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Middler

Actual Pace of Play Solutions You've Seen Implemented?

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TagMarshal sounds good but there's no way our local courses are going to make that investment or anything else that cost any $. So I wondered if anyone here had personal experience with solutions from league play, that I could pass on to our leagues?

Yesterday we were in the third group out, we never lost sight of the group ahead, and we only had to wait very briefly on them a few times - perfectly fine. Our round took 4 hours. They were on the 18th green when we teed off on 18. However, the group behind us was almost 3 holes back, with another 11 foursomes behind them. I'm pretty sure it's a handful of players who hold everyone else up, and collectively we all know who they are. I'd love to see them put in the last few groups every week, but that's probably too un-PC to have implemented. So we all grouse about slow play some weeks, as much as 5½ hours occasionally. I have NEVER seen anyone play through in the league in all the years I've been a member - NEVER.

Nothing anyone can do alone, but any simple ideas you've actually seen in league play where it does help?

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33 minutes ago, Middler said:

TagMarshal sounds good but there's no way our local courses are going to make that investment or anything else that cost any $. So I wondered if anyone here had personal experience with solutions from league play, that I could pass on to our leagues?

Yesterday we were in the third group out, we never lost sight of the group ahead, and we only had to wait very briefly on them a few times - perfectly fine. Our round took 4 hours. They were on the 18th green when we teed off on 18. However, the group behind us was almost 3 holes back, with another 11 foursomes behind them. I'm pretty sure it's a handful of players who hold everyone else up, and collectively we all know who they are. I'd love to see them put in the last few groups every week, but that's probably too un-PC to have implemented. So we all grouse about slow play some weeks, as much as 5½ hours occasionally. I have NEVER seen anyone play through in the league in all the years I've been a member - NEVER.

Nothing anyone can do alone, but any simple ideas you've actually seen in league play where it does help?

Haven't done it or even seen it done, but I'd imagine the easiest way to deal with this in a league is establish and adhere to strict rules for locating golf balls and taking a shot. It would have to be up to the players playing with this slow group to press the issue, but if the majority agrees and is behind them what's the risk?

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The only thing I have seen work is having a time allotment on each hole. Our association does it and it varies slightly by course but based on your tee time you have say 4 hours to complete your round (or 14 minutes behind the group in front of you). If you don't its 2 stroke penalty to every one in the group. Each hole has a time on the card, for example if the first hole is a par 5 and the committee deems it should take 15 minutes, then the scorecard at the end of the first hole will have time of 10:15 if you teed off at 10:00. 

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I've never seen anything work really. Except.... STOP over crowding the course. That settles slow pace of play issues every-time. Doesn't matter if it's a public or private course. Another thing that works is having the club or course stop doing stupid stuff. One example from last weekend....

Our club recently added a bunch of new members. UGH! It's been noticeable a few times. But last weekend we (4) got trapped behind a group of 5. (that's a whole other issue) These guys were having a party out there. Yucking it up, seeing who could blast the longest tee shot, drinking, loud music, etc. and.... on the back 9 they were joined by three other carts of wives, girlfriends, and babies all while trying and impress the ladies and play golf. I called the shop and reported this nonsense. And.. they actually sped up after a marshal showed up. So who was really at fault here? Mostly the pro shop for letting the ladies* entourage out on the course to interfere and disrupt pace of play for everyone. Perhaps renting out three carts was that important to the daily bottom line.  Stupid pro shop staff.

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2 hours ago, Middler said:

TagMarshal sounds good but there's no way our local courses are going to make that investment or anything else that cost any $. So I wondered if anyone here had personal experience with solutions from league play, that I could pass on to our leagues?

Yesterday we were in the third group out, we never lost sight of the group ahead, and we only had to wait very briefly on them a few times - perfectly fine. Our round took 4 hours. They were on the 18th green when we teed off on 18. However, the group behind us was almost 3 holes back, with another 11 foursomes behind them. I'm pretty sure it's a handful of players who hold everyone else up, and collectively we all know who they are. I'd love to see them put in the last few groups every week, but that's probably too un-PC to have implemented. So we all grouse about slow play some weeks, as much as 5½ hours occasionally. I have NEVER seen anyone play through in the league in all the years I've been a member - NEVER.

Nothing anyone can do alone, but any simple ideas you've actually seen in league play where it does help?

 I just had this exact experience in my men's league. It took us 5.5 hours to finish which is absurd! We started on hole 6, coasted through to 12 and then a group 3 or 4 in front of us bogged down the day. Our course just recently got TagMarshal (or something similar). This is my first year in the league but I heard its been a consistent problem. The competition committee is looking at how to address it and hope to implement something moving forward. 

 

I think a big part of the problem is people not understanding the rules, where to drop, when to drop, ect. I've seen guys hit wayward shots that are likely OB but decide to not hit a provisional, drive to look for their ball, and then end up back at the tee.

 

I know they've thrown out the idea of penalizing frequent offenders (now that they can track each group and have the data to back it up). Something like picking up and taking double par. Ill let you know what we end up with doing. 

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The only thing I've ever seen speed up play is fewer people on the course. 

First, it seems the overall theme in that article and the comments to the article is that the biggest issue is people need to be mindful of their actions (pace of play) and how it affects others. 

Second, I'm not sure 10min tees times would solve much.  Most people hit when the fairway landing area is clear.  Whether it takes the group ahead 5min, 8min, 10min, or even 20min to move on, when your target area is clear you hit.  Isn't that what ready golf is?

Back to my original point.  One thing I haven't seen mentioned is getting rid of the idea of 4-somes and limit groups to 3 players particularly during peak hours.  Instead of moving to 4-somes every 10min, stay at 8min but limit it to 3somes.  This is at peak times.  Over the span of an hour, the course is only giving up about 4 players.  In approx. 60 minutes, that's 8 groups of 3 (24players) versus 7 groups of 4 (28players).  But if it moves them through faster, there's a chance they make that up in turnover.  I doubt most munis/publics would take such a long view.  They'd rather have the extra greens fees now especially if people keep showing up and paying.  I'd be curious to see how that would work out though.

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Less people on the course is not the answer, its a cop out. If the group in front of you plays in 5.5 hours no matter how many people are behind them the pace is still way to slow. 

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Gotta agree with the Zipperman here!   We used to play with groups of up to 6 (in carts) in under 4 hours at the Yellowstone Country Club, so you can't tell me that it takes 5 hours to play golf for a 4 some.  In my experience, walking or riding, it shouldn't take much over 4 hours to complete a round of golf (I've often witnessed walkers faster than the carts because of 2 in a cart going to each ball independently rather than dropping one off and going to next ball).  The problem has already been noted....it only takes ONE group to back up the entire course.  Municipal courses are, by nature, the worst at slow play.  Often because of unknowing newer golfers just not understanding the concept of playing ready golf, the non-necessity of 6 practice swings on every shot, the need to take an inordinate amount of time to figure out the putting line, and then the general horseplay/socializing/other stuff going on.  Golf is meant to be an enjoyable game for everyone -- and this includes the people playing behind your slow a$$ foursome.  Keep up with the group directly in front of you.

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Appreciate all the comments so far.

For what it’s worth, I was hoping there might be more workable solutions for league play since we all know each other somewhat. The problem is not lost balls alone and it’s not newbies or drinking, everyone has been playing for many years and very few if any drink while playing. It’s just a few completely disorganized players who make all the standard slow play errors - talking too much - not noticing it’s clear ahead, taking too long to hit, not thinking when placing carts, reading putts too long, lost balls, and etc.

I really like the idea of having times for each hole, so everyone knows if they’re the problem. That might take some doing, but we print cards with names and HI every week so it may be doable.

Without other ideas, I’ll probably recommend we schedule all the slow players last off every week, but I assume that’ll go nowhere...

Edited by Middler
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42 minutes ago, Middler said:

Appreciate all the comments so far.

For what it’s worth, I was hoping there might be more workable solutions for league play since we all know each other somewhat. The problem is not lost balls alone and it’s not newbies or drinking, everyone has been playing for many years and very few if any drink while playing. It’s just a few completely disorganized players who make all the standard slow play errors - talking too much - not noticing it’s clear ahead, taking too long to hit, not thinking when placing carts, reading putts too long, lost balls, and etc.

I really like the idea of having times for each hole, so everyone knows if they’re the problem. That might take some doing, but we print cards with names and HI every week so it may be doable.

Without other ideas, I’ll probably recommend we schedule all the slow players last off every week, but I assume that’ll go nowhere...

This is one of those topics is always an endless discussion because there is no one cause and no one solution.  It's fun to discuss/debate regardless.

The "slow players last" idea would probably help in a league situation.  I see the biggest issue is the "slow players" are unaware that they ARE the slow players and would get mad because everyone is offended by everything anymore.  You'd be accused of "slow shaming" or some nonsense and then a Twitter mob would come after you.

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2 hours ago, TwoCoatsOfWax said:

This is one of those topics is always an endless discussion because there is no one cause and no one solution.  It's fun to discuss/debate regardless.

The "slow players last" idea would probably help in a league situation.  I see the biggest issue is the "slow players" are unaware that they ARE the slow players and would get mad because everyone is offended by everything anymore.  You'd be accused of "slow shaming" or some nonsense and then a Twitter mob would come after you.

I’m afraid you’re right, but I’d love to have asked the group behind us last Wed how they fell almost three holes behind us...when we took a full 4 hours - it’s not like we were quick, anyone should be able to play in 4 hours or less.

Edited by Middler

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3 hours ago, Middler said:

Appreciate all the comments so far.

For what it’s worth, I was hoping there might be more workable solutions for league play since we all know each other somewhat. The problem is not lost balls alone and it’s not newbies or drinking, everyone has been playing for many years and very few if any drink while playing. It’s just a few completely disorganized players who make all the standard slow play errors - talking too much - not noticing it’s clear ahead, taking too long to hit, not thinking when placing carts, reading putts too long, lost balls, and etc.

I really like the idea of having times for each hole, so everyone knows if they’re the problem. That might take some doing, but we print cards with names and HI every week so it may be doable.

Without other ideas, I’ll probably recommend we schedule all the slow players last off every week, but I assume that’ll go nowhere...

In one of our men's club events, we had one group that was long behind all of the other groups.  Since, we all gather after the round to payoff that weeks winners and to enjoy light hors d'vours, we decided not to wait for them.  Their group was not considered for the winning prizes AND there was almost no food left when they got back in.  Seriously, they were 30 minutes behind every other group!!!

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An assertive Marshall helps. We have a rule that if you don’t keep up with the group in front of you you pick up and advance to the tee box immediately behind them. Any hole you don’t play is recorded as a triple bogey. Over 180 golfers Thursday and took our group 3:49 with us waiting briefly on each shot.


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19 hours ago, Middler said:

Appreciate all the comments so far.

For what it’s worth, I was hoping there might be more workable solutions for league play since we all know each other somewhat. The problem is not lost balls alone and it’s not newbies or drinking, everyone has been playing for many years and very few if any drink while playing. It’s just a few completely disorganized players who make all the standard slow play errors - talking too much - not noticing it’s clear ahead, taking too long to hit, not thinking when placing carts, reading putts too long, lost balls, and etc.

I really like the idea of having times for each hole, so everyone knows if they’re the problem. That might take some doing, but we print cards with names and HI every week so it may be doable.

Without other ideas, I’ll probably recommend we schedule all the slow players last off every week, but I assume that’ll go nowhere...

If it is too difficult to put times on each hole you could add just a finish time on the card. The times are nice because it gives everyone idea of where they stand. The big key to this though is the enforcement, it has to be enforced strictly across the board. One idea to get the ball rolling is to do maybe the first 2 weeks as trials so players get an idea and then 3rd week the rule is in place and enforced. 

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Enforcement seems to be a big issue, one of the muni's near me had a younger guy last year who tried to enforce slow play, the key word was try.  He had one group pick up and go to the next tee box on the third hole to speed things up on a saturday, we never saw him at work again.  The other "marshalls" pretty much just drive around and wave at people, apparently when you have three open holes and two groups on a tee box that is normal?  The crazy thing is its also an etiquette thing, but I believe ego is worse, playing from the tips, stalking each putt before you three jack from 10 feet.  Heard some of the older players sticking to the time on the scorecard as the reason for not allowing faster players through, not sure what the best answer is.

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20 hours ago, Middler said:

Without other ideas, I’ll probably recommend we schedule all the slow players last off every week, but I assume that’ll go nowhere...

 

... What am I missing? Seriously if have a meeting and you spell it out: Fall behind and stay behind by more than one hole and you are subject to last place tee off.  If they are habitually slow and everyone knows who they are, why would it be non PC to make them tee off last? And if they are offended for some unknown selfish reason, maybe they quit which would be a win win.

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If the group behind you is always waiting, and your group isn't, then let them through! simple!

Club championship first round qualifying today, and unbelievably it was the 2 ball games that were holding up the course.

4 hrs 10 mins today and it should normally be 3hrs 20m - 3hrs 35m

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On 5/18/2019 at 10:41 AM, chisag said:

... What am I missing? Seriously if have a meeting and you spell it out: Fall behind and stay behind by more than one hole and you are subject to last place tee off.  If they are habitually slow and everyone knows who they are, why would it be non PC to make them tee off last? And if they are offended for some unknown selfish reason, maybe they quit which would be a win win.

Hopefully I am wrong, I'm going to suggest putting the chronic offenders teeing off last (together) to the leadership. I'm not even sure the offenders need to be told, they won't notice until a few weeks of it if then, just schedule that way and see how it plays out. I've listened to players whine about it for a couple of years, but no one does anything about it. I largely chalk that up to our overly PC world...

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There's really no good solution unless the person's at fault realize that they are slower and allow play through's or pick up the pace.  For your group, why are the slow? Are they new golfers learning the game, people who BS more than swing the club, lots of OB shots? I would try to find the problem and address that, (if its a newer or bad golfer, pair them with some more seasoned speedy golfers, etc).  You said you all know each other so a quick talk with the offending parties (in private) may help too. 

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1 hour ago, Apes44 said:

There's really no good solution unless the person's at fault realize that they are slower and allow play through's or pick up the pace.  For your group, why are the slow? Are they new golfers learning the game, people who BS more than swing the club, lots of OB shots? I would try to find the problem and address that, (if its a newer or bad golfer, pair them with some more seasoned speedy golfers, etc).  You said you all know each other so a quick talk with the offending parties (in private) may help too. 

As I mentioned before, no one in the league is new to golf, and it’s not one slow play fault, that would be easier to address. They’re just disorganized and slow, making all the well known mistakes, talking when they should be playing, taking too long to pick a club, too long to read greens and putt, parking carts in front or wrong side of green, looking for balls too long, even scavenging for balls. And they’re oblivious to others, it doesn’t even register that the group behind is waiting on every shot hole after hole. The one worst offender has been talked to, and last year I was with him when he played so fast he was rushing everyone, he got obnoxious. But that lasted a week, he was back to his clueless slow play shortly thereafter.

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