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If you like to play slow on a golf course, I want to hear from you...


Mr. 82
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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.

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I think 3:30 is plenty of time for a foursome in carts to finish 18 holes. Anything over 4 hours is excessive to me. I think the biggest problem is that people don't play ready golf.

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I think part of the problem is that slow players either don't know they are slow or don't care and are perfectly comfortable playing 6 hour rounds.

 

I once played a muni in Jefferson City, MO that had a time clock that you punched in just prior to first tee ball, again at the turn, and again at the end. The threat was that if you were over time, you were invited not to return (I don't recall the actual details of how much over time, how often, etc. as this was about 25 years ago). I have no idea if they ever actually did it, but the packed Sunday I was there moved along pretty nicely for as busy as they were.

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Not a concern at all. I'm retired, and when I do play I'm in no hurry to leave the course and will invite people behind me to play thru.

Hopefully I'll be back put there soon, once the doc gives me a clean bill of health

 

 

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We could go on for days about the "slow play" issue.  I will agree with you though, I can't stand slow play at all.  It gets me out of rhythm in the worst way.  I like to play at a quick pace.  Not overly fast like running a marathon but I like to be able to hit the ball right when I get to the tee or the fairway.  Waiting to hit on every shot really gets to me.  

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The problem is people who play slow 1) don't know they play slow or 2) don't care that they play slow.

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4 to 4.5 hours is pretty standard for me. My usual group plays pretty heavily wooded courses, so looking for balls can sometimes take some time. 

 

2.5 hours? Are you even lining up your putts?

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My club pop is 4:15. That said, Saturday my foursome got around in 3:10, and 3 of us finished 27 in 5:00 (we had to wait a bit on the last nine).

 

I don't miss six hour rounds at Bethpage.

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I think 3:30 is plenty of time for a foursome in carts to finish 18 holes. Anything over 4 hours is excessive to me. I think the biggest problem is that people don't play ready golf. 

It's definitely doable. The problem is that, you can't just play... you have to wait for the group in front of you or the group in front of them... the group that "paid our money", so "we will play from the tips if we damn well please"... even though none of them can get past 200 yds. off the tee.

 

I've played with a buddy when it was just us on the course. We finished in under 3 hours, and neither of us are what you would call really good players. 

 

The other problem is the course owner/s sending groups out as soon as the group ahead is near the green..... stack the course with as many bodies as possible; got to make that money!

 

Face it, 4 plus hour rounds are never ever ever going away!

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The problem is people who play slow 1) don't know they play slow or 2) don't care that they play slow.

I play munis and get paired up almost every round. Definitely number 1. It's amazing how many people who, like me, shoot 90+ but need to get out a laser for every shot and then take 4 practice swings before they hit the ball. Then they get mad when people are "rushing" us.

 

The problem is it's not a very easy thing to tell a complete stranger whose wielding metal sticks that they are the problem...

 

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4 to 4.5 hours is pretty standard for me. My usual group plays pretty heavily wooded courses, so looking for balls can sometimes take some time.

 

2.5 hours? Are you even lining up your putts?

My Saturday group is usually a twosome or three some. We tee off at 7:00 am as one of the first groups off and we are usually done by 9:30, 10:00 at the latest.

 

We hit the ball in the fairway, hit our approach shots at the green, chip on and have plenty of time to line up our putts.

 

There is a fivesome that usually plays in front of us that we can't catch. A fivesome that plays in 2 hours or less. One Saturday recently there was only two of us and the fivesome let us play ahead of them. They kept right on our tails most of the round.

 

If you know how to play ready golf, even a 3 hour round with carts would seem slow to you.

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people can take as long as they want on a course- just let anyone faster play thru....quickly

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people can take as long as they want on a course- just let anyone faster play thru....quickly

Except the groups that aren't socially aware enough to know they are playing painfully slow also aren't socially aware enough to let people play through
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Thank goodness I'm retired and can play weekdays, where we usually get done in 3 to 31\2

Hours

What's worse is the guys who are slow who decide that they need to be the first group out in the morning- and they then pretty well destroy the pace for the entire track for half the day

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Average walking speed for a human is 5400 yards/hour. So I will concede that I could speed up my play a bit.

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I walked the longest public course in Rhode Island this morning by myself in under 2 hours. I always try to be first off the tee and that meant 5:50 am today. Could have been quicker if the guys maintaining the course weren't in my way. I'm lucky in that a couple of courses just let me go ahead of everyone if I show up.

 

I've had one afternoon tee time this year and walked off after 9 because of slow play. Self awareness or lack there of is an issue for me.

 

 

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I would like to say it's people like us who are socially aware, we “care” about the sport and enjoy the living daylights out of it.

 

Their are many groups on the weekend who treat golf as a social activity and have one too many. Those are the hackers who generally play slow don't fix divots or pitch marks and drive to close to the green.

 

I will be very vocal to the starter as well as call the club house to let them know of slow play.

 

 

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people can take as long as they want on a course- just let anyone faster play thru....quickly

When I get out on a golf course, I usually don't care how long I am there.  I am just glad to be playing.  Now with that said, if I get behind a group that won't let us play through I tend to get a little upset.  I got stuck behind a group this weekend that was 4 older gentlemen all with their own carts.  However all 4 went to each others ball and didn't let us play through.  I got so pissed, when I got to a driveable par 4 I hit and drove the green hoping that would send a message.  Alas all it did was have one guy take my ball and throw it into the pond.  That was my last hole since I didn't want to go to jail.

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I play pretty fast, I probably should slow down a little in respect to when I get to the ball. I usually have a pretty good idea of what type of shot I am going to play before I get to the ball so it's just a matter of getting the distance, that's where a rangefinder comes in handy.

Now as for slow play, what I usually see when there is slow play are about 3 things

1. Taking too much time to get from one shot to the next. I realize some people don't walk as quickly as others, but if you go from point a to point b without stopping to talk or something like that, your pace of play will be ok.

2. Being very deliberate in your preshot routine, and never wavering from it. If it takes you 2 minutes to pull the trigger when you have your club ready and standing over the ball, your pace of play will suffer

3. Putting, I beleive this is where a lot of time is wasted, people just take way too much time getting ready and then putting. This is especially true in tournament rounds, from tee to green, thenpace seems pretty good, but then once to the green it seems to take forever for the group to finish out.

 

There's my thoughts 1. Mosey to the next shot, 2. Very slow routine, 3. Too much time on the green.

It doesn't have to be all three to slow down play, any 1 or combo will drastically slow play down.

 

The course I play it is a realistic expectation to play in 4 to 4.25 hours on the weekend, 9 minute tee times, and most holes have 3 to 4 hundred yards between tee boxes as we weave throughout the neighborhood. It's also a pretty difficult course. 72.1/136 from the tees we play, and if a group in front sees fit to play the back tees it's around 74/145 around 6900 yards. Most Saturday golfers can't handle that course but play it anyway which slows down the pace of the entire day

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