Originally Posted by David in FL
A decent 2-ball can get around in under 2 1/2 pretty easily, without killing themselves. Let 'em through, and enjoy your game. You'll all be happier.
Commenting on length of time to complete a round is like commenting on whether an 82 is a "good score." The only intelligent answer one can give is "that depends." It depends on the course layout, it depends on the course conditions, it depends on the weather, it depends on who or what is on the course at the time (i.e. crowded courses play slower, scoring in a tournament is usually more difficult than a practice round), it depends on the golfer.
Yesterday my two buddies and I "wasted" a lot of time searching for balls. Not because we were searching 70 yards to the right of left of the fairway in the woods or deep junk, but most typically on shots that were within 10-30 feet of the edge of the fairway (i.e. not awful shots). And we made sure someone else was looking on every tee shot, to help locate balls. The rough was so thick, right off the fairway, that sometimes we'd have to be nearly on top of the ball before spotting it. One time I had to walk over and show my friend his ball that was literally four feet in front of him. A few times we had to spend significant time finding balls that were on drives that had been acknowledged as a "Nice drive!" because they took an odd hop out of the fairway into the rough or ran through the fairway on a dogleg. We also had that weird combination of haziness and bright sunshine that resulted in quite a few drives being immediately lost from sight up against the greyish white haze in the sky.
I suspect that some of this "I can finish a round in x minutes, x-10 if I speed up" boasting has a lot more in common with the "I hit 300 yard drives all the time" bragging that online golfers claim, than with the real world. I once sat down and did a list of all of the things that happen during the course of playing a hole and how long they take and the more extreme boasts of how fast someone could play are just that, non-credible boasting; unfortunately, I paused for a day or two in my calculations before finailzing them and they got lost in cyberspace. If I have a free half hour and the inclination, I'll redo the list and post it here.
To the handful of arrogant speed golfers who always spew some snide little comment on pace of play in these threads, I have to ask if you wouldn't be happier bowling or playing chess - you seem to have a real problem with being outdoors and it seems like your primary goal is to get the hell back back indoors (to the bar?) as fast as you possibly can. Does it make you feel extra-manly to brag about how fast a golfer you are and how slow everyone else must be if they cannot match your alleged times to complete a round? You pace-of-play-aholics are as annoying as a tailgater following seven feet behind on the highway. Golf pace of play is not an all-or-nothing, black-or-white, play-rushed-hurry-hurry-golf-or-you're-a-problem standard, Having a relaxed time enjoying a beautiful day outdoors is not incompatible with keeping a reasonable pace of play.