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Solving Slow Play: A New Pace of Play Program You can Support in 2013 - Page 5

post #73 of 162

Pine Meadow Golf Club in Chicago... I used to think they were a bunch of Nazi's the way they ran their course... They would have marshals watching you like a hawk - making sure you were keeping pace.  And always driving up and warning the group if you were behind.  Basically, they moved people around the course like it was their job.  The good news... You never played a five hour round of golf there.  Ever... Even on the weekend, it was always 4 hours to 4.5 hours of play on a course that was packed with people.

 

Looking back... I now miss the way Pine Meadow handled their golfers.  Now here in SoCal - a 5 hour or 6 hour round is normal pace of play.  It is ridiculous.  Especially when you get to the course and tee off around 12 or 12:30 - and you are fighting to get the round in before dark.  Pace of play is a major issue here in Socal.

 

Just today, we had a tee time at 12:16.  The starter is telling me that they are behind because of a frost delay from the morning.  But I know he was bull e1_poo.gif me because there was a big back-up on the first tee because the men's league was waiting for guys to show up - they were late for their tee time.  So the starter tried covering for the 'regulars'.  So it is 12:35 and a man in his mid 40's with a 5yr old - and a grandma and grandpa tee off in front of us.  I was ready to blow a gasket on the first tee...We finally tee'd off around 1 and finished by 5:15.  The foursome in front of us were slow - but the guys in front of them (men's league) was even slower.  Without the slow play in front of us... We could've easily been done by 3:45 or 4.

post #74 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt5339 View Post


You must have been playing Grande Dunes.  I played out there with Major League pitcher Scott Erickson who was playing from the back tees, and they were waaaay back there.  But he didn't hit a drive less than 300 yards all day.

Yes, Grande Dunes Resort Course. The back tees are absurd. The par 3 #8 hole plays about 245 over water from the back tees, but also plays into a 2 club wind coming off the Intercoastal Waterway. It's basically a 270 yard par 3. That course is Long from the blue. Very long from the black. And unreal from the tips.
post #75 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post

Pine Meadow Golf Club in Chicago... I used to think they were a bunch of Nazi's the way they ran their course... They would have marshals watching you like a hawk - making sure you were keeping pace.  And always driving up and warning the group if you were behind.  Basically, they moved people around the course like it was their job.  The good news... You never played a five hour round of golf there.  Ever... Even on the weekend, it was always 4 hours to 4.5 hours of play on a course that was packed with people.



I would have no problem with that. The rangers/marshals around here are afraid to confront anyone about pace of play.
post #76 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post

I would have no problem with that. The rangers/marshals around here are afraid to confront anyone about pace of play.

It's called doing their job! What is it that they are 'afraid' of?
post #77 of 162

The thing with slow play really is that it doesn't matter how slow a golfer plays it doesn't bother me in the slightest if I see a group of elderly or slow golfers on the course, it makes me happy.  What I really cannot stand for the life of me is the ones that have no etiquette what so ever and never let you through.  That is the thing that I hate slow players not giving a toss and letting you play through rather than slow golfers in general.  

 

I do encourage what 240 is doing but I think it will be hard to do.  Golf used to be a real gentlemans game but now I think it has lost a lot of that.  Some of the people I have seen at my club disgust me. dont repair divots, pitch marks, skipping holes in front of groups, being ignorant etc.  I think the only true way to bring back this good gentlemanly nature of the game would be for courses to become a lot stricter with the rules.

 

It will be a very hard thing to do, there are people that don't like change or can't change.  All the golf clubs can really do I think is sign post around the course as much as they can, rules such as slow play and hope they follow it. 

post #78 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post

Pine Meadow Golf Club in Chicago... I used to think they were a bunch of Nazi's the way they ran their course... They would have marshals watching you like a hawk - making sure you were keeping pace.  And always driving up and warning the group if you were behind.  Basically, they moved people around the course like it was their job.  

News flash..... It IS their job!
post #79 of 162

I played World Tour a few times this summer and they have GPS built into their carts.  If you get behind on pace of play, the GPS warns you about it and sends a signal back to the marshalls, who will come and hurry you along.  We got behind a slow group, and the GPS in our carts were warning us a few times and the marshall cruised up to the group in front of us that was holding things up and hurried them along.

 

We almost had an "oops" today on my home course.  We tee'd off and had noone around us for at least 3 holes in front and noone behind us all day closer than a full hole.  We came up to a dogleg right and I had honors and went to tee off and all of a sudden 2 guys came out of the woods on the left, right into the fairway.  My guess is that they jumped around on the course, because they were nowhere around us up until that point.  They slowed things down for just long enough that the group behind us caught up to a single shot behind us.  Then they disappeared again and were nowhere in front of us.  They almost got hit because my tee shot landed right where they were walking to.  People jumping around and starting out of order definitely slows down pace of play.

post #80 of 162
Thread Starter 

A quick update on the 240 GOLF survey.  The Pace-of-Play survey will be open through tomorrow evening, 1/14/13.  Here's the link -

http://bit.ly/UiS3CH 

After tomorrow evening you can still take the survey but your entries will not be included in the official results which will be completed and distributed on Wednesday. The results to date are very interesting and look forward to sharing them with all those that have requested a copy.

 

A few people have commented golfers will not read the 240 GOLF etiquette card when it is given to them at the golf course.  We agree but we never intended the for the etiquette rules card to be an instant panacea to slow play.  The card is only one piece of a comprehensive education program.

 

The idea is 240 GOLF gives us all, fast and slow golfers alike, a common language to discuss pace of play.  We all know telling someone they are slow does not work and causes unwanted tension. With the introduction of 240 GOLF we can now discuss with other golfers the idea of being ready to play when it's your turn and the 30 second time frame to complete a shot.

 

Being ready to play when it's your turn is good golf etiquette and is a surefire way to play on pace.  Consistently taking longer than 30 seconds because of not being ready is poor etiquette and a surefire way to slow down the entire course. This is the essence of 240 GOLF. The goal is to educate golfers about this basic etiquette fundamental.

post #81 of 162

Played twice over the weekend and got both rounds in under 4 hours. Sunday I was a little concerned because we were a threesome behind a foursome of guys who aren't very good, but they played at a nice pace, obviously picking up and moving on when they were shooting it up. Plus they were in carts and we were walking. Saturday was 3:50 and Sunday was 3:40. How I wish that was the norm.

post #82 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyrtleBeachGolf View Post

Lol, yes, we have all thought of that. Unfortunately the courses aren't going to schedule 13 min tee-times instead of 6 minute tee-times and lose out on 50% of the revenue they could otherwise generate. I only wish it was that easy.

How about the revenue lost when golfers walk off and don't return because of it takes an hour to get through the first 3 holes? Pace of play has to be a course responsibility, too. Way too many courses are trying to compensate for poor economic times by squeezing players closer together, creating dissatisfied customers in the process and actually reducing their revenue overall.
post #83 of 162

I don't really mind a little bit of slower play, I understand that everyone has a different skill level on the course and sometimes even the good ones have bad days or can get into trouble!

 

First, what I do have a problem with is the courses packing in as many tee-times as possible; EVERYTIME we go out we've made a tee-time and EVERYTIME there is a line-up of 2, 3, 4, sometimes 6 groups on the first tee... what is the point of a tee-time if this is the mindset?

 

Second, if you want to take your new girlfriend out golfing and help her please don't tee-off and hit 4 or 5 shots and show her how to swing while there is another group behind you! They have driving ranges for this!!! we had this happen once and they never let us go past them; we had to call a marshal and they sped it up.

 

I really don't mind some slow play, it should be expected, we're not on tour and we're definitely playing amongst high handicappers and weekend warriors, we all make mistakes and hit bad shots too but if every hole is a wait I would hope the slow people would be courteous enough to let the faster players through, we do the same.

 

Call me crazy but I think it all comes down to simply having respect and courtesy.

post #84 of 162

Down here in northern spain, if I had a round of 4 hours for a competition I would be breaking open a case of beer...The NEAREST we get to 4 hours is 5 and half... and that is if everything has gone well.... most comp´rounds here are in the region of 5 to 6 1/2 hours.... nothing will change it... but please I believe this campaign is a great piece of news... but could you run it in castellano as well??Good luck and may it be a great success where you you have sensible golfers 

post #85 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor View Post

I don't really mind a little bit of slower play, I understand that everyone has a different skill level on the course and sometimes even the good ones have bad days or can get into trouble!

 

First, what I do have a problem with is the courses packing in as many tee-times as possible; EVERYTIME we go out we've made a tee-time and EVERYTIME there is a line-up of 2, 3, 4, sometimes 6 groups on the first tee... what is the point of a tee-time if this is the mindset?

 

 

If this is the case, then the course itself has serious issues with their tee policy.  As a starter for 5 years, I'd get in a bit of a panic if we got backed up even one tee time.  The only time it was allowable or understandable was when we had a frost delay.  We just didn't allow it to happen on a normal say.  Groups went off on schedule, or they didn't go off until the next open time on the tee sheet, which might be hours away.  If a group wasn't ready to play when they were up, they got skipped, pure and simple.  A group which was already causing a problem during the play of the first hole was tagged immediately, and the ranger would be watching them by the time they got to the second hole.  Seriously.... up to 6 groups backed up on the first tee?  Unacceptable.... totally unacceptable.  z7_no.gif 

post #86 of 162

I frequently play by myself.  I try to play at off times. Used to play at all private club and more recently started playing at semi-private.  I am patient knowing that my 1:30 round is very fast.  Most people (especially because they know me) rarely have a problem letting me slide through.  Worst case, I'll skip up a hole if there is room.  But the a-holes that don't let anyone play through or think that singles have no rights when there are 3 holes open in front of them might deserve being hit into.  In any event, I find there are a few types of problem slow-players:  unskilled and uneducated, low-skill and trying, and usually skilled but arrogant.  Descriptions and solutions follow:

 

Unskilled/uneducated:  Can't blame them.  They just don't know.  I remember being a 30+ hcp before being a 4.  I've seen kids trying to be respectful rushing their putts or picking up 20 footers.  When I play through, I tell them they have a right to enjoy their round and further tell them about proper ways to let people play through.  They should have fun and not worry about me staring them down from 85yds out just to have me wait on the next tee bc they're 160yds down the fairway rushing again.  Solution:  first, have either days or times where you let better golfers go off first. The weekly foursome of single digit handicappers have priority from 7am to 9am so the whole field isn't backed up.  Maybe have a prebooking rule that low handicap or singles can go book 7 days in advance versus 4 for others.  The proshop should screen unknown golfers.  If they are 20+ hcp, just rattle off some etiquette rules before they go out.  "We focus on pace of play for everyone's enjoyment.  If you have room in front of you and a group or a single is waiting on you, please let them play through."  And don't blame women for slow play.  Many are great golfers.  If they suck, then they might just fall into the general "unskilled/uneducated" category.  And then have marshals enforce the pace of play policy...

 

Low-skill/trying:  This might be your group of once a month golfers, a mixed-group of men and women or kids, older guys trying to break 100, a business outing with a few sandbaggers and a noobie, or whatever.  It's great seeing these guys out enjoying the game.  Many of them take it kind of seriously, low-stakes wagering, or whatever.  The problem is they drive about 200 but, like someone else mentioned, think they drive 300 so they wait for the fairway to clear.  But they're trying.  Of course, the other problem is they drive it just long enough to go deep in the woods.  At least the ladies with the 120y drives are just dinking it down the middle of the fairway.  These are typically the people who might not be playing ready golf or often spend 5 minutes a hole looking for balls.  I remember gauging my game's improvement not by my score but by the number of balls I lost.  Probably the single best piece of advice for them to speed play is to limit time looking for balls, play provisionals, and let other groups play through if you're going to spend the 5 minutes looking.  And since within your foursome you're probably going to look for balls for 30 minutes per round, that's a large part of the delays.  Solution:  pro shop/marshals watch for lost ball/play through etiquette.  Maybe have cards on the carts with a few etiquette tips like for lost balls.

 

Skilled but arrogant:  Several groups of old stogy men at my private club thought they owned the course.  They probably used to be great golfers.  Now they are older and slower.  One guy (on the board with me) said "a round of golf should take as long as it takes to get through a fifth of whiskey".  He didn't mind 5 hour rounds.  He was still single digit hcp, but wasn't in a hurry for anyone.  One day I was a single coming up behind him around dusk.  I was stuck behind him on 17 (par 3).  He didn't let me through there or on 18.  He was with another guy and their two wives.  Took about 30 minutes for those last two holes.  Of course, I couldn't hit my approach on a reachable par 5 for 10 minutes while they hit 3 (or more) on and putted out.  It was too dark to see my approach by then so I just hit and hoped.  All they had to do was let me play in with them or let me tee off on 18.  I'd have been out of their way in 3 minutes.  None of them could have reached me on my drive so they could hit away as soon as I got to my ball.  Would have cost them maybe 3 minutes of waiting and not affected them at all plus I'd have finished my round appropriately.  Often these cocky young guys or stogy old guys don't want to respect smaller, better, or faster groups.  They KNOW the rules.  They just don't care.  I think these are the worst of the slow-play offenders.  And, like the guy in my story, what are you going to do?  He's on the board (as was I).  The pro isn't going to cross him.  I guess just beat him at the member-guest or the next skins game.  In general, though, hopefully you have a pro that will talk with members or other offenders who think they own the course and have no reason to not let people play through (or play in with them).

 

Having said all that, if the course if fairly full and there isn't room to play through anyway, faster groups have to learn to just deal with it.  Full courses only move as fast as the slowest group.  Outside of the marshals doing their jobs, the other option includes smaller groups joining up.  When I was a single, if I ran into heavy traffic, I'd just play two or three balls or work on my putting (if nobody was waiting) or I'd join up with other guys and then be patient if they were hackers.  In the end, it's all about respect.  More golfers need to respect other people on the course whether thats being patient with noobies or letting smaller/faster/better groups play through.

post #87 of 162

Yea, it is nerve racking! We often ask if we can start off the back nine instead and they sometimes allow it. I hope people complain enough and they change the rules. I understand they need to make money but this negative experience will hurt their business eventually.

post #88 of 162

A round of over 4 hours is a slow round on our course, even on Saturdays. We don't use marshals and the time between tee-offs is 6 minutes.

We use domed yardage markers that can actually be seen from the rough, so players go directly to their balls getting distances and making club selections on the way.

This leads to fewer lost balls and players are ready to play on reaching their ball.

 

post #89 of 162

I play ready golf. Now given that my tempo is too quick (working on that presently), I am always aware of pace of play. Folks pay their hard earned money to enjoy our beautiful game on our beautiful courses. I do not want to ruin someone's good time because I am being a hack-a-sarus.

 

At the same time, I wish folks would let us singles through. We can be out of your way in minutes and moving on to the next hole.
 

post #90 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstrike34 View Post

I play ready golf. Now given that my tempo is too quick (working on that presently), I am always aware of pace of play. Folks pay their hard earned money to enjoy our beautiful game on our beautiful courses. I do not want to ruin someone's good time because I am being a hack-a-sarus.

At the same time, I wish folks would let us singles through. We can be out of your way in minutes and moving on to the next hole.

Unless there is a foursome in front of us. And a foursome in front of them. And in front of them. Then letting you play through as a single is silly.

 
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