Etiquette or Efficiency?

I “play” golf.

As a weekend hacker, I enjoy the opportunity to be in the fresh air as I subject myself to 4 hours of frustration and personal humiliation in the company of friends and colleagues, all at the cost of a nice dinner out with my spouse. I’m sure many of you do this as well.

In all seriousness, I do enjoy getting out to play golf. And there is a term in public golf that doesn’t exist in the PGA rule book:

“Ready Golf”

This is the unwritten rule and expectation of weekend warriors at every skill level.

Here’s an overview for those of you who are not familiar with this nomenclature. Simply put, the traditional etiquette and official PGA rule requiring the player furthest from the pin to advance their ball first – regardless of their readiness – is put aside.

In ready golf, whichever player is ready first, plays. It also requires that each player pick up his or her ball on the green when they are within a foot or two of the hole, rather than continue play until each player sinks their ball into the cup. And, you don’t take more than a minute or two to look for your lost ball. You simply take a drop. (No, you’ll never see any of this on TV!)

Why is “ready golf” so important? Because it makes the game more efficient.  And this then directly results in a faster pace of play and a more enjoyable experience for everyone on the course.

If you’re the course management, this efficiency means you can get more golfers on the course on a given day. If you’re a weekend warrior like me, it means you’re not sitting still in the fairway or at the tee box baking in the hot sun, waiting for your next chance to continue play. You can liken this to sitting in a traffic jam on a hot summer day without air conditioning – something you want to avoid.

A normal 18-hole round of golf in “PGA” play can take a weekend warrior foursome 4.5-5 hours to play. However, that same round under “ready golf” play will take only 3.75-4.25 hours to complete. That’s a savings of nearly 25%!

So, what if you could improve your business efficiency by 25% simply by playing “ready golf”? Wouldn’t that be significant?

The key is to abandon traditional thinking (i.e. PGA etiquette) and instead implement changes that don’t alter the fundamentals of the game (i.e. business) but reduce waste and improve output. Thus the idea of “ready golf” is quite brilliant.

In my analogy, think of PGA etiquette as “this is how we always do it”. Ready golf, on the other hand, asks “how can we do this better?”.

There will always be people who stand by tradition at all costs and that’s fine. I simply suggest that you understand the cost of etiquette versus efficiency.

Hit’m long and straight!

This blog is by ECS Operations Partner, Chris DiMascio. Chris is known for his operational excellence, project management, and leadership skills – and, no surprise, for bringing efficiency to his clients. He’s available to help discuss your operational processes, opportunities, and challenges, and answer any questions you have. Reach out to Chris by email at, and connect with him on LinkedIn here.