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GolfSpy Barbajo

Pace of Play Survey

Does Pace of Play REALLY Matter?  

657 members have voted

  1. 1. Does slow play.....

    • Keep you from playing golf at certain courses?
      184
    • Keep you from play golf at certain courses on certain days?
      319
    • Keep you from playing golf at all?
      12
    • Not affect how often or where you play?
      141
  2. 2. Does slow play negatively affect....

    • Enjoyment of your round?
      532
    • The business health of a specific golf course?
      17
    • Overall participation in the sport?
      73
    • Nothing, it's not a big deal.
      34
  3. 3. What are the biggest causes of slow play?

    • Course setup (high rough/narrow fairways/silly-fast greens)?
      42
    • Playing from the wrong tees?
      120
    • A long/difficult Par 3 within the first few holes?
      8
    • Idiots who don't know golf etiquette and think they are JB Holmes?
      345
    • Poor use of 2-person carts?
      52
    • Not enough space between tee times?
      89
  4. 4. How much extra would you be willing to pay for a course with a guaranteed 4 hour or less round of golf?

    • 10% over "normal" greens fees?
      74
    • 15%?
      42
    • 20%?
      46
    • 25%?
      22
    • More? This is what they're SUPPOSED to be doing!
      408
    • It's not a problem.
      64
  5. 5. Do you think golf courses REALLY see slow play as a problem that needs to be solved?

    • Yes
      218
    • No
      438


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Hi guys -- 

I'm working on a blog on the issue of slow play and I have a few poll questions. If  you could spare a few moments and give some answers to the questions provided, it'd be a huge help.  

Also, please feel free to provide any additional thoughts for discussion. I know the world is going all JB Holmes over slow play at the moment, so I figure this is a good time to ask...

 

Thanks!

 

NOTE: You need to be in the desktop version to complete the poll. Thanks!

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.FWIW  I didn't complete the survey, as there are a couple fields where I don't see an answer I agree with, and it is required to be filled out.   Perhaps one additional option for each, I think things are fine or I don't see a problem here option.

I am one who isn't jumping on the mob mentality of slow play is killing the game.  Is it an issue, sure at certain times on certain courses.  But I have yet to have one person decline an invitation for a round of golf by saying, "No it takes too long"   Even on some of our slowest rounds, I have heard minor griping during it, but have only heard on very rare occasions, someone say they will never go to XYZ course again because it took too long. 

edit:  Saw the additonal fields added, and now was able to complete!! 

Looking forward to seeing the results. 

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3 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

John..FWIW  I didn't complete the survey, as there are a couple fields where I don't see an answer I agree with, and it is required to be filled out.   Perhaps one additional option for each, I think things are fine or I don't see a problem here option.

I am one who isn't jumping on the mob mentality of slow play is killing the game.  Is it an issue, sure at certain times on certain courses.  But I have yet to have one person decline an invitation for a round of golf by saying, "No it takes too long"   Even on some of our slowest rounds, I have heard minor griping during it, but have only heard on very rare occasions, someone say they will never go to XYZ course again because it took too long. 

I tend to agree that no one openly complains or wont play because of it, that being said, I also believe that is because its the norm now and its expected. Which is not necessarily the same as acknowledging that slow play is an issue.

In my area for example, if you play on the weekends at a public course when its nice out, you are guaranteed a 5 hour round. As far as I can tell from people I play with its been that way for years. No one complains because its the standard and they are used to it, But I can guarantee if a 4some finished in 4 hours it would absolutely be talked about as some kind of an achievement. 

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As someone who plays a lot of rounds alone and can rip through 18 nice and quick slow rounds can be a killer. There are certain courses where it's simply not worth going to despite the courses being great, when things get jammed up it's really tough to enjoy. 

I'm more then fine with playing a round that takes the full 4 hours or so when it's simply a steady day and the course is making sure everyone is playing at a adequate pace. It's when there is the one or two groups that hold everyone up and aren't allowing groups to pass through or they take ages on the green to line up a putt that they leave 12 feet short haha. 

I also understand when tournament rounds take longer because there is more on the line. It's the day to day rounds that are long and drawn out which are killer. Not only for the enjoyment, but typically the score as well. 

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7 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

John..FWIW  I didn't complete the survey, as there are a couple fields where I don't see an answer I agree with, and it is required to be filled out.   Perhaps one additional option for each, I think things are fine or I don't see a problem here option.

I am one who isn't jumping on the mob mentality of slow play is killing the game.  Is it an issue, sure at certain times on certain courses.  But I have yet to have one person decline an invitation for a round of golf by saying, "No it takes too long"   Even on some of our slowest rounds, I have heard minor griping during it, but have only heard on very rare occasions, someone say they will never go to XYZ course again because it took too long. 

I would agree with this to a point. It is not killing the game because the ones playing are the ones that truly love golf. But it is killing the game because I think that it hurts from a growth standpoint. Golf is a big commitment IMO from financial to practice. I can tell you from a personal standpoint that there have been different times in my life that the time commitment has stopped me from playing. And I’m pretty much a die hard. 

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2 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

I would agree with this to a point. It is not killing the game because the ones playing are the ones that truly love golf. But it is killing the game because I think that it hurts from a growth standpoint. Golf is a big commitment IMO from financial to practice. I can tell you from a personal standpoint that there have been different times in my life that the time commitment has stopped me from playing. And I’m pretty much a die hard. 

I'd agree with that - and it wasn't so much slow play as it was time to play period. From 1991 to 2007 I maybe played 4 or 5 rounds total due to work, kids, life...couldn't even find a way to get 9 in, never mind 18. That's just life. 

It's a game where money, time and desire all have to intersect. 

Any additional thoughts on the causes of slow play and the impact of slow play - gang, I'm all ears!

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2 minutes ago, GolfSpy Barbajo said:

I'd agree with that - and it wasn't so much slow play as it was time to play period. From 1991 to 2007 I maybe played 4 or 5 rounds total due to work, kids, life...couldn't even find a way to get 9 in, never mind 18. That's just life. 

It's a game where money, time and desire all have to intersect. 

Any additional thoughts on the causes of slow play and the impact of slow play - gang, I'm all ears!

Agreed but would you have played more if you could play 18 in under 3 hours? I play more golf now than I have at almost any other time in my life. And I was an assistant pro for 7 years. The biggest reason, I am at a club that I can play 18 holes in 2 hours 3-4 afternoons a week. 

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I can do 18 holes in 1:50 with putting out every hole.

Put a 4 some in front of me that helps each other with the range finder only to Duff it 3 yards and add 3 to that.

I forget where I read it, but one of the pros... ah Sam Snead said sometimes you might just want to find a new hobby...

Or at least find a par 3 course you can hack your way around.

I think it’s skill level and trying to out do your buddy. Growing up working at a course was funny, guys literally spent 3-5 minutes with a range finder and hit it so far out of bounds... it’s frustrating waiting around for these guys.

I think everyone should be able to enjoy this wonderful game... get a few poor playing 4 somes out on the course and it really sucks the fun out it.

Maybe only let 2 go at a time. There isn’t a cure I don’t think.

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1 hour ago, THEZIPR23 said:

I would agree with this to a point. It is not killing the game because the ones playing are the ones that truly love golf. But it is killing the game because I think that it hurts from a growth standpoint. Golf is a big commitment IMO from financial to practice. I can tell you from a personal standpoint that there have been different times in my life that the time commitment has stopped me from playing. And I’m pretty much a die hard. 

I get what your saying.   But a sincere question I would ask you is,  that time commitment that kept you from playing.   Was it the difference between 4.5 to 5.0 hours vs 4.0.   Or was it even the 4 hours would have been too much?

It's funny whenever I go play on a weekend, SWMBO is fine with it, the only thing she cares about is what time will I be home. She honestly doesn't care how long, she just wants to be able to plan around it.  So if I have say a 10:00 AM tee time, I calculate in my head the following...4.5 hours for play, 1 hour to hang out, 20 to 45 minute drive home depending on where I'm playing.  So lets round up to 6.5 hours.   So I'll say, I'll be home around 3:30 or so.    

She will without fail, respond by saying....OK I'll see you at 4:30.   I haven't asked here whether she's counting on a longer round or three more beers 😁

Oh for the record, it's about 50/50 between her being correct and me being correct. 

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adjusted some of the possible replies to give you more options. 

 

Thanks for all the comments and participation - keep it coming!

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I took the poll and my answers fell in line with everyone else except for question #2. I answered that it effects overall participation. However, it does also greatly impact my personal enjoyment of the game. I wish I could have selected both answers. When I find a rhythm on the golf course I prefer to stay there as that is where I'm likely to play my best golf. When my rhythm slows because of players in front, it tends to throw my game out of whack - not always, but frequent enough to be an issue.

Also, while I wouldn't (always) call them idiots, my experiences demonstrate a clear lack of etiquette on the golf course. I've played as a single and I've played in groups that will get stuck behind someone who is 2 to 3 holes behind the group in front of them and still not permit me/us to play through. I've literally walked up to a tee box with players still on it and they would not let me play through. 

I'd like to address the notion that people don't turn down a round of golf due to time either because I've done that plenty (perhaps I'm just in the minority). I have a couple different groups I play with and have had to turn them down because I knew the round would take 5 hours or more based on the course they were playing and the tee time available. Instead, I went to a different course and played as a single or simply didn't play at all.

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This topic is one that I could go on for days about. But I’ll spare you all.

Slow play and waiting for terrible golfers is the worst thing about golf.

Imagine 4 JB’s in a group with an average drive of 150 yards playing from the tips. I know you’ve all fallen victim to this at some point. I’m not talking kids or Champions Tour guys. Guys my age that just can’t play golf.

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Trackman tweeted its congratulations to JB on his win yesterday, which immediately inspired the thought of a Trackman measuring JB's speed:

speed.jpg

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Like a lot of surveys it's difficult many times to complete. This one is no exception. But thanks John for starting a discussion and I hope my answers and short essay are useful to your task.

1. Slow play really isn't and issue with me or at my home course (private club) as most normal rounds are 4 hours. However, Fast Play is a problem for me. Or I should say playing with someone like yesterday that was in a mad dash to finish every hole as fast as possible. I felt like I had to rush around (like him) without any thought and hit a golf ball. To me that's worse than slow play. It's wasn't enjoyable.

2. Sure. Playing too slow is nagging when encountered. But I don't consider any given courses business health. I certainly have never given thought to quitting the game over a slow or a backed up round.

3. The causes of slow play are probably too numerous to list. While I can agree with the 5 choices presented; there are more. I'll suggest just one.... add just 2-3 additional minutes between tee times.

4. I've been a member at a club where there was never an issue with slow play. Many times there were 3 holes open in front. You could play very slow and leisurely or fast and never wait a shot. But to directly answer the question; I wouldn't pay more for a "guarantee" of 4 hour rounds. But I don't quite understand the premise. Does the entire club/course charge more (meaning to everyone) or am I given the option to pay more for my guarantee? What times are available for me to get my guarantee? What if I'm playing in the day game and it runs 4.15 minutes? Do I get a refund some some kind?

5. I don't know what golf courses think of slow play or how they define it. One man's slow play is another man's fast play. One extreme or another is nagging. 

I know this went too long and I apologize but...

Yesterday I played at a local daily fee course with a couple and one other guy. Yes, I know 5-somes are slow by nature. Took us almost 4.75 hours. It was a nice afternoon and everyone that discovered a set of clubs in their garage came out it seemed. I play a reasonably controlled game; meaning I keep the ball in play and on my hole 90% of the time. Yesterday like most days I played the same ball from #1 through #18. The two other men in my game sprayed their drivers all over the place. In fact the guy I'll call Mr. Hurry lost a sleeve in the first 4 holes!! The lady played decent and down the middle all day. Mr. Hurry was aggravated all day at how slow "everyone" played. But it was partially due to him, and overcrowded course, and rank hackers. Honestly, It was kind of crazy out there as many people had no clue where there their balls were going and carts were criss-crossing into our fairways all day. I had to laugh actually. I pretty much witnessed everything that is wrong about golf in a single afternoon. From slow play to poor etiquette and everything in between. It was all there on display. But that's what I see and hear mostly at muni or daily fee courses. That IMO is what gives golf a bad slow play reputation. Oh, did I tell you about the guy that held us up while he played two shots from our fairway! (while we waited disgustingly) and then eventually came wheeling up and parked next to our the green with his Waylon Jennings blaring from a bluetooth speaker? 

Such an enjoyable afternoon. 🤣

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The only question I didn't align with the majority was #1.  Slow play doesn't affect where or when I play.  As a member of a muni, I play there because I have already paid for the year.  I will play other courses when asked and that is usually on weekends when play is about the same pace as my course, so it doesn't really matter.

There are always slow groups to contend with, but playing on weekends, that is to be expected.  It's the time when people that don't play much get out with friends.  I don't enjoy it, but it is what it is, if I want to play golf at a muni.  As long as the pace is steady, I can deal with it.  If it's always a waiting game, I will quit mid-round; maybe come back later in the day.

There is another reason for slow play that is not mentioned in Question #3, and it's related to my answer of No in Question #5.  Being a muni, my course does not set up the course to be difficult unless it's a tournament weekend.  The problem is course design and 8-minute tee times.  Because it's muni, the operator is trying to put as many people out on the course as possible; $$$.  A combination of less skilled players and close tee times makes groups wait starting on the first tee.  Combine that with our first 4 holes... #1 short par 4; #2 short par 4; #3 #1hcp hole; #4 short par 3.  Groups are automatically bunch on the #3 tee with water all the way down the left side and in front of the green.  Bailing out right puts you in big mounds of grass that then require a forced carry over water from bad lies, or a layup.  It's not until the 596y par 5 #5 that groups start spreading out.  Yes, the course knows that slow play is a problem, but they have no incentive to solve it, nor ability to mitigate the problem due to course design.

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Anyone think they put too many groups on the course at the same time? I've played through a couple times and there is no relief.

I think that when you check in they should remind you to let faster groups play through...and have a ranger help move folks along and remind them to play the proper tees...

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35 minutes ago, Shankster said:

This topic is one that I could go on for days about. But I’ll spare you all.

Slow play and waiting for terrible golfers is the worst thing about golf.

Imagine 4 JB’s in a group with an average drive of 150 yards playing from the tips. I know you’ve all fallen victim to this at some point. I’m not talking kids or Champions Tour guys. Guys my age that just can’t play golf.

Waiting for terrible golfers in front of you is bad, but playing alongside terrible golfers IS the worst thing about golf.  When my wife and I play on the weekend and we don't have a foursome, we sometimes get paired with... well... not very good golfers.  It's a struggle for us.  When a hole is open in front of us, we have politely asked if would be OK for us to go on ahead.  I hate to be rude, but I have thought that they actually felt better to not be playing with us.  Of course, that doesn't help the groups behind them!

Actually, in the 3+ years I have been at this muni, I have never seen anyone play from "the tips" that couldn't reasonably play from there.  The tips are not that long, only 6700y, but on weekends almost no one plays from there.  Maybe it's a resort course thing to do that.

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Added space between tee times as a choice. Thanks for the input gents!

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I can do 18 holes in 1:50 with putting out every hole.

Put a 4 some in front of me that helps each other with the range finder only to Duff it 3 yards and add 3 to that.

I forget where I read it, but one of the pros... ah Sam Snead said sometimes you might just want to find a new hobby...

Or at least find a par 3 course you can hack your way around.

I think it’s skill level and trying to out do your buddy. Growing up working at a course was funny, guys literally spent 3-5 minutes with a range finder and hit it so far out of bounds... it’s frustrating waiting around for these guys.

I think everyone should be able to enjoy this wonderful game... get a few poor playing 4 somes out on the course and it really sucks the fun out it.

Maybe only let 2 go at a time. There isn’t a cure I don’t think.
There's turtles on both ends of the handicap spectrum. A couple of the slowest players I know are legitimate +4/+5s. They qualify for USGA events and are some of the better golfers in the state but they simply refuse to play faster, or to even acknowledge the pace of other players. They go through their full routine for every shot and if a butterfly sneezes in an adjoining meadow they back up and do it all over again. They have it in their heads that it is part of being good but the reality is they're really good because they play really well, not because they take forever.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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3 hours ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

I get what your saying.   But a sincere question I would ask you is,  that time commitment that kept you from playing.   Was it the difference between 4.5 to 5.0 hours vs 4.0.   Or was it even the 4 hours would have been too much?

It's funny whenever I go play on a weekend, SWMBO is fine with it, the only thing she cares about is what time will I be home. She honestly doesn't care how long, she just wants to be able to plan around it.  So if I have say a 10:00 AM tee time, I calculate in my head the following...4.5 hours for play, 1 hour to hang out, 20 to 45 minute drive home depending on where I'm playing.  So lets round up to 6.5 hours.   So I'll say, I'll be home around 3:30 or so.    

She will without fail, respond by saying....OK I'll see you at 4:30.   I haven't asked here whether she's counting on a longer round or three more beers 😁

Oh for the record, it's about 50/50 between her being correct and me being correct. 

Same here. When I play or how long is not an issue and almost welcomed if it’s an extended period...not sure if that’s good or bad 🤪

also I know that slow rounds happen and at certain courses it’s to be expected and I plan mentally for it.  While some rounds take forever I’ve never walked away from a round where there wasn’t some level of enjoyment. Surexive had bad rounds or played a course that wasn’t in good shape but it never affected if I enjoyed myself on the course

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