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The Pace of Play Factor

Poll Results: How many more rounds per month would you play?

 
  • 24% (6)
    1
  • 12% (3)
    2
  • 8% (2)
    3
  • 0% (0)
    4
  • 4% (1)
    5
  • 4% (1)
    6
  • 0% (0)
    7
  • 16% (4)
    8
  • 0% (0)
    9
  • 32% (8)
    10 or more
25 Total Votes  
post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Pace of play seems to be one of the top reasons golfers cite for the decline in participation and for ruining their enjoyment of the game.  While it's therapeutic to whine and complain about the slow players we've encountered it's time to quantify the real impact of pace of play. 

 

For this poll, let's assume a maximum round time of;

  • 4 hours for a 4 ball
  • 3 hours for a 2 ball
  • 2.5 hours as a single
post #2 of 30
Thread Starter 

8 and 10+ more rounds a month is a significant increase.  Must be guys that usually play alone or on really slow courses. 

post #3 of 30

Oops. I was the 10+ and misread the question. I didn't catch the "more" part. I already play 10+ so I wouldn't see much of an increase. 

post #4 of 30

Actually, I like to carry or push. So, this faster rate of play 2.5 hours for a single or double on 18 holes would be really fast as my bag weighs about 40 pounds.

 

I just carried on a 9 hole course this Sunday in about half that time. When I got off the course, I looked like I had just run away from a large bear through the forest. This was not helped by the fact that I was drenched in sweat, and needed to chip out of a bunch of pine trees and a gentle breeze blew all the dirt, dust, pine bark, and pine needles back onto me on the last hole. As I walked towards the restaurant, I got lots of funny stares.

 

When I got to the bathroom, I could see in the mirror why all these people looking at me looked like they were trying to contain their laughter.

 

So, the faster rate of play for singles would not really help me unless I drove a cart. Which would negate the reason why I am playing, exercise. 3.5 hours is the fastest I would want to play a complete round for any number of people.

post #5 of 30
I play as much golf as I can already while balancing other competing priorities. Pace of play doesn't impact the amount of golf I play. It can impact when or where I play......
post #6 of 30

Although some rounds can be too slow, it's the decrease in discretionary time that is my biggest problem.  Increasing demands from work, family, and other commitments simply shrink the amount of discretionary time I have to play.  I frequently find myself playing 9.

 

I'm all for playing golf at a pace where people are not waiting on every shot.  But at the same time, I don't want to feel like I'm sprinting through a round either.  The golf course is one place where I can escape the rat-race of everything else going on in my life so racing through a round of golf isn't appealing either.

post #7 of 30

I avoid weekend golf around here because I don't want to waste the ENTIRE day playing golf. 

 

Most of the courses around the Chicago area are jammed full with groups going off every 7 minutes.  The round typically takes 6+ hours.  So this means that a 18 hole round of golf is an 8-9 hour experience when you factor in the 19th hole, warm before the round, and transit to and from the golf course.  If I could play a 4 hour round that didn't require me to tee off at 5:45AM, and be done and home by 1 or 2PM, I would likely play more golf on the weekends.  As it is, I currently play golf in the morning before work, or after work. 

 

So I voted I would probably play 2 additional rounds a month, meaning I would spend roughly an additional 100~150 a month at the local area golf courses. 

post #8 of 30

It wouldn't affect me as far as number of rounds, but I wouldn't play a course again which took an excessive amount of time to play.  The course closest to my home saw very little play by me for that reason.  Even though it was another district course, so I could play for the same fees, the typical 5 hour rounds, just turned me off.

post #9 of 30
Would not affect me since a 4 hour round can feel slow at my club, average round is 3:30 - 3:45 (on weekends) - anything less and I would feel like I am being screwed on my escape from reality.
post #10 of 30

10+.  Id probably play more during the week before work and more on the weekends if I could play a round in a couple hours and more on the weekends if I could slip away for a couple hours, instead of blowing most of the afternoon on the course waiting for slow players to get out of my way.

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

Pace of play seems to be one of the top reasons golfers cite for the decline in participation and for ruining their enjoyment of the game.  While it's therapeutic to whine and complain about the slow players we've encountered it's time to quantify the real impact of pace of play. 

 

For this poll, let's assume a maximum round time of;

  • 4 hours for a 4 ball
  • 3 hours for a 2 ball
  • 2.5 hours as a single

 

Here's the thing, if i am a single, i still wouldn't be bothered by a 4 hour round. I've done that before, being stuck behind a few foursomes. Doesn't bother me. So i can't answer this question, pace of play doesn't deter me from playing golf.

post #12 of 30

I accidentally put 6 and after re-reading, I meant to put 2 additional rounds. 

post #13 of 30
Okay- Lets try and figure this out from the perspective of the real world. IF, and I do mean IF, a faster game would get more people interested in the game, then it would stand to reason that the speed of play would eventually drop due to volume. There are only so many spots available on a course at any one time. Say, 2.5 groups per hole (3 groups on 5's, 1 on 3's to average things out for simplicity). So that's 180 people on the course at any one time. Taking into account the mixed abilities, walkers, playing from wrong tees, etc... There is NO CHANCE of getting around in a maximum of 4 hours at an average course on an average weekend when most people CAN play. Some courses will try and squeeze as much revenue out of the course and tighten up on tee times of 8 minutes and tell folks: "The pace of play is blah, blah...". Not gonna happen. Others try to do what they can to make it a pleasant experience and go for 10 minutes. Better. Then there might be some higher end public (I am ONLY considering PUBLIC courses for this discussion) that open out to 12, but charge a premium due to their location, conditions, greed, whatever. But on ANY of these courses all it takes is ONE group to stumble or be so ignorant of their own actions that they back up the place for the rest of the day. How many of us have been sitting in traffic forever only to come to a spot and it magically opens up and it looks like nothing happened? Well, that accident or whatever was cleared up ages ago, it just took that long to reset the pattern. Same happens on a course- one group, one hole- maybe 2 or 3 guys take their 5 minutes to look for a ball. that backs up the group behind, and then the group after, etc... Then they pick up the pace and catch up. But the damage is done for awhile until things sort themselves out. But you know it's never just ONE group. Another has an issue with a water hole, and yet another decides that this hole is worth double or nothing (50 CENTS!!!) and their putting becomes a clinic in reading 12 inch putts for a double or triple. As I have mentioned before in several posts. There is a distinct difference between PACE of play and SPEED of play. Sure you can book the first time and get in your 18 holes in less than 3 hours. Fine, no problems. With no hitches or backups everyone could do that all day long. But this is the real world and a 4.5 or 5 hour round is 'generally' the rule for an average busy muni or public course. My concern isn't with the SPEED of play, it is with the PACE of play. I DON'T wear a watch when I play, but others I play with do. THEY always seem to complain about "oh, jeez, it's taking such and such to play this many". "Really?" I hadn't noticed it because we were keeping PACE with everyone. Nobody excessively waiting on us, and we aren't waiting excessively for anyone in front. The line was moving along at a steady pace. It might have taken 5 hours, but didn't seem like it. Other times, because of a few waits on various holes, we have gone around in 4 hrs, but it SEEMED longer just because of those few holes. Leave the watches home and just try and keep up. There isn't anything (really) you can do about it once you are out there. Other than cutting a round short if things are intolerable, which I admit, I have done only twice. And one of those was due to irresponsible management and Rangers who were more concerned with chatting up the cart girl than escorting off the twosome who had no business being on a miniature golf course, let alone playing one up from the tips of a 7000 yd course.
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 

Here's the thing, if i am a single, i still wouldn't be bothered by a 4 hour round. I've done that before, being stuck behind a few foursomes. Doesn't bother me. So i can't answer this question, pace of play doesn't deter me from playing golf.

Actually that was my question / point.  We hear all these complaints about pace of play and how it's ruining golf / keeping people from taking it up but how much of a factor is it really in determining if or how much people play, which is why I started the poll. 

 

I'm like you, pace of play doesn't impact the number of times I play except I might add a round on a weekend in the summer. 

post #15 of 30

how people feel about pace of play is not set on a gold standard. I played a 4 hour round with my dad, we were a two-some stuck behind a couple four-somes, it was moving, like i said 4 hours. Yet it felt longer because both my dad and I played very good that day and we were waiting on the group infront of us. So perception made it feel longer than it was. Like watching water boil, or the clock for those last 10 minutes of the day to tick buy before you get off work.

 

I've played 4.5 hour rounds that seemed faster, because once again, maybe i was playing bad, maybe i was hitting more shots, so my mind was not focused on sitting in a cart, or standing around. Heck a good group of guys, talking, will feel like they are playing faster.

 

RayG,

 

Your partially right. If you assume that the courses are not packed, increasing volume will most likely decrease speed of play. Its not because packed courses are inherently slower, its the fact there is a more likely chance that a few handful of groups will play slower than a 4 hour round, and there is less likely a chance for groups to play through. There is also a chance that all the groups play 4 hour rounds, and the hole course will move at a 4 hour pace. That's the thing about pace of play, its all based on the slowest moving group. Its like being in a line of cars on the free way. You can have super-saturated volume, and have it move at the speed limit. Then one person does something stupid, and you have dead stopped traffic. Or you happen to have less volume, yet the situation is a slow moving car in the outside line, and the inside lanes are blocked by lets say trucks. That outside lane, should be faster, but 1 car wont speed up to get over.

 

So, its all relative.

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

It wouldn't affect me as far as number of rounds, but I wouldn't play a course again which took an excessive amount of time to play.  The course closest to my home saw very little play by me for that reason.  Even though it was another district course, so I could play for the same fees, the typical 5 hour rounds, just turned me off.

Exactly the same for me. My dad lives in a very nice golf community that has about 7 courses in it. You can book a tee time online, and we always try to play in the afternoon and book the course that has the fewest tee times around us so we don't have to wait.

 

If I'm playing public courses with my friends, we usually go to the one that we think will be the emptiest, as our primary criteria for choosing a course.

 

I don't play more or less based on pace of play, but I do play at courses that allow a faster pace.

post #17 of 30

I play as much as i can and really dont care what it takes to finish.

Will not go back to a course if it turns out to be all day deal so I did not vote. Wish I could play more but every Sat or Sun is all I have time for.

post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 

Maybe Erik could edit the poll to add a "0" so guys not voting now could weigh in. 

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