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Pace Problem - Page 15

post #253 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

 

As opposed to what, dumping the beverage cart?  Managed properly, the beverage cart shouldn't slow down play at all.  I can get around in an easy 3 hours with a 4-ball even grabbing a couple of cokes and peanuts from the cart a couple of times.  Or I can get stuck behind slow players and spend 5 interminable hours out there even though there's no service on the course....

 

.....truth be told, if the beverage cart is good, I think it can also cut down on the more significant delays associated with stopping for refreshment at the turn.

 

The cart girls need to be trained, but assuming they understand their responsibility to help maintain pace of play, I'm on @Cartboy's side on this one.  I'd also rather see the course generating revenue from the cart, than cramming even more players onto the course to offset revenue lost because the cart isn't contributing.

 

Speaking as someone who plays in a WALKING foursome, we routinely watch the hackers in front of us take too long hitting their approaches, take too long lining up then missing their putts, and take too long every time the cart girl comes by.  Usually costs us 30 minutes of waiting every round. Cart girls are not the major problem, for sure. But they do contribute to the frustration, especially if they serve a group in the fairway while the green is open ahead and people are waiting on the tee behind them.

 

As one who abhors slow play  I was responding to the OP's contention that delays due to cart girls are completely acceptable, while delays due to poor golfers is not.  Seems that any type of delay should be unacceptable, especially for the best course in his state, as he describes it.

post #254 of 285

I think the whole thing comes down to obliviousness. Or maybe ignorance and apathy is more appropriate. What I mean is that slow players, while knowing they may be slow (because we all tell them), probably don't know why or don't care. 

 

My biggest pet peeve is waiting on a tee box while two carts drive up the fairway to one ball, where Player A takes 30-45 seconds to play his approach as Player B watches. Then they drive to Player B's ball (usually no more than 20-30 yards away), where the entire ordeal plays out again. And God forbid they don't knock their approaches near the green, as the whole process will play out yet again.

 

I almost always ride, but spend a lot of time walking to balls while my partner is preparing to play his shot. And also jumping out of the cart with a few wedges and putter when I know I missed the green, instead of making multiple treks back to see what kind of shot I have, what kind of lie is there, what club do I use, etc... 

post #255 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Break80 View Post
 

I think the whole thing comes down to obliviousness. Or maybe ignorance and apathy is more appropriate. What I mean is that slow players, while knowing they may be slow (because we all tell them), probably don't know why or don't care. 

 

My biggest pet peeve is waiting on a tee box while two carts drive up the fairway to one ball, where Player A takes 30-45 seconds to play his approach as Player B watches. Then they drive to Player B's ball (usually no more than 20-30 yards away), where the entire ordeal plays out again. And God forbid they don't knock their approaches near the green, as the whole process will play out yet again.

 

I almost always ride, but spend a lot of time walking to balls while my partner is preparing to play his shot. And also jumping out of the cart with a few wedges and putter when I know I missed the green, instead of making multiple treks back to see what kind of shot I have, what kind of lie is there, what club do I use, etc... 


That's really all there is to speeding up play.  Get to your ball with the right club(s), hit it and move on.  When on the green, everyone lines up their putts at once, with a quick final read before stroking their own putt. Don't stand around and watch others when you could be getting ready to hit your own shot. It can easily be done without interfering with anyone else's shot, but as you say, so many "golfers" are oblivious and/or apathetic.

 

But at least they save time elsewhere by not filling in their numerous huge divots, and by NOT raking the sand after their floggings in a bunker.:no: 

post #256 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

 

Speaking as someone who plays in a WALKING foursome, we routinely watch the hackers in front of us take too long hitting their approaches, take too long lining up then missing their putts, and take too long every time the cart girl comes by.  Usually costs us 30 minutes of waiting every round. Cart girls are not the major problem, for sure. But they do contribute to the frustration, especially if they serve a group in the fairway while the green is open ahead and people are waiting on the tee behind them.

 

As one who abhors slow play  I was responding to the OP's contention that delays due to cart girls are completely acceptable, while delays due to poor golfers is not.  Seems that any type of delay should be unacceptable, especially for the best course in his state, as he describes it.

 

And there's the kicker......how many courses actually train the cart girls with an emphasis on pace of play?   Very few.  Big opportunity IMHO.

post #257 of 285

I didn't read through all of this but I did have an idea that I was going to put on KickStarter for a 30-45 minute documentary on pace of play. I would want to look at it three different ways- making everyone play AT LEAST in threesomes- to see if this slows down the whole field instead of just a couple of guys. Here is my thought on this- slow play really isnt an issue if everyone is happy with the pace of play- meaning if everyone plays slow but doesn't have to wait to hit there would be no complaining. The second, and most effective one in my opinion would be get two courses on board. Players with 16 or higher handicaps play the easier, shorter, more open course while the better players get on the longer, more challenging course. You could also have a starter/marshal make sure people play the tees they should. The third and my favorite would be forecaddies- someone who can tell someone to pick up the pace of play as well as find balls for people so they arent digging in ponds for extra balls. I get that there is an expense that comes along with this but charge a little more. I would be happy to have someone out there regulating pace of play along with not allowing someone to look for cheap balls in the woods. Anyways- just my three ideas and would want to see what is more effective. One other thing you could possibly do is make par 5's into par 4's on weekends to see if that speeds things up- yeah it sucks there are no par 5's but you don't have guys waiting to go for it which would speed things up. The bottom line is getting as many rounds through in a day and I think if you did a showcase then course management would take a look at it and adjust- there are no hard facts or testing out there everyone just speculates. More rounds=more money for a course=ability to afford doing some of these options. 

post #258 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

So delays of certain types are acceptable, but other types are not? Why continue to ask about slow players if your policy is to encourage them to stop multiple times per round for drinks, no matter if groups behind them are waiting. It's clear that you really don't care about the speed of play.


One of the problems of electronic, rather than in-person, communications is the risk the some feelings will get heard because they think their ideas are not appreciated.

 

So, they take it out on the most convenient someone.

 

As has already been acknowledged by another, the operation of our beverage cart is not an issue.  Golfers who play slow is/are.

 

Sorry your feelings got hurt.

 

Have a sunny day.

 

:beer:

post #259 of 285
Thread Starter 

Now that I have read further, I see that if there is a slow group, and they make use of the beverage cart, the beverage cart is guilty by association, because they served the slow group.

 

;-)

 

At our course, the beverage cart would serve the slow group, as they would serve any group, then they would call the Pro Shop and tell them about the slow group, and let them know if there is an open hole in front of the slow group (because they work the course backwards).

 

Then, when they get to the walking foursome, they would call the Pro Shop again, and tell them four golfers have lost their two carts somewhere, and they are now walking, or there is a group that snuck onto the course.

 

:whistle: 

post #260 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GHIN0011458 View Post
 

I didn't read through all of this but I did have an idea that I was going to put on KickStarter for a 30-45 minute documentary on pace of play. I would want to look at it three different ways- making everyone play AT LEAST in threesomes- to see if this slows down the whole field instead of just a couple of guys. Here is my thought on this- slow play really isnt an issue if everyone is happy with the pace of play- meaning if everyone plays slow but doesn't have to wait to hit there would be no complaining. The second, and most effective one in my opinion would be get two courses on board. Players with 16 or higher handicaps play the easier, shorter, more open course while the better players get on the longer, more challenging course. You could also have a starter/marshal make sure people play the tees they should. The third and my favorite would be forecaddies- someone who can tell someone to pick up the pace of play as well as find balls for people so they arent digging in ponds for extra balls. I get that there is an expense that comes along with this but charge a little more. I would be happy to have someone out there regulating pace of play along with not allowing someone to look for cheap balls in the woods. Anyways- just my three ideas and would want to see what is more effective. One other thing you could possibly do is make par 5's into par 4's on weekends to see if that speeds things up- yeah it sucks there are no par 5's but you don't have guys waiting to go for it which would speed things up. The bottom line is getting as many rounds through in a day and I think if you did a showcase then course management would take a look at it and adjust- there are no hard facts or testing out there everyone just speculates. More rounds=more money for a course=ability to afford doing some of these options. 

Before the first GM I worked under succumbed to the budget restraints of the owners, marshals would spend time with slow groups to help them speed up . . . spot, forecaddie, rake bunkers, etc.

 

Playing tees too long, looking for balls in the woods, and clueless lolly-gagging are our problems.  The latter are often clueless about their cluelessness, and hostile when it is pointed out.

 

In my present conversations with my 3rd GM, he just said he is going to have to get some money to put into the pace problem.  We have a heavy "group" schedule this year.

 

Commenting on another comment, I have never marshaled anyone to speed up if it is not affecting other groups.  Slow play is fine if there are no other groups behind them or everyone is OK with slow play.  The complaint typically comes from a group about ten groups back.

post #261 of 285
One thing that I would recommend to marshall is to go beyond just telling a group they are playing slow. I was in a slow-ish group (I say ish because we played in about 4:20, which was under the recommended pace by a bit) the other day. I was a single, playing with 3 strangers. Anyways, apparently after 9, we had 2 open holes in front of us. And the marshall tells us to speed up. That's not really helpful. I've known the entire 9 that we're playing slow, and I know why. Slow play is such a sensitive subject - I've been yelled at a couple of times for suggesting someone was playing slow - that I'm not going to bring it up in most groups. When I'm a single, I'm never going to say anything. And there are many times where I'm not going to risk the wrath of somebody I know (e.g., my boss) by telling him he's playing slow. Marshalls, on the other hand, are on the course precisely to keep the pace up. People rarely get mad at marshalls for that.

In general, though, nobody wants to be slow. It's a case of ignorance. I know why the other players in my group were slow - one of them was bad, losing lots of balls, but never having a back up. Nobody besides myself was ready to hit at the tee when we got there. One person, in particular, would take 3 slow practice swings/putts before each shot. The marshall would have seen this if he had followed the group for even a hole. He could have made suggestions, and I think we would have fixed the problem. But instead, we're told to speed up, and without precise direction, that's pretty meaningless.

Or maybe give groups more of an incentive to play fast. In my men's club, we are on the clock for our round, and the entire group gets penalized if you fall behind. So there is that incentive. And guess what, we play quite a bit - 30 minutes or so - faster than the normal groups on the course. Funny how that works. That course, though, has a huge pace problem because of its layout. The average round there is over 5 hours, and the fastest I've ever played - by myself, while walking and only waiting on one group really - was about 3:30. It's just impossible to get around quickly.

Maybe I am part of the problem by not mentioning anything the other day. But I'd much rather avoid any possible confrontation, especially when we're playing at a reasonable - but not great - pace.
post #262 of 285

The things I see that cause rounds to go so slowly:

 

1) The courses are too hard.  I get it: elevated greens are pretty.  Strategically-placed hazards make you think.  We all want to putt on fast greens that have the subtlety of Augusta.  But far too many courses are far too difficult, especially around the greens.

 

2) Machismo has too many people playing from the tips.  This is, of course, closely related to #1, but far too many people, especially the young guns, don't like to play from the forward tees.  The USGA tried to combat this with "Tee It Forward" a few years ago, but I'm not sure how effective that campaign was.

 

3) People play expensive golf balls that they aren't willing to part with and the penalty for a lost ball is too drastic.  I do this myself: if I'm playing a "real" round where I submit a handicap and I haul off on a brand new Pro Vi and send it into the woods, you better bet your bottom dollar that I look for it.  When I'm just out screwing around and hitting my 35 year-old Top Flights, when one goes into the woods I just drop another and play it like a lateral water hazard.

 

The problem with all 3 of those issues is that they require either massive amounts of capital to redesign the course, marketing campaigns that run contrary to all of the other campaigns by club and ball manufacturers ("Our fastest, longest driver ever!" "Playing this $5 per pop golf ball will turn your from an 18-handicap to a scratch golfer!  No practice required!"), and getting the ruling bodies to change one of the longest-standing rules in the game.

post #263 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by ztexz View Post
 

The things I see that cause rounds to go so slowly:

 

1) The courses are too hard.  I get it: elevated greens are pretty.  Strategically-placed hazards make you think.  We all want to putt on fast greens that have the subtlety of Augusta.  But far too many courses are far too difficult, especially around the greens.

 

2) Machismo has too many people playing from the tips.  This is, of course, closely related to #1, but far too many people, especially the young guns, don't like to play from the forward tees.  The USGA tried to combat this with "Tee It Forward" a few years ago, but I'm not sure how effective that campaign was.

 

3) People play expensive golf balls that they aren't willing to part with and the penalty for a lost ball is too drastic.  I do this myself: if I'm playing a "real" round where I submit a handicap and I haul off on a brand new Pro Vi and send it into the woods, you better bet your bottom dollar that I look for it.  When I'm just out screwing around and hitting my 35 year-old Top Flights, when one goes into the woods I just drop another and play it like a lateral water hazard.

 

The problem with all 3 of those issues is that they require either massive amounts of capital to redesign the course, marketing campaigns that run contrary to all of the other campaigns by club and ball manufacturers ("Our fastest, longest driver ever!" "Playing this $5 per pop golf ball will turn your from an 18-handicap to a scratch golfer!  No practice required!"), and getting the ruling bodies to change one of the longest-standing rules in the game.

 

This gets me back to my main points- 

 

Playing a shorter course- they can play the tips but the course is already short. Build a barrier between courses and a partnership where you have to get to X handicap before you can play on these tough courses. Also- forecaddies would help find these balls. They dont need to re-design courses. 

post #264 of 285
Thread Starter 

The last few are very truthful.. Getting put with three strangers is common for my winter EZ Links rounds.  Since I'm already sensitive to slow play, you can imagine how frustrated I can get with the three buddies on their last day before they go back to the Arctic!!!

 

If this thread has not determined what to do with slow players, it at least has demonstrated how difficult it is for golf course employees to accommodate their customers.

 

I may have seemed snippety at times, but assure you I'm laughing, because I've encountered all of this one time or another.

 

Regarding walkers, I was the Outside Supervisor at a 27-hole, 400-member club in Florida that allowed their members to walk even on 400 round days.  It was a standing joke among all of us (Starter, Rangers, me, etc.) that at 9:00 every morning the 7:15 walkers were going to be coming off their first nine, but could not continue because the 9:07 group was on the tee.  That tee time was an outside, "fee-player", revenue-producing tee time.  But, it was always the fault of the Starter, or the GM, that the walkers played too fast. Then they had to play behind outside golfers, dangnab it.

 

It happened every day.

 

BTW, I like crappy golfers who play nice golf balls.   We discourage them from looking for them.

 

:whistle: 

post #265 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cartboy View Post

Regarding walkers, I was the Outside Supervisor at a 27-hole, 400-member club in Florida that allowed their members to walk even on 400 round days.  It was a standing joke among all of us (Starter, Rangers, me, etc.) that at 9:00 every morning the 7:15 walkers were going to be coming off their first nine, but could not continue because the 9:07 group was on the tee.  That tee time was an outside, "fee-player", revenue-producing tee time.  But, it was always the fault of the Starter, or the GM, that the walkers played too fast. Then they had to play behind outside golfers, dangnab it.

 

It happened every day.

Are you saying that you stacked outside fee-players in front of your members every day? Then joked about it amongst yourselves? Nice.

post #266 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post

Are you saying that you stacked outside fee-players in front of your members every day? Then joked about it amongst yourselves? Nice.

And we're right back to another course that expects slow play, even from the first group of the day. Then they wonder why they have a pace of play problem..... d2_doh.gif
post #267 of 285
Thread Starter 


Disharmonious:

 

What I am saying is that we did our job, followed orders, and dealt with the way the Board of Directors, GM and Pro laid it out, and joked amongst ourselves because we knew that almost every morning four cranky old guys were gonna take it out on us. IMHO, we were very gracious to joke about it amongst ourselves, and to be gracious to the four cranky old guys, not that we could do any about it.

 

Even with 400 members, those members demanded that the GM maximize profit, and $200 a day is $200 a day.  The course was run the way the Board of Directors dictated. 

 

David:

 

That course has/had as many as 450 rounds a day, I never heard of it being behind Pace, and never heard a complaint from a golfer about pace. Not once.  By pace, I mean the announced beforehand, during and afterhand pace, four hours.  Even the cranky guys, walking, got around in under four hours.

 

It is a 27-hole course, somewhat confusing, and the employees did a very good job.  When I was there the club had just enacted some stringent restrictions on employee perks, and the guys I worked with busted their butts.  Between 11:30 and 1:00 most days we turned 60 carts and moved  150-200 bags in and out of the bagroom.  By 2:00 some days members were lending us their carts for arriving golfers.

 

Many days I was there before sunrise and left after sunset.

 

Most clubs would be tickled to do what that club does.

- - - - - -

Like I said before, this thread shows exactly how hard it is for a golf course, and it's employees, to please golfers.  Everyone has their own concept of what is right or what ought to be. 


Edited by Cartboy - 3/18/14 at 9:06pm
post #268 of 285

I don't think this problem will ever get fixed.  I had a pleasure playing with 3 co-workers last summer, played with one of them (single handicap) before, but the other two were quite new to the game and first time playing with them.  Long story short, after the 3h front 9 I finally said something.  The single handicap guy thought I was stepping out of line but I just could not take it anymore.  Overall, I don't think it really helped much but we played the back 9 a little bit quicker.

 

I don't think enforcing anything will do much.  Whenever you try to enforce something like that, everyone gets all defensive.  The new players make comments like "I've paid $80 so I can do whatever I want" etc.  Others think that its not them.  This is all about education.  My ideas would be to have daily clinics on slow play.  Or have a pro talk to every 4 some or something like that.  The starter is okay but when someone with more authority talks about it, it might help.  The pro could give examples and actually have conversations about it with the players, as opposed to just saying: the pace of play is this, or make sure you keep up.  Teach the players each and every time.  Maybe not the members, but everyone else.

post #269 of 285
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sopel10 View Post
 

I don't think this problem will ever get fixed.  I had a pleasure playing with 3 co-workers last summer, played with one of them (single handicap) before, but the other two were quite new to the game and first time playing with them.  Long story short, after the 3h front 9 I finally said something.  The single handicap guy thought I was stepping out of line but I just could not take it anymore.  Overall, I don't think it really helped much but we played the back 9 a little bit quicker.

 

I don't think enforcing anything will do much.  Whenever you try to enforce something like that, everyone gets all defensive.  The new players make comments like "I've paid $80 so I can do whatever I want" etc.  Others think that its not them.  This is all about education.  My ideas would be to have daily clinics on slow play.  Or have a pro talk to every 4 some or something like that.  The starter is okay but when someone with more authority talks about it, it might help.  The pro could give examples and actually have conversations about it with the players, as opposed to just saying: the pace of play is this, or make sure you keep up.  Teach the players each and every time.  Maybe not the members, but everyone else.

:beer:

post #270 of 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by sopel10 View Post
 

I don't think this problem will ever get fixed.  I had a pleasure playing with 3 co-workers last summer, played with one of them (single handicap) before, but the other two were quite new to the game and first time playing with them.  Long story short, after the 3h front 9 I finally said something.  The single handicap guy thought I was stepping out of line but I just could not take it anymore.  Overall, I don't think it really helped much but we played the back 9 a little bit quicker.

 

I don't think enforcing anything will do much.  Whenever you try to enforce something like that, everyone gets all defensive.  The new players make comments like "I've paid $80 so I can do whatever I want" etc.  Others think that its not them.  This is all about education.  My ideas would be to have daily clinics on slow play.  Or have a pro talk to every 4 some or something like that.  The starter is okay but when someone with more authority talks about it, it might help.  The pro could give examples and actually have conversations about it with the players, as opposed to just saying: the pace of play is this, or make sure you keep up.  Teach the players each and every time.  Maybe not the members, but everyone else.

 

It won't get better if we give up, that's for sure.  It also won't get better if better players allow newer players to play slowly, or worse yet, if they won't play quickly themselves.  Finally, it won't get better if golf courses fail to realize that they LOSE revenue when competent golfers go elsewhere because they're afraid to run off the sloths!

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