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Pace of Play


JBones
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This has always been a problem, but it seems to be getting a lot of attention this year. It's interesting to see some of the comments and suggestions by the players. Bubba Watson is all for handing out penalty strokes, which is probably the best solution. Ernie Els has suggested letting caddies use range finders and narrowing the fields. What do you guys think?

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The pace of play problem is getting absolutely stupid, so yeah, I'm all for handing out penalty strokes and a lot of them. Although I'm sure there will be plenty who disagree, I also don't have the slightest problem with allowing caddies to use range finders. Knowing the distance is such a small piece of the equation anyway. When the caddies are mic'd the conversation I hear seldom has to do with determining the absolute distance. It's more about accounting for wind, slope, etc., so I guess while I don't have a problem with it, I'm not sure how much it will help.

 

Penalty strokes are the answer. Strokes cost money, and when it starts coming out of their pockets I suspect the draggers will find a way to pick it up a bit.

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I doubt additional gadgets will help much, but there is a chance. What I see are a bunch of people who have the data but cannot make a quick decision, most especially where putting is concerned. Humiliation might work better. Nicklaus was one of the slow until he saw an article ranking him as a bottleneck. Almost immediatly after he did everything more quickly but continued to score well.

 

 

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It is killing golf, even at a recreational level, IMO. College events haved been painfully slow in the past as well as national junior events and tours. It's got to start in junior golf. As far as penalties vs, fines, penalties are best because of all of the implications - FedEx points, money list, finish positions, etc. If you think about it, it's pretty riduculous we ask amateurs to play 18 on a weekend in 4 to 4:15 in a foursome and these guys play in four plus as twos and threes without having to look for many golf balls. Proceure is easy - warn all players on first tee of round and start timing immediately once they get out of position. This will eliminate the "getting put on the clock" phase because essentially as soon as you fall behind you will be subject to timing and penalties.

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To be honest, speed on the PGA Tour doesn't really matter much to me. I'd be more concerned with how fast the ground in front of me on Saturday is going.

 

 

They are related a little though. If people watching golf see a guy shoot 7-8 under, while taking 13 practice swing and plumb bobbing their tee shots, guess what they are going to do. Most people don't realise how long a tour round takes. On TV you don't watch 1 group for a solid 5 hours. You only see them from shot to shot.

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Where's Geoff Shackleford when we need him? His "The Future of Golf" book talks about this. In a nutshell, he blames the USGA/R&A for failing to control OEMs, which lead to longer and harder courses that take too much time to finish. There's a LOT more... this doesn't really do it justice, because there's so much more to it than that. If anyone's inclined, it's a VERY good read.

 

Anyway, we're all pretty much in agreeance. Pro's dink around, so amateurs do it. As an aside, I am surprised I didn't see anyone try to copy Villegas's "Spiderman" pose last year. Maybe this year LOL. Some amateurs, regardless of skill, want to play the back tees so they can "see the whole course". Why? I don't get how 10 yards give or take per hole is going to change anyone's perspective.

 

I see people and their interaction with the cart attendant and that bothers me. If a group is going to take 5+ minutes to decide if they want either M&M's or a Snickers (while hitting on the poor girl), let the groups behind you play through. I don't think a stroke penalty will work here, but Dave's lynching idea might.

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I see people and their interaction with the cart attendant and that bothers me. If a group is going to take 5+ minutes to decide if they want either M&M's or a Snickers (while hitting on the poor girl), let the groups behind you play through. I don't think a stroke penalty will work here, but Dave's lynching idea might.

 

I don't have a problem with the occasional ball search or lining up a longer putt. Those things happen. It's the cart where two guys (and guys seem to be worse than gals, go figure) drive to similar distances on different sides of the fairway and as the first guy goes through his gyrations for the shot the second guy just sits with his legs up, watching his buddy. Or they wait on the guys in front of them without having selected their clubs or looked at their shots...and then change clubs after going to their ball. 4 hours to 4:30 should be max. Anything over 5 and I lose focus.

The cart girl thing is funny. 50 year old drunk men hitting on 22 year old gals is ridiculous. Nothing you say hasn't been said 50 times before so just be polite and save the rude comments for your pals chunked tee shot and keep the game moving.

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I have to say I will agree with Justin and Sprinklerhead on this. Both of their points were correct. We see a lot of slow rounds here mostly in peak season for the exact reasons that you both stated. The rangers around here are useless for the most part. They have been basically been told "dont piss off the tourists" That is one of the reasons I dont play much this time of the year unless it is late in the afternoon at certain courses. I guess that is one of the drawbacks of living in a tourist area.

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I somehow kept my concentration long enough to shoot an even par 70 last Wednesday. There were two foresomes in front of me that refused to let me play through, even though I was waiting on every single shot and had nobody behind me. The guys in front of me were in carts and they were horrible; they would hit one 30yds and walk across the fairway to get in the cart, let their partner hit, then go back to their ball to hit it another 30yds. On the 460yd 10th, the longest drive was only about 180yds and they waited for the green to clear before they each hit their second shots and none of them were within 80yds of the green. Even with 5 fairways being closed (you had to play your second from designated drop areas), due to a flooded creek, it still took 4 hours. I ended up hitting at least 25 putts on every green, while I was waiting. It was very frustrating to say the least.

 

I don't think the public humiliation is going to work, look at Kevin Na, they have been ragging on him all year on every telecast and it doesn't seem to bother him.

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Slow play is incredibly bad. It's worse for us juniors tryin to play a quick nine and having to sit and wait behind a fivesome or sixsome because they won't let you through. It's very frustrating, especially when you finish an entire hole and are kn the next tee box before they are even onthe green. I play at a very hard course to walk on (very long walks between holes and hilly) and it takes me no more than an hour and fifteen to walk nine. I cant see how people are able to put up with playing a 5 hour round of golf. It's ridiculous.

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Just played the first club tournament of the season yesterday.

5 freaking hours for 18 holes... the group in front of us had over 2 holes of difference to their predecessors, but still claimed they weren't slow.

We are just taking our time, they said, when we brought it to their attention after the front nine.

They were all threesomes, including our own flight.

 

After the round, we met them at the clubhouse and started arguing. Their biggest argument is: they are all high handicappers. Then I look at the score cards and dude, our score was higher than theirs and we still had to wait in every freaking hole.

 

So just told him to STFU, it had nothing to do with handicap!!! It's all about manners!

 

They usually set the faster players/lower handicappers to tee off at 9am and the slow ones around noon. Don't know why they mixed it up this time.

 

It could be a good idea to implement this on tour, if you are slow... start on the last flight and nobody is going to give a s*** about you.

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my 2 cents.. On tour if you are in contention than to me by all means take your time. If your tied 21st I don't see a point in anyone taking 5 minutes to line up a put. Equally I go to the golf course to have fun with my friends, and if I am having a bad day I know one putt isn't going to make it better. You always need to let faster players through.

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On most any day, on any course, under normal

conditions the pace of play should average

14 minutes per hole or less. Nuff said.

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There's been people I've played with that when we've had a single or twosome come up, they just ignore them. "We're a foursome, so we have more standing" is what they say. I actually got into an argument on the course with a guy because of that... I was like "Really? What's the harm in letting them play through?" So, I haven't played with that guy in a LONG time... I don't really care what the Rules say on that issue- it's just common sense.

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Totally agree Justin, let 1 person through, make their day and less pressure on yourself.

 

Only exception is when you got 10 singles behind you on a weekend... then it's impossible, no matter how much I want to let them through.

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This happened this weekend. We have a course that is $50 for all you can play with a cart on the first Saturday of every month. There's not usually a whole lot of people there, because its away from the city in a secluded area and it's a really long and somewhat expensive place to play. The guy I was playing with is a 1 handi and plays very fast, we usually walk 9 in 60-75 minutes, but with a cart, we finished the front in 45, without seeing another group. So we pull up on the 10th tee and there is a foursome on the front tees (we were playing the tips) and they just turn around, look at us and continue to hit and walk to their carts. My buddy, who never refrains from saying ANYTHING to ANYONE) says "hey, you gonna let us play through or what?", to which they respond "well there's 2 more 4somes in front of us". My buddy says "yeah, we'll play through them too" and the guy says "fine, whatever, just hit". So I get up and hit one about 310 right down the center and my buddy BOMBS one that carries to a down slope and ends up being a 375yd drive. We finish the hole and the other 2 groups let us play through on the next hole. We never saw any of the groups behind again the rest of the day. We ended up playing 54 holes in 7.5 hours, with stopping for hot dogs and a pitcher of beer after 27 holes. When we left the clubhouse to go to our 28th hole, the group that we played through on 10 was just coming up 18, LOL.

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Sounds like you have a good buddy.

 

You know, I (day)dream of days like yours... 54 holes, hot dogs, 300+ yard bombs. Take out the 300+ yard bombs and 54 holes and that's the closest I've come to fulfilling that fantasy.

You know there was a time that I'd have taken 320 wherever it landed, but I've found that 280 in the fairway makes the game much easier. We just found out that this course is going to offer $45 for all you can play every Thursday, so I see several hot dogs and 54 hole days in the future.

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