The thread is about what some deem slow play at the professional level. Did you notice the tendency above turn it to slow play for everybody? My own thesis in the thread I started was that slow play on the PGA Tour is not the same as slow play for average golfers, because the conditions are not the same -- nobody in a pro tournament has to get home ASAP to an impatient spouse or dinner engagement, and if the players behind are held up a little, darn it, they don't have to be anywhere else either.
To respond to IACAS' post:
1. Is it true that fans want to see PGA pros play faster? I totally disagree with this. Fans on the course are ticked pink for a tour player to pause for a longer period in their vicinity, pondering the next shot; fans would be happy for the pro to stop and eat a burger nearby. As for TV viewers, there are so many cuts from different places on the course that we are unaware of slow play unless we are told it is slow. And if the last grouping is way behind schedule, the network can show earlier play on the same hole. Fans do want to see the last of the tournament however.
2. Is play slower now than in the 1950s? Are there stats on this? Yardages at top courses are longer for sure, so on that basis, pro play may be longer. I suspect as well that the game is more scientific at the pro level, with much more info being kept in yardage books and statistics for players, and consulting this during the game can mean slow play. Amateurs? Are there stats on the average time an average golfer took on an average course in 1955 versus today? Seems to me that is likely anecdotal.
3. Yes, when it comes to baseball fans have complained about slow pitchers and the reluctance of umpires to call a balk. Has been so since the 1950s at least. I am champing at the bit for networks to cut off a football game because it runs over 3 hours. :)
4. In golf, the money comes from (a) television networks and (b) the golf equipment biz. If networks want faster play to fit the coverage into their predetermined time slots, then they have the clout. (Who pays Johnny Miller's salary?) But should we the public buy into the network's perceived needs and definitions of slow play?
5. As for being jerks, many golfers are jerks while playing, pros and amateurs. And jerkiness can be part of gamesmanship. Think of Trevino's distracting patter; didn't hurt him back when he was playing for a $100 bet and he didn't have $100. Think of the slowness of Bobby Locke [intentional or not, slow play can be tactical]. Think of cussing and temper tantrums [plenty of players at all levels have those]. And I suggest that even fast play can be a form of intimidation. Looking bored, lying down, looking at your watch, shaking your watch, right down to outright complaining about speed of play -- isn't that jerkiness too?