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Slow Play-Marshalling

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I think in some cases your right, but my experience here is that play comes to a standstill on the green, that's where the time is lost when we play.

I agree with this.  Last weekend I was playing a qualifier for the club championship where we had a foursome on insanely fast greens with crazy pin positions putting everything out on every hole.  We played so slowly, and we were playing ready golf in carts.  We played so slowly that a foursome walking behind us (also part of the qualifier), caught us, and we started to hold up the course.  The marshall told us we had to split up into two twosomes, and after that, all four of us probably cut our round down by 40 minutes, and my group, who was part of the second twosome after the split up finished over 30 minutes ahead of the walking foursome.  This was all because our time on the greens had been cut down in half: it is a lot easier to put out 2 2-4 footers as a twosome than 4 2-4 footers as a foursome.  These putts were holding up the course.  

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We are talking about slow play, and ways to speed it up, I'm all for putting out, but when your routine is 2 minutes long even on a 1 foot putt, you have added 36 needless minutes to your round and Everyone else's round. Yes we post rounds with gimme putts. it actually hurts your cap, its anti-Sandbagging.

 

I understand we are talking about how to speed up slow play.  The long routines do add up over time as does the lack of ready play and people in carts not dropping a player off at their ball while they are waiting on the group in front of them.  I think that the patrolling of members is often an issue since marshall's don't want to create an issue for the club.   I think the bottom line is that the people that play slow don't care that they place slow or what the marshall says.   People complain, courses say they understand, but nothing will ever be done.  

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Reading this provides and interesting dilemma. People are advocating picking up "gimmie" putts. But then post about a persons handicap not being accurate. Do you post your rounds with gimmie putts as a handicap round?

In the case I mentioned, no for the other guys.  All of the guys I walk with during the week are 74 and older.  They don't keep score so they don't post.  I keep score and do post, but I putt out except if someone gives me a tap-in when they are holding the flag.  I take it.  The slow guy in my group doesn't change his routine for any putt, and I will let him putt out unless we are behind.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I think the best way to speed up play might be to incentivize it! What if say, the greens fee is $50 on a Sunday but if you finish your round in under 4 hours and turn in you time stamped score card, you would get $10 back or maybe a free drink at the bar. Have the marshal remind everyone of the reward for fast play, maybe put up a sign or two and I think people would get a lot more motivated to play quickly! For one, they would actually be thinking about the time it takes to play a hole. In general, I think slow, weekend golfers just don't pay attention to time, drink too much and are oblivious. Dangle a carrot, make them think about time and we'll all be playing fast!

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I think the best way to speed up play might be to incentivize it! What if say, the greens fee is $50 on a Sunday but if you finish your round in under 4 hours and turn in you time stamped score card, you would get $10 back or maybe a free drink at the bar.

Interesting idea but execution would be difficult. How do you handle people behind a slow group that would play in 4 but don't because of slow play in front of them?

 

To really fix a problem you have to identify the root cause. In some cases it is inconsiderate players, in some it is just related to some people not moving as fast when they are leaving greens or walking back to their carts. How about the delays when the beverage cart arrives. I think we can even blame the course designer where courses have drivable par 4s and reachable par 5s. I know courses I play repeatedly seem to always back up at the same place. Since there really isn't a single root cause it will be hard to cover every scenario

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There is a fine line of marshaling and just being a crabby old jerk.  

 

I am not a bad/slow golfer by any means, however I will hit an errant shot occasionally that takes some time to find my ball, and it never fails that's the same hole my partner(s) hit errant shots, if each of us take 3-5 minutes to find a tee shot, we're now the "slow" group, so the hole ahead may open up. When a marshal gets on me for that, I start rushing and play worse, which slows me down more because I'm hitting more shots.

 

Now on the other hand I've been behind groups were they are hitting 2-3 balls per shot, lollygagging to get to the ball, taking 10 practice swings and the marshal doenst say anything. After a rain delay and more rain in the radar, we had a group on a muni course playing like it was for the PGA Championship, marking every ball on the green (I'm talking less than an inch away from the hole) instead of just knocking it in and finishing, again no marshal. 

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In the case I mentioned, no for the other guys. All of the guys I walk with during the week are 74 and older. They don't keep score so they don't post. I keep score and do post, but I putt out except if someone gives me a tap-in when they are holding the flag. I take it. The slow guy in my group doesn't change his routine for any putt, and I will let him putt out unless we are behind.

I think that's the key, putting out isn't so much the issue, it's putting everything out when you are behind that causes some issues. It's not all the issue, but it is part of it. Ready golf is a must, I am a fast player so I am usually ready to go as soon as the other guys makes contact. Our rule that we try to adhere to is to just keep up with the group in front of you, there are times where we may fall behind by a shot or so, but realizing it and then picking up play for a short time usually closes the gap. I am also talking foursomes, I don't expect a 4-some to keep up with 3 or 2-somes. Marshals typically at our course seem to try, but management will only allow them to so much, as anything more will potentially cost the course revenue.

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I think that's the key, putting out isn't so much the issue, it's putting everything out when you are behind that causes some issues. It's not all the issue, but it is part of it. Ready golf is a must, I am a fast player so I am usually ready to go as soon as the other guys makes contact. Our rule that we try to adhere to is to just keep up with the group in front of you, there are times where we may fall behind by a shot or so, but realizing it and then picking up play for a short time usually closes the gap. I am also talking foursomes, I don't expect a 4-some to keep up with 3 or 2-somes. Marshals typically at our course seem to try, but management will only allow them to so much, as anything more will potentially cost the course revenue.

Yes, it's all about management and how they want to control the course.  At my muni, management will complain about slow play and we have marshals out on Friday and Saturday (busiest days), but they just drive by groups like their presence will speed things up.  Management sets the tee times; 8 minutes apart, too short but it packs the course, which they like.  

 

And as @cnosil points out, the course design is a contributor to slow play.  The first two holes at my muni are short par 4's and the third hole is the hardest hole on the course with a hazard running all the way down the left side and in front of the green and large mounds of rough down the right.  There is a sign on the #1 tee saying not to tee off until the flag is pulled on the green.  That's to slow players up a little because groups get stacked on the #3 tee.  I have seen 5 groups on the #3 hole, also a par 4.  Play speeds up starting with #4.  The marshal will never come to the first 4 holes because they know play is backed up and there is nothing they can do about it.  I usually play early to mid morning when better players play.  Starting late morning and early afternoon, lot's of balls are in the water on #3 with people fishing.  

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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The thing that I really dislike are the courses that think it's ok to have a 7 minute tee time split. Regardless of how slow people play on the course, jamming as many people as possible onto the course up front isn't helping any. So many times I've been on courses like this, played a 5 - 6 hour round, but there is never anywhere to go, every group is waiting on someone else. Could there be one slow group 7 holes up causing the jam? It's possible, but I lay more blame with the courses for slow play when they have 7 minute splits. I really wish courses would get away from this and get back to a minimum of 10 minutes between tee times... I avoid courses with short tee time splits like the plague now!


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Interesting idea but execution would be difficult. How do you handle people behind a slow group that would play in 4 but don't because of slow play in front of them?

 

To really fix a problem you have to identify the root cause. In some cases it is inconsiderate players, in some it is just related to some people not moving as fast when they are leaving greens or walking back to their carts. How about the delays when the beverage cart arrives. I think we can even blame the course designer where courses have drivable par 4s and reachable par 5s. I know courses I play repeatedly seem to always back up at the same place. Since there really isn't a single root cause it will be hard to cover every scenario

 

Well, the idea is that the four in front of them would be more aware of the time and more likely to play quickly as well. If it's stacked, it's stacked, nothing you can do but you can change the culture of players on the course through incentives.

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it really does come down to each person doing there part. If someone wants to play slow they play slow, and don't care about falling behind even after the marshal says something. The issue with slow players is that they don't think they are slow. I play golf with a guy that is really slow, takes a setup, then 2 full practice swings, then steps away, resets, takes another full practice swing, then steps up and takes forever to set then hits the ball, and his green routine is t any better, now in the same amount of time he took to take one shot, I could have hit the ball 3 times, including driving to the ball after each hit. He will tell you he doesn't play slow, but he is by far the slowest one in our entire group. And yes we have talked to him about his slow play .

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I've played in slow groups before and mainly it's one or two people having a bad round. (Lost balls and searching mainly) but what really annoys me is if someone in my group is not ready to hit when it's their turn. I play with guys who have a whole routine before a shot and they don't even have a club ready when it's their turn.

 

 

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The thing that I really dislike are the courses that think it's ok to have a 7 minute tee time split. Regardless of how slow people play on the course, jamming as many people as possible onto the course up front isn't helping any. So many times I've been on courses like this, played a 5 - 6 hour round, but there is never anywhere to go, every group is waiting on someone else. Could there be one slow group 7 holes up causing the jam? It's possible, but I lay more blame with the courses for slow play when they have 7 minute splits. I really wish courses would get away from this and get back to a minimum of 10 minutes between tee times... I avoid courses with short tee time splits like the plague now!

my course has 9 minute splits and we still back up. I get it's a business but you need some Leeway. We aren't pros out there. Even if we are pros they play twosomes and still take 5 hours to play.

 

 

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Looking for balls and putting out putts is seldom the culprit that causes slow play. The muni I play each week is one of the busiest in the country and only foursomes are allowed to play most days (especially Fri-Sun).

 

The biggest cause of slow play is people who wait for each person to hit rather than going to their ball and getting ready. Ready golf us important to pace of play. Those groups who cluster all four around each shot cause huge delays.

 

Our rangers consult clock and chart for each group as they drive around.

 

Another huge time sink is waiting for the guy hacking through the rough until the next guy is away. Get to your ball and play unless its directly in someones shot line.

 

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We are talking about slow play, and ways to speed it up, I'm all for putting out, but when your routine is 2 minutes long even on a 1 foot putt, you have added 36 needless minutes to your round and Everyone else's round. Yes we post rounds with gimme putts. it actually hurts your cap, its anti-Sandbagging.

 

I agree on not making it a "gimme" but theres no need to mark a ball that you can literally just tap in with a fart. When 4 people mark a putt thats less than 1/2 inch away and reread the green its a problem

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Fairway Wood:   :ping-small: G30 Stiff Shaft

Hybrid:   :titelist-small: TS2 19* Hzrdus Smoke Black Stiff shaft

Irons:     :titelist-small: 718 AP1 (4-PW) AMT Red Stiff Shafts 

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: RTX4 52* 56*

Putter:   :cameron-small: Scotty Cameron Golo 5

Right Handed 

Pittsburgh, PA

 

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Reading this provides and interesting dilemma. People are advocating picking up "gimmie" putts. But then post about a persons handicap not being accurate. Do you post your rounds with gimmie putts as a handicap round?

Actually the handicap system allows for concessions or gimmes. You are supposed to record the score that you would have expected to make on the hole.

 

The system recognizes that people won't always play every stroke out. In fact it tells the player not to count every stroke when submitting his score by limiting highest allowable score on a hole based on handicap.

 

 

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My wife and I played at a course in St. George UT several years ago. We were riding and we played with a local who was walking. We played the front nine in 2.5 hours, mostly because of one hole; a par 3 over a gorge. There were three groups on the tee at one time, so I thought 2.5 hours was a pretty good time. The single was only going to play nine holes, but we had a great time together so he decided to play the back nine.

 

Most of the groups in front of us quit after nine holes, so we had clear sailing starting on 10. About halfway down 10, the marshal comes up to us and says we have to pick up the pace... the men's gangsome is going to be teeing off behind us. He dogged us for three holes. I decided to slow down and play deliberately. On a par 3 with an island green, he went behind the green to watch us tee off. There was only one way in and out of the green area and I blocked him in with my cart, then proceeded to finish out the hole very slowly. When we got to #14, we never saw him again. BTW, we never saw the gangsome group either.

 

The local kept apologizing, saying he had never seen a marshal do that before. I think it was because my wife was playing. Marshals ALWAYS assume that women are the slow players in a group. Even with my deliberately slow play, we finished the round in 4.5 hours, 30 minutes faster on the back. My wife was so pissed, she went into the pro shop and complained to the head pro. His position?? "Too bad. You are a visitor here, tomorrow you are gone. I have to keep the men's gangsome happy every day." I won't be going back there ever again, so he was right about that.

Was that at Sunbrook?

 

 

 

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Was that at Sunbrook?

 

 

 

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No.  We stayed at a condo at Sunbrook and played all 3 nines.  Not bad.  Lots of elevation change.

 

The course I was talking about is Green Springs, I think.  Does this picture of the par 3 hole over the canyon on the front nine look familiar?

 

DSCF0051.JPG

 

This is where we waited for over 20 minutes for that group on the green and 2 more groups to tee off before we got to tee off.  I believe the next hole is a par 4 that runs along this canyon on the right and the canyon crosses in front of the green.  


We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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No. We stayed at a condo at Sunbrook and played all 3 nines. Not bad. Lots of elevation change.

 

The course I was talking about is Green Springs, I think. Does this picture of the par 3 hole over the canyon on the front nine look familiar?

 

attachicon.gifDSCF0051.JPG

 

This is where we waited for over 20 minutes for that group on the green and 2 more groups to tee off before we got to tee off. I believe the next hole is a par 4 that runs along this canyon on the right and the canyon crosses in front of the green.

Yes it is all familiar. Funny thing is, this is where I played in the tournament yesterday! A lot has changed the last few years at Green Spring. They have gone through some rough times because of how they have treated people. I think they are finally turning it around though. The tournament was well put together and went smoothly. Hopefully they are treating everyone better. I stoped playing there after a few of my run ins with them and I'm a local, just not retired like 85% of the golfers here.

 

 

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We had an issue with this very subject on Saturday, our last group fell waaaay behind, so we got on them a bit, we had 6 groups, they were 45 minutes behind the 5th group, approx. 3 full holes behind. They took 5 hours to play. Hopefully they realize that this can't happen going forward. They are good guys, I think they just got to talking a bit too much and didn't really pay attention to time.


Lefties are always in their Right Mind

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