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Not only is Brooks right, but I think it's only a matter of time before someone finally gets DeChambeau to pick up the pace and knock off the intentionally gamesmanship that he displays against his playing partners, by intentionally waiting to start his conversation with his caddie about whatever it is they talk about, until after the other guys have finished hitting. I mean, if you want to talk about air density and a thousand other things no one ever thinks about, fine, but all I think anyone is asking here is that you abide by the pace of play guidelines that the Tour has in place. Eventually the Tour has to buckle to the pressure if enough outside influences keep this topic as alive and well as it has been for some time now. I'm just surprised we have such a blatant horrible penalty on a non-issue with Haotong Li that gave him no advantage whatsoever, when pace of play actually does affect the other golfers on the course, not only in your group, but also behind you, as they wait on every shot because you are too busy crunching numbers on things no one besides you has a clue about or could care less about.
Everyone complains about pace of play, and it's a seemingly never ending conversation. And in all my years (40+) of playing golf, I have yet to have someone say to me, "I sure do like playing golf in 5 or 6 hours; the slower the better."
Everyone I have ever talked to always says that they hate slow play. Yet, once again, I found myself in the bowels of despair this weekend as I was playing in a "tournament" where both my Saturday and Sunday rounds were met with a 5 hour round, where we waited on the group in front of us on every hole and every shot. In the defense of the group in front of us, they were waiting too, as was the group in front of them, etc, etc, etc.
I emailed the tournament director about this, and as kindly as I could put it, simply said that I doubt that I would return to play with this group ever again, simply because of pace of play.
I mean, pace of play is probably the most talked about subject in golf, and yet no one seems to ever be able to fix this "problem."
Now, I realize that pace of play could be a subjective term as well. Because if you give me a cart and an open course in front of me, I am done as a single in 90 minutes tops. I grew up playing as a threesome with my Dad and my brother, and we'd finish 18 holes in 2 1/2 hours.
But I'm not even suggesting those times as what anyone should realistically expect on a golf course. But I know for a fact that the standard for pace of play on a fully loaded golf course at St. Andrews is 3:22. See http://www.popeofslope.com/paceofplay/pace.html
Is your normal round and expectation for a foresome for 18 holes about 4 hours and 30 minutes? Is it 4 hours?
I'll just end this by saying that I refuse to be the group in front of me's gallery for 18 holes. If I have to wait on every shot, I'll quit the game first.
I worked a long time in the golf industry. One thing I see severely lacking these days is good Marshalling. Here are some of my suggestions, feel free to add your own.
Guide to Good Marshalling
First and foremost, it starts at the Pro Shop. They need to tell groups what is expected of them: Less than 15 minutes per hole and keep up with the group in front of you.
Marshals should always carry; 4 little flags, extra balls and a tee sheet. When they see an open hole on the golf course, you don't just pull up and say â€œyou're a hole behind, get movingâ€ then pull away. They should say â€œI noticed a gap in front of you, I'll do my best to help you catch up but if you can't, you'll need to skip a holeâ€. Then stay with the group and help find errant balls (or give them one out of your basket), rake bunkers and possibly give yardages until they catch up. If they don't catch up, never let the group behind play through, that only slows down everything behind. Simply ask them to skip a hole. Yes, they will probably be offended, but would you rather offend 4 slow players or the 50 behind them that are getting more annoyed by the minute. If they refuse to skip a hole, I like to offer them a certificate for a free round another day. We never honored these certificates on the weekend or holidays when we are busy.
â€‹Side Note, I would tell my Marshals that if they got caught picking up more golf balls then trash, they would be fired. I thought it was working until I found out that they would simply stop at a trash can on the course and put a bunch in their cart.
Alright forum members, here is the situation: You wake up in the morning, check the forecast really quick and the weatherman calls for clear skies and 75 degrees, with only a gentle breeze of 0 - 5 miles an hour expected for the day. Pristine golf weather. And the rest of the week calls for rain, rain and more rain - you can't let an opportunity like this pass you by! So you call in to the office because you are *cough* *cough* "under the weather" *sniffle* *sniffle*, and then start making the rounds scouring golf now and the internet for a tee time. You find a course you have played a couple times, not a ton, but you remember it being a decent track and are pretty pumped to play it again. So you throw on your favorite golf polo and comfiest golf shorts (or pants, if 75 degree weather is pants weather for you crazy people in Arizona, California, etc.), eat a hearty breakfast, throw your clubs in the trunk of your car and head off to the course. You get to the course, pay the green fee and head off to the first tee box. It's moment of truth time gentlemen (and ladies, but mostly gentlemen in this case) - what tee box are you attacking the course from, and is this the box you should actually be going to battle from?
Personally, I used to play from the tee box just in front of the tips most of the time (generally the blue tee boxes on the courses around me). And I generally played there for the following reasons:
- When I started golfing, most of the people I played with always played from the blue tees. So I just got used to playing from those boxes.
- I can hit the ball pretty far. I am not tour pro long or anything like that,but for average joe golfer I can get the ball out there pretty good, so I thought that was the spot for me.
- It is an ego thing. I think I should be able to play from that distance and do it well.
- Blue is a much more manly color than white.
What I have realized though is that even though the blue tee boxes generally don't make the course too long for my game, I should probably spend more of my time teeing off from the white tee boxes (or the boxes one set behind the ladies tees if your course uses a different coloring system). Why is that? I score way better (and who doesn't have more fun when the score looks good!) Not sub par or low 70's better, but I can generally keep things in the low to mid 80's from there. I also don't have to hit as many shots with long irons or fairway woods to get home on holes, which limits the duffs and skulls and other nonsense I generally rack up throughout the round, which just makes the round more frustrating it needs to be. Golf is hard enough as it is! I also feel better about my pace of play. I don't feel like I am holding people up as much, searching for balls on wayward shots when my swing gets a little handsy, and when I hit a fat shot I am already closer than I was if I were playing from further away. I think the people playing behind me appreciate it more, as I know I get frustrated and out of rhythm when the group in front of me is clearly playing from the wrong tee box and slowing things down to a halt (I am looking at you banana ball slicer who only gets a FIR hitting the fairway of another hole but continues to tee it up from the back boxes).
So now I most courses I find myself playing from a hybrid set of tee boxes throughout the round, mixing it up between the white boxes and blue boxes. If the hole is too short, I back up a set, but I am not too proud to enjoy the game like it is meant to be enjoyed. What about the rest of you out there. Do you think you honestly play the right set of tees most of the time, or are you playing from further back than you should be playing?
Also, earlier I said this post was mostly for the gentlemen as I have yet to encounter a group of ladies teeing up from too far away for their game. In my experience, it appears those that can play from further back know it and do, and others tee it forward where they are comfortable playing from. But would love everyone to weigh in and give their opinions.
That guy ... you know the one that thinks he is better than he actually is.
He may do some of the following:
line up every putt as if it's for the U.S. Open take as much time lining up the putt for an 8 that he does for a par get mad at someone because they "took the tee box from you" .... just because we are in the interest of slow play, we like to play "ready golf" ... especially when there is a storm clearly heading our direction! spend 10 minutes looking for the ball that was clearly hit OB just because you are the last group off in the league and there is no one behind you blame every missed shot on something other than what it actually is ... "Oh I pushed that one." or "Damn this rough is brutal." NO Pal ... you just suck and couldn't find the fairway if you fell out of the cart play the wrong set of tees because you think you hit the ball further than you actually do claim you got a 5 on the hole when you clearly hit it OB once & had to take an unplayable lie, so it was at least an 8. Then get mad when I question it. If you are going to play by the rules, you may want to learn them first. when taking a drop from a lateral stake in the rough, don't claim that the ball moved towards the green on each drop just so you get to place it. (grant it the rough was about 4" high in places but still we all have to play the same course.) Take the game WAYYYYYY TOO serious! It's league play .... I mean c'mon we are playing for a beer for Christs Sake!
Yes all of these occurred the other night in my league play. It was brutal ... playing slow, having to teach the rules to someone, etc. I even had to break out the actual Rule Book out of my bag for this guy! (yes, I keep one just for days like this)
So ... don't be "that guy!" And if you happen to play with "that guy" ... I wish you well & good luck!
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