The Four Under Golf Test
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Reproduced from
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Preparation - The 1st Tee:

1)  Do you arrive at the first tee at least 5 minutes prior to your tee time?
2)  When it is your turn to tee off on hole #1, have you completed the following?
    a)  Marked your ball with your identifying mark?
    b)  Counted your clubs?
    c)  Secured tees and ball markers?
    d)  Secured necessary items for the day?  (clothing, umbrellas, golf balls, gloves, etc.)
    e)  Made necessary introductions and confirmed the competition for the round?
    f)  Completed necessary practice / loosening up and preparation?
    g)  Pulled your club from the bag and are ready to hit?
3)  Do you have a marked provisional ball, either in your pocket or easy to reach?

        Four Under Golfers answer YES to all of the above

Teeing Area Behaviors:

1)  When do you write down scores?
    a)  On the previous green
    b)  On the tee, prior to teeing off
    c) Following completion of the hole, but never at a time that delays our group or the group following
2)  When I walk onto the tee (playing in a cart):
    a)  I check out the hole - return to the cart for a club
    b)  I sit in the cart writing scores or relaxing until it is my turn to hit
    c)  I take the club(s) I may need to the tee, even if this is a multiple group of clubs
3)  When it is my turn to tee off:
    a)  I wait until the player before me hits;  I make my decisions, check the elements, (wind, lie,
    slope, etc.) find a nice teeing area, start my preparations, and then play my shot
    b)  I often don't know when it's my turn, so I wait until someone tells me, or I ask - "Am I up?"
    c)  I move into the teeing area without delay, prepared to play
4)  When I've completed my tee shot:
    a)  I watch the shot until my ball stops, not moving from my space until I'm ready
    b)  I stand on the tee following my shots, commenting on my swing, and perhaps taking a couple
    more swings to get it "grooved"
    c)  After hitting my ball, satisfied there's no danger of the ball being lost or in trouble, I pick up my
    tee and move immediately from the teeing area allowing the following played to hit
5)  After I've hit my shot and moved from the tee:
    a)  I stand and take some practice swings or look around at the scenery
    b)  I talk about my shot, or tell a story to my playing partners
    c)  I find the location out of the way / view of the next player, and in the proximity to my golf bag /
    cart which still allows me to view the next player's shot.  If quietly managed, I will also put my club in
    the bag at this time

 Four Under Golfers answer "C" to all of the above

Around the course:

1)  Walkers.  When I'm walking the course:
    a)  I go to my playing partner's ball, watch him hit, and then move on to my ball
    b)  I move to my ball directly, taking the simplest line without disturbing the play of any other golfer
    in my group
2)  Riders:  When my cart partner and I get to the first ball to play (which is his):
    a)  I wait for him to complete play, and then we drive to my ball
    b)  If circumstances permit, I will either drop my partner off with ample clubs and move towards my
    ball, or I will take ample clubs and walk to my ball while he is preparing to play
3)  When the player hitting before me is playing / preparing to play:
    a)  I wait for the player to hit then begin to move toward my ball.  I begin my preparation when I
    arrive at my ball
    b)  I am in a position that does not disturb his preparation or play, and allows me the easiest
    access to move into my shot without delay
4)  When I hit a wayward shot:
    a)  I go look for my ball first.  If I don't find it, I'll go back and hit another ball
    b)  I hit a provisional ball
5)  A player in my group hits a ball into a position a where a search is required:
    a)  Everyone in the group goes in search of the ball until it is found or the player abandons the ball
    b)  Players in our group nearest to his ball will assist, the other players will alternate between
    searching for the ball and playing their own shots
6)  Our group has a hole open in front of us, and the group behind us is waiting on us regularly:
    a)  We're only one hole behind, so it's not an issue
    b)  We move aside, allowing the faster group to pass
    c)  We're playing at an acceptable pace, there's no issue
    d)  We'll just try and play faster
    e)  I never notice what other groups are doing

 Four Under Golfers answer "B" to all of the above

In the bunker:

1)  I've hit the ball into the bunker:
    a)  I walk into the bunker and hit my shot.  I then depart the bunker, find the rake and return to the
    b)  I walk into the bunker with the rake.  I hit my shot and rake the trap, departing in the same line
    as my entry
2)  I've hit the ball into the bunker:
    a)  I walk into the bunker at the closest edge in relation to my ball, regardless of the slope
    b)  I walk into the bunker at the location that is the safest, allows the simplest situation for raking,
    and provides the easiest exit
3)  I've hit my ball into the greenside bunker:
    a)  I will hit my bunker shot, then return to the cart, or my bag, and get my putter
    b)  I have my putter with me, and I've placed it in a location where I won't miss it when I depart the

Four Under Golfers answer "B" to all of the above

Finally on the green:

1)  Walkers.  When I arrive onto the green:
    a)  I put my bag down near my ball, without setting it on the green
    b)  I set my bag in a location that allows me the straightest line between the flag and the next
    teeing area
    c)  I don't really think about where I set my bag
2)  Riders.  When I arrive onto the green:
    a)  I leave the cart in any position;  it's either on the path or away from the green
    b)  I leave the cart in a position that allows me to get to the green easily, following course rules,
    and not causing course damage.  The cart is located so that my walk back to the cart will not
    cause excessive delay for the players behind me
3)  I sometimes arrive at the green with extra clubs (in addition to my putter)
    a)  I set these in an area around where I'm putting, or where I hit my previous chip or approach
    b)  I place these in a visible area that is in a direct line from the hole to either my cart or my golf
    bag, and not in the way of any other player
4)  There is one player left to putt-out in our group:
    a)  I stand and watch him putt out, then I move to get my spare clubs, grabbing the pin if necessary
    b)  I'm either holding the pin, ready to place it in the hole following completion - or I'm standing in
    an area not in the players view and is "on the way" to either my golf bag or golf cart.  I have my
    spare clubs in my hands
5)  A player is just about to putt, and I'm next in the putting order:
    a)  I'm watching him putt, staying out of his line of sight
    b)  I'm courteous to my playing partner, staying out of his line, but I've also chosen a position to
    stand that is as close to my ball as I can get (without disturbance to the player putting)
6)  It is now my turn to putt:
    a)  I place the ball down it its location.  I then begin lining up my putt
    b)  I place the ball down.  I have done as much "lining up" as possible prior to my turn to putt
7)  I've hit my first putt, and it finishes several feet from the hole:
    a)  I'm not happy.  I stand in my current spot, complain a little, take a few practice strokes, and
    meander up to my ball.  I then mark my ball.
    b)  I'm not happy.  I move directly to my ball and either mark it immediately or putt my next putt into
    the hole.

Four Under Golfers answer "B" to all of the above

We all have routines:

1)  Once I'm in my set up position:
    a)  I stand over the ball in this position for an extended time
    b)  I swing the club
2)  After I've hit my shot
    a)  I often stand and try to figure out what I did right or wrong.  I'll take a couple of extra swings,
    maybe comment to those around me.  When I'm through with my post-shot antics, I'll move on
    b)  I watch where the ball goes, fix my divot, return my club to the bag, and move on
3)  On the putting green:
    a)  I look at each putt from all possible angles.  I get down in a crouched position to really "see" the
    line.  I plumb-bob and fix every possible mark in my line, no matter how insignificant
    b)  I do much of my "lining up" prior to my turn.  My line-up is simple - I do not cause undue delay in
    the process

Four Under Golfers answer "B" to all of the above

Additional routine items to consider:

1)  It's my turn to putt and I've done my "lining up".  From this point, on a standard putt, my routine of
practice strokes (and any other pre-putt antics) will take:
    a)  Less than 5 seconds to putt
    b)  Between 5 and 10 seconds to putt
    c)  Between 10 and 20 seconds to putt
    d)  Between 20 and 30 seconds to putt
    e)  Over 30 seconds to putt
    f)  I have no idea how long it takes me to hit my putt
2)  When the tee is clear and it is my turn to hit, on average it takes me:
    a)  Less than 15 seconds to hit my shot and clear the tee
    b)  Between 15 and 30 seconds to hit my shot and clear the tee
    c)  Between 30 and 60 seconds to hit my shot and clear the tee
    d)  Over a minute to hit my shot and clear the tee
    e)  I have no idea how long it takes me
3)  My routine prior to hitting full shots includes:
    a)  Practice swings:    0    1    2    3    4+
    b)  Throwing grass in the air
    c)  Waggles:   0    1-3    multiple
    d)  Consultation with other player(s)
    e)  Using yardage device
    f)  Pacing yardage - or estimating yardage based on visible markers
    g)  Extensive time in selection of club
    h)  Often "backing away" from shots after set up

Working to decrease the time to complete the above is a responsibility we all have

Peter Post, in his book Playing Through - A guide to the Unwritten Rules of Golf states that "Much of
avoiding slow play in your own game is a function of being aware - really aware - of how your behavior is
affecting golfers around you".  I don't believe most slow play is caused intentionally.  That is why Patrick
Mateer's Four Under Golf Test above is so important.  It can help you understand where your
unintentional actions are affecting others.  We are all in this together, so be aware and work to improve.

Patrick Mateer's book
The Return of the Four Under Round - featuring The 4 Habits of the Four Under
is available from  Reasonably priced, with much more information than
what is presented here, it is a must for golfers.