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Anyone else tired of hearing the PGA and USGA talk about pace of play?

post #1 of 131
Thread Starter 

Hi, first post, first thread.  I talk a lot of sports on another forum but golf is a rare subject and actual golfers seem to be nonexistent.  So I came here.  Thanks, google!

 

Anyway, for years now I've been seeing reps from the PGA and USGA come onto their respective tournaments broadcasts and talk about various subjects facing the game.  One of them, declining participation rates drove this NY Times article I'm sure many of you have seen/heard about by now:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/19/sports/golf/in-a-hole-golf-considers-digging-a-wider-one.html

 

Pardon the Interruption devoted a segment to the larger hole today.  I'm actually fine with doing this for certain golf events, particularly charity outings where a bunch of hacks are playing their own ball.  But if this became standard practice (I know, it won't) it would drive me away from the game.  All of this stems from the two "main" problems golf faces.  One is it's difficulty and the other is pace of play.  However, every USGA and PGA rep seems completely out of touch.

 

First, the pace of play problem largely grows out of economic necessity for golf clubs.  If you want to speed up play, how about scheduling foursomes ten or even twelve minutes apart?  Instead, most of the public courses I play following the standard 1:00, 1:07, 1:15, etc.  Well, none of those in power ever suggest this on the telecast.  Instead, the blame is put on the participants, and how they can improve their own personal pace of play.  Of course, that's true, but in no way can you fight that tight tee time schedule.  It would also be nice for rangers to actually force players to keep up with the group in front of them.  But again, that's money.  You have to pay somebody to drive around and likely do nothing all day.

 

But another problem is that new courses and country clubs are in a constant **** waving contest to see who can construct/maintain the most difficult course and green conditions.  While I generally like speedy greens (as they roll truer) this does not mean everybody has to be Oakmont (and I've played Oakmont--it's brutal).  But again, this does not seem to be a priority.  Instead. THEY WANT 15 INCH HOLES??????  ARGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! 

 

Have multiple tees.  Recommend a handicap (ie, <3, 3-10, 10-20, 20+), sex, and age (junior/senior) for each.  Make bunkers shallow.  Make the front of the green accessible.  Make any forced carry reasonable for the respective tee boxes.  Keep the stimpmeter reasonable.  Do not cut holes four paces over a trap on the corner on weekends.  

 

All of this seems so easy.  That is until some dope from the USGA gets on TV in June and Johnny Miller nods his head approvingly.

 

Your thoughts?

post #2 of 131
Thread Starter 

Ooops.  Seems a bit long. Particularly for the first post.

post #3 of 131
I'm not tired of hearing about it because it still remains a problem. I WISH I was tired of hearing about it because more was being done to actually improve pace of play.

I wish the PGA Tour did something, but they're member operated.
post #4 of 131

Tired of it?  Heck no!

 

I think it's one of the most concerning issues in golf, especially recreational golf today, and one of the key reasons that the sport is in decline and struggles to attract new players.

 

 

Welcome to the site.  Stick around!   :beer:

post #5 of 131

I'm not tired of it. I wish the "pace of play" issue was talked about more. I'd like to see

more emphasis on educating players about how to speed up. I'd really like to see players

on the tour held accountable.

 

I agree with what you say about tee times and course setup. A local links style course is always setup too hard, especially from the tee. It's a great layout, just too difficult. Players spend a lot of time looking for balls in the heather.

post #6 of 131
I'm tired of hearing about it when it's lip service. Whether from the PGA tour, who don't really do squat about it; or the USGA who set their US Open course like a death trap meaning it's dog slow.

Overall, all I hear is "It's a problem". What is actually said to make it better? Do they air commercials making fun of people for plumb bobbing like pros while people are waiting behind them, or some hack taking 20 practice swings with a message you don't have to be good to be fast?

I'm not tired of talking about it by any means, but I'm tired of the ones who bear a lot of the responsibility for it not doing more than lip service. It's been identified as one of the top two problems, do more about it!
post #7 of 131

The only thing I'm tired about right now is hearing about how amazing and mature Jordan Spieth is...and this is coming from a Spieth fan. 

post #8 of 131

there are many ways to speed up play but sadly golfers egos wont let it happen. tee it forward would help but nope I am not playing a shorter course says mr golfer. maintain a green speed thats appropriate to the skill of the players that play your course. nope says mr golfer I like them fast. Believe me I have spent 3 years as a supt at a puplic course and the facts are 70% of the people need to move up a tee box and the speeds are to fast for a lot of players. I cant tell you how many 3 and four putts I see on a regular basis.

post #9 of 131

Not tired of hearing about it because it's a huge issue and the reason I typically refuse to play public golf courses during the weekends.

 

To me it's a catch 22 for golf though- Golf needs new players but new entrants to the game are typically terrible and cause pace of play issues. 15-20 years ago (before Tiger brought millions into the game) pace of play wasn't nearly as much of an issue because golf was still primarily played by people who grew up playing and had decent games. Today, a lot more people play (which of course is good) but golf is an incredibly tough game to get good at if you don't start young, so many of the relatively new entrants to the game are pretty bad and contribute to pace of play issues. Unfortunately I don't have a solution to this conondrum, but thought it was worth pointing out.

post #10 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

I'm not tired of hearing about it because it still remains a problem. I WISH I was tired of hearing about it because more was being done to actually improve pace of play.

I wish the PGA Tour did something, but they're member operated.

I agree, in that I am not tired of the talk.  What I AM tired of is the complete lack of action.  Especially on Tour.

post #11 of 131
I'm going to bring up my old sticky point. PACE of play and SPEED of play- two completely different things. 5 hours or 3 hours- if the line is moving then everyone is relatively happy (for the most part). Playing golf just for the sake of finishing in 3 hours takes all sense of fun and enjoyment out of it. I've played 5 hour rounds that felt glacial because you wait on every shot for "that guy" and the guy in front of them, etc... But I've also played 5 hour rounds that seemed shorter because everyone kept up the PACE of the day. A "slow" pace isn't always bad if everyone is moving along. A normal POP for the area's nicer public courses is probably 4.5, City courses are more like 6 because of crammed times and lack of etiquette all around. That is something you can't fix- they want the revenue.
post #12 of 131

Not tired of hearing it but think their approach is misguided. As lame as it was the closest to reality they got was the "knucklehead" ads. The time has come to make slow golfers feel bad about it not humor them. I don't see as an education problem as much as people treat golfing akin to spending time at an amusement park. They pay admission and in their minds that means they get to enjoy it in a way that pleases them without consideration of others.

 

But it starts and ends with the courses and whether or not they choose to enforce whatever their polices are. I don't expect much from the course that lets golfers wearing jeans walk right by the signs in the pro shop saying no denim. My problem isn't the denim but why have a policy at all if you don't enforce it. My opinion is strong about slow play and the number one cause I see is men playing too far back. It's not the distance that kills them. It's the errant shots that come with them trying to kill every shot in an attempt to overcome it. The fastest course I play is short and most guys there are older and play the white 6000 yd tees. I don't think it's a coincidence because not only do they not hit it far but they rarely get in trouble. Problem is courses can't afford to hack people off so they rarely if ever confront people. I've never seen a ranger on my home course. They recommend tees according to handicap right on the card but allow guys playing bogey golf or worse to head out on the 7500 yd championship tees. It's nuts.

post #13 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayG View Post

I'm going to bring up my old sticky point. PACE of play and SPEED of play- two completely different things. 5 hours or 3 hours- if the line is moving then everyone is relatively happy (for the most part). Playing golf just for the sake of finishing in 3 hours takes all sense of fun and enjoyment out of it. I've played 5 hour rounds that felt glacial because you wait on every shot for "that guy" and the guy in front of them, etc... But I've also played 5 hour rounds that seemed shorter because everyone kept up the PACE of the day. A "slow" pace isn't always bad if everyone is moving along. A normal POP for the area's nicer public courses is probably 4.5, City courses are more like 6 because of crammed times and lack of etiquette all around. That is something you can't fix- they want the revenue.

This is an awesome post. I hate speed golf as much as slow golf but I will admit I hate watching slow golf in front of me more than anything.

post #14 of 131

Yeah I don't know. The level of frustration watching someone hit bad shot after bad shot looking for balls is much higher than playing behind a group that's just slow on the greens even if it takes the same amount of time. The difference is you are waiting in the same place on most every hole compared to watching a hellish round of golf shot by shot. Pace perception can be misleading. Either way the buzz kill comes from the pressure of trying not to do the same to the groups stacking up behind once they catch you. It's like crawling and rushing at the same time.

post #15 of 131

Until we see the PGA Tour penalize players for slow play it's lip service and I'm tired of the double standard.  If you want non-pro's to play fast use the pro's as an example of what proper pace of play is.

post #16 of 131

I am tired of hearing about it in a sense. I want to see pace of play picked up just like everyone else, but so far it's just chatter.  The reason I say that is because I'm getting my wife involved in golf, and being a beginner she significantly slows our pace down when she plays with me. However, putting is not where she plays slow, especially within 10 feet or so. Anytime she gets that close, she's just walking up with a general idea of how it will break and trying to knock it in. It may take her three or four shots to get it in, but she's not back behind the ball reading it like it's a putt to close out the Masters. She could literally hit 3 shots in 8 seconds from that distance. A large majority of her struggles, and slow play, are due to all the shots it takes to get to the hole from 300+ yards. For that reason, we have changed the game for her so that she plays shorter distances and thus eliminated the slow play issue. For some reason though, this doesn't seem like the appropriate solution for the golf authorities, and instead we just need bigger holes.

 

Bigger holes will speed play up some, but not to the extent that they are hoping IMO. It will eliminate the time spent by average golfers studying putts inside 10 feet because they will now be gimmies, but aside from that it's not going to do much. Also, I don't expect that it will be a very widely accepted change to the game, because it removes what little skill is required to be a good putter. I know that I would not vote for it (yea, purist and all that).

 

Golf is not a quick game, and it never will be. People need to keep that in mind when playing. However, I get frustrated with slow play just like everyone else and am in favor of trying to speed things up. I believe that if people could remove their pride, the "Tee it Forward" campaign is the best solution. If each course would add novice tees and actually get people to play from them, that would speed the game up as well as potentially make beginners feel more comfortable getting involved in the game. My wife doesn't like me moving her forward because she feels like she's cheating before she ever tees off, but if there was a designated tee box then I think it would remove that stigma. I convince her that it's the best option though by using the pace of play excuse.

post #17 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

Until we see the PGA Tour penalize players for slow play it's lip service and I'm tired of the double standard.  If you want non-pro's to play fast use the pro's as an example of what proper pace of play is.


If recreational golfers feel they can play slow because pros do they need a reality check. For all practical purposes they aren't playing the same game. If for no other reason is hundreds of thousands aren't being won and lost. I see the PGA Tour pace problems and PGA pace campaign as different things with different needs. IMO the pro spending 2 minutes trying to decide which wedge to use in hopes of sticking it close and the weekend golfers kicking through weeds on the way to a triple call for different solutions.

post #18 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 


If recreational golfers feel they can play slow because pros do they need a reality check. For all practical purposes they aren't playing the same game. If for no other reason is hundreds of thousands aren't being won and lost. I see the PGA Tour pace problems and PGA pace campaign as different things with different needs. IMO the pro spending 2 minutes trying to decide which wedge to use in hopes of sticking it close and the weekend golfers kicking through weeds on the way to a triple call for different solutions.

I agree 100%, but non-pro's seem to think if it works for the pro's it will work for them.  I see guys taking practice swing all the time just because they think that's what they are supposed to do.  I see guys lining up parallel and perpendicular to the hole on greens and taking practice putts only to blow it past the hole or leave it 20' short.  They stand over their ball looking at their GPS, throwing grass in the air agonizing over which club to select.

 

Many non-pro golfers want to play the same equipment the pro's do and mimic what they see they see the pro's do on the course.

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