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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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1 hour ago, palvord said:

I love the idea of additional options for types of rounds other than 9 or 18 holes.  I know that my in-laws would love a 12 hole round as they begin to fade after that point.

A 6 hole round would be an excellent choice for folks with busier weekend schedules or crazy work week schedules.

 

The course I grew up playing was interestingly suited for short rounds.  It was a nine hole course, and every hole had at least two distinct tee boxes, one for the front and one for the back.  The really convenient thing was that the #8 tee was closer to the #1 green than the #2 tee was.  That meant you could play 1, 8, 9 in a very logical manner.  I've played 3, 6, 9, 12 and 18 hole rounds on that course many times.  It was very common, when I was first learning the game, for me to go with my parents around dusk and just play 1, 8, 9.  While I don't necessarily think this is a pace of play thing, I do see the benefit of engaging people in the game.

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All I have to add is play Bethpage Black at 10 am on a Saturday. If you finish in under six hours they should give you a medal. Players on the wrong tees, players thinking they are in the US Open, players that need to take pictures of literally every shot they hit (which is a lot of pictures) and players that feel they need to get the most out of the money they paid for the round. I live 10 minutes from Bethpage and play it maybe once a year. I would play it much more often if I was not on the golf course for 6+ hours.

And it is not better on Red or Blue and they have carts.


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7 hours ago, revkev said:

Thanks for inviting us to participate Barbajo.  I will make a couple of comments here. 

I think that slow play is a huge problem and that it does in fact keep people away from the game.  I was surprised to see that the overwhelming majority of respondents think that "idiot golfers" cause slow play.  I would maintain that play could be expeditated by the course itself by keeping rough down, fairways wide, setting the tees shorter than listed on the card (guys will always play tees that are too long), carefully setting the pins in level places on the green and keeping speeds at a reasonable rate and then posting lots of reminders about pace of play throughout the course and on the cart.  With the new rules golfers should be encouraged to leave the pin in as everyone doing so will increase pace of play also. 

You have some good points here.  I looked back to get a refresh on what the questions were.  I probably voted for (against?) the idiots.  That may not be the most loving term, but it seemed like the best place for the folks opposed to ready to play golf.  I didn't have the patience to watch most of last weekends PGA event, but it sounds like JB is in the "I'm not going to start thinking about this shot until it is my turn" crowd.

We have a range of course difficulties here.  Some require you to be prepared to battle some tiny or rather unusable fairways and rough that can hide a ball for years.  If I were to return to a course like that, I should be prepared to spend more time searching than swinging.  No point complaining about time of a round there.

One of the easier courses does pose the problem you point out with pins.  It isn't a hard or long course, but the greens do have some pretty big ridges.  Sometimes they place them in places more suited for a "greenskeeper's revenge" tournament.  Three guys three putting one green can lead to some backups really quickly.

Some type of time keeping device for players to keep track should help, I would think, if it begins to get enforced.  Otherwise it just sounds like wasted funds.

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On 2/21/2019 at 10:18 AM, revkev said:

Thanks for inviting us to participate Barbajo.  I will make a couple of comments here. 

I think that slow play is a huge problem and that it does in fact keep people away from the game.  I was surprised to see that the overwhelming majority of respondents think that "idiot golfers" cause slow play.  I would maintain that play could be expeditated by the course itself by keeping rough down, fairways wide, setting the tees shorter than listed on the card (guys will always play tees that are too long), carefully setting the pins in level places on the green and keeping speeds at a reasonable rate and then posting lots of reminders about pace of play throughout the course and on the cart.  With the new rules golfers should be encouraged to leave the pin in as everyone doing so will increase pace of play also. 

Forget the 4 hour stuff - that's ridiculous - pace of play should be 3:30 - shoot for that - it's not unreasonable.  Greg Norman and Fuzzy Zoeller completed an 18 hole US Open playoff in under 3 hours - that's walking on one of the toughest courses in the world under ridiculous conditions playing for a huge prize. 

Rev you are very optimistic, which is admirable.

I have played hard courses, easy courses, medium courses, a lot of different courses. The only common denominator is the idiots. No matter how the course is setup they will still bog down play. I would agree to a point that the course can influence pace of play via conditions but it only helps to a point. I still find some that no matter what some are just slow. The biggest thing a course can do IMO is to stop the 7 & 8 min or even 10 min intervals of tee times. But that cuts into their bottom line which in turn leads us to fewer healthy golf courses or higher rates which is a lose lose for ALL golfers.  In reality the problem solely lies with the golfers on the course. 

 

As far as 3:30 18 hole round. I agree that is about perfect, anything under 4 hours for me is perfectly acceptable. 

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On 2/18/2019 at 3:49 PM, Golfspy_CG2 said:

So much this!   it's meant to be our enjoyment, and if we let things out of our control such as weather, pace of play,  even our own play dictate getting upset, then to me that defeats the purpose of playing.

Do i wish I could shoot 75 each time out instead of 95 or 100....you bet.  And while those high scores might not make me jump for joy, I haven't quit yet after shooting one.   And I don't necessarily want to play a round in 2.5 hours.   To me that's too fast and there's no way you can be enjoying the day, the weather and the company if you're racing around the course.    If @MDGolfHacker is still around and see's this post, he can tell you about a round we played at Maryland National about 10 years ago with a Brit who walked on and joined us on the 10th tee.  We had just finished a very nice front 9, with pretty good scores and enjoyed the pace.    Well he was bound and determined to finish the back nine in about an hour, and while he was walking and we were in carts, it was all we could do to keep up with him, we were sprinting from the cart to our shots, and finally after about 3 holes, we told him to go ahead without us.  

So a round would have to be extremely long, like well over 5 hours for it to really bother me.   If it's slow during the round, I use that time to chat with my playing partner, or just relax and enjoy the weather.   

 

 

 

Lol, and me without golf sneaker shoes.  A good walk spoiled...

 

MdGolfHacker

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Lol, and me without golf sneaker shoes.  A good walk spoiled...
 
MdGolfHacker


Your ears ringing a few days ago? Gosh darn good to see you around here.
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On 2/21/2019 at 10:18 AM, revkev said:

Thanks for inviting us to participate Barbajo.  I will make a couple of comments here. 

I think that slow play is a huge problem and that it does in fact keep people away from the game.  I was surprised to see that the overwhelming majority of respondents think that "idiot golfers" cause slow play.  I would maintain that play could be expeditated by the course itself by keeping rough down, fairways wide, setting the tees shorter than listed on the card (guys will always play tees that are too long), carefully setting the pins in level places on the green and keeping speeds at a reasonable rate and then posting lots of reminders about pace of play throughout the course and on the cart.  With the new rules golfers should be encouraged to leave the pin in as everyone doing so will increase pace of play also. 

Forget the 4 hour stuff - that's ridiculous - pace of play should be 3:30 - shoot for that - it's not unreasonable.  Greg Norman and Fuzzy Zoeller completed an 18 hole US Open playoff in under 3 hours - that's walking on one of the toughest courses in the world under ridiculous conditions playing for a huge prize. 

Maybe on private courses, a 3:30 round is reasonable.  Not at a muni on the weekend.  Sure two pros playing by themselves, both fast players, with no one in front of them, no lost balls to search for, shooting 67 and 75 on a tough course playing less than 7000 yards could play under 3 hours.  However, a foursome playing at a muni on a weekend that takes a combined 400 shots isn't going to play in less than 4 hours.  Not happening.  

Yes, the course could be set up to expedite play, and at most munis I think that's the case unless they have a tournament scheduled.  As for playing from the correct set of tees...  here's a message from the Oregon Golf Association (OGA) course:

In the very near future, you will be seeing new tee box markers that will be indicated by numbers and not by colors.  This program is part of a new initiative coauthored by the PGA of America and the USGA.

We are very excited about the program and it’s ability to make the game MORE FUN FOR MORE PEOPLE!

In a nutshell, it works like this:  Based on a person’s clubhead speed, we will have a “best suited” set of tees.  This is neither an age or gender issue, simply clubhead speed.  The research has found that traditional tee assignments are all too long for the average player.

The benefit to you will be that when playing the appropriate tee, you will have the opportunity to hit into the green with the same or at least a similar club that scratch players would hit (like the Pros).  Think of having six or eight birdie putts in one day!  Think of having more energy at the end of the round!  Think of playing at a quicker pace and not wearing out the three wood!  So many great things to experience!

AND, it won’t foul up your handicap.  Course and slope ratings will be updated to keep your handicap accurate. 

We will have staff available on hand to assist you with the measurement of your clubhead speed whenever you are ready.

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Maybe on private courses, a 3:30 round is reasonable.  Not at a muni on the weekend.  Sure two pros playing by themselves, both fast players, with no one in front of them, no lost balls to search for, shooting 67 and 75 on a tough course playing less than 7000 yards could play under 3 hours.  However, a foursome playing at a muni on a weekend that takes a combined 400 shots isn't going to play in less than 4 hours.  Not happening.  
Yes, the course could be set up to expedite play, and at most munis I think that's the case unless they have a tournament scheduled.  As for playing from the correct set of tees...  here's a message from the Oregon Golf Association (OGA) course:
In the very near future, you will be seeing new tee box markers that will be indicated by numbers and not by colors.  This program is part of a new initiative coauthored by the PGA of America and the USGA.
We are very excited about the program and it’s ability to make the game MORE FUN FOR MORE PEOPLE!
In a nutshell, it works like this:  Based on a person’s clubhead speed, we will have a “best suited” set of tees.  This is neither an age or gender issue, simply clubhead speed.  The research has found that traditional tee assignments are all too long for the average player.
The benefit to you will be that when playing the appropriate tee, you will have the opportunity to hit into the green with the same or at least a similar club that scratch players would hit (like the Pros).  Think of having six or eight birdie putts in one day!  Think of having more energy at the end of the round!  Think of playing at a quicker pace and not wearing out the three wood!  So many great things to experience!
AND, it won’t foul up your handicap.  Course and slope ratings will be updated to keep your handicap accurate. 
We will have staff available on hand to assist you with the measurement of your clubhead speed whenever you are ready.
See I love the idea of different tee boxes for those who are newer to the game or dont drive the ball further. Often those people aren't the problem it's the guys who think they're good trying to play from the tips and barely hitting the drive past the forward tee. Often those guys are the ones who also take 5 min to putt from 3ft and range each shot. I think another issue is you have so many courses that have to try to make money they load the course with players and it leads to tons of waiting, I often don't have waiting issues at courses that have staggered tee times.

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On 3/4/2019 at 2:27 PM, MDGolfHacker said:

Lol, and me without golf sneaker shoes.  A good walk spoiled...

 

MdGolfHacker

He lives!

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As someone who hooved it in 2 hours against darkness and had a 45 minute 9 hole streak through 6 groups, it can be any number of things. The last summer I was playing 3 hour walking rounds at best as a single. I realized I wasn't hitting any fairways and struggling to find balls etc.  I think it sometimes comes down to skill of the golfer because no matter how quick a bad golfer is 100 strokes will take a long time to hit especially if you're advancing the ball 100 yards at a time.

There's also the group that needlessly has a conversation on the tee box or putts out every three footer even kick ins they miss the first time. I don't know what the right answer is anymore.

 

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Bump. (☞ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)☞

 

With all these people online, it's a good time to continue capturing data. Make sure you're on the full site (mobile browser or desktop) to vote in the poll. 

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On 2/18/2019 at 11:13 AM, Shankster said:

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.

I understand the reality of spacing tee times, but if courses COULD put more time between groups, I think this problem would be greatly reduced. 

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I don't play weekends much anymore due to slow play at some local courses.   I will play weekends at certain courses with my friends just because that is the only time they can play.

Even though I don't like slow play there was one time when it worked out for me.  I was playing really well.  Got to the the 14th at one under par.   Took 40 minutes to play 14 and I birdied it.  So I'm 2 under going to 15.  We look and there are 4 groups waiting on 15.  The guys I'm playing with look at me and " say we'll stay if you want to".  I said,  "no way.  If I have to play this slow for the last 4 holes I'm sure I'll screw up this round".  We went home and now I have a 2 under round to talk about.

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Lots of good discussion here about playing the proper set of tees. If you can take your (not “YOUR”, but those other “yours”) ego out of the equation, I have used a formula that I picked up somewhere, unsure where/when I read/saw it. Deduct your handicap from “142”. The remainder tells you what set of tees you should be playing from, based on the course rating. I play a lot of “travel” golf. This has served me well as a guide. 

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Lots of good discussion here about playing the proper set of tees. If you can take your (not “YOUR”, but those other “yours”) ego out of the equation, I have used a formula that I picked up somewhere, unsure where/when I read/saw it. Deduct your handicap from “142”. The remainder tells you what set of tees you should be playing from, based on the course rating. I play a lot of “travel” golf. This has served me well as a guide. 
Really like that I'll start using it I like when courses do the tee colors by handicap (forward 20+, middle 10-20, tips 10-). I wonder if they use a similar formula for figuring all that out.

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I know its not the answer but i do not play on weekends unless it is a tournament.I have introduced my kids,nephews and grand kids to the game and had to be very selective on the courses i take them to that allows enough time between groups. Unfortunately these courses are getting fewer so i try to patronize them when i can. It is a shame that it is so difficult to introduce new players to the game

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I to had a hard time answering with your choices in each question. Number 3 golf etiquette encompasses several of the other answers and doesn’t mention technology. The overuse of range finders. I also believe that players that are occasional or getting up in age/ability need to look more closely at the course and tee boxes that they play.

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Having worked at a golf course as a ranger, I can only cite my first-hand observations that motorized carts are a primary factor to a slow pace of play. First and foremost, two people going to one ball is illogical. Watching the number of times people go into their bags for clubs, balls, tees, and mystery items is astounding. Instead of hitting a shot and holding onto the club until reaching the next shot's location, riders unfailingly take time to return the club to the back of the cart, and then go to the front empty-handed. This happens with both players adding to the total time of the enterprise. This doesn't include the other trips when pulling the wrong club or changing his/her mind on club selection. Taking two clubs and leaving one behind also adds to the round's time. Riders also miss the opportunity to "see" the next shot - distance, potential wind and topography factors, and type of shot necessary because they are either driving a cart or looking at someone else driving a cart. Walkers are usually in better physical condition and can play more efficiently and thus more quickly. Not to mention the old adage, "Miss it quick" for poorer golfers. The J.B. Holmes reference is apt.

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My observation is that searching for balls is what slows groups the most.  Courses could address this by keeping the grounds clean, putting up barriers. And confiscating all ball retrievers until the end of the round 🙂  I know there are lots of guys that get as much fun out of finding balls as they do playing, but often the time they spend searching is what slows down the group.

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