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Fewer clubs = faster play?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Just read on another site the idea that fewer clubs, say only 10 not 14, in the bag would speed up play on the Tour. Seems sensible as these TV guys and the caddies spend lots of time looking over small books with numbers and pictures and not actually making the shot.  Of all the notions directed at speeding up the game (shot clocks, weak pin placements, shorter flying balls, non-penal rough, flatter greens, etc ) this one does have some merit except that unholy tradition is at stake: about 75 years of tradition only. Not too long ago anyone could carry what, 18, 20 clubs. 

Full disclosure: matters little to me how many clubs i carry as i always shoot the same. Because i pull my own trolley in fact, fewer clubs means i do walk faster and finish the day more keen to get out again. 

post #2 of 16

Less clubs could also mean more times spent over a shot thinking about it. It might speed up the game somewhat, but probably not substantially to make it worth messing with over a 100 years of history with 14 clubs. :-P

post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

Less clubs could also mean more times spent over a shot thinking about it. It might speed up the game somewhat, but probably not substantially to make it worth messing with over a 100 years of history with 14 clubs. b2_tongue.gif

And more time spent trying to manufacture a shot rather than being able to simply pull the right club and hit a relatively stock shot.

The number of clubs is not contributing to slow play. Golfers with their head firmly lodged in their rectal cavity is....

....whether on tour, or at your local club or muni.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


And more time spent trying to manufacture a shot rather than being able to simply pull the right club and hit a relatively stock shot.

The number of clubs is not contributing to slow play. Golfers with their head firmly lodged in their rectal cavity is....

....whether on tour, or at your local club or muni.

Makes it tough to read the GPS!

 

I don't think so either.  Right now I am carrying 13 clubs, but it is more of an experiment between having extra woods or extra wedges.  On tour, evaluating the affect of wind seems to cause the most consternation and time loss.

post #5 of 16

I would think if anything more clubs means simplifying the decision and speeds things up for those that play half decent. Most don't have much to worry about until they get close enough to the green where they have a reasonable chance of hitting it in the intended direction somewhat accurately. I played with some guys on Sun that were hitting driver then 3w on just about every par 4 because they were so short. Basically two poor relatively long shots that flew in every direction then one or more wedges to the green. They could have carried less clubs but their choices would have been the same. If poor golfers stand anything to gain from less clubs it would be from taking out the longer ones. The high handicap golfer that hits driver then 3w on a sub 400 yard par 4 isn't hitting a driver consistently longer than their 6i and with less accuracy.

post #6 of 16

There was a time when many of us played with "starter" sets of clubs.  Usually a driver, 3 or 4 wood, 3, 5,7, and 9I plus a putter.  Some actually had sand wedges but not many.  I don't remember the time to do a round being any different than today so I don't believe fewer clubs equates to shorter rounds times.

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


And more time spent trying to manufacture a shot rather than being able to simply pull the right club and hit a relatively stock shot.

The number of clubs is not contributing to slow play. Golfers with their head firmly lodged in their rectal cavity is....

....whether on tour, or at your local club or muni.

That was my exact first thought as well.  I don't think it would make a discernible difference, and if it did, I think it would slow it down a bit because it would involve MORE math and MORE visualization.

 

Instead of just figuring out if it's a hard 8 or soft 7, now they're deciding on whether or not it's a 107.12% 8 iron, or a 68.45645% 6 iron, then they'll spend more time figuring out how much swing produces a 68-ish% swing.

 

Keegan will stop flipping his club 3 times and start flipping it 33 times!

post #8 of 16

I've played with several versions of a short bag, and with a full bag, and for me it makes little difference.  For the pros, it would probably slow them down even more, since they not only have to make a more difficult club selection - they would be between clubs far more often and have to decide if they needed a little this or a monster that, then consider all environmental factors just as they do now.  Probably have to take a few more practice swings too, to the "feel" the swing they want.

post #9 of 16
Fewer clubs, might speed things up, but so would the elimination head covers, ball markers etc. but back to the question every year our club has a 5 club tourney, the putter being one of those clubs. Shotgun start The round is faster than our usual rounds and the scores are about the same.

Higher handicappers were the about the same, lower handicappers were within a stoke or 2, mid handicappers had the greatest difference of both lower than average scores per player to complete train wrecks in slow motion.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfisher View Post

... but so would the elimination head covers,...

Seriously????

post #11 of 16

Quicker decision making would speed up play.  For reasons other have mentioned above, fewer clubs would not necessarily translate into quicker decisions.

 

For me, walking actually speeds up decision making. As I'm walking up to my shot, I can start to see the yardages, and by the time I'm 50 yards away, I've usually figured out what I'm going to do. If not, I'm debating between two clubs, and that debate is usually over by the time I get to the ball.  Pull club, practice swing, hit the ball, start walking again.  ....come to think of it, it's a fairly anti-social routine too...  But I walk 6,200 yards-worth of course in about 2:20 without every hurrying (in the winter anyway, once the weather nices up, I just wait on people. :(  )

post #12 of 16

I think the pro's have so many more factors and options to consider for every shot that it just takes them longer.

 

If I had full control over my swing to hit a fade, draw, high, low, high spin roll back or roll out I'd get vapor lock trying to figure out the wind and which shot was best.  Today I worry about it the ball going in the general direction I need it to using the one and only shot shape I can hit intentionally.

 

If you reduced the number of clubs they carried, it would only slow them down more.  They'd have to think about all the other stuff plus whether to hit a weaker lofted club harder or take a partial swing with a stronger lofted club to fill the hole in their bag.

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roblar View Post
 

Quicker decision making would speed up play.  For reasons other have mentioned above, fewer clubs would not necessarily translate into quicker decisions.

 

For me, walking actually speeds up decision making. As I'm walking up to my shot, I can start to see the yardages, and by the time I'm 50 yards away, I've usually figured out what I'm going to do. If not, I'm debating between two clubs, and that debate is usually over by the time I get to the ball.  Pull club, practice swing, hit the ball, start walking again.  ....come to think of it, it's a fairly anti-social routine too...  But I walk 6,200 yards-worth of course in about 2:20 without every hurrying (in the winter anyway, once the weather nices up, I just wait on people. :(  )

 

Walking or riding makes no difference in such pace considerations.  You've made your decision 50 yards from your ball?  Unless it is in the fairway, you can't even see the lie from that far back most of the time.  If I'm riding, I'll be at my ball by the time you are at that 50 yard point.  I can see my lie, choose my target and get an accurate distance, select a club and hit before you have even arrived at your ball.  

 

Of course, as always, that only applies if the way is clear ahead of me.   And when have you ever seen a pro make such a decision that far ahead of time? :smartass: 

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roblar View Post
 

For me, walking actually speeds up decision making. As I'm walking up to my shot, I can start to see the yardages, and by the time I'm 50 yards away, I've usually figured out what I'm going to do. If not, I'm debating between two clubs, and that debate is usually over by the time I get to the ball.  Pull club, practice swing, hit the ball, start walking again.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

You've made your decision 50 yards from your ball?  Unless it is in the fairway, you can't even see the lie from that far back most of the time.  If I'm riding, I'll be at my ball by the time you are at that 50 yard point.  I can see my lie, choose my target and get an accurate distance, select a club and hit before you have even arrived at your ball. 

I do the same thing as Roblar when I walk.  I'll know as soon as I hit my drive that I'm somewhere in the vicinity of 140-110 out, for example, so as I'm walking up to my ball I make sure to count my strides once I reach the 150 plaque.  This way I have my distance as soon as I get there, and during the last few strides I can see what it's going to be within a couple of yards, so I'll have my club as soon as I put down my bag.

 

But if I'm playing with you, you could have driven to your ball, parked, walked back to the 150 plaque and paced it off back to your ball and pulled your club (and hit your shot) all before I even reach the 150 marker.

 

Walking is not faster than riding, nor is riding faster than walking.  Faster, more aware players are faster than slower, less aware players.  That's it.  (I realize that's a big giant duh! statement, but it's true)

post #15 of 16

I don't think removing clubs would help the pros at all.  The only benefit I can see to removing clubs from the bag would be for amateurs who often carry clubs they can't hit, aren't super accurate with their distances and could use more practice at "shot-making".  

 

Just from watching TV . .I don't see that much time spent on deciding which club.  The biggest time wasters I see are typically made with club in hand . . ie . .lining up really short putts . .walking all around the green to look at a putt or chip from all angles, etc.  Unlike my local course . .I don't often see pros pulling a club, addressing the ball, changing clubs, etc, etc . .yes . .it does happen and I've seen it .. but I don't think it's a big factor in pace of play for pros.  At my home course it's a bigger deal . .especially when it's cart-path-only and people are walking back to their carts to change clubs.  Seriously . .if I'm playing cart path only and I arrive at my ball and realize I've got the wrong club . .I hit it anyway vs go all the way back to the cart.  That just takes forever.  Cart-Path-Only should be against the law!

 

What I would like to see in Pro Golf is a shot clock.  For each and every shot.  Once a player addresses the ball, the shot clock starts ticking down from 45 seconds.  The last 5 seconds he hears an audible "beep, beep, beep".  At 45 seconds, a 1 shot penalty is assessed and player must step off and re-address the ball.

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

 

Walking or riding makes no difference in such pace considerations.  You've made your decision 50 yards from your ball?  Unless it is in the fairway, you can't even see the lie from that far back most of the time.  If I'm riding, I'll be at my ball by the time you are at that 50 yard point.  I can see my lie, choose my target and get an accurate distance, select a club and hit before you have even arrived at your ball.  

 

Of course, as always, that only applies if the way is clear ahead of me.   And when have you ever seen a pro make such a decision that far ahead of time? :smartass: 

 

Fair enough - and I'll agree with you in principle. If there's only one guy, then sure, I think it could work out like you describe, and obviously, a guy who can hit the fairway and decide on his shot as he drives up to the ball in a cart will play faster than someone walking and doing the same. No debate from me there.

 

...but while you may make decisions that way, and you may be able to drive your cart right up to the ball and take a quick smack at it and be off again....  what I see from most cart drivers, and from experience with the few times I've driven, it works out much differently -- especially if there's a 2nd guy in the cart (only one guy? different story, right? But note: if you're walking, there's only ever one guy, 'cause, you know, I've yet to see piggyback golf...).

 

That said, and I'll readily admit that this is anecdotal, I really do get a better sense of the topography and the shot I need to play when I walk. Something about actually walking over the fairway/course instead of rolling over it. I think it also helps to walk the most direct route to the ball and really be able to see how the shot sets up instead of wending and winding along the cart-path and only getting to see the shot / angle once I get over the ball.  The decision-making happens during the whole walk up to the ball, and, as a result, I don't need much time over the ball to make a decision.

 

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Now, if there are 2 guys in the cart, then they have to really observe cart etiquette to play faster than a walking pace. At the very least, if I'm walking alone, I usually outpace a two-some in a cart. Just personal experience, and obviously a slow walker who can't hit the fairway or find their ball will be easily outpaced (as would the same guy, if he were driving a cart). You know how it goes: Guy #1 and 2 are driving to their balls, talking, fiddling with the junk on the dash, looking for their beers, and vaguely paying attention to where they are driving the cart.  You get to guy #1's ball, he gets out of the cart and stares at the flag, at his ball, at his bag, at the flag, at the ball, at the flag, at his bag... meanwhile, guy #2 is just sitting there, waiting on him, watching, maybe even still jabbering away at him, these days, he's probably on his phone checking facebook....  Guy #1 hits the ball, puts his club away, gets in the cart, and they drive off to Guy #2's ball... 

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