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.
I actually totally disagree with this. A golfer has a right to play however fast or slow he wants to play within certain parameters. I will admit it - I'm a pretty slow player. When I have any pitch, I walk from my ball to the green, look, and walk back. When I have a chip, I look at it from behind the hole as well as behind the ball. I mark each ball and I putt everything out. If you need to be slow to play the mental game properly, then you should be "slow". However, the pros are "slow" for a reason - it helps them. Throwing out for a minute nonsense like "you play better fast" - which I think is true until you get within 40-50 yards of the green - the pros take a long time to decide their shots in the short game, and then a relatively quick time to execute once they've made a decision. I totally disagree 100% that an amateur golfer (or even a high capper) plays the same or worse as when they take the time to read the green on pitches/chips, mark all their putts, and take their time. Went to the Zurich this past weekend and followed Charles Howell. CH3 took about 6 seconds per shot on the tee. Took about 6 minutes per shot in the short game. There is a difference, and time can help you hit better short shots into greens, especially if you aren't familiar with them.
Further, we amateurs like to play in tournaments from time to time. It doesn't work to not look at pitches/chips/putts from all angles during practice (go "fast") then turn on your brain in the tournament and start trying to do all the work you can to hit the best shot you can. You can't (At least I can't) turn it on and off like a light switch.
That said, and the reason I get a bit heated up at threads like this, is that you don't have the right to play as fast as you want. You have the right to play at a reasonable pace that allows the round to be finished in the time it should take for that particular course. No more, no less. My course recommends we play a round in four hours and fifteen minutes. Last Saturday, my round was about four hours on the dot. There were groups behind us an open holes in front of us, but we finished well within the allotted time and, as such, we were not slow. If my course drops to 3 hour rounds, I'll pick it up or find somewhere else to play. But if recommended time is 4 hours 15 minutes, and I finish in 4, you have nothing to complain about.
As I've said previously in the thread, there needs to be an objective standard. Without one, you are "fast" if your faster than the guy behind you and "slow" if your slower than the guy behind me. I can play a 3 1/2 hour round, but if the guy behind me is on pace for 3 hours then I'm "slow". I can play a five hour round, but if the guy behind me is playing at 5 1/2 hours, I'm "fast".
I don't play well distracted. I don't want to look behind me to see if I happened to draw a fast group behind this morning. I shut it out. I finish my round in 4 hours 15 minutes or less and ignore everyone else. If my round, for some reason, is going to be longer than the course guideline, I will start to "pick it up" because at that point I'm slow. I'm not "slow" because you choose to play like a maniac. I'm slow or fast only in comparison to the objective standard posted by the course.
Don't get me started on when "fast" players behind me are "fast" because they aren't playing by the rules (hint: its most of them). Sure, there are really good, really fast players out there, but most of the time people are "fast" because when they hook the first hybrid in the water they don't walk up, figure out the best place to drop, go through club selection again etc.. they just drop another where the hybrid is and hit it again. Few people play fast, play well and play by the rules. Of course they exist, but they are rare in my experience.
Its a silly idea that the pace of the other groups on the golf course should determine your pace. If groups get backed up and we finish in less than the posted course time, its not slow. By definition. Further, if you let other groups speed you up or slow you down you let them get you out of your game, which is 100% unacceptable.
That said, obviously if there is a single behind me or a super-fast group and nobody behind them, I'll let people through all day. But I have zero issue with groups being behind help up behind me if I am playing my round under the posted time.
<puts on fire-retardant suit>
EDIT: Was typing mine before yours went up. Reading now.