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What's the rush? Golfs obsession with slow play - Page 2

post #19 of 252

I'm not in a rush, I just can't stand the difference between how quickly I *can* play the game (well - not rushed), and how long it takes to *actually* play.

 

With no one in front of me, playing alone, and *not* rushing, I walk 18 at my local muni in 2 and 35 minutes (only just over 6000 yards).  I walk quickly, but I take a practice swing for my shots.  I don't 'stalk' my putts, but I do take more than a glance at the green.  When I play with someone else, we can finish in around 2 hours and 50 minutes.

 

Since I know that's how fast the course can be played, I get annoyed when I get stuck behind people, and it takes 3 and a half hours to get through. I can't stand watching someone go through a Na-like routine: multiple practice swings, backing off the ball, starting over.... that drives me nuts!

 

I won't bother to play during peak hours, and I get really irritable if a round goes over 4 hours.  In fact, it starts screwing up my game

 

When I play other courses, it's not the total time that bothers me, it's the wasting of time by people in my group and in front of me. I've played longer courses and ones that are less walker-friendly, and I don't mind when those get closer to 4 hours (or just over 4 hours).  But wasted time bothers me.

 

I'm not looking for 'speed golf', but it would be nice if more people knew how to play 'ready golf' (and if they were, in fact, 'ready' to hit the ball).

post #20 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

I agree 4.5 hours is a reasonable time, but to some even here that's too long.  I'd also agree families and wives are more demanding that 10 years ago so that could contribute to the pressure of finishing a round quickly.  I don't like being rushed, my kids are older and my wife is understanding so I like to enjoy my time on the course.  Golf is one of the few things I'd prefer not have done on a schedule.  I'd rather play 1 round a week at 4.5 hours than 2 rounds in closer to 3 hours each per week but I guess I'm in the minority. 

 

Maybe a new initiative for courses that are hurting for members is to introduce "Speed Golf", where you agree to maintain a fast pace and slow players are not welcome.  All you speed players could join there and the rest of us won't feel the stress of being tailgated the entire round if playing through isn't an option. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxhole88 View Post

4 - 4.5 hours is a reasonable time for a round.  Anything over 5 hours and its pushing it.  A lot of people complain about slow play because they have other things to do.  They need to get back home so wifey doesn't go ballistic on them for being gone so long.

 

Since I dont have a wife or kids to worry about, my issue with slow play is that for me personally I like to be or get into a little rhythm while I am playing.  I feel i play much better (especially off the tee)  when I get to play with a normal paced foursome and even better when its less than 4 and there isnt a lot of waiting on shots.  When you are waiting on tee shots and approach shots on each hole it just throws the whole rhythm of the round off.  Its really tough to stand or sit in a cart and wait for longer periods of time then you are used to.  i really dont know how the tour pros do it or the people on Big Break shows.  How you can you stay sharp with all the waiting and downtime?

 

For 3 players in 2 carts with nobody in front I'd be pretty steamed to take 4.5 hours, especially on a 100 degree day. I'd want to be out on the course little time as possible, and "stopping" for lunch at the turn, would be absolutely unacceptable. I don't know your friend and he does sound a little OCD perhaps, but I don't know you either and maybe he had a good reason for insisting the pace be kept regardless of whether or not anyone was waiting on you.

post #21 of 252
Thread Starter 

4.5 hours would be acceptable for a group of 4.  3.5 - 4 hours for a group of 3. 

 

If you enjoy golf, and do it as a recreation what's the motivation to get it over with as quickly as possible?  I want to get root canals over with in as little time as possible, not a round of golf with my friends.  That said I recognize the need to keep pace and not slow down the entire course as well. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

For 3 players in 2 carts with nobody in front I'd be pretty steamed to take 4.5 hours, especially on a 100 degree day. I'd want to be out on the course little time as possible, and "stopping" for lunch at the turn, would be absolutely unacceptable. I don't know your friend and he does sound a little OCD perhaps, but I don't know you either and maybe he had a good reason for insisting the pace be kept regardless of whether or not anyone was waiting on you.

post #22 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

I plan to, but overall, especially on this site, pace of play is a major topic.  I think right now there are about 10 active threads discussing it in one way or another. 
These threads are adressing slow play, not encouraging people to rush the round. Your experience on the course is not what people are talking about in all these threads. It's about rounds of 5+ hours, people being as far from ready golf as possible, taking a minute to hit each shot, reading every putt from all sides and 3-putting.

The guy you played with does not represent the people in here that discuss slow play. He's the other extreme end, which might be just as bad, or even worse. It's got nothing to do with the slow play problems though.
post #23 of 252
Thread Starter 

That might be your position but looking at the posts from others, like Sean above, in this thread and others, I'd say some people try to get through a round as fast as they can. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeph View Post


These threads are adressing slow play, not encouraging people to rush the round. Your experience on the course is not what people are talking about in all these threads. It's about rounds of 5+ hours, people being as far from ready golf as possible, taking a minute to hit each shot, reading every putt from all sides and 3-putting.
The guy you played with does not represent the people in here that discuss slow play. He's the other extreme end, which might be just as bad, or even worse. It's got nothing to do with the slow play problems though.
post #24 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

That might be your position but looking at the posts from others, like Sean above, in this thread and others, I'd say some people try to get through a round as fast as they can. 

There's a time, place and reason for this too. I play at a different pace when I am with my parents enjoying a Sun afternoon at the club than I do when I am trying to squeeze in 9 alone before work without being an hour late. I golf for different reasons, it's not always social. At times it's a way to relieve stress. I can't afford to wait until my day off to do that if I know it will make me feel better. We all tick in different ways and why we golf is no exception. For some it's happy hour, for others it's therapy, there are those that are making every shot count in an effort to hone their game and many other reasons people are out there. All I know is when I've gotten up an hour early on Sun to beat the throngs on my only day off or sneak out of work to grab a round before heading home I'm not happy to be stuck behind overly slow folks.

post #25 of 252

When you play a public course and have a 5.5 hour round on a saturday? Its all because there are people out there not playing ready golf, not knowing the rules of golf. That I think is a big issue but you should've just told your friend to stfu, we're playing how we want this is a private golf course so suck on it.

post #26 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

4.5 hours would be acceptable for a group of 4.  3.5 - 4 hours for a group of 3. 

 

If you enjoy golf, and do it as a recreation what's the motivation to get it over with as quickly as possible?  I want to get root canals over with in as little time as possible, not a round of golf with my friends.  That said I recognize the need to keep pace and not slow down the entire course as well. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

For 3 players in 2 carts with nobody in front I'd be pretty steamed to take 4.5 hours, especially on a 100 degree day. I'd want to be out on the course little time as possible, and "stopping" for lunch at the turn, would be absolutely unacceptable. I don't know your friend and he does sound a little OCD perhaps, but I don't know you either and maybe he had a good reason for insisting the pace be kept regardless of whether or not anyone was waiting on you.

 

4.5 hours may or may not be an acceptable time for 4 players in carts playing ready golf with an open course in front of them. On some courses that might be extremely slow. On other courses which are prone to slow play (typically way more "opportunities" to lose a ball outside a hazard due to trees and long rough) it may be a very typical decent time. Like a lot of things in life it's situational.

 

Experience tells me there needs to be at least one person in the group consistently keeping an eye on the group's pace of play or it can take a bit longer to play each hole until eventually the group is behind a pace that would have been considered acceptable based on the first few holes. It happens. In 100 degree temps I'd be surprised if it didn't.

post #27 of 252

It's the two-lane road analogy. You're only going to go as fast as the slowest car.

 

So I think golf's efforts at speeding up the game are targeted at that slow driver, and warranted.

 

I don't know of too many instances where I've seen a player play too fast, but hundreds (thousands) of instances of a player playing too slow. But again, if you're not holding up groups behind you, then is the pace of play really an issue?

 

I don't think anybody's trying to harsh someone's gig by making them be Usain Bolt out there, and if they are & nobody's behind you, they need to chill - I don't see the benefit of trying to adhere to some arbitraty 'time' it is supposed to take to play 18. 

post #28 of 252

I've always been self conscious when someone is playing behind me [I started taking lessons this year].  There's been a time or two where I just skipped the green because I felt that I spent enough time in the fairway lol.  If I was golfing with someone who was rushing the group I'd have no time telling them to pound sand.

post #29 of 252

Pace of play isn't (or at least shouldn't be) about how long it takes to finish a round. That is an effect of pace of play. Pace of play is about being ready to hit when it's your turn, knowing your relief options so you can proceed without delay, hitting a provisional ball if your first may be lost so as to prevent having to return to the tee, perhaps not taking the full five minutes to which the rules otherwise entitle you to search for a lost ball, yielding to faster groups if your skill level demands a little more time to play the course, etc.

post #30 of 252

I'm not a big fan of slow play but I find I golf better when the slow play is occurring in front of me.

 

First off, I would never go to the course if I needed a round to end in the next 4-5 hours so I could be somewhere else.

 

When the slow play is in front of me, I can take my time on every shot instead of worrying about making up time to make sure we are right behind the group in front of us.

 

A couple of the guys I play with arent the slowest, but definitely have the attitude that they *paid their cash and no one is going to rush them.* No matter how many times I explain that it isnt how far the group behind us is, it's where we stand in relation to the group in front of us - they just dont listen.

 

I play at a private course and the last thing you want to be known as is being the slow group.

 

There are times to go out and play nice relaxing rounds that can last as long as you want (as long as you let others play through) - its called after 9:30am 7 days a week. We have double tee times on the weekend so there are no tee times between 9:30 and 11:30.

post #31 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by beisenhauer View Post

Pace of play isn't (or at least shouldn't be) about how long it takes to finish a round. That is an effect of pace of play. Pace of play is about being ready to hit when it's your turn, knowing your relief options so you can proceed without delay, hitting a provisional ball if your first may be lost so as to prevent having to return to the tee, perhaps not taking the full five minutes to which the rules otherwise entitle you to search for a lost ball, yielding to faster groups if your skill level demands a little more time to play the course, etc.

I like this post.

post #32 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

I've been a member and golfer here for almost two years and see the constant complaints from members about slow play.  On a current thread 41% of the members that voted see slow play as the biggest issue in golf, followed by unrepaired divots and spike marks (28%). 

 

I got involved with golf for business, I "thought" it would be a great way to meet people, entertain customers that shared a common interest and spend some down time away from the grind of normal life.  It's defined by many as a "recreational sport" but this obsession with slow play seems to contradict that. 

 

For example, during my round yesterday, our playing partner was pushing us the entire time.  His theory was a group of 3 should finish in 3.5 hours, which is about 12 minutes per hole.  The first hole is a long tough hole and took us about 15 minutes, and he was stressed.  It's a private course and in the 100* heat we had no one in front of us and no one behind us but he felt the pressure to move faster.  He continued to push the pace and at the turn when we suggested we get something to drink and eat he about had a heart attack.  "That will throw off our time, we can grab something and get back in the carts".  Meanwhile we're looking all around and except for 3 ladies, 3 holes ahead of us, we couldn't see a person on the course. 

 

When the round was over I was exhausted from the heat but also the stress to rush and meet his self imposed time of 3.5 hours.   I don't get it, why are we taking something we enjoy and making it feel like a job?  Seems we're slowly losing what made golf attractive to many people by trying to shoehorn it into our very over scheduled lives. 

 

he's not in a hurry......You are ruining his fun because you are slow and forcing him to wait around for you.   Do you enjoy waiting in line 2hrs at the DMV to renew your plates?   Waiting for slow golfers is the same feeling..............The skinny on slow play is to keep pace with the group ahead.   When the course is empty, different rules apply.  For example, if you have the first tee time of the day you have  no business being on the course if you can't play under 4hrs.  

 

  Or if it's just a slow time of day and there are several empty holes ahead.  If I pair up with guys with a lot of empty course ahead and they are playing too slow.....I ditch them.  problem solved.....a win win both....they are happy not to feel rushed, and I am happy not to wait on them.  I can tolerate a 4.5hr round if there is nowhere to go.  If the course is full and there are no gaps, I deal with it.  If I see 1 group ahead not keeping up and causing delay, you can bet i'll be calling the pro shot to get a marshal on them. 

post #33 of 252
I will tell you this.i joined the e tour by golfweek this past january. After two tournaments i said no way. I played with two people who were the slowest golfers ive ever seen. Teed off at 9:30 am finished at 3:15 pm .i told the tourney director the first time he said it wouldnt happen again. Next tournament was a 6 hour round. That is way too slow.
post #34 of 252

I think your mate is missing the whole point about slow play. Really only applies when there is someone directly behind you. If you're enjoying a day off work on a weekday, play as slow as you like, as long as you don't hold back a group behind you. If you're playing in carts, I'd think you'd probably get around in about 3.5 hours, since you're not walking. I'm playing in a shotgun start at my club this afternoon with 2 groups on most tees. It will probably take 4.5 hours for our fourball to get around. 

post #35 of 252

My father is obsessed with playing as fast as possible as well. He has gotten to the point now when he grades his rounds less by score and more by how fast he and his partners played. They walked 18 last Sunday in 2 hours and 50 minutes, that's a little quick in my book.

 

I certainly don't like slow rounds but 3.5 to 4 hours riding or 4 to 4.5 walking is a decent pace. You should be able to keep that pace without rushing.

post #36 of 252

I think that slow play is a bit of an issue because the game just isn't fun when you have to sit and wait on each tee box while the group ahead admires each others shots. If the course is open, I agree with taking your time and playing comfortably, although I'll admit I get a bit like your friend if somebody is rolling up on my group... then I want people to hurry up because I don't like the feeling of holding anybody up.

 

All that being said, I play really quick... I played last week on an open course and was done in an hour and fifty-five minutes... the week before I played the front nine up until number eight where I hit a group on the tee and decided to jump to the ninth but then saw that there was a threesome up there... since I didn't want to get stuck waiting in the heat I went back to number one as nobody had teed off since I did and I replayed the front nine and then continued on... I caught up with the group I jumped earlier again on the 14th tee box, apparently the group ahead of them had packed it in by then and they let me through, but even playing 25 holes I was done in about 2.5 hours.

 

I do think that as golfers we need to learn to be more patient and try to tolerate slow play a little better. The thing is that a lot of slow play is due to beginners and right now we need all the people we can to golf so we don't want to turn them away from the game... all we can to is try to help them speed it up a bit when the opportunity presents itself. The other problem I see, at least around me during the season, is that some course just book too many tee times. My home course during season will do over 500 golfer a day on two 18 hole courses. They send foursomes out every 7 and 8 minutes and so the first time somebody looses a ball they goes searching there is a back up; one of the other courses around me sends out players every 10 minutes and they have much less of a problem with slow play.

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