Opinion: Pace of Play # 2 – Designated Shot Watchers –

By Wayne Halm –

In my last Pace of Play (PoP) post I promised ideas for achieving four and a half hour rounds – the Designated Shot Watcher idea will move golfers toward that goal.

Frequently I take on this responsibility unasked.  I watch everyone’s shots, make mental note of the position of any balls off the fairway, and lead the player to it.  Most of the time this is unnecessary – but when it is needed it greatly improves the PoP.

As much as I might like to, I can’t play golf with everyone.  I believe the Designated Shot Watcher idea needs to be formalized into the game.

I think golf courses should add another column to their scorecards.  There should be spaces for the players name and the name of the Designated Shot Watcher.  Each player should have a Designated Shot Watcher assigned and each player should be explicitly designated to watch another’s shots.  Golf course personnel should remind players to take this seriously – it will improve the PoP.

Until courses get on-board, golfers should informally implement the Designated Shot Watcher idea themselves.  It doesn’t take much effort and it increases the enjoyment of the game, nobody enjoys searching for their golf ball.

Perhaps not every golfer will admit to the need for someone watching their shots, but I certainly do.  Sometimes on the tee, I look down the fairway and pick my spot, line up carefully, take the driver all the way back smoothly, keep my head down and watch the club hit the ball, pull all the way through the swing, then look up – and do not see the ball!  It sure is nice when someone can lead me to it.

Come play golf with me.


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11 thoughts on “Designated Shot Watchers

  1. Pingback: Slow Play | Golfing on Kauai

  2. Aloha Wayne,

    You’ve got a good point here bud. Looking for balls is a time waster and a big factor when groups fall behind. I can assure you I’ll do my best to keep an eye on your ball the next time we play. We all lose sight of our ball sometimes, even when it’s not too far offline, and I sure appreciate when somebody else knows exactly where it is.

    In addition the Ball Watcher also needs to be brutally honest. If someone hits it into the abyss, they shouldn’t just pretend to be optimistic and politely pretend to search for it…sometimes they need to put their foot down and say, “sorry, buddy, but that ball is gonezoes, better hit another or just drop one up there”

    I’ll see if I can spread the word on social media.


    • Aloha Josh,
      Thanks buddy. I totally agree about the honesty – if it’s gone, it’s gone, let’s move on.
      I will appreciate you watching my shots, sometimes I hit the ball, look up, and just do not see it – it is a big relief when someone tells me where it went.
      Looking forward to seeing you and Beth again.
      A Hui Hou, Wayne

  3. Pingback: Designated Shot Watchers | Tiger Golf Traveler

    • Aloha Jimmy.
      Thanks for reblogging. Shot watching doesn’t require much effort, and most of the time it isn’t needed – but when it is needed it really can help the pace of play. I hope more people practice it.
      A Hui Hou (until next time),

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