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Pace of play vs Growing the game


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I have often participated in pace of play discussions on other threads but I keep coming back to the same issue, pace of play vs growing the game. I played a round the other day with 3 guys, 2 have picked up the game in the last year. We played 9 holes and it took 3 hours (which I'll admit was brutal) but they were having fun and enjoying themselves. Luckily it was a day where nobody ended up behind us so we were clear to take our merry time. Obviously if we had people behind us we would have needed to play faster but how do you get new golfers to play fast without making it seemed rushed and thus not fun?

 

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3 hours for nine? What were the scores like? When my friends and I were starting out, we'd cap each hole at double par and that seemed to work. No one ever asked us to speed up and now we don't need a cap anymore.

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When I was a beginner, scoring wasn’t the goal. Learning to hit all the shots you don’t get on a range. My friends would have me hit a drive. If it was playable (meaning not lost or way deep in trees or duffed 100 yds) I played it. Otherwise would drop where my cart partner had drove the ball. That way still learning, but not slowing play down 

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Growing the game should not come at the expense of pace of play.  Learning to play golf includes playing at a reasonable pace and all other golf etiquette.  JMO!

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IMO nobody needs to play this great game at any pace that isn't their's. Whether they are a beginner or an accomolished golfer should not require a 3.5-4 hour time limit for 18. What needs to be taught and required is the common courtesy of letting a faster player or group play through. If this simple act was used more often there wouldn't be any complaints about pace of play. Learning to play this difficult game takes time and hurrying beginners along won't help them improve or play faster.

For those that think everyone should play at their pace, build your own course or join one that has requirements to keep others out but remember this, You didn't play this game in 3 hours when you first started either.

WE DONT NEED PACE OF PLAY REQUIREMENTS, WE NEED COMMON COURTESY!

End rant.

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You're correct.  I don't have an issue with anyone playing very slowly as long as they don't hold up play of others (which is the field's pace of play).  While this is an individual sport, they need to be mindful of everyone else trying to also enjoy the day.

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Driver: :ping-small: G400 Max 9 degree set to +1, Aldila Extreme Green 55 gram R shaft 

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... I think pace of play is necessary to set a standard. 4 hours is certainly reasonable and 4:30 is not egregious if ready when it's your turn, attempting to keep pace or playing ready golf. Allowing all faster groups to play thru will just slow down the course if it isn't just one or two groups. Playing 18 in 6 hours will just clog up the course. For most players, getting into a rhythm is essential to playing their best. Whether that is consistently slowing down a little or consistently speeding up a little. But nothing worse than playing some good shots then waiting 15 minutes on the next tee box to hit again. Not only mentally draining but many players have physical conditions that require movement. As long as we are moving along my back has a good chance of being reasonably cooperative, but standing around for 15 minutes + will cause my back to get stiff and only so much stretching helps. I am sure many others having ailments that work best with constant movement. 

... Fwiw, I rarely see beginners hitting shots so poorly it results in 3 hours for 9. It is the going thru a routine, taking multiple practice swings, freezing over the ball with a mental checklist, duffing a shot and getting upset, take a few more practice swings and move 40 yds just to go thru it again. Even more frustrating is watching 3 or 4 pretty good practice swings then the real swing looks like a Rattler just appeared in front of them and killing it is essential for survival. One practice swing will suffice. There is no need for a beginner to play fast, but no need for them to play slow either. I have played with plenty of golfers with no chance of breaking 100 but they do so at a reasonable pace. 
 

Edited by chisag
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The growing the game mantra is a fallacy. The game is not in danger of going away any time soon. New people come to the game every day, just like the last 90 years or so. There is no need to  grow the game.... it's as grown as it needs to be/is going to get.

Edited by silver & black
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3 hours for nine? What were the scores like? When my friends and I were starting out, we'd cap each hole at double par and that seemed to work. No one ever asked us to speed up and now we don't need a cap anymore.

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The scores were high easily over double par, so I think that would be a good idea. The only problem I see with that is if they're hitting double par before the green they never get a chance to putt.

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So I had the opposite side of the spectrum today, played 18 with my brother-in-law and was through 8 in about an hour and a half. The next 10 holes took almost 3 hours. At first I thought it was a log jam because there were multiple groups in front of us. Then I saw the 2 groups in front of us playing from the "wrong" tee box for their game. And neither of those groups were letting anyone past. Normally I would have tried to skip a hole but they were together and giving each other plenty of room. So if I skipped itd have to be 2 holes. At one point we had 3 groups waiting on the tee for them on the green. It was maddening!

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The scores were high easily over double par, so I think that would be a good idea. The only problem I see with that is if they're hitting double par before the green they never get a chance to putt.

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In my opinion, that's ok. Getting to the green is the hard part when first starting. If you have to pick up before you get there... Well that's one less 3 putt that a fellow golfer has to go through!

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3 Hybrid - :taylormade-small: Rescue 11

4-PW - Maltby DBM Forged

52 -  :vokey-small: SM4

56 -  :cleveland-small: RTX-3

60 - Scratch SS

Putter -  :seemore-small: FGP

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So I had the opposite side of the spectrum today, played 18 with my brother-in-law and was through 8 in about an hour and a half. The next 10 holes took almost 3 hours. At first I thought it was a log jam because there were multiple groups in front of us. Then I saw the 2 groups in front of us playing from the "wrong" tee box for their game. And neither of those groups were letting anyone past. Normally I would have tried to skip a hole but they were together and giving each other plenty of room. So if I skipped itd have to be 2 holes. At one point we had 3 groups waiting on the tee for them on the green. It was maddening!

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Sounds like Las Vegas...the absolute worst place to play if you're worried about pace. I've been on the tee box with 5 other groups waiting, and that was the 16th tee...took 1.5 hours to play the last 3 holes.

I also must say that courtesy needs to be exercised. However, there are times that letting one person play through doesn't make sense if the groups in front of you don't also let him play through. I just played 9 yesterday and there was a threesome in front of me, but I didn't mind waiting because I had my 7 yr old with me and I was testing the Bridgestone e12 Speed ball...comparing it to others. I did get a single behind me, but he just turned around and replayed the first 4 holes again.


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I have always felt that it's best to learn from the green backwards when first starting. Problem is your average person wants to rip the boom stick first haha.

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Totally agree. That's what putting greens and chipping areas are for.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So another question on the pace of play move, how do you politely inform new golfers of the etiquettes of golf? Had a 4some take their sweeeet time plod around the course the other day. Myself I just skipped a hole and got in front of them but I watched the group behind them sitting on a lot of tee.

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The growing the game mantra is a fallacy. The game is not in danger of going away any time soon. New people come to the game every day, just like the last 90 years or so. There is no need to  grow the game.... it's as grown as it needs to be/is going to get.


I’m digging this right here.

There is far more opportunity today for youth golfers, especially young female golfers.

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5 hours ago, tchat07 said:

So another question on the pace of play move, how do you politely inform new golfers of the etiquettes of golf? Had a 4some take their sweeeet time plod around the course the other day. Myself I just skipped a hole and got in front of them but I watched the group behind them sitting on a lot of tee.

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Call the pro shop and tell them there's a group holding up the rest of the field and let them handle it.

Driver: :ping-small: G400 Max 9 degree set to +1, Aldila Extreme Green 55 gram R shaft 

Fairway: :taylormade-small: M4 3W (16.5*) 5W (21*) 7W (24*) -- stock R shafts.

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It really just depends if all that time is just a lot of strokes or if a lot of time is standing on etiquette. If it's etiquette then just talk about it and hope it helps.

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The growing the game mantra is a fallacy. The game is not in danger of going away any time soon. New people come to the game every day, just like the last 90 years or so. There is no need to  grow the game.... it's as grown as it needs to be/is going to get.
But why would we not want more people to enjoy this game we all love? And I do not think the game is going away but at least in my area, the good courses are staying good (and expensive) and the lesser courses seem to struggle and are fading.

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