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Slow play


Marv Town
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If we want new people playing this great game we're going to have slow play. If we let old people play with bad eye sight "Me" I lost more balls in Fairways,  short grass, than water or woods this year. My play may be consistered slow. Is 4.5 hrs slow 5? If your better than me play through

65 year old in Michigan

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11 hours ago, Marv Town said:

If we want new people playing this great game we're going to have slow play. If we let old people play with bad eye sight "Me" I lost more balls in Fairways,  short grass, than water or woods this year. My play may be consistered slow. Is 4.5 hrs slow 5? If your better than me play through

I agree!

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We should all strive to play 18 in four hours or less at most courses. Anyone who thinks four-and-a-half hours or more is OK is part of the problem - you have to be disorganized to play that slow when no one ahead is the cause. I know people who are always disorganized on the course. I usually play in about three-and-a-half to four hours, even though I played 18 (alone with a cart) once in two hours and fifteen minutes once without trying. 

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Around here, the only times I had a round last more than 4 hours was when a course was spread out through a development and there was a long ride between holes. I only had one 5 hour round this year. Courses are raising prices and cutting back the tee times to try and avoid slow play, though this effect is making the tough tee times even tougher to find. Basically, I found that courses in the CLE/AKR area are falling into a few categories

-The really nice well run munis & high end public courses. These times may push a little over 4 hours, but given the layout/course conditions it's worth the little extra time out there. Though during the week you can still get around in under 4, even if walking.

-The middle of the road. These are public courses that privately owned, usually by a family, not munis. These vary by course, but once you are familiar you know when to play. Generally these courses have learned to do what the above courses have done by spacing out times a little more. There's some to avoid that fall into group #3, but generally I've not had a 4+ hour round at these places in the last few years. These courses usually have some loyal "we play this course every Sat & have for 20 years" guys, but the clubhouse folks are pretty straightforward and you can go at the right times. 

-The Factories. Ugh oh boy. These are the courses that do not cater to golfers. They usually run specials where they have (what seems like) a cheap membership package, or have it set up that it's like $25 no matter when you play. Except they do 6 minute times and take walk ups on top of it, no one with cash gets turned away. These are the courses that take 6 hours to get around. There's been a rotation of these for years in the area, but back in 2018 there was a semi-apocalypse where close to 20 courses closed at the end of the season. These are the dregs, between the ghastly conditions and long round times I stay away. But the groups who play here don't care about conditions, or hardly the golf. They play because it's the cheapest place, they can smuggle a 12-pack in their bag, and escape the spouse. There's always one or two, but they are generally the next course in line to close. Eventually costs go up, or conditions get so terrible there is no recovery. Then when they raise their price, everyone leaves for the next cheapest course and the cycle repeats.

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4 hours is the generally accepted “standard” but it isn’t always possible.  There is a course I play regularly and it’s pace is 4.5 hours.  This is primarily due to distance between holes and I can tell you with no one in front of you and playing as a foursome, 4.5 is really hustling.  

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6 minutes ago, cnosil said:

4 hours is the generally accepted “standard” but it isn’t always possible.  There is a course I play regularly and it’s pace is 4.5 hours.  This is primarily due to distance between holes and I can tell you with no one in front of you and playing as a foursome, 4.5 is really hustling.  

I absolutely think that there are plenty of courses where 4-4.5 hr rounds are the norm based on course layout, length, etc. I've played a few courses out on Cape Cod that are set up in ways where the next tee is a hike from the green, so there's no way to play "fast". 

However, I don't buy the "new people play slow" argument either. I've been paired with plenty of newer golfers who understand looking quickly then dropping for a lost ball, or picking up once they've reached a certain point to keep things flowing. When my son was in PGA Jr his pro always stressed having a defined but quick pre-shot process, helping others find balls, and playing ready golf. I'd like to think that others are learning the same thing, regardless of when they've taken up the game.

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4.5 hours isn’t slow IMO and on weekends it’s the norm especially late morning thru late afternoon. I play several courses that have a 4:15-4:30 pace of play and enforce it. I’ve played rounds on those courses early in the day under that time. I’ve played rounds in that timeframe where it felt like it was longer and others where the time flew. 
 

A lot of pace of play is based on tee sheet separation, course layout. The courses that do it well like the ones I play it’s not an issue. They tell you upfront what the expectation is, they tell you it’s monitored and how they handle it. They actually enforce it and very rarely is there an issue. 
 

more than 4.5 is when it starts getting too much

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1 hour ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

4.5 hours isn’t slow IMO and on weekends it’s the norm especially late morning thru late afternoon.

I'm not trying to pick on any one poster, I just selected a single quote to illustrate my point.  To make any blanket statement about the "right" pace of play means you're going to be wrong a bunch of the time.  There are certainly courses where 4:30 is an appropriate expectation, I just played one of them last week, Tobacco Road.  Heck, 4:30 is pretty good there, 5:00 isn't out of the question, although it seems really long to me.  But a few years ago I was in Dornoch, Scotland, and was aghast that my second round of the day took 4 entire hours to play, it really should be closer to 3:30 there.  I think its important for every one of us experienced players to help newer players learn to play efficiently, and to help everyone in our group to move along a little better.  

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7 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I'm not trying to pick on any one poster, I just selected a single quote to illustrate my point.  To make any blanket statement about the "right" pace of play means you're going to be wrong a bunch of the time.  There are certainly courses where 4:30 is an appropriate expectation, I just played one of them last week, Tobacco Road.  Heck, 4:30 is pretty good there, 5:00 isn't out of the question, although it seems really long to me.  But a few years ago I was in Dornoch, Scotland, and was aghast that my second round of the day took 4 entire hours to play, it really should be closer to 3:30 there.  I think its important for every one of us experienced players to help newer players learn to play efficiently, and to help everyone in our group to move along a little better.  

Here's the thing with older seniors.

"Ready golf" doesn't work.

Playing in order with eight eyes on the shot works.

Otherwise, we'll really slow up play looking for balls that may well have landed dead center in the fairway.

 

 

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2 hours ago, BostonSal said:

"Ready golf" doesn't work.

Playing in order with eight eyes on the shot works.

I don't see this as a binary choice, I think most players can continue to get ready to play, and still take a few seconds to watch each player hit his/her shot.  I won't be able to catch every single shot, but I see the vast majority of them as I continue my "process".  And to a large extent I agree that having multiple eyes on each shot will decrease search times and round durations.

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5 hours ago, DaveP043 said:  There are certainly courses where 4:30 is an appropriate expectation, I just played one of them last week, Tobacco Road.  

I just wanna know what you thought of Tobacco Road?!? Heard it’s awesome. 

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11 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I don't see this as a binary choice, I think most players can continue to get ready to play, and still take a few seconds to watch each player hit his/her shot.  I won't be able to catch every single shot, but I see the vast majority of them as I continue my "process".  And to a large extent I agree that having multiple eyes on each shot will decrease search times and round durations.

+1. We play a combination of ready and away as we see fit, and we make an effort to watch each other’s shots.

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As close to 4-4.5 hours is good for me. Unless I see you acting like hooligans in front of me while we are forced to wait. The only problem with slow play is no one enforces speed. Rarely do you see rangers asking or telling people they need to pick up the pace 

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11 hours ago, Ben_Howell34 said:

I just wanna know what you thought of Tobacco Road?!? Heard it’s awesome. 

I've played TR 6 or 8 times, its always fun.  Lots of visual intimidation, a few really demanding shots, a wide variety of holes, and generally in great shape.  Some of the slower play is due to the greens.  Very firm and pretty quick, with some really significant slopes, its a recipe for 3-putts or more.  I believe that if the greens were slower by just a little, maybe 9 instead of 10 on the Stimp, play would move faster without compromising the challenge.

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4 hours ago, RollingGreens said:

As close to 4-4.5 hours is good for me. Unless I see you acting like hooligans in front of me while we are forced to wait. The only problem with slow play is no one enforces speed. Rarely do you see rangers asking or telling people they need to pick up the pace 

That’s on the course as much as it is on the rangers. 
 

We have plenty of courses that the rangers enforce it and they let the groups behind the slow group of what’s happening and what they’ve done. The courses let you know up front what the expectations are and how they are enforcing it. There are some courses where it’s stated but not enforced and it becomes an issue. I stick to courses that either enforce it or where it’s not really an issue to begin with. 

It’s only when im playing with the larger group I’ve played with since I started and the courses they choose where I end up playing a course that has bad pace of play and/or lack of enforcement. But I know that going in and set my expectations accordingly and dont sweat it. 

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5 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I've played TR 6 or 8 times, its always fun.  Lots of visual intimidation, a few really demanding shots, a wide variety of holes, and generally in great shape.  Some of the slower play is due to the greens.  Very firm and pretty quick, with some really significant slopes, its a recipe for 3-putts or more.  I believe that if the greens were slower by just a little, maybe 9 instead of 10 on the Stimp, play would move faster without compromising the challenge.

Thanks for the reply. Definitely on my list to visit here soon. 

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