I think the vast majority would agree that a POP recommendation is a minimum speed, and most everybody would ideally be ahead of that.
The POP is that it is just that - the posted pace of play. I'm not "keeping up" with two groups playing 3 and a half hour rounds just because they happen to be put to either side of me. I enjoy my time out there. I'm not in a hurry to get it finished. The POP is the POP. You like playing fast rounds. I don't. Ideally, everyone would play their round per the rules set by the course, which is 4 hours and 15 minutes.
I dislike a 3 and half hour round as much as I dislike a five hour round.
One of the things I love about golf is that when I am on the course, the only thing I think about is golf.
Obviously this isn't true, as you don't think about "only golf" - you get annoyed by what other people are doing, as you''ve said. Thinking about only golf would mean you play to the POP and ignore everyone else which, as you've said, you don't do, as you allow people on cell phones to bother you.
I get the feeling you know it is bad manners, which is why you are so defensive about it
I'm not really "defensive" about it, more just sick of it. I don't think you getting put behind me on the course allows you to dictate how fast I need to play or what I need to do while I'm playing golf. About two weeks ago, a group actually told us to hurry up when we made the turn in an hour and fifty minutes. We are on pace to shatter the POP.
EDIT: It was a twosome behind our threesome. This is what I hate - they didn't care what the speed was, they just didn't want to wait. This is the problem with teaching people that speed is dependant on "keeping up" with another group. Everyone, under that theory, should match their speed to the fastest group. That's silly. Its my round.
You don't get to dictate how fast I play. The course does, through its rules.
Now, yes, you don't take this to extremes. I'm not saying I can just sit on my cell for 10 minutes while you wait fuming. That would be silly. However, its pretty annoying to get a 3 hour speed demon group behind you and have them give you crap. The POP is 4 hours 15 minutes. If I'm playing at a brisk pace, and I get a call, I'm taking it. If I finish in less than the POP, its none of your business.
I agree 5 hour rounds are awful. But some people (like myself) don't like 3 hour rounds either. The POP is a nice, steady pace at my local, and I really don't understand this unsaid obligation to play fast because you happen to be put in front of fast players.