slow play is the death of golf. I call up courses, and ask how long the rounds are taking. If it's over 4 hours, I move on. If I can't find a course that is playing at a reasonable pace, forget it, I'll do something else.
Many of my friends have quit golf, not because they don't love it, but they don't have 5 hours to play. It should not take that long at all.
Waiting 10 minutes to take a shot is ridiculous. I can play 18 holes in 2.5 hours by myself with two balls per hole.
My friend and I play regularly 2.5 hour rounds, and he is a bogey golfer.
There is a massive issue with slow play. There needs to be rangers that force people to skip a hole. Also, golfers need to be told a few things.
If a group is behind you constantly, and waiting you are playing too slow.
Let groups that are fast ahead of you.
Keep up the pace with the group ahead of you
Play the correct tees for your handicap
Pick up the ball and go to the next hole if you are looking at double par for the hole.
You do not need 5 minutes to read a putt. Look, make a decision, and putt
Play ready golf. Drop off the back player, and drive to your ball. He will walk up to you after he hits, while you are hitting.
you are not part of a gallery. You do not need to watch your friends all hit their shots.
A 10 swing pre-shot routine is excessive. play ready golf.
If you can't find your ball in 5 minutes, drop and move on.
Don't dig through the woods/heather/weeds to restock your bag with golf balls.
Know your yardage for each club.
If you are playing with an App, that requires you to put in every shot, and every ball location, you better be fast at it.
Furthermore, there is a phenomena with leagues. They are painfully slow. I subbed in a league once where 9 holes took almost 3.5 hours! that is insane. I never subbed again in that league. I would rather not play golf then sit in a cart, hit my ball, and then wait. that is not golf.
I once went out to play two hours after a league went off, I caught them at the 5th hole. Two hours to play five holes. that is just terrible.
I do not think hacker golf is necessarily the problem. I play with some hackers that are new to the game. And they have been taught that even if you are not good, you play fast. Skull your ball 20 yards? Grab your next club and start walking. Hit it fat into the water, grab that extra ball out of your pocket and walk over and drop it. Too many golfers don't know you must play quickly.
If pace of play does not get addressed, people will forget about golf. It will end up like bowling. No one will want to do it except to be silly and to goof off.
It is the greatest game, where you can enjoy it at all ages.