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What's the rush? Golfs obsession with slow play - Page 9

post #145 of 252
Thread Starter 

I've gained some experience, reduced my handicap and joined a private club since I started this thread.  I can now better appreciate where some of you speedier players were coming from.  My fastest rounds this season were 2 ball - 2 hours and 4 ball - 3.5 hours.  I didn't feel rushed but I also wouldn't say it was relaxing either.  

 

Based on what I've heard and read it seems that one of the biggest issues with pace of play here in the United States is that everyone is obsessed with stroke play where as in other countries Match play and Stableford are more common games.   Part of the reason we seem so set on stroke play is that is what everyone here in the States watch the pro's play. 

post #146 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

It may SEEM obvious, but it's not obvious, because its not true.  Neither is the opposite.  There are good players who play fast, good players who play slow, and, likewise, there are both fast and slow hackers.

 

Some do exactly as you suggest, however, there are also a lot of better players that just take waaaaaaay too long reading putts, thinking about a shot, pre-shot routines, talking, etc, etc.

 

A bad player who also plays slow may stand out as slowER because he also has the misfortune of taking more shots, but there are all kinds of slow-ass decent players out there.

I will take your word for it as you've played much more golf and for many more years. Very limited experience on my end so I should have worded it as an observation instead of a fact.

 

I've just never had to wait on better players - not once. And the few times I've been lucky enough to play along side of them, they all played at a very fast pace. I will agree that players at my level are not always slow. And there's a difference between taking an extra two or three shots per hole and simply taking all the time in the world.

 

As far as low handicappers taking their time - do you see that during a normal round of golf or do you think they play slower when they're in a tournament?

post #147 of 252

The statement should be amended to say that better players can play faster.  In theory, they should, since they should be in trouble less often.  However, if fairways and greens in regulation were the determining factors in slow play, the guys on Tour would be the fastest players in the world.  

 

Now, sometimes they are justified in taking extra time (taking the full allotment to search for balls, reading that putt from both sides, etc), but the point is simply that many things factor into pace of play.  

post #148 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMA1 View Post
 

I will take your word for it as you've played much more golf and for many more years. Very limited experience on my end so I should have worded it as an observation instead of a fact.

 

I've just never had to wait on better players - not once. And the few times I've been lucky enough to play along side of them, they all played at a very fast pace. I will agree that players at my level are not always slow. And there's a difference between taking an extra two or three shots per hole and simply taking all the time in the world.

 

As far as low handicappers taking their time - do you see that during a normal round of golf or do you think they play slower when they're in a tournament?

In my experience the slowest players tend to be those players with handicaps over 20 or under 10. 10 - 20 tend to be the fastest.

post #149 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by VOX View Post
 

In my experience the slowest players tend to be those players with handicaps over 20 or under 10. 10 - 20 tend to be the fastest.

Strictly from my experience and not implying it's typical, because from other comments it's obviously not:

 

I have never seen a low handicap "slow player". I know one or two that have the reputation of being slow because they take more time over a shot than those of us waiting would like, but they make up for that by keeping the ball in play, hitting greens, and making putts. Even with their "slow" reputation they would never take more than 3 1/2 hours to finish a round (which we think is slow).

 

The truly slow players I have seen and played with fall basically in two groups. Beginners that can't hit the ball but insist on keeping score and fully playing out every hole, and tourists that are oblivious to anything going on around them and are just killing time.

 

Every decent player I know would rather play two 2 1/2 hour rounds than one 4 hour round any day.

post #150 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post

Strictly from my experience and not implying it's typical, because from other comments it's obviously not:

I have never seen a low handicap "slow player". I know one or two that have the reputation of being slow because they take more time over a shot than those of us waiting would like, but they make up for that by keeping the ball in play, hitting greens, and making putts. Even with their "slow" reputation they would never take more than 3 1/2 hours to finish a round (which we think is slow).

The truly slow players I have seen and played with fall basically in two groups. Beginners that can't hit the ball but insist on keeping score and fully playing out every hole, and tourists that are oblivious to anything going on around them and are just killing time.

Every decent player I know would rather play two 2 1/2 hour rounds than one 4 hour round any day.
My experience the last few months is my 2 groups of 20+ handicappers are waiting on every shot due to the 2 groups of single digit guys in front of us.

No matter what the skill level, slow is slow.
post #151 of 252

The slowest ever rounds I played this year were with 2 scratch players.  It was painful.

post #152 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 

I have never seen a low handicap "slow player". 

 

I see them every week..

 

...on TV ;-)

 

Seriously though, I recall some pro rounds taking 5 hours to finish.  Maybe most of us excuse the pros from slow play because they play for millions (I don't, at least not universally), but I have seen some slow single-digit/scratch players.  Not a lot, but a few.  Typically the guys I've seen were slow because they spend as much time talking as preparing for a shot, or because they think they're a pro on TV.

post #153 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMA1 View Post
 

As far as low handicappers taking their time - do you see that during a normal round of golf or do you think they play slower when they're in a tournament?

Not necessarily.  But, on average, my tournaments do tend to take a little longer than casual rounds ... so that could be part of it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 

Strictly from my experience and not implying it's typical, because from other comments it's obviously not:

 

I have never seen a low handicap "slow player". I know one or two that have the reputation of being slow because they take more time over a shot than those of us waiting would like, but they make up for that by keeping the ball in play, hitting greens, and making putts. Even with their "slow" reputation they would never take more than 3 1/2 hours to finish a round (which we think is slow).

 

The truly slow players I have seen and played with fall basically in two groups. Beginners that can't hit the ball but insist on keeping score and fully playing out every hole, and tourists that are oblivious to anything going on around them and are just killing time.

 

Every decent player I know would rather play two 2 1/2 hour rounds than one 4 hour round any day.

Wow, you guys play really fast down there in Alabama.  I can honestly say I've never played a 2 1/2 hour round on a regulation size 18 hole course.  And I never want to (unless I'm by myself in a cart and there is no waiting on any hole.  I played 9 one early morning in 1:15 by myself in a cart, and I felt like I was rushing).  I don't like playing slow, but slow, to me, is anything over about 4:30.  Anything between 4 and 4:30 is comfortable, anything between 3:30 and 4 is fast but not uncomfortably fast, and anything under 3:30 is lightning speed golf, and by the 5th hole I'd be panting "Hey guys, can we slow down?  I'm trying to have fun here."  :-P

post #154 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMA1 View Post
 

This may seem obvious, but better players play faster.

Instead of quoting all who have stated otherwise, I'll just admit it - when I'm wrong I'm wrong and I stand corrected. I guess this falls under the category of "assumption based on insufficient evidence". Damn! I was hoping all I would have to do is play really fast and my scores would magically drop.:no:

 

Seriously, there may be something to playing at a faster pace and scoring lower - at least for me. Maybe it has something to do with getting into a flow where I'm committed to taking the shot and quickly dealing with the consequences instead of over-thinking everything. Every so often, I'll have to decide whether to use a different club or I might think for a few seconds on laying up or not, but most decisions are pretty easy. I try to read the greens but I don't spend a ridiculous amount of time on it. 

 

As far as slow tour players...are they playing at that pace because there's more riding on a smaller margin of error? Also, it could be they are playing at a pace that is dictated by the rest of the field and all we see (on TV) is that one group seemingly taking their time. In any case, they always seem to walk quickly from the tee to their next shot.

post #155 of 252

I like a 3.5 hour round or less, a 4-4:15 hour round is OK, 4.5 hour round is fairly slow (15 minutes a hole) and if it's over 5 hours (17 minutes a hole) you should find another hobby, learn to play faster or play when you aren't holding anyone up.  That's why I'm a member at a Private Course.   On our course if you can't play in 4:15 (just under 14 minutes a hole), you're not allowed to play on the weekend before 10:30 am.   

 

I think most people don't realize that they are slow or even know what slow play is, and I think the majority of people, who don't play often, have never had anyone teach them etiquette on the course. Fix your ball marks, replace divots, pace of play, rules of the game, how to tend the flag, where to lay the flag, don't stand or step in someone line, etc.  All contribute to slow play.  I wish all new golfers would take an etiquette class before they play.

 

Tournament rounds, on the other hand, are definitely slower than a regular round as everyone has to play out every shot, take your time looking for lost balls, etc.  So I'm prepared for a slow round during a tournament.

 

Question: For those that think a round under 4 hours is fast, what do you do for 15 minutes on average per hole if you're shooting for a 4.5 hour round?  Or even just over 13 minutes per hole for a 4 hour round (13.33)?

 

On average I walk 100 yards in a minute, take seconds per swing, and at most a minute maybe 2 on the green.  So for a 400 yard hole walking, it takes me under 10 minutes a hole average to play a hole.  So that's 3 hours walking normally.  Now I don't spend time searching for balls, as I hit the majority of mine in the fairway (plus I take no practice swings) and I hit a lot of greens or just miss the green.  

 

And I would also say that on the weekends I know several guys that try to get in 18 holes before their kids/wives days get going and want a chance to play on the weekend.  That's what I did when I had kids at home.  And taking 4.5-5 hours to play, when you know you can do it in 4 hours is hard for most to take.

post #156 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgolfer View Post
 

I like a 3.5 hour round or less, a 4-4:15 hour round is OK, 4.5 hour round is fairly slow (15 minutes a hole) and if it's over 5 hours (17 minutes a hole) you should find another hobby, learn to play faster or play when you aren't holding anyone up.  That's why I'm a member at a Private Course.   On our course if you can't play in 4:15 (just under 14 minutes a hole), you're not allowed to play on the weekend before 10:30 am.  

 

I think most people don't realize that they are slow or even know what slow play is, and I think the majority of people, who don't play often, have never had anyone teach them etiquette on the course. Fix your ball marks, replace divots, pace of play, rules of the game, how to tend the flag, where to lay the flag, don't stand or step in someone line, etc.  All contribute to slow play.  I wish all new golfers would take an etiquette class before they play.

 

Tournament rounds, on the other hand, are definitely slower than a regular round as everyone has to play out every shot, take your time looking for lost balls, etc.  So I'm prepared for a slow round during a tournament.

 

Question: For those that think a round under 4 hours is fast, what do you do for 15 minutes on average per hole if you're shooting for a 4.5 hour round?  Or even just over 13 minutes per hole for a 4 hour round (13.33)?

 

On average I walk 100 yards in a minute, take seconds per swing, and at most a minute maybe 2 on the green.  So for a 400 yard hole walking, it takes me under 10 minutes a hole average to play a hole.  So that's 3 hours walking normally.  Now I don't spend time searching for balls, as I hit the majority of mine in the fairway (plus I take no practice swings) and I hit a lot of greens or just miss the green.

 

And I would also say that on the weekends I know several guys that try to get in 18 holes before their kids/wives days get going and want a chance to play on the weekend.  That's what I did when I had kids at home.  And taking 4.5-5 hours to play, when you know you can do it in 4 hours is hard for most to take.

Most of the time is spent waiting for your playing partners.  It kinda sounds like you may play by yourself?  And you play at a private course, which means its likely less busy and you know the times to play when its really less busy.

 

I play public courses, and not usually the first tee time of the day, so I'm at the mercy of whoever is in front of me (and likely who is in front of them, and in front of them, etc, etc)  A 400 yard hole for my group is typically spent:

 

1-2 minutes waiting for the fairway to clear, 2 minutes for each of us to tee off, 1 minute driving (most courses include carts) to our balls, 2 more minutes waiting for the green to clear, 2 minutes for us to each hit our approach, 1 more minute to drive to the green, 4-5 minutes total on the green.  That would be a pretty typical hole for me around here.  If we're lucky enough that it's a slow day, then take the 4 waiting minutes off, but then you also have to factor in that we're not usually driving it in the middle of the fairway and hitting the green for easy 2 putt pars.  So even if we're all alone on the course, my foursomes are still going to get around in 12-13 minutes a hole on average, I would guess.

 

The unbearable, slow days are the ones where you arrive at the tee and the group in front of you hasn't even started hitting yet because the green still isn't clear.  Then you arrive to a par 3 tee box and the group in front of the group in front of you is just getting ready to hit.  Ugh.  But those are fairly rare unless you play the muni's on mid Saturday mornings.

post #157 of 252

one hand typing today so forgive the inconsistent caps

 

my regular foursomes are ready golfers, I have a few playing partners who can walk 18 with me in less than three hours, we can tee off at 8am, walk 18 and be in the office before lunch. That is some of my most enjoyable golf.  I can ride with the same guys in an outing, take every bit of 5 hours and thats ok too, with some beverages and maybe a cigar.  I love golf and nine holes barely scratches my itch, but a 4 plus hour round routinely imposes on life.  For me, keeping a 4hr pace is almost always desired.  If i had five hours to be on the course, i would prefer to play faster and go back for an extra 9.

post #158 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Most of the time is spent waiting for your playing partners.  It kinda sounds like you may play by yourself?  And you play at a private course, which means its likely less busy and you know the times to play when its really less busy.

I play public courses, and not usually the first tee time of the day, so I'm at the mercy of whoever is in front of me (and likely who is in front of them, and in front of them, etc, etc)  A 400 yard hole for my group is typically spent:

1-2 minutes waiting for the fairway to clear, 2 minutes for each of us to tee off, 1 minute driving (most courses include carts) to our balls, 2 more minutes waiting for the green to clear, 2 minutes for us to each hit our approach, 1 more minute to drive to the green, 4-5 minutes total on the green.  That would be a pretty typical hole for me around here.  If we're lucky enough that it's a slow day, then take the 4 waiting minutes off, but then you also have to factor in that we're not usually driving it in the middle of the fairway and hitting the green for easy 2 putt pars.  So even if we're all alone on the course, my foursomes are still going to get around in 12-13 minutes a hole on average, I would guess.

The unbearable, slow days are the ones where you arrive at the tee and the group in front of you hasn't even started hitting yet because the green still isn't clear.  Then you arrive to a par 3 tee box and the group in front of the group in front of you is just getting ready to hit.  Ugh.  But those are fairly rare unless you play the muni's on mid Saturday mornings.
12-13 minutes a hole for a foursome is good, but the majority of times I played on the munis there aren't that many that play as fast as your foursome. I do play some by myself on the weekdays but usually play in the weekend skins game. So it's a foursome, and we are all single digit hc's and we typically get in right at 4 hours. And I play with my fiancée a lot and she plays fast too.
post #159 of 252

@newtogolf, has your opinion changed since you started this thread?

post #160 of 252
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

@newtogolf, has your opinion changed since you started this thread?

A qualified "yes it has".  I believe rounds under 4 hours for 4 ball stroke play are possible without racing through the course, where as when I started this thread I would have said that's too fast. 

 

I also still believe some people like to rush through their rounds for whatever personal reasons and that what they consider acceptable pace of play would not be enjoyable for me.

post #161 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

A qualified "yes it has".  I believe rounds under 4 hours for 4 ball stroke play are possible without racing through the course, where as when I started this thread I would have said that's too fast. 

 

I also still believe some people like to rush through their rounds for whatever personal reasons and that what they consider acceptable pace of play would not be enjoyable for me.

 

I think that the threshold for when "good pace" turns into "too fast" is somewhere between the 3:00-3:30 mark.  The most relaxed, well-paced round I played was on a nearly empty public course on Monday afternoon with two other golfers.  We finished around 3:30-3:45 if memory serves.  Nothing felt rushed.  We had a good time and I believe all of us played pretty solid golf (didn't get into a lot of trouble).

 

I also played a round recently where the other two guys were playing pretty fast and liked to talk about how quickly they could play 18 holes.  We ended up finishing around 3:15 or so, and I just remember feeling a bit rushed sometimes.  For example, I would try and get to my ball as quickly as possible because if I didn't, they would hit and be waiting on me, and I wouldn't have time to gauge the wind, get my distance via GPS, commit to a shot, whatever.  One time I took 2 clubs from the cart to hit my next shot, only to realize once I got to the ball that the club I actually needed was still in the bag.  Even though we were making great pace, I felt pressured to just hit the shot with the wrong club.  That's not really how I want to feel on a golf course, unless it's of my own doing (example: on shot #8 after having lost two balls and duffing a chip into a bunker, and don't feel compelled to go get my SW).

post #162 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post
 

I think that the threshold for when "good pace" turns into "too fast" is somewhere between the 3:00-3:30 mark.

 

I'd agree.

 

Mike and I played a round from the back tees at a challenging course in Buffalo. We took our time, farting around, with me hitting roughly 972 shots on the front nine, and when we got done with our "glacial" round of golf it had been three hours. :P

 

For a foursome, 3:30 is plenty of time, but I'll settle for 4:00. The problem is "fast" is seen as anything under 4:30 far too often these days.

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