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MaxEntropy

Would Embracing Technology Improve Pace of Play?

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In Chris's post about the green reading app (https://mygolfspy.com/golf-scope-launches-green-reading-putting-app/), he touches on the subject of technology and it's adoption (or lack thereof) by the ruling bodies. He also raises the question of what things like this do that a caddie doesn't, which ultimately still puts in in the hand of the player to execute. I can see where this product might be taking it a bit too far since green reading is, IMO, a fairly basic skill needed for the game. But extend this to laser/GPS range finders. Why not let the pros use them? They get information quicker, but are still required to execute. I don't see that a basic skill is being negated (it's not hard to step things off and look in a book). I would think using rangefinders would have the potential to speed the pace of play. Is there some aspect I am missing?

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Are you specifically referring to pace of play for the pros and rangefinders, not the golf community in general? I think it would have minimal impact or may actually slow down the pace of play for the pros if they could use rangefinders on tournament days. As far as I can tell, tour pros and their caddies  are generally pretty meticulous and strategic when analyzing the data that they already have available to them from practice rounds, pin sheets, etc. They already factor in wind, course conditions, strategy based on the info they have, so i think giving them the opportunity to have further data to analyze during the round has the potential to slow things down since it possibly just adds a step for them without eliminating anything (i.e. now checking exact distances not just to pins, but to any potential hazard or lay-up location, comparing that to the information previously gathered, then hitting a shot). I know that my livelihood depended on my score and a missed shot here or there could end up costing me tens of thousands of dollars, I would want to analyze all information I had in that moment to avoid that. I think pace of plays for the pros has more to do with over analyzing data then the issues we recreational golfers face when complaining about pace of play (i.e. not playing ready golf, playing from the wrong set of tees, not hitting provisional shots or hunting too long for lost balls, etc). Side note - I do think the green reading app could speed up the pace of play for recreational golfers since it would eliminate the need for people to read putts from multiple angles for 10 minutes, miss by a large margin and then repeat the process. Of course, this assumes the picture and scan process of the app is quick and efficient, otherwise it may be a push.

 

I have no real way of proving this next thought, but I believe that tour pros and caddies also have developed a pretty good sense of distances from the endless hours of golf they have played, so the rangefinder hay have a limited difference to pace of play for them anyway. The only semi-proof I have to support this theory is from the experience I have golfing with my Dad. He doesn't use a rangefinder when he plays, but he generally has a good feel for the distance. We will be on a hole, I will pull out my rangefinder to get a distance and he will say "Its about 130 yards" before I say anything, and it will shoot to be 132 yards or something like that. It almost ends up being a game for him during the round, so at times he will venture out with more specific numbers suck as "It is 183 yards" or "it is 106 but will play like 94" and he is usually within 2-3 yards of what the scope shows at least 80% of the time. And it doesn't matter if we are playing a new course, he just has that innate feel, which he said he developed in all the years that he caddied as a kid from middle school through college and then continued to develop as he has continued to play the game. If he has that type of ability, I would assume the majority of the professional caddies and players would have developed something similar as they mastered their craft. But maybe I am wrong and my dad is some type of distance sensing savant who should use his talents as a pga tour sideshow event. 

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Is technology going to give people social awareness or basic courtesy?

 

Then no, it will not

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I'm not sure really whether LRF's or GPS has sped up or slowed the game. I grew up playing most of my golf without any technology. Back then we didn't pace off every shot. We had FW markers and stakes and such on the course. Sure we stepped off shots from time to time but certainly not every shot. We played more by feel and instinct. And... we played quite well I might add. Of course we were also playing the same course or courses over and over. Like now come to think of it.

I use a LRF and a GPS. I can use them together rather quickly. A quick shot at the pin for example and a glance at the GPS and I'm good to go. Perhaps 15 seconds? Putting? I don't have any need for a devise to read a green for me. I consider myself a good putter (if nothing else) and for some reason I seem to read greens better than a lot of my playing buddies. Just lucky I suppose. So for now I'll just stick with what works for me.

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Technology like the walkman, discman, iPod, iPhone, small speakers that Re really loud. Have ruined a lot more than just golf. I didn't have a range finder, iPhone, or gps when I played golf in HS, I didn't need tech then, and I don't need it now.

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I personally don't think it would improve the pace of play, unless by technology you mean changing the tech on the course management side. I know that most courses allot for 4-4.5 hours for an 18 hole round, but I could shave an hour off that for most courses, and i'm a bad golfer (30 Handicap). But I think it would require a whole new structure from the perspective of the course management side. Carts would need to be individualized (maybe more of those cool surfing thingys). Pairing/handicap/pace would need to be individually tracked. I think a "pace" handicap could be considered as an individual stat that you could maybe add to the GHIN or something else to assist with pairings. I know a lot of people think that" It only takes a minute for me to find my ball, hit, and then go find my buddies ball", but if you think about it, a minute per shot FOR A PAR GOLFER is about 72 minutes per round. Now think of the average handicap golfer (idk what that is, so let's say 95) that's 95 minutes shaved off a round if every player drives to there ball and hits it. This may all be useless if you walk of course, but I think that's how some people that walk can keep up with foursomes in carts. I know this would take away from the social aspect of the game though. Sometimes your just out there with your buds hanging out, while you happen to be playing golf. It's a touchy subject from both sides, and the last thing we need is to alienate NEW people from trying golf, so it may just add another wrinkle in it.

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The biggest thing I would like from a technology standpoint is a chip in the ball that helps me find it faster, especially in the rough. And once in a while I hit a ball and have absolutely no idea where it went. I just don't ever see it once it leaves the club.

 

I just added a phone app to help me with ranges on the course, I am not prepared at the moment to pay for a laser range finder. I could justify $30.00 for an app though.

 

Sometimes even when I know where the ball went it takes me longer than I would like to find my ball. I don't hit many right in the fairway. I am left handed and most of the time am in the left rough. I line up to the right though and once in a while hit a draw or straight so down the right rough I go. It is nice when they go in between those two extremes. I had two shots last night that were just harder to find because they were down in the grass.

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Is technology going to give people social awareness or basic courtesy?

 

Then no, it will not

Bingo. If a person doesn't understand ready golf or how to play using effective time mgmt on each shot like going to their ball instead of using some form on the honors system and waiting to get to their ball while others are doing the same then their pace of play isn't going to change.

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Offer a free beer or something for those foursomes that finish inside of a pace a play guidelines. Technology won't do didly. It's just one more thing a golfer needs to navigate before they lay the sod over the ball.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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I'm not a fan of the green reading app. To me reading the green itself is part of the skill of putting. But then again I'm not a fan of the pros having the green reading books either. Get off my lawn!!

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Lots of great comments here.

 

Absolutely technology could help speed up play and make them game more interesting for some people. However I think information like that provided by a green reading app would only slow play down.

 

The biggest help that would see is the chip in the ball - no more searching and the use of technology at the clubhouse to monitor and assist with pace of play.

 

Imagine the additional revenue courses could generate if only they'd get their average pace of play down to 345.

 

Interesting thread - I enjoyed reading the responses. And to be honest I miss the days that Plaid Jacket described. When I started I only had odd numbered clubs - I really didn't need to know that I had 177 - I could see the 150 bush and knew that I was between my 7 and 5 iron. If there was some wind at my back I hit a hard 7, if I was into the wind or there was none, I hit an easy 5. I played that way until I could break 80 consistently. That's when I bought a full set of clubs.

 

Seriously

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear....

 

The 13th hole at The Open Championship 2017. Jordan Speith hits a ball into mountain goat territory, then brilliantly asks if the driving range in OB. It was not. Then under a 1 stroke penalty takes Line of Sight Relief, and then free relief under the Temporary Movable Obstruction Rule.

 

Turns a double bogey or worse into a bogey, then catches fire and shoots 4 under in the next 3 holes and goes on to win the Championship.

 

Him taking those rulings and the discussion the options took 12-15 minutes. It was actually pretty cool to watch and once again, brilliant use of the rules.

 

What was excruciating to watch was the next 15-18 minutes of him and Micheal trotting up and down the berms trying to find the flag and something close to the distance.

 

I have a Mobitee App that in a few seconds would have told me I was 220 to the closest edge of the green, 236 to the middle, and 248 to the back of the green. With a push of an icon on the phone, it would have also told me the direction that aim to the center of the green.

 

I am soon to have a Precision Pro NX7 PRO Laser Range Finder, (do you like the way I dropped that name in there? Learned that watching NASCAR.) and I know Geller has a lesser brand of LRF in the bag for practice rounds, but he could have stood on the top of the hill and shot the flag, and then shot to where Jordan had dropped.

 

Of course Jordan still had to make that shot. He missed the green but got up and down showing great skill, but claims Geller was spot on with his distances and he, Jordan, failed to hit the shot. (But I digress).

 

They look at yardage books, pin sheets, pages that have the breaks of the green drawn in, and they have yardage markers to pace it off from. They have someone who is an expert at calculating distances. So why can't they have technology that would definitely speed up pace of play.

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Lots of great comments here.

 

Absolutely technology could help speed up play and make them game more interesting for some people. However I think information like that provided by a green reading app would only slow play down.

 

The biggest help that would see is the chip in the ball - no more searching and the use of technology at the clubhouse to monitor and assist with pace of play.

 

Imagine the additional revenue courses could generate if only they'd get their average pace of play down to 345.

 

Interesting thread - I enjoyed reading the responses. And to be honest I miss the days that Plaid Jacket described. When I started I only had odd numbered clubs - I really didn't need to know that I had 177 - I could see the 150 bush and knew that I was between my 7 and 5 iron. If there was some wind at my back I hit a hard 7, if I was into the wind or there was none, I hit an easy 5. I played that way until I could break 80 consistently. That's when I bought a full set of clubs.

 

Seriously

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

My first set was 3,5,7,9,W. I think it is a good way to learn the game.

 

I have actually really enjoyed playing the last week or two without my regular irons. I have a 4 iron, 7 iron, 9,PW,and my regular high loft wedges. I have had to manufacture quite a few shots between the 4 and 7 and have been surprised at how well I have done with them.

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Lots of great comments here.

 

Absolutely technology could help speed up play and make them game more interesting for some people. However I think information like that provided by a green reading app would only slow play down.

 

The biggest help that would see is the chip in the ball - no more searching and the use of technology at the clubhouse to monitor and assist with pace of play.

 

Imagine the additional revenue courses could generate if only they'd get their average pace of play down to 345.

 

Interesting thread - I enjoyed reading the responses. And to be honest I miss the days that Plaid Jacket described. When I started I only had odd numbered clubs - I really didn't need to know that I had 177 - I could see the 150 bush and knew that I was between my 7 and 5 iron. If there was some wind at my back I hit a hard 7, if I was into the wind or there was none, I hit an easy 5. I played that way until I could break 80 consistently. That's when I bought a full set of clubs.

 

Seriously

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

I've been playing based off yardage markers this year and may look at what distance it is to front or back depending on pin location. It hasn't hurt my game and without any stats may have slightly improved proximity to hole and GIR

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I am more skeptical of the green reading app since putting has as much to do with pace as aim. And pace depends on the force you use on the ball, the slope, and the grain of the green.

 

Last Sunday, my ball was above the hole leaving me a downhill lighting fast putt, and was standing beside one of my foursome looking at the slope and the grain, and said, "Look at that shine on the grass. It looks like they have just waxed this green." My putting stroke was maybe an inch long and rolled the putt 10' into the hole.

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A lot of over-thinking this with lasers, gps, etc.

 

Want to improve pace of play? An old school time clock at the first tee and 18th green along with a sign in the pro shop that reads “Rounds completed in 3:30 to 4:00 hours receive $10 off their greens fee. Finish in 3:29 or less, $15 off”.

 

Guarantee pace of play picks up.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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A lot of over-thinking this with lasers, gps, etc.

 

Want to improve pace of play? An old school time clock at the first tee and 18th green along with a sign in the pro shop that reads “Rounds completed in 3:30 to 4:00 hours receive $10 off their greens fee. Finish in 3:29 or less, $15 off”.

 

Guarantee pace of play picks up.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

And a lot of mad golfers when the pace is slow and they can't complete the round in that timeframe.

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And a lot of mad golfers when the pace is slow and they can't complete the round in that timeframe.

We have a lot of mad golfers already regarding pace of play, so much so we are spending time brainstorming ways to alleviate it.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Shared carts (driving back and forth between two balls)

 

Alcohol (average guy can't break 90, now add alcohol into the equation)

 

GPS ( pulling rangefinder or phone gps to decide if that 177 uphill is a hard 5 or easy 4 and then duffing it 20 feet)

 

Now we want to add in a device to read the greens?

 

 

We need our devices! How can I spend more time tied to an electronic device? Maybe at the 19th hole we'll have a device that tells us where to aim for a bank shot on the billiards table? To hell with basic geometry!

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I think people don't realize they play slow. Adding technology that probably won't matter to the average golfer will only take longer. I think adding an incentive would work well until you have one foursome that is drunk slowing everybody else down. That will just lead to anger and someone in the foursome getting hit with a golf ball.

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