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Pace of Play Survey

GolfSpy Barbajo

Does Pace of Play REALLY Matter?  

659 members have voted

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

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

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

    • Course setup (high rough/narrow fairways/silly-fast greens)?
    • Playing from the wrong tees?
    • A long/difficult Par 3 within the first few holes?
    • Idiots who don't know golf etiquette and think they are JB Holmes?
    • Poor use of 2-person carts?
    • Not enough space between tee times?
  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?
    • 15%?
    • 20%?
    • 25%?
    • More? This is what they're SUPPOSED to be doing!
    • It's not a problem.
  5. 5. Do you think golf courses REALLY see slow play as a problem that needs to be solved?

    • Yes
    • No

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At the city courses here in Tucson, walkers are allowed any day at any time and it's ridiculous. Get stuck behind people who are out for a stroll and occasionally hit a golf ball don't belong out there. I know I'll infuriate some folks but get your butt in a cart, get to the ball, hit it, and move on. If you want to walk, go elsewhere. There's nothing worse than getting behind a slow walker who thinks they're on the tour and takes all day to shoot 100.

I’ve never seen this to be the case.

Walkers go directly to their own ball while carts are shared and people are driving back and forth between balls. It’s no contest really, if the course is set up for walking, ie tee boxes close to the previous green, walking is faster.

I live on a course and it’s actually pretty embarrassing to see how the ladies groups walk and play ready golf and finish in timely fashion compared to the men that mostly ride carts and take forever.

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Stan Thompson “Reactionizer” persimmon woods 1-4

Spalding Tour Edition 3-PW

Spalding Top-Flite E.V.A. Sand Club

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2 minutes ago, towncryer said:

Just my opinion...but when I reflect on slow play ruining my momentum, I usually find that I let it ruin my momentum. If I'm waiting on a group, I try really hard not to focus all my attention on the fact that I'm waiting. I bust out the ol' smartphone and scan Instagram. I walk around a little, I talk to another person in my group, I watch another group on another hole hit tee shots...but sitting in a cart or standing by my bag and staring at the group ahead of me usually hurts how I'm playing more than the fact that they're slow. 

I agree with you, that it's my game that it hurts, but talking to my playing partners would make it worse as they are the ones complaining the most about slow play! The guys are great but slow play makes them complain worse than my grade 8 students when I give them homework...

-Driver: Taylormade M3 (Project X Hzrdus Yellow 6.0 set at 10.5 degree)

-3 wood: Cobra King F6 (stiff shaft set at 15.5 degree)

-Hybrids: Cobra F7 stiff shaft set at 19.5 and 23.5 degree

-Irons: Mizuno JPX 919 forged 5 to PW ( Project X LZ 6.5)

-Wedges: Vokey SM5, 50, 54 and 58 degree

-Putter: Odyssey O-Works Red #7 (33 inches)


I play between 70 to 80 rounds per year. Living in Alberta, Canada, our season is shorter and with work, that is all I can get in, but watch out when I retire...


P.S. The picture is from my favorite course so far.

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Cardinal C.C in Selma, NC.  1st hole is a par 5, you don't tee off until the group in front of you is on the green, makes pace of play perfect.  I don't understand why this isn't a norm.  Besides pace of play, a nice gentle par 5 as an opening hole gives players a chance to recover from a crappy shot on the first hole and still eek out a par.

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What's in the bag:

Driver - Rogue

Woods - Titleist 917F 16.5 degree

Hybrid - Titleist 915H

Irons - Ping i200

Wedges - 56 Vokey, 60 PXG

Putter - EVNRoll ER9  10K

Ball - Snell My Tour Ball


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Some of the better courses around here have gone to 15 minute tee times and require that pace of play or you're asked to leave. Others have 10 minute tee times, but have two rangers per 9 that keep watch for groups that are slowing play.

Driver - :cobra-small:Cobra King F6+ set 9.5 D, Matrix 65M4 Black Tie R-Flex 65g low-mid launch 
Fairway - :cobra-small:Cobra F6 3/4 and 7/8 both R-flex
Irons - Tour Edge Exotics E8 Steel R-flex 4-PW
Wedges - :cleveland-small:Cleveland CBX 50 and 54, and Smart Sole 3 58
Putter - Top Flite Tour Align 5
Rangefinder - Leupold GX-2i3



Driver - Custom Built - Accura SP-700 400cc 10deg 48.5" S-flex

Hybrids - :adams-small:Adams Idea A50s 3 and 4

Irons - :taylormade-small:Taylor Made Burner Oversize 3-PW, lightly used 3 and 4 still in original plastic(auction buy $15 w/bag and several other clubs)

Wedges - Snake Eyes 52 & 56 and Dunlop True Tech Lob 64

Putter - W :wilson-small:ilson Harmonized M1


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My original set approximately 43 years old and I occasionally take the irons out for a swing

:titelist-small:Titleist Lite 100


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4 minutes ago, Todd V. said:

Cardinal C.C in Selma, NC.  1st hole is a par 5, you don't tee off until the group in front of you is on the green, makes pace of play perfect.  I don't understand why this isn't a norm.  Besides pace of play, a nice gentle par 5 as an opening hole gives players a chance to recover from a crappy shot on the first hole and still eek out a par.


... I played directly behind a Jr college/NAIA match last week and this is exactly what they did, although the first hole is a par 4. I was a little shocked to see them wait til the group in front was on the green as the first group lost site of the non college golfers in front of them, but I have to admit the pacing was good and rarely were there any players waiting on the tee box. They played in just over 5 hours which isn't too bad for a college match where players are never ready til their turn and all seem to go thru a lengthy pre shot routine, occasionally backing off and staring the whole thing over again. 

Driver:     :taylormade-small: SIM2 Max 10.5* ... AD-IZ 6SR
Fairway:  :taylormade-small: SIM2 Max 15/18* ... Tensei Raw Blue 65R
Hybrids:    :taylormade-small: SIM2 Hybrid 19* ... Diamana Ltd 65R
Utility:      :taylormade-small: DHy 19* ... Diamana Ltd 65R
Irons:        :cobra-small: 4-9 MIM Tour ... Steelfiber i95R
Wedges:   :taylormade-small: MG3 46*/50*/58* LB ... Steelfiber i95R
Putter:      :cleveland-small: Hunting Beach Soft 11S 33.5"
Ball:           Maxfli     Maxfli Tour '22/TP5x '21

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I responded but didn't necessarily agree w/ the options given. Among the people I play with, slow pace can generally be attributed to not 'playing with intention'. Two of the slower people I know are good players - low to mid 80s - but they're watching everyone else's business whether it effects them or not. They never start preparing for the next shot until they should be within seconds of hitting the shot, so we wait through every excruciating detail of their pre-shot preparation and routine. 

Granted there are knuckleheads out there that cause slow play by their exaggerated shot preparation, will spend an inordinate amount of time searching for a lost ball they found in the first place, or b/c they have nothing to do until cocktail hour so why not be out here; however, good course rangers/player ambassadors can usually solve that with some nudges.

The tour has a greater pace of play issue than I've experienced; but, no greater an issue than any other professional sport.

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Jon Silverberg


BatCaddy electric pushcart with 36 hole capable lead-acid battery, holding a 2015 Titleist 14-way stand bag, customized with my club's logo (Nassau Players Club), containing:

TaylorMade 10.5 degree SIM Max Driver (set 2 clicks down), with 47.5" A Flex Fujikura Ventus Red 5 shaft 

Cobra F6 3-4W (set to 16 degrees), with 47.5" R flex Aldila ATX65 shaft

Cobra King F8 4-5 wood (set to 19 degrees), 3 and 4 hybrids, all R flex

TaylorMade Jetspeed 6 Hybrid, R flex

Cleveland Launcher HB 7-S irons, R flex (+1.5")

Cleveland RTX 3.0CB 60 degree wedge (+1")

Evnroll ER-3 putter, 35" (Gravity grip)

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1 hour ago, deejaid said:

I’ve never seen this to be the case.

Walkers go directly to their own ball while carts are shared and people are driving back and forth between balls. It’s no contest really, if the course is set up for walking, ie tee boxes close to the previous green, walking is faster.

I live on a course and it’s actually pretty embarrassing to see how the ladies groups walk and play ready golf and finish in timely fashion compared to the men that mostly ride carts and take forever.



Same at my course.  The ladies group always tee off before the men's group because they are much faster.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Idiots that think they are JB Holmes was a second choice, but I think some courses tend to setup the courses up for 10-20 players that have the skills to play them as set and the run of the mill club players take too much time and strokes trying to play these courses. Golf is supposed to be “fun” but multiple 3 putts tends to diminish that. Our greens are setup so ridiculous that if you get in the wrong spot on the green your shot after your first putt will be chipping back on the green...don’t see the point in that setup. 

If you go to Scotland and don’t play the big name courses you will be expected to play 18 in about 3:15 walking. Of courses these courses were not built as real estate developments where it’s a 1/4 mile between greens and tee boxes. 

Bottom line is that country  clubs will not address slow play for fear of offending members and many of those playing public/semi-private feel it is their “right” to play as slow as they want for the green fee they paid. 

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People in cart don't know proper golf etiquette. They take their club out, hit the ball, then walk back and put the club away. They take too long.

Some people take too long sorting out their distances

I think the biggest issue is the people who are supposed to enforce slow play work at the club and they don't want to upset the members. 

When you tee off at a certain time, you should know when you should be teeing off on the 4th hole, the 8th hole etc. Give people clear expectations. 

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I think pace of play problems are caused because (1) people don't play ready golf and (2) they don't do the 20+ things each player can do to speed up a hole.  For example, figure out how you're going to putt while the other player is putting.  Bring two or three clubs with you to chip so you don't have to run back to the cart.  After you hit a shot get back in the cart to go to your partner's location, then place your club back in your bag while your partner is getting ready for his shot.  

It's all those little tricks that add up.  If every player took 30 seconds less per hole that's 9 minutes per player, which is 36 minutes less for a foursome!  

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I play in a group and on a course where we have earned the right to play as a five some because we walk and play 18 in 3:30-3:45.   This is EASILY done if people would pay attention to what they and others are doing and are always ready to hit.  We play ready golf, keep moving and all of us will usually shoot in the 70's to mid 80's.  If we lose a ball, we lose a ball.  We aren't going to waste anytime searching for it after a cursory look in the area we think it is.  (My wife will shoot around 105 and still play in under 4 hours...it's called KEEP MOVING!   🙂

Courses should INSIST players are finished in four hours or less.  It would make it more enjoyable for everyone and get more people on the course...a win-win!

Pro shops need  to educate people on what is expected and how to obtain it.  Players who come in over four hours, assuming they aren't held up by people in front of them, should not be able to get tee times until late afternoon so they don't plug up the course for everyone else.  Courses have to know that if there first group plays in 5 hours...EVERYONE plays in five hours.  That's just plain unacceptable.  The penalty for slow play is late tee times.  THAT would make some people more aware of what they are doing out there. 

The problem has to be solved or we will lost players who need to make a round of golf just part of their day, not the entire day.  

Thanks for helping to shed light on this issue.


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Slow play is a result of golf courses not giving a crap about players and more about how many people they can get out on a golf course. If they understood the principal that slow play courses stop more rounds from playing then they could get a grip on the issue.

Also Marshall’s that only want to Marshall to get free golf, they don’t seem to understand that it’s there job to move people around the course in a timely manner. 

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I think you should define slow play somewhere in your poll.

For example, if someone thinks they're going to tee off at 10:00 AM on a Saturday morning at course that books 200+ rounds for the day to the public and be finished their round in 4-hours or less, they've probably set unrealistic expectations for their round.

Sometimes you get behind a group that that has a player or players that just don't play golf but they've payed their greens fees so they have as much right to be out there as the next group. There are groups that are clueless (like the person that drives at the speed limit in the passing lane and has a parade of cars behind them). It is what it is...


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An interesting poll, though narrowing each answer to one option was difficult and didn't completely reflect my point of view.  It's a complicated problem with many causes: golfers who don't know etiquette (here in the US courses don't hand out etiquette rules and ask people to follow them, and adults who take up the game don't like to be told what to do or have a mentor to teach them etiquette}; slow players are often the ones who criticize others for slow play, but don't try to improve their own pace of play and object to being called slow; pins are tucked within 5-10 feet of the fringe in corners of greens, making shots to and around the green much more difficult, thus adding strokes and slowing play; rough can be ridiculous, as can green speeds, also adding difficulty and strokes, slowing play; tee times are too close together; people play from tees they can't handle; courses don't care about slow play as long as they make money. Golf's a hard game and players of all level should be encouraged to play and enjoy themselves on the course, so I don't think a 4 hour maximum is realistic. A foursome all shooting 100 or more probably can't get around in 4 hours. I think 4.5 hours, though, is realistic and reasonable and fair to players of all levels and experience. And if courses wanted to limit rounds to 4.5 hours, they could if they made of point of it and took the lead in teaching etiquette and having rangers (diplomatic ones, not officious jerks) on the course to keep play moving. At the same time, players have to take responsibility. I'm 68 and grew up watching Nicklaus on TV, maybe the greatest ever, surely one of the slowest ever, and sometimes I have to fight my tendency to emulate him, my golfing hero. On the first tee I ask playing partners to tell me when I slow down. I'd rather have them tell me than make the round less enjoyable for them or hear them complain afterwards. Plus my chances of breaking 80 are better when I think less and play faster.

Edited by acenelson8
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Read a lot of these opinions. Heres mine, play slow if you want, as long as youre not a hindrance to others. Never thought of just playing a 6 or 12 hole round of golf, great idea. I will say i play with the same 4 some once a week minimum. There is one course in particular we play ,"links" style, and its impossible to play over 4 hour round. I have no idea why the course plays so fast but it does. Like ive read in the comments people who ate waiting for the other cart to come over and watch the shot together, the wait for the green to clear group from 270 out. This is where i want the marshall to step in and maybe just 'educate' the group. My group can fly and handle slow play as long as were not waiting on every shot , thats where we loose it. Im curious on opinions of all four players from a foursome playing from 'prescribed' tees will it slow or help? We have 4 guys and each player owns a 10shot gap in handicap. From a +2 to a 110 average. We can move, so i dont see why others cant. 

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Get around slow play at my home course by being first or second off in the winter or playing in the afternoon when it is 105 in the summer... It's really fast in the summer.

I am not bothered by the pros and slow time. I DVR golf and watch in 2x most of the time. This cuts out the annoying announcers and it is kinda fun to watch the players "Charlie Chaplin" around the course. Course now that Azinger has a permanent gig, may have to watch at a slower pace once in awhile.


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