This afternoon I had a 12:06 tee time but I knew it was going to be pushed back because of a frost delay. I assumed the frost delay would push back all the earlier tee times which would mean I would tee off around 1 or 1:30 pm. I received an email around 10:30 am stating there would be a shotgun start starting at noon due to the frost delay. In the back of my mind I was thinking this was going to be a complete disaster. My home course does not get lots of play so a shotgun start on a Saturday was sure to be interesting.
A shotgun start means groups start at the same time on different holes. There were 15 groups going out at noon at my home course so the golf professionals had to find a way to keep the pace of play as fast as possible. Due to the fact that my golfing friend and I were a twosome that plays very fast they decided to send us out on #6 with two empty holes in front of us. We knew we would catch someone by #9 or #10 but at least it would spread the play out behind us.
We ended up stopping at the turn house where the staff had to cook two cheeseburgers after we finished #9. We sat and ate the two cheeseburgers on the tee box of #10 and we still caught up to the foursome in front of us on the green of #11. We worked our way through that group and two other groups before finishing our round on #5 in less than four full hours. All in all, the shotgun start worked very well because it allowed all groups to get out and around the course in an efficient manner.
Pace of play is extremely important to many golfers. In fact, one of the reasons I decided to join my home course was because I knew the pace of play would be fast. Before joining, I knew the membership was under 200 and many of these members were not playing on a consistent basis. This helped me learn how to play the game of golf and I can honestly say it was well worth the investment. I would never join a course with a full membership or a course that is semi private. Pace of play is probably the most important part of the game for me.