Originally Posted by The Recreational Golfer
Two guys in a cart drive up to a ball. One of them crawls out of the cart, goes to his bag and inventories his clubs, takes one out, takes the clubhead cover off, looks for a place to put it (how about the same place you put it the last ten times), goes to his ball and hits it (we won't go over the agonizing process that entails), saunters back to the bag, looks for the clubhead cover because he forgot where he put it, finds the cover, puts it on the club, pokes around looking for the slot in the bag where he can put the club back in, puts the club back in, looks around, ambles back the cart, crawls in, and moves on. His partner is the same.
The problem with slow play is slow people. They think slowly, they act slowly, they do everything slowly. They're not slow people in golf. They're slow people in Life. There is no picking up their pace because they don't know how to, not from a sense of not knowing the tricks, but because it is part of their constitutional makeup to be slow. Even if they adopted every faster play tip imaginable, they would play faster slowly and nothing would change. These are not bad people, or inconsiderate or thoughtless (most of them). It's just who they are. They cannot be rushed.
The two guys I play with most often are like this. I've learned to live with it and make up time for the group on my own where I can. As for the group that thinks they're the only ones on the course, or they paid their fees and that gives them the right to do whatever they please, that's what marshals are for. Fast play tips make sense to golfers like me and many observers in this forum (though I prefer to think of it as playing golf more efficiently), and we use them. But for the rest, good luck.
I've been saying this for several years on this forum every time this subject comes up, and some of the members here still don't get this simple fact. I worked as a starter at a very busy public course for 5 years. Part of my job was to record times when groups made the turn and finished. In all of that time I never saw a relationship between pace of play and the group demographic. New or experienced, young or old, male of female, high or low handicap - all of those groups contain both fast and slow players. I'd say that the most likely to be a little bit slow are new players, simply because they have never been exposed to the techniques for efficient play, but that difference was slight. Some of the worst individually were very experienced players - why I don't know - but they were simply slow.
One thing I do know, you can't simply tell someone to play faster and expect to accomplish anything. All you will do is get them either flustered or angry. Teach them how to play faster without feeling rushed and then you have accomplished something.
However, some people, like some animals, are untrainable - usually because they refuse to believe that they have a problem. There were one or two guys in my Men's Club who I hated to get paired with in a tournament, because I knew that by the time we made the turn I'd have to be pushing them to catch up or the group would face a penalty for slow play. Trying to push an inherently slow player is like trying to push an elephant - it doesn't work.
Originally Posted by phan52
Note left in every members locker at the start of the golf season:
The standard pace of play for our course is 4 hours or less for a foursome.
The following recommendations are provided to help everybody meet the standard pace of play:
- Be ready to commence your round when your group is on the first tee.
- Do not commence your round until the group in front reaches the first green.
- Be aware of the time when you leave the first tee.
- Be aware of where are at all times relative to the group in front of you.
- You should be addressing your ball on the tenth tee no more than 2 hours from the time you left the first tee.
- Be prepared to play at all times. Always carry an extra ball in case you may need a provisional shot.
- Repair ball marks on the green and prepare to putt while others are playing their shots.
- Do not linger on the green. Mark your scorecard on the next tee.
- Invite faster groups to play through.
- Move directly to your ball. Avoid moving in groups.
- Watch other players’ shots in anticipation for the need to search for lost balls.
- Anticipate your next shot and be ready with the club you will hit.
- Try to play ready golf.
- Rake your own bunkers and replace your own divots.
- Play from the appropriate tees. Guests with a handicap of 10 or higher may not play from the back tees.
- Suggest the proper pace to others when appropriate.
- If you have reached your maximum allowable score, pick up your ball.
Pass out something like that at a public course and all you get is more litter, or fuller trash cans. I can't tell you how many times I was asked questions while working in the starter booth, the answers to which were clearly printed on the scorecard. Most don't even bother to read that, much less any other paperwork handed out. I worked rules for CGA tournaments and some of those players didn't even bother to look at the conditions of the competition sheet handed out at the start of the tournament. I know of at least one player who would have finished second but for being DQ'ed for an avoidable mistake if he had just read the sheet.
One other comment on this: The average public course can't afford the luxury of such long intervals between groups. It's a wonderful ideal, and when I play an upscale course which limits interval to a 10 minute minimum, the flow is smoother and play is just faster. However, it is inevitable that the more you reduce that interval, the more likely it is that a problem will develop. 8 minute intervals between groups doesn't allow for anything except perfect golf. Even minor issues such as a 2 minute search for a ball in the rough will start a cascade effect. I don't know of any possible policy which can help when a course tries to cram more players on the course than it's designed to carry.
Originally Posted by dak4n6
Just giving a little perspective here - I can play a 3 hr round with an effecient 4some walking, and I prefer quick play, but my girl is one of those who just moves kind of slow on the course. She steps up to the tee, looks around for a place to tee her ball, adjusts her hair, takes a stance, takes 2 or 3 practiced swings, resets, waggles, then swings. She has only been playing 1.5 yrs, and I have been schooling her, and she knows she is slow and trying to improve (she sometimes even yells at our daughter who is even slower), but let's face it: IT IS HARD TO MASTER THIS GAME AND ALSO TRY TO PLAY FAST. A lot of duffers just need to get their mind in order just to keep their head above water. Sometimes when I get on her too hard her game just falls apart (which of course leads to even slower play looking for her ball). Someone above posted about 20 hints on how to play fast - all totally legit, but look at it from the perspective of a newb - you have about 48 swing thoughts, and then you also have 20 things to remember about how to play fast...
So, should we just not allow newbs to play? They do this kind of thing in (I believe) Japan and Sweden, where you have to prove your proficiency to play courses - is this the solution?
A proficiency test might help, but on a public municipal course which is partly supported by tax dollars, you just can't do it. Newbies pay taxes just like anyone else, and have the right to access. All you can do is try to make certain that they are informed as to what the course pace of play policy is before they leave the first tee, and given tips to help them maintain it.
Picking up after "X" strokes is certainly one way. Another way is to encourage novice players to move up to the forward tees, or even up to the 200 yard marker for the hole and use that as their tee. A friend of mine started bringing his son out with him when the boy was 6 years old. He started by playing from the 100 yard markers, moving back gradually as he figured the game out. It was a great solution for everyone - the boy had fun playing a course which suited him, we had fun encouraging him, and he got that neat feeling that a kid gets when he feels accepted by his Dad's crowd. He also learned how to play the game correctly, right from the start.
My home complex is fortunate in having two nice short courses, a 9 hole par 3 and a 9 hole executive course, along with the 18 hole championship course, so we can encourage new players to start slow with one of the smaller layouts. We even hold a junior golf camp for two weeks each summer on the par 3 course. The downside is that it makes those courses less attractive to better players because they know that there is a fair chance that they will be stuck behind some rather bad players.
Originally Posted by saevel25
Bit none of this changes the fact that 5 hours is a very good tempo, you must stop about an hour for linch (or a shower and change of clothes in the summer) of course you are going to rest in the bath afterwards, so golf is basically a 12 hour experience from leaving in the AM and returning in the PM.
Seriously, not once have i ever seen anyone stop for an hour for lunch, that is absurd, and a way to throw off the whole pace of the golf course. The most time i have spent inbetween the 9th and 10th hole is probably 10 minutes. Go grab a few snacks, use the restroom, that's about it.
This used to be commonplace even in the US when most golf was confined to country clubs (not the bath, but stopping for lunch at the turn). How it is at private clubs now, I really don't know.
Originally Posted by iacas
Originally Posted by dak4n6
IT IS HARD TO MASTER THIS GAME AND ALSO TRY TO PLAY FAST. A lot of duffers just need to get their mind in order just to keep their head above water.
I think players would end up playing better if they had one swing thought, stepped up, and whacked the ball.
The thought that "if I take more time I'll play better" is not only wrong, it's detrimental to the sport itself and to its participants.
This is the word. Do your thinking on the practice tee. On the course step up and hit the ball. If you spend more than 5 seconds over the ball after address you're dawdling. Pre-shot routine shouldn't take more than 15 seconds. Do your planning while waiting for others to hit, then step up and whack it. Note that most pros my seem to take a long time, but most of that is yakking with the caddie. Once they start their routine, there is little time wasted. Since most of us don't have caddies, we should be ever so much faster than the pros.
Edited by Fourputt - 1/3/13 at 10:07am