battleground at Deer Park (Houston, Texas) – With its varying tee lengths and championship layout, Battleground Golf Course in Houston is a match for golfers of all levels.

Olalla Valey Golf Club (Toledo, Ore.) – The regulation 9-hole golf course at Olalla Valley makes for a quick and exciting round that will have you free by lunch time.

Beat the Heat

With the summer months here and the temperatures rising, it’s important to stay healthy and hydrated while on the course. 

Additional Tips for Staying Cool on the Course: 

Stay Hydrated – We always recommend drinking more water than you think you need, especially in the summer. Stay hydrated before, during, and after your round so you can feel and play your best.

Take Advantage of the Golf Cart – If you normally like to walk the course, consider riding in the cart during the summer months. The few moments in the shade and off of your feet will conserve your energy. Plus, the breeze you’ll catch as you ride along is an added bonus.

How to Speed Up Your Round

We’ve all experienced slow play before. We’re familiar with the delays, the disruption of concentration and rhythm, and the sensation of frustration and hopelessness.

In honor of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 taking over one of the fastest tracks in racing this weekend, we offer you the following tips to help you enjoy the game of golf at a faster pace.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

1. Use Whichever Tees Suit Your Game – Although your ego may suggest otherwise, the USGA and the PGA of America advise you to play from whichever set of tees suits your driving distance, no matter what your gender, age, or experience level is.

Far too often, golfers tee off from the back tees, when they should actually use middle or even forward tees. By swallowing your pride and teeing off from a more comfortable set of tees, you will likely hit more greens in regulation, lower your scores, and, perhaps best of all, increase your pace of play.


2. “Hit it, Alice”Although you don’t necessarily need to golf as fast as John Daly or Rory Sabbatini, you should strive to play “ready golf.” As you approach your ball, think about which club you will use ahead of time, taking wind, yardage, and elevation into consideration, so that you are set to hit as soon as you arrive at your ball. If you don’t have one, consider buying an electronic rangefinder as well, if you don’t feel like pacing off your yardage.

The R&A recommends that you put on your glove, verify your yardage, and take your club out of your bag while your playing partners are hitting their shots – quietly and considerately, of course. Also, strive to take just one practice swing. Check the direction of your stance, trust your instinct, and hit the ball. Your playing partners (as well as the groups behind you) will be glad that you did.

3. Trust Yourself, Putt, and Move on to the Next Tee – Some golfers are notorious for playing fast…until they are preparing to putt, as they spend too much time on the greens reading breaks. Do not do this! Attempt to read breaks as you walk towards greens and once you arrive, rather than waiting until it is your turn to putt. Also, try to reduce your practice strokes to two, at most. Again, verify your stance, look down at the ball, trust yourself, and putt.

To save time, don’t forget to also place your bag or cart as close to the next tee as possible, so that you can leave the green as soon as you and your playing partners have finished putting. Never, ever fill out your scorecard on the green if your group has finished putting. Out of consideration for the groups behind you, just wait until you walk to the next tee.


4. Don’t Wander in the Woods Too Long – Even the most accurate golfers hit a drive or iron shot wayward sometimes. There is nothing wrong with taking some time to look for your (or your playing partner’s) ball, but try not to search for lost balls for more than five minutes. Also, if you know your ball is in a hazard, simply play a provisional, which is completely legal (Rule 27-2) and recommended by the R&A and the USGA.

In addition, if you’re really struggling on a given hole, don’t forget about the USGA’s Equitable Stroke Control limit. Basically, if your course handicap is nine or less, you should stop playing if you are about to record a score above a double bogey. If your course handicap is between 10 and 19, or 20 and 29, you can stop playing if you hit seven or eight shots, respectively, and so forth. Just pick up your ball, cut your losses, and save your energy – and time – for the rest of your round.

5. Mix it Up – If you and your playing partners are still unable to finish an 18-hole round at a normal pace, which is typically considered to be four hours or less, why not mix it up a little bit and play Ryder Cup-esque four-ball or foursome matches? Not only will you enjoy an entirely different format, unlike usual stroke play competitions, you and your playing partners will save time since you won’t have to hole out every putt on every hole.

Also, to save more time for yourself and your busy schedule, try playing nine holes, rather than 18. According to the Rules of Golf and the USGA’s Handicap System, nine-hole rounds are completely legal – and are even recommended by the USGA, which partnered with Golf Digest and the PGA of America to create a “Time for Nine” campaign last year.

6. Play Fast – Consider booking early tee times using GolfNow’s Play Fast tool to avoid the crowds and start the day off right – and fast. You can find tee times at thousands of courses using this special tool.


Have any additional tips to share? Let us know how you play faster in the comments section below!

Featured image courtesy of Daytona International Speedway

Fall Back and Play Fast

It’s a tough time of the year to be a golfer.

The season is winding down as the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler. Add in the fact that this weekend daylight savings time kicks in, meaning we lose a precious hour of potential golf time by falling back, and it gets even worse for golfers hoping to stretch their golf season a bit farther.

Fear not, golfer friends. Golfnow and its Play Fast program make it easy for you to book an early tee time and hit the links. You might even have a little time afterwards to cross off a few things from your to-do list.

With the USGA’s focus on improving pace of play, as well as GolfNow’s focus on delivering you tee times available courses you can play quickly, golf won’t have to wait. Here’s a look at the top courses around the country available through GolfNow’s Play Fast platform, allowing you to get out early so you can focus the rest of your day on family, friends and more.


Southern Pines Golf Club is a classic Donald Ross design in the heart of the Sandhills. Photo by Golf

Aviara Golf Club (Carlsbad, Calif.) – The top-ranked resort course in the San Diego area, Aviara is a terrific 7,000-plus yard Arnold Palmer design. With terrific views, this shotmakers paradise is the perfect course to begin your day.

Ledges Golf Club (South Hadley, Mass.) – If you’re looking for views and a quick round, you’ve come to the right place. With quirky — and driveable and reachable — par 4s and 5s, the Ledges is a quick play that doesn’t skimp on the views, conditions and quality.

Barefoot Resort – The Dye Course (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) – The best course in the golf mecca that is Myrtle Beach, The Dye Course should be on your bucket list. With terrific conditions and a difficult layout, the Dye will get your weekend off on the right foot!

Southern Pines Golf Club (Southern Pines, N.C.) – You don’t have to wait for a tee time to open up at nearby Pinehurst Resort. You can play a Donald Ross original in the heart of the North Carolina Sandhills very easily.


Featured image of Barefoot Resort courtesy of TripAdvisor.

How to Beat the Summer Heat

It’s summer time. The humidity is steadily rising. Your thermometer is approaching 100 degrees. And you have an 18-hole foursome scheduled with some of your friends.

Although it may not seem possible to enjoy the positive aspects of summer golf – longer days, sunny skies, abundant wildlife – while also avoiding heat-related illnesses like cramps, heat exhaustion, or heatstroke, we assure you, you can beat the heat.

Here’s a list of tips and techniques to consider before you head out into the summer swelter for your next tee time.


Drink, Drink, Drink

Each year, roughly 6,000 Americans receive emergency treatment for heat-related illnesses after participating in sports. Most of these illnesses can be avoided by simply remaining hydrated.

  • David Donatucci, the PGA of America’s former director of fitness, advises golfers to drink at least five ounces of water on every tee box, resulting in about four bottles during an 18-hole round.
  • Although sports drinks offer a boost of chloride, potassium, and sodium if you sweat, some may have high concentrates of glucose or fructose, which should be avoided.
  • While you shouldn’t consume alcohol or high-caffeinated drinks, like soda and coffee, as they will dehydrate you quickly, we know throwing a few back with your buds is part of the fun of golf. If you do drink beer on the course, pace yourself and make sure you continue to drink water, as well as eat. Nothing spells disaster faster than boozing in the heat on an empty stomach.
  • You can also hydrate yourself by eating water-heavy fruits and vegetables, such as grapes, cantaloupe, and cucumbers, throughout your round.


Dress With Comfort in Mind

Light-colored clothing during the summer is not only a fashion statement; it’s also a health-conscious choice.

  • Whites and pastels, like light yellows, greens, and purples, will reflect the sun’s rays better than darker colors.
  • Wear loose fitting, lightweight shirts that will allow air to circulate, which helps you maintain a normal body temperature. If your shirts are too tight, your body could overheat.
  • Choose cotton shirts, as they absorb perspiration and help you cool down faster – and for a longer period of time.
  • Consider wearing wide brimmed hats, as they protect your ears, neck, and face more than regular hats or visors. If wide brimmed hats aren’t your style, at least wear hats or visors.


Protect Yourself

Beyond clothing, there are other ways to protect yourself from the heat as you prepare for your next round.

  • To avoid eye damage from the sun’s glaring rays, purchase sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) rays.
  • The American Academy of Dermatology advises people to use a protective SPF 30 sunscreen on hot, humid days, as well. You may also want to purchase a protective lip balm.
  • For extra relief from the heat, frequently moisten a towel and apply it to your skin, particularly your forehead, neck, and arms. The cool moisture will moderate your body temperature.
  • Although walking is generally beneficial to your health, you may want to ride a golf cart on extremely hot, humid days. By choosing to ride, rather than walk, you will reduce your overall energy exertion and avoid becoming overheated.


Play Early

Peak sun hours yielding the hottest temps are typically 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., so consider playing early. You will be able to avoid large crowds, complete your rounds faster, and enjoy the summer weather before it becomes unbearably hot.

  • GolfNow actually offers early tee times each day through Play Fast, a program designed to help golfers finish your rounds earlier and quicker. Faster, earlier tee times will provide you more time for other activities you are interested in. Even better yet, these tee times are affordable with savings often upwards of 75 percent.

The Top 25 Fastest GolfNow Courses

As we wrap up Pace of Play month and bid adieu to June, we also reach the end of our countdown of the Top 100 Fastest golf courses on GolfNow. Today we take a look at the 25 fastest courses, but before we do, here’s a quick look back at all we’ve (hopefully) learned about how to play faster!

Our GolfNow golfers ranked the 10 most-annoying things about slow play:

And, Golf Channel shared 7 ways to help pick up the pace:

  1. Keep moving: Proceed quickly to your ball and be ready when it’s your turn to hit.
  2. Be ready to hit: Take 45 seconds max to hit your shot.
  3. See it, read it, hole it: While others are putting, prepare for your putt. Go to the next tee.
  4. Use USGA rules with discretion: Take no more than three minutes to look for balls and take relief.
  5. Always be prepared: Start the round with tees, markers, balls and a ball-mark repair tool in your pocket. Replace head covers while you walk. Write down scores on the next tee, so you aren’t making others wait.
  6. Play your tees: Choose a set of tees with a rating of 142 minus your handicap index. Or just tee it forward. Not sure your handicap index?
  7. Speak up: If you see a problem, ask courses to set up the course properly and, most importantly, to manage the tee sheet responsibly.

Golf Channel Amateur Tour Regional Director, Mike Rich, gave us his take on his tour’s pace of play practices, including always keeping the group ahead of you in view and trying to finish each 9 hole rounds in two hours and 15 minutes.

For even more great info on how you can help improve pace of play, visit Golf

And now, (drum roll), the Top 25 Fastest GolfNow Courses…

Emerald Isle Golf Course’s 18-hole layout stretches 2,452 yards for a par of 56 and boasts beautiful scenery that can only found in Southern California. Photo by Emerald Isle

1. Emerald Isle Golf Course (Oceanside, CA)

Located in beautiful Oceanside, Calif., Emerald Isle Golf Course has earned a reputation as “North County’s Most Challenging Executive Course.” Emerald Isle’s 18-hole layout stretches 2,452 yards for a par of 56 and is well-known for the beautiful scenery only found in Southern California, as well as a slew of top-tier amenities.

“When I don’t have time to play a big course or want to practice my short game, I enjoy playing here,” said one GolfNow golfer. “Plus the staff there is all very friendly. I’m glad they’re available on golf now.”


Hole 17 at The Hooch Golf Club is part of an innovative layout that features Crenshaw Bent Grass greens, ponds, lakes and three holes that play along the Chattahoochee River. Photo by David Johnson Golf Design

2. The Hooch Golf Club (Duluth, GA)

The Hooch Golf Club, an 18-hole, par 61 golf course near Atlanta, was voted “One of the Top Short Courses in America for 2006,” by Golf Range Magazine. The innovative layout features Crenshaw Bent Grass greens, several ponds, lakes and three holes that play along the Chattahoochee River. Plus, an added feature to this course is its fully-lit practice facility available for night use.

According to a GolfNow golfer, The Hooch Golf Club is “one of the best and most challenging executive courses I have played. The layout was good with good fairway separation. The course has ample water and vegetation yet plays at a good pace. We never felt stalled or rushed.”

3. Lakeview Golf Club (Delray Beach, FL)
4. Eagle Crest – Challenge Course (Redmond, OR)
5. Oyster Creek Golf & Country Club (Englewood, FL)
6. Colton Golf Club (Colton, CA)
7. Oasis Country Club (Palm Desert, CA)
8. Sabal Springs Golf & Racquet Club (North Fort Myers, FL)
9. Tierra Grande Golf Club (Casa Grande, AZ)
10. Heatherwood Golf Club (Centereach, NY)
11. Mountain Shadows Executive Golf Course (Paradise Valley, AZ)
12. Legacy Golf Links – Windy Hill (Smyrna, GA)
13. Bear Creek Golf Course – Executive Course (Chandler, AZ)
14. Tecolote Canyon Golf Course (San Diego, CA)
15. Lomas Santa Fe Executive Golf Course (Solana Beach, CA)
16. Eagle Crest Golf Club (Escondido, CA)
17. Lake San Marcos Executive South Course (San Marcos, CA)
18. Countryway Golf Course (Tampa, FL)
19. Deer Creek Golf & RV Resort (Davenport, FL)
20. Whispering Woods (Carthage, NC)
21. Mount Dora Golf Club (Mount Dora, FL)
22. Charlie Yates Golf Course (Atlanta, GA)
23. Riviera Golf Club I (Naples, FL)
24. Desert Sands Golf Course (Mesa, AZ)
25. SunBird Golf Club (Chandler, AZ)

Congratulations to all the courses that made our “Top 100 Fastest” list and continue to check GolfNow’s Top Rated Courses page for updates.

– The Daily Tee

Fast & Fun: How Golf Channel Am Tour Keeps it Quick

As we continue to look at ways to play faster during Pace of Play month, we turned to Golf Channel Amateur Tour (GC Am Tour), the nation’s largest amateur golf tour featuring 12 different flights for all ages and skill levels, to see what they do to keep up the pace during their more than 700 tournaments around the nation.

We sat down with Jacksonville-native and GC Am Tour Regional Director, Mike Rich, and got his take on what makes Am Tour so successful at implementing its pace of play practices.

Jacksonville-native and GC Am Tour Regional Director, Mike Rich (shown on left), has more than 25 years experience in the golf tournament industry. Photo by Golf Channel Am Tour

• First off, tell us when and how you got started in tournament golf?
I began working at TPC Sawgrass in college and have worked at other various golf and country clubs, including Pebble Creek Country Club in S.C., Willow Creek Golf Club and Glenlakes Golf Club in Ala., and Cimarrone Golf & Country Club in Fla. I’ve been in the golf tournament industry for more than 25 years and have worked for the events division of Golf Channel for the past three years. I love being a tour director for GC Am Tour because of the great players and golf course facilities we get to work with.

• Your overall thoughts on the pace of play issue in golf?
It’s a common misconception that ability and pace are linked. Ability has nothing to with pace. By being aware of the group in front of you and playing ready golf, golfers can easily finish their round in an acceptable amount of time and help decrease the overall pace of play.

• What are the biggest challenges for GC Am Tour as it relates to slow play?
Our biggest challenge is getting players to understand the fact that quality of play is not influenced by pace of play. We’ve had players shoot 115 in 4 hours, but we’ve also had players shoot 68 in 4 hours, and conversely we’ve had players shoot 115 and take 5 hours to complete their round, and others shoot 68 in 5 hours, so the two are not linked.

The most common issue we see is players that are not aware of the group in front of them. If every group stayed in sight of the group in front of them, we’d never have a problem with pace of play at all during tournaments. However, if a player has a bad hole, they may not feel the urgency to get back into position for the next hole and that can translate into slower play for every group behind them.

Golf Channel Am Tour has one of the best pace of play policies in the golf industry. It is not only easy to comprehend, but it motivates players to play ready golf.

• What is GC Am Tour’s pace of play policy?
GC Am Tour has one of the best pace of play policies in the golf industry. It is not only easy to comprehend, but it motivates players to play ready golf. We have a two-check point system. Groups have to finish the front nine holes as well as the back nine holes in two hours and 15 minutes each. If they fail to make their allotted check time at hole 9 or hole 18, and if they are more than 14 minutes behind the group in front of them, the entire group is penalized one shot.

• How are you able to keep the pace with more than 7,000 members nationwide and tons of players on the course at one time?
The biggest thing you have to do as a tour director is be visible and identify any problems early on. If you wait until a group is two or three holes behind, you have lost the course for the entire day. We also try to help players locate lost golf balls, rake bunkers, and make sure that they are aware that we enforce the pace of play rules to encourage them to pick up the pace.

Interested in learning more about GC Am Tour? Visit the official GC Am Tour web site.

And, if you’d like to try and finish your front nine and back nine in two hours and 15 minutes each just like GC Am Tour players, check out these courses, ranked Nos. 26 – 50 on GolfNow’s list of the Top 100 Fastest Courses:

The 18-hole Chesterfield course at the The First Tee of Chesterfield facility in Richmond, Va., “is a well kept secret in the area,” according to one golfer. Photo by The First Tee of Chesterfield

26. The First Tee of Chesterfield (Richmond, VA)

The 18-hole Chesterfield course at the The First Tee of Chesterfield facility in Richmond, Va., features 4,650 yards of quality golf among dense forest and “is a well kept secret in the area,” according to one GolfNow golfer. “It’s perfect for walking just over 4,000 yds from the tips.”

“You can play in less than 3 hours in a twosome and the rest of the day is yours,” according to one GolfNow golfer. Photo by Bonita Fairways

27. Bonita Fairways (Bonita Springs, FL)

Located in beautiful Bonita Springs, Fla., Bonita Fairways makes it a pleasure to play golf, whether solo or with friends. “I live nearby and often take advantage of this course,” said one golfer. “You can play in less than 3 hours as a twosome and the rest of the day is yours.”

28. Kings Gate (Punta Gorda, FL)
29. La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa (Montgomery, TX)
30. River Ridge Golf Club (New Port Richey, FL)
31. The Groves Golf and Country Club (Land O Lakes, FL)
32. Timberview Golf Course (Fort Worth, TX)
33. Center City Golf Course (Oceanside, CA)
34. Sunland Village Golf Club (Mesa, AZ)
35. Sandpiper Golf Club (Lakeland, FL)
36. Newport Golf Club & Conference Center (Crosby, TX)
37. Winter Creek Golf Club (Blanchard, OK)
38. Seven Bridges at Springtree Golf Club (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
39. Westbrook Village/Lakes Course (Peoria, AZ)
40. Poinciana Country Club (Lake Worth, FL)
41. Antelope Green Golf Course (Antelope, CA)
42. Golf Club At Surrey Hills (Yukon, OK)
43. Groves Golf Course at The Meadows Country Club (Sarasota, FL)
44. Fox Creek Golf Club (Smyrna, GA)
45. Crane Creek Reserve (Melbourne, FL)
46. Glen Garden Golf & Country Club (Fort Worth, TX)
47. Huntington Golf Club (Ocala, FL)
48. Palatka Golf Club (Palatka, FL)
49. Desert Willow Golf Course (Henderson, NV)
50. Wailea Golf Club – Old Blue Course (Kihei, HI)

– The Daily Tee


Featured image courtesy of GC Am Tour

Play FAST with 7 Simple Tips

Our partners at Golf Channel recently conducted a study with the National Golf Foundation, revealing that slow play has become a growing issue for the game of golf with six-hour rounds more and more common.

As a result, we’re looking at ways golfers can help pick up the pace and combat slow play. Here are seven simple tips to play faster.

  1. Keep moving: Proceed quickly to your ball and be ready when it’s your turn to hit.
  2. Be ready to hit: Take 45 seconds max to hit your shot.
  3. See it, read it, hole it: While others are putting, prepare for your putt. Go to the next tee.
  4. Use USGA rules with discretion: Take no more than three minutes to look for balls and take relief.
  5. Always be prepared: Start the round with tees, markers, balls and a ball-mark repair tool in your pocket. Replace head covers while you walk. Write down scores on the next tee, so you aren’t making others wait.
  6. Play your tees: Choose a set of tees with a rating of 142 minus your handicap index. Or just tee it forward. Not sure your handicap index?
  7. Speak up: If you see a problem, ask courses to set up the course properly and, most importantly, to manage the tee sheet responsibly.

And, to help you find courses we already know play FAST, we continue this month’s countdown of the Top 100 Fastest GolfNow golf courses by looking at No. 51 – No. 75:

Dublin Ranch Golf Course boasts spectacular views, a beautiful clubhouse and superior customer service. Photo by Dublin Ranch GC

51) Dublin Ranch Golf Course (Dublin, CA)
Designed by Robert Trent Jones II, Dublin Ranch Golf Course is a unique, scenic course set in the foothills overlooking the Livermore Valley that boasts spectacular views, a beautiful clubhouse and superior customer service.

“A great way to get out and play 18 without sending half your day on the course,” said one golfer. “Everything was in perfect shape, staff was friendly and helpful. There are also some great views as you move along the course.”

Steel Canyon Golf Club in GA is a fun and different, 18-hole, par 61 executive golf course. Photo by TripAdvisor

52) Steel Canyon Golf Club (Atlanta, GA)
Located in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, Steel Canyon is a fun and different, 18-hole, par 61 executive golf course great for beginner and novice golfers.

One golfer referred to Steel Canyon as a “fun, quick little course,” as “every hole has some little challenge to it, and the elevation changes give the course some real character.”

53) Date Palm Country Club (Cathedral City, CA)
54) Fox Creek Golf Club (Hempstead, TX)
55) Rancho Vista Golf Course (Palmdale, CA)
56) Homestead Springs Golf Course (Groveport, OH)
57) Scholl Canyon Golf Course (Glendale, CA)
58) Honey Creek Country Club (Conyers, GA)
59) Crimson Creek Golf Club (El Reno, OK)
60) Choctaw Creek Golf Course (Choctaw, OK)
61) Emerald Falls (Broken Arrow, OK)
62) Spessard Holland Golf Course (Melbourne Beach, FL)
63) Paradise Valley Park Golf Course (Phoenix, AZ)
64) Fiddler’s Green At Cecil Field (Jacksonville, FL)
65) Cherry Blossom Golf & Country Club (Georgetown, KY)
66) Greenfield Lakes Golf Club (Gilbert, AZ)
67) Windswept Dunes Golf Club (Freeport, FL)
68) Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Course (Bradenton, FL)
69) Oakmont Golf Club – East Course (Santa Rosa, CA)
70) Deercroft Golf & Country Club (Wagram, NC)
71) King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort (Saint Simons Island, GA)
72) Pine Oaks Golf Course (Ocala, FL)
73) Zephyrhills City Golf Course (Zephyrhills, FL)
74) Maple Run Golf Course LLC (Thurmont, MD)
75) Southwood Golf Club (Tallahassee, FL)

To see more of GolfNow’s top-rated courses as ranked by everyday golfers, visit our Top Rated page.

-The Daily Tee

Play Faster with The Top 100 Fastest GolfNow Courses

June is Pace of Play month on Golf Channel – a time when golfers and club operators alike are encouraged to look at what they can do to help address one of the biggest issues plaguing the game – slow play.

It just so happens that you – GolfNow golfers – have submitted nearly 90,000 reviews ranking courses across the nation on Pace of Play!

So, we delved into those tens of thousands of great reviews to determine the Top 100 Fastest golf courses to play – according to golfers just like you. Throughout the month of June we’ll countdown to the Top 5 Fastest Courses, sprinkling in some easy tips to speed up your pace of play along the way.

This week, we’re looking at courses No. 76 – No. 100:

Pine Brook Country Club is well-respected for its beautiful setting and meticulously manicured appearance, as well as its quick pace of play. Photo by Pine Brook CC

76) Pine Brook Country Club (Winston Salem, NC)
Nestled in a beautiful rural setting, Pine Brook is located just 10 minutes from the heart of downtown Winston-Salem, and offers all the amenities you’d expect at a private club.

“We had a great outing – we ended up playing an additional nine holes (27 altogether), and finished in just over 4 hours (no we were not rushing at all),” said one GolfNow golfer. “We had such a marvelous, value-packed round, that we can’t wait to go back.”

Crane Lakes Golf & Country Club offers a stern – but quick – test to golfers. Photo by Crane Lakes

77) Crane Lakes Golf & Country Club (Port Orange, FL)
At Crane Lakes, golf isn’t just a game – it’s a way of life. Located near beautiful Daytona Beach, this semi-private 18-hole course offers a challenge for golfers of every skill level.

“Crane Lakes is very popular, but the pace of play is reasonable at three-and-a-half to four hours,” said one GolfNow golfer.

78) Sapona Ridge Country Club (Lexington, KY)
79) Cotton Creek Golf Club (Mounds, OK)
80) Legendary Oaks Golf Course (Hempstead, TX)
81) Killian Greens Golf Club (Miami, FL)
82) The Golf Club at Sanctuary Cove (Waverly, GA)
83) Bowling Green Golf Club (Oak Ridge, NJ)
84) St. Petersburg Country Club (Saint Petersburg, FL)
85) Saddlebrook – Saddlebrook Course (Wesley Chapel, FL)
86) Ashwood Golf Club (Apple Valley, CA)
87) Quail Village Golf Course (Naples, FL)
88) Marcus Pointe Golf Club (Pensacola, FL)
89) Twin Rivers Golf Course (Fall City, WA)
90) Marine Memorial Golf Course (Camp Pendleton, CA)
91) Fairways Country Club (Orlando, FL)
92) Prince George Country Course (Disputanta, VA)
93) Keys Gate Golf Club (Homestead, FL)
94) Springwood Golf Club (York, PA)
95) Elk Ridge Golf Course at Carson Hot Springs (Carson, WA)
96) Monterey Pines (Monterey, CA)
97) Palm Valley Golf Course (Las Vegas, CA)
98) Daytona Beach Golf Club (Daytona Beach, FL)
99) Forest Oaks Golf Club (Lake Worth, FL)
100) Grand Oaks Golf Club (Grand Prairie, TX)

To see more of GolfNow’s top-rated courses as ranked by everyday golfers, visit our Top Rated page.

-The Daily Tee

The Early Golfer Gets the Win

Have you ever had the opportunity to get one of the early tee times at your club?

The dew is still wet on the greens and fairways. The fog still stands between you and your target. And there’s no one in front of you to slow you down.

Pace of play in golf has been a major topic over the last year. It’s been talked about on the PGA Tour, in the competitive amateur game and even by players teeing it up on weekends.

While the PGA Tour and the United States Golf Association have vowed to focus on ways to improve slow play on the golf course, the recreational golfers hoping to get their round in and still have time to take care of their family duties or honey-do list now have an advocate: GolfNow’s Play Fast.

The program, which offers early-morning tee times to golfers hoping to beat the crowd, is a crucial tool for those of us who like to play fast and early – and as the criticism for the slow pace of play grows, it seems that’s most of us.

Through GolfNow’s Play Fast program, golfers of all types can get out, enjoy their round and be back before lunch, sometimes even earlier (bonus points for those that beat the breakfast bell). It’s just one of the ways that GolfNow is trying to make it easier for golfers to squeeze in a round and still be there for all their family and work commitments.

Play Fast aims to allow golfers to do it all, easier – coach your kids’ soccer or little league team, take on those weekend home improvement projects you’ve been wanting to get to, spend the day with your friends and still go play golf, as well. But there’s more to playing early than just getting home early.

Many golfers know that pace of play is crucial in playing their best. And that pace isn’t necessarily a ‘speedy’ one but it’s one they’re comfortable with. With less players clogging up the fairways and tee boxes during the early morning tee times, golfers are sure to be playing at a pace much more comfortable to them, allowing them to play their best. Not to mention they’ll be greeted by the peace and serenity of a quiet, open golf course seemingly all to themselves.

So, what are you waiting for? Get to bed. You’ve got a Play Fast tee time tomorrow.

Check out early tee times at courses in your area.