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Course set up and pace of play


revkev
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In my humble opinion golfers over estimate themselves ibpn three ways. Two are provable, most overestimate how far they hit the ball by 30 yards and most under estimate what they shoot, for example their handicap is made up of all non-competitive rounds where there are lots of give me's and an occasional mulligan thrown in. The third is that they (we) all think that they putt better on faster greens. While there's no data that I know of I would observe that if that were actually the case then instead of speeding the greens up in Majors the committees would slow them down to make the course tougher. :)

 

With those things in mind it's simle for a course staff to take steps to make play go faster. Here are some suggestions:

 

1. No play off the tips unless approved by the pro on duty.

 

2. Most men will play the next set of tees so be sure that those tees are positioned so that the courses plays shorte than its listed distance. This helps to mitigate over estimations and gives the guys somethng to brag about after the round. It also speeds up play, shorter clubs in, more hit greens, faster pace of play.

 

3. Keep the green speeds moderate and don't put pins by ridges. Fewer thee putts, faster pace of play.

 

4. Shorten the rough and lengthen the fairways a bit.

 

Yesterday was one of the busiest days of the year. There is no doubt that the set up on the course that I played contributed significantly to the abysmal pace of play.tees were back even behind there maximum on a few holes and greens were ridiculously fast. Of course the latter didn't bother me because I putt great on fast greens. :)

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I agree on all points. Nothing p*sses me off more than getting behind a group of guys playing from the back tees that can't hit the ball farther than 180 with a driver. Most of them usually hit 2-3 balls off the tee because they aren't happy with the result of the first tee shot.

 

I always play from the middle tees and I can average 250 with the driver. I know my iron game is week, so I would rather have nothing longer than an 8 iron in on a few par 4's and usually a PW or GW.

 

My home course is notorious for placing pins on downhill slopes and crowns that run all the way off the greens if missed. They are small greens that are difficult enough to putt well on without that added BS being thrown in, especially when they know the course will be crowded. I'm all for it for scrambles and competitive play, but keep it reasonable for the masses to just play.

 

I tend to like faster greens myself. I hate feeling like I need to crush the ball to get it to the cup. :)

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Agree mostly.  But I'd argue the average performance relative to green speed is a bell curve, with most putting better on reasonably fast greens, but declining performance as the greens approach tour speed.  

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Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.

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I was very slow when I started to play some 30 years ago, I took a lot of practice swings in the bunker and stand in line of playing partner's put.

 

Should you not ask how many of those players (those with one ball in his hand and one in the pocket) do not have a clue about the rules and etiquette of the game?

 

They go for a lesson or 2 but have no idea what is going on, all they are looking for (same as all of us) are those good shots that makes you come back again and gain.

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Wrong tees are the main reason that Bethpage is a 6 hour round.

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I agree with everyone here. It's really hard for most to set ego aside and play a distance that is reasonable. People get stuck in a mindset and just stay there. When my dad and I play, we vary tee boxes, which I don't see a lot of people do. We go up on long par 3s and maybe back on shorter 5s. Who says you have to just play one set.

But I think it's really up to courses to set up the course to aid pace of play. Most people won't play a tee box that doesn't have a marker on it, so set markers at reasonable distances(shorter like revkev suggests).

And pin placement is huge. I played at a course last year where every hole was just over a hazard(bunker, water, etc). Every frigging hole. If courses would put pins in the middle of the greens and get rid of forced carries, play would certainly be faster.

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I would love if courses did this on the weekends. Preferably Saturday when everyone and their dog is out!

I like the idea of changing between the tees during a round. I'll do this if a group let's me play through.

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Agree mostly.  But I'd argue the average performance relative to green speed is a bell curve, with most putting better on reasonably fast greens, but declining performance as the greens approach tour speed.

 

I think we are talking degrees here. Reasonably fast and consistent allows people to make putts, between 9-10 is perfect. Get much above 10.5 on a public access course and it gets ugly fast. Clubs can get quicker because the membership knows the breaks but do that at a resort or a daily fee place - NG

 

I'm telling you guys the way to control it on busy days is don't let anyone on the tips without the Pros consent and move the next set of tees up. It's a win/win scenario.

 

I can only imagine what Bethpage Black must be like now. Everyone wants to play the tips. Who cares that only one or two of the best players in the world can break par from the tips, let's have fun and play them, shall we. :)

 

I love creating my own tees if there isn't a set that works. That's creativity. It's got to be fun.

Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

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Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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My home sits on the 11th tee of my course, and I sit on my back porch and watch all these guys hitting from the back tee's who have NO business being there. I'm 46 and can hit from the back when my game is on, but I've moved up to the senior tee's and the game is such a blast now.

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We have had similar discussions before. I have only played from the tips on only a handful of courses when the yardages are short. I have no desire to play from the tips on most courses, as I think it would be a most un-fun (if there is such a word) round I would ever play. I guess I don't understand why golfers want to be so miserable. I've moved up to the whites at most courses.

 

However, as I have said before, courses could significantly speed up play if they created another tee box in front of the forward tees, and call it the forward tee. Most women, unless they played golf in school, play from the forward tees, and IMHO, the yardages from forward tees is too long. So, as you guys get old like me, you move up a tee box or two. Where do women go when they get older? There's no place to go, so they take more shots and play slows down. Many of you will say that there aren't many women playing, but that's false. Many Clubs have women's only day, and a lot more wives are joining their husbands. My wife is a decent player 19 HCP from the forward tees, but many of the tees are too long for her anymore at her age; 5500 yards is typical and too long. It would not be a great expense for clubs to put in a 4700 yard, or even shorter, set of tees for women and kids. One of these days I might just need to play from there. :)

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So many courses are too long. At my course the par 4's should be par 5's. Which is another reason I moved to the senior tee's.

 

Another issue, IMO, is that so many greens at public courses are too small. I watch on TV these greens the pro's play are HUGE. Whereas amateurs are trying to hit to these small greens.

 

A local ex-pro told us that if you can't hit driver and iron and be on the green on par 4's then you need to move up to the next tee.

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A local ex-pro told us that if you can't hit driver and iron and be on the green on par 4's then you need to move up to the next tee.

This is great advice, but then we get back to overestimating how far they hit the ball. They think 430 par 4 is a driver 280 and then a 7 or 8 in when in reality its a driver then 5 or 4 iron.

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This is great advice, but then we get back to overestimating how far they hit the ball. They think 430 par 4 is a driver 280 and then a 7 or 8 in when in reality its a driver then 5 or 4 iron.

To the front bunkers, more like driver 5 wood or hybrid. :)

 

I'm telling you that the way to do it is turn that 430 yard hole into 415 by moving the tee up and then keeping the pin in a safe place. Keep the tips on the tips or better don't even have them out but allow folks back there with permission and you'd lop off 1/2 hour on those busy days. You'd make more money too.

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Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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It is rare that the course set up at my club slows up pace of play.  The only time it does is on our medal rounds and then it is off the tips and it is stroke play that for some reason "must" take five hours to play.  It is like an immutable law of physics that stroke rounds are that slow.  Yet tell people it is stableford a modified type of stroke play and bingo we can play that in 4 hours.

 

Slow play stems from selfish people who can't be bothered getting with the program and pulling their collective fingers out of their butts to get a move on.  If they lose a ball you'd think they were searching for a gold nugget, they walk the course like they are tourists on vacation not golfers with a purpose, and wouldn't know ready golf if they fell over it.  I should qualify that that applies to competition rounds where everyone is playing in the same competition.  It is a little different when you have social golfers mixed with a daily type competition affair.  But even then if people get their act together and as the Rev points out play off tees that suit their ability they would enjoy it far more and be quicker too.

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Personally, 9 is too slow for greens. My home course rolls at a 9 and they're too slow. The local CC rolls around 11, and love those speeds. You actually get a true consistent roll on them instead of hopping along at 9 because there's more grass.

 

And if you only put pins in flat spots you'd have a lot of worn out greens. You'd need to plan for that in a course design.

 

The problem with slow play is people. They think they paid so they'll play as slow as they please. Marshals/rangers being clueless on how to make sure people play at an acceptable pace is part of the problem. Courses not enforcing pace requirements is part of the problem. Most courses give you 4 hours 15 minutes to play and that's about 30 minutes too long for a round of golf. But they're generous. If they'd notify people of the expected pace then enforce it, people would play faster instead of talking for 10 mins between holes on tee boxes, etc.

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Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
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4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
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Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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Yes you could move tee boxes, move flag positions, and things like that to try to speed up play, but when you get down to it, it's a people problem, some people are just slow, and they don't care how slow they are. I think that faster greens are easier to play, but if you go too fast, they become unplayable. I think if you roll them at 10-11 you are good, if they roll 12-13, you can't play them, I played on greens that rolled between 13-14 the other week, and they were unplayable. You could not putt them.

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Really all good points here from everyone and I am sure in different regions it is different problems to the why.

Like Mizuno Lover said Some people think they are on vacation. Well here that is a fact they are on vacation and the world stops because they are. They don't give 2 hoots if they piss off members or staff. Next week they are gone home. As far as rangers and I know and play a lot of golf with them. They are retired and drawing SS or a pension and just ranger for the free golf. In their defense I will say they are told "To keep it moving the best you can and don't piss the tourists off" For them it is a Catch 22 situation.

On green speed it does depend on green undulation and the skill of the players involved. One resort type executive course keeps the greens slow and I mean slow probably a 5 no joke. I used to work there and asked the Super why did he not make them a little firmer and faster? he replied to me "Do you see the caliber of hacker that generally plays here? if we put them to say a 8 even they would be complaining that the greens are too fast. He had a valid point in that case.

As far as people playing the right distances according to their skill level I see a lot of people who should be playing from the extreme forward tees attempting to play from the tips and to add to that at sea level. I for one cannot for the life of me see where that is fun hitting a driver 3 wood and 8 iron if that to a par 4. All of us locals know the type that spells tourist hack. They show up dressed to the nines in the latest (insert name here) golf attire with the newest (insert name here again) equipment and insist playing from the back most tees.

I also agree with what was said about course design especially forced carries which we seem to have a lot of here. Give folks an option. I mean the average golfer can not carry a ball 170 or 180 yards with a iron or hybrid or fairway wood for that matter. Courses need to present a challenge I agree but some are overkill for the average player.

I also agree with ladies yardages too. yeah some of those holes are too long and too hard of a forced carry for a average lady golfer not a LPGA player or good lady college golfer. There are certain courses I will take my wife to because they are set up where she has an reasonable expectation of getting on in regulation

In a nutshell I think as a whole golf need a dose of common sense and common courtesy from both players and administration alike. Just my .02 worth

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Lots of great points made here! I'll add that sometimes people are just plain slow and couldn't care less about anyone else out there.

 

Exactly, we don't  need more rules. Just need people to pull their heads out of their asses.

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Really all good points here from everyone and I am sure in different regions it is different problems to the why.

Like Mizuno Lover said Some people think they are on vacation. Well here that is a fact they are on vacation and the world stops because they are. They don't give 2 hoots if they piss off members or staff. Next week they are gone home. As far as rangers and I know and play a lot of golf with them. They are retired and drawing SS or a pension and just ranger for the free golf. In their defense I will say they are told "To keep it moving the best you can and don't piss the tourists off" For them it is a Catch 22 situation.

On green speed it does depend on green undulation and the skill of the players involved. One resort type executive course keeps the greens slow and I mean slow probably a 5 no joke. I used to work there and asked the Super why did he not make them a little firmer and faster? he replied to me "Do you see the caliber of hacker that generally plays here? if we put them to say a 8 even they would be complaining that the greens are too fast. He had a valid point in that case.

As far as people playing the right distances according to their skill level I see a lot of people who should be playing from the extreme forward tees attempting to play from the tips and to add to that at sea level. I for one cannot for the life of me see where that is fun hitting a driver 3 wood and 8 iron if that to a par 4. All of us locals know the type that spells tourist hack. They show up dressed to the nines in the latest (insert name here) golf attire with the newest (insert name here again) equipment and insist playing from the back most tees.

I also agree with what was said about course design especially forced carries which we seem to have a lot of here. Give folks an option. I mean the average golfer can not carry a ball 170 or 180 yards with a iron or hybrid or fairway wood for that matter. Courses need to present a challenge I agree but some are overkill for the average player.

I also agree with ladies yardages too. yeah some of those holes are too long and too hard of a forced carry for a average lady golfer not a LPGA player or good lady college golfer. There are certain courses I will take my wife to because they are set up where she has an reasonable expectation of getting on in regulation

In a nutshell I think as a whole golf need a dose of common sense and common courtesy from both players and administration alike. Just my .02 worth

Sorry, but if a ranger/Marshall is just there for the free golf, they're there for the wrong reason and shouldn't be doing the job. Their job is to ensure pace of play, if people get pissed off, that's their problem. If they become beligerent, you remove them from the course. Resort/vacation destination or not. One person shouldn't get to determine a course full of people's misery.

In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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