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Solution to slow play on Tour? Reduced field size?

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https://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2018/10/24/tour-slow-play-wars-taking-on-added-enjoyable-dimension-chipping-away-at-field-sizes

Interesting concept that I've actually never thought of.  Well, this ought to be an interesting opening salvo in the otherwise never ending saga of slow play on tour.  But yeah, if you guys aren't interesting in speeding things up, then there will be fewer opportunities for you guys to play, especially if you are on the bubble.  

LOL, and the flip side of this is that the top players, who are borderline slow already, might read between the lines on this and take extra time to play, therefore, creating less opportunities for their competitors to even get in the field.

It'll be interesting to see where this goes.

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IMO reduced fields won't solve the problem. Personally I think the whole slow play subject is over blown.  I've been watching professional golf events on TV and in person for decades and simply do not find it a major issue.  Yes I know some of the players have bitched about pace of play, and there are some well documented events where it became somewhat laughable - but that is not the norm.  Just use the shot clock system and hand out warnings and penalties.  Those that tend to play excessively slow will start speeding up or get pissed and leave the tour.  And please do this without a fleet of golf carts running up and down the fairways with a billboard size shot clocks counting down.  Let's not turn the stylish game of golf into the NBA.  Alternatively, start a new "Speed Tour" where those that feel the need for speed can run free. 😉

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26 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

IMO reduced fields won't solve the problem. Personally I think the whole slow play subject is over blown.  I've been watching professional golf events on TV and in person for decades and simply do not find it a major issue.  Yes I know some of the players have bitched about pace of play, and there are some well documented events where it became somewhat laughable - but that is not the norm.  Just use the shot clock system and hand out warnings and penalties.  Those that tend to play excessively slow will start speeding up or get pissed and leave the tour.  And please do this without a fleet of golf carts running up and down the fairways with a billboard size shot clocks counting down.  Let's not turn the stylish game of golf into the NBA.  Alternatively, start a new "Speed Tour" where those that feel the need for speed can run free. 😉

In the grand scheme, total time of their rounds is not too terrible, IMO, but the routines of some of the guys gets a bit ridiculous (Cantlay) and is very painful for me to watch. I don't know why they have to take so long. I assume most of them work with sports psychologists so I would contend the psychologists can and should work on making their routines shorter.

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5 minutes ago, MaxEntropy said:

In the grand scheme, total time of their rounds is not too terrible, IMO, but the routines of some of the guys gets a bit ridiculous (Cantlay) and is very painful for me to watch. I don't know why they have to take so long. I assume most of them work with sports psychologists so I would contend the psychologists can and should work on making their routines shorter.

Sport psychologist, that's a hoot.  I wonder how Hogan, Boris, Nicklaus, and Palmer did it without them. I still say issuing penalties to the chronic offenders is the best solution.

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There are only a couple of circumstances in which slow play on Tour bothers me at all:

  • Chiefly, if a guy's slow play is messing with the performance of other players. The prime example of this last year was the J. B. Holmes debacle at Torrey Pines. If I recall correctly, after J. B. finally hit his shot, Noren flew the green entirely. Obviously, there's no way to prove that one led to the other, but it's hard to imagine that Noren wasn't taken off his game at least a little by the wait.
  • Second, if TV doesn't handle it well. In a normal tournament, coverage has the option of bouncing around to another player who's actually going to hit a shot. Slow play on Tour is only a problem if the camera continues to focus on a guy who just won't pull the trigger. In cases like the Holmes incident above, they had no choices, as they were the only players left on the course. In this regard, shrinking field sizes could actually make the problem of slow play as it's perceived on TV worse, since there would be fewer options of players to show.
  • Third, when Tour idiosyncrasies trickle down to amateur hacks who have no reasons to have a 2-minute pre-shot routine.

Other than these specific concerns, the idea that it takes Tour pros 5 hours to play a round doesn't matter much to me.

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Shrinking the field is definitely not the best solution to this problem.

 

Some great points made already and I think a shot clock should be used. 30-40 seconds from the time you get to your ball. One warning then you start losing strokes. After their 10th warning of the season there's no more warnings.

 

Need a big tower at the tee box and green with a 20' screen counting down. Starts honking for the last 5 seconds to let them know they're getting down to the wire

 

Sent from my CLT-L04 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Canucklehead said:

Need a big tower at the tee box and green with a 20' screen counting down. Starts honking for the last 5 seconds to let them know they're getting down to the wire emoji6.png

With the gallery shouting; five, four, three, two, one... BaBaBooey!  When that happens, TGC goes bye-bye and I'm replacing with The Curling Channel 😄.

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29 minutes ago, Canucklehead said:

Shrinking the field is definitely not the best solution to this problem.

I don't really view it as a solution, but rather a reaction to the issue - there just isn't enough daylight for the full field to get through two rounds of slow play so they have to shrink the field.

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49 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

Sport psychologist, that's a hoot.  I wonder how Hogan, Boris, Nicklaus, and Palmer did it without them. I still say issuing penalties to the chronic offenders is the best solution.

I agree.  Why is everyone trying to find a solution to slow play, when the penalty for slow play is already available?  Just enforce it!!  

Shackelford is an idiot.  I'm not sure where he got the statement in BOLD, but his conclusion is simply ridiculous!!

Perhaps more eye opening are the Tour percentages. Eighty percent of all players took between 31 and 44 seconds to hit shots so far this season, while only 40 percent took between 35 and 40 seconds, which in theory should be the goal given the fine print of the circuit’s policy.   Which means a very large percentage took more than the Rules of Golf allow for. Charming.

That's just wrong!!  Let's analyze this statement:  

80% took  31-44 seconds
40% took  35-40 seconds

This means that 40% either took less than 35 seconds, or between 40-44 seconds, or a combination of the two (most likely).  So, we have no idea how many players in that 80% took more than the 40 seconds.  But Wait!  What about the 20% not mentioned?  Could all of those players have taken more than 44 seconds?  Probably, but a few could take less than 31 seconds as well.

But players are allowed to take more than 40 seconds under certain conditions.  In the following cases the player has 60 seconds:

  • He is the first of his group to play from the teeing ground of a par-3 hole;
  • He is the first to play a second shot on a par-4 or par-5;
  • He is the first to play a third shot on a par-5;
  • He is the first player to play around the putting green;
  • He is the first to play on the putting green.

So, how many of the remaining 20% not alluded to in the statement took more than their allotted time??  That's why statements like this one are foolish without supporting information.  This statement was made to embellish a narrative to support an agenda.

Reducing the number of players, especially players using these tournaments during short daylight hours to make it on the tour, to try to solve a slow play issue is not helpful.  I know there are several players who are ridiculously slow, and they should be penalized.  Just do it!  Problem solved!!  

sorry for the rant.

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I don't really view it as a solution, but rather a reaction to the issue - there just isn't enough daylight for the full field to get through two rounds of slow play so they have to shrink the field.
Depending how late in the season they want to start I'd like it to be incorporated with the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. Make it somewhat like the FedEx Cup playoffs with less of a field as it progresses

Sent from my CLT-L04 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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32 minutes ago, Canucklehead said:

Depending how late in the season they want to start I'd like it to be incorporated with the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. Make it somewhat like the FedEx Cup playoffs with less of a field as it progresses

Sent from my CLT-L04 using MyGolfSpy mobile app
 

This is an interesting idea.  How about a format like that used in college basketball?  The field shrinks as the season progresses, ultimately leading to Fall Madness, the Sweet 16, the Final Four, and finally De Hombre a Hombre. For yet another twist, how about in the final match, the losing player for each hole must forfeit one club from their bag for the balance of the round. 

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45 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

This is an interesting idea.  How about a format like that used in college basketball?  The field shrinks as the season progresses, ultimately leading to Fall Madness, the Sweet 16, the Final Four, and finally De Hombre a Hombre. For yet another twist, how about in the final match, the losing player for each hole must forfeit one club from their bag for the balance of the round. 

The sponsors and advertisers would never accept that.  Getting a large TV audience depends on having big names in the field.  Consider a final that somehow includes Pat Perez against Patrick Cantlay, are you tuning in to watch?   They've done their best to keep a reasonably large field through the season finale, hoping that Tiger and Phil and DJ and a few other big names manage to avoid Speith's fate from 2018.  Heck, even Jordan isn't going to tune in to watch Perez-Cantlay, but he might have watched Tiger and Rose in the recent season finale.

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26 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

 Heck, even Jordan isn't going to tune in to watch Perez-Cantlay.

Aw come on now.  Pat Perez is a trip.  I wish they'd mic him up and put him on TV all the time.  Sure, you'd have to bleep out every other word, but admit it, the dude has an entertaining personality.  Better yet, put Pat Perez out there with Lee Trevino and let the trash talking commence.  I'd almost pay to see that.

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I picked Perez because I heard him interviewed about the potential for a true "playoff", one in which players were eliminated until only a final match was involved.  He mentioned a potential final between himself and a player I can't remember, so I picked another Pat.  But really, it doesn't matter if you and I tune in, avid golfers probably will.  The advertisers want to bring in the next level, the people who only really know the big names.  

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24 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I picked Perez because I heard him interviewed about the potential for a true "playoff", one in which players were eliminated until only a final match was involved.  He mentioned a potential final between himself and a player I can't remember, so I picked another Pat.  But really, it doesn't matter if you and I tune in, avid golfers probably will.  The advertisers want to bring in the next level, the people who only really know the big names.  

So we'll just pit Tiger Woods against everyone else in every match.  Problem solved.  Both you and I know that Tiger is the draw, and everyone else is just living in his world.  That's what people want anyway.

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This is an interesting idea.  How about a format like that used in college basketball?  The field shrinks as the season progresses, ultimately leading to Fall Madness, the Sweet 16, the Final Four, and finally De Hombre a Hombre. For yet another twist, how about in the final match, the losing player for each hole must forfeit one club from their bag for the balance of the round. 
I like gradually shrinking the field but not that much. Should be no less than 30 imo. And as DaveP mentioned, there wouldn't be much of an audience for only a handful of players.

I like the matchplay idea for doing something fun like that, but the season championship is not the place for that

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I'm not sure when my attitude changed..... but I've kind of gotten down on the PGA Tour this past year. Perhaps it's a combination of many factors. Size of the field, hours on the course, bomb & gouge , money, easy courses** slow play, green reading books, my age... blah, blah, blah.

I start with making the tour 3 days. One day to make cut. Limit the field (cut in half) and exemptions, change the courses playability (narrow and slow the fairways, grow rough, corn-row bunkers, lengthen courses, etc.) I recently have called the tour "the 3-Club Tour" because that's about all they need anymore. 

** easy for professional golfers - not easy for players like us. aka.... the 3 club tour.

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