At some point its appropriate to consider position relative to the group ahead. Efficient players might arrive at their ball and be required to wait, that shouldn't count against them. I think you really need to have humans involved. On the other hand, the policy itself is designed to minimize the potential for a player to be penalized. Its a long process, they have to get out of position, get warned they're on the clock, then get a first bad time and get warned again, then get a second bad time and have a penalty stroke assessed. I think they could find ways to tighten up the policy, but I don't think the bulk of the players want to see things get tighter.
I should add, this thread originally was based on the decision to ban green-reading books. I understand that some of the motivation may be pace of play, so I understand the direction we're taking, but we probably shouldn't get too far down the slow play rabbit-hole in this thread, lest we veer completely . Yes, I'm as guilty as anyone, so hopefully this is the last time I discuss slow play here.
Hey guys, I need your help. I just bought an 8.5 degree M4 used off of 2nd swing. It was given a 7 which means scuffs wear etc, but nothing that would hurt performance.
Anyway, I hit it yesterday and the thing I noticed was that it was not loud at all. Sounded kind of dead actually. The ball seemed to fly nicely though. Now admittedly I was comparing it to the sound my m3 makes (which folks have told me is ear piercing). That said, I'm wondering from folks who have used an M4 and M3 if you think the M4 had a much more muted sound from the m3 or not. Also, di you think the M4 was loud, or did your M4 have a more muted sound as well?
The only othe thing I could think of is that maybe the lower loft on the M4 made for a more muted sound?
Please let me know asap as I'm concerned I might have a dead driver and need to send it back to 2nd swing (still paid $220 for it).
Thanks for your help guys!
I'm fairly sure this would go over about like a lead balloon, if only because then players are going to be motivated to start pacing off every single short game shot around the green instead of just looking at the pre-measured distances on their yardage book. If pace of play enforcement remains unchanged, as awful as it currently is, this would only make for even slower rounds on the tour.
At its core, this seems to be a pace of play issue rather than an issue of making the game "too easy". People may say it's about the game being "too easy", but the data doesn't actually show putting to be any easier today than it was decades ago.
Median SG putting on the tour this year is +0.030, and the median SG putting in 2004 (the first year it was tracked) was 0.028. Top SG putting this year is 0.990 and top SG putting in '04 was 0.853, in '05 it was 0.939. The only place there is any difference is in the very best putters on the tour, but even then it's relatively minimal. 2021 sees 15 golfers with SG putting values 0.6 or higher, while 2004 saw 13 golfers with SG putting values 0.5 or higher. That said, the worst putters in 2021 are much worse than the worst of 2004, with -1.326 SG in 2021 and -0.871 in 2004. In 2004 only 9 players were -0.5 strokes or worse, and in 2021 there are 25 players losing more than 0.5 strokes per round from putting alone!
That 0.1 strokes per round difference may seem large considering the tight scoring averages, but it's no different than what you see for every other SG stat - the best players today are better than the best players of 2004 and the worst players are worse in 2021 than in 2004 while the average stays the same (because SG is a metric compared relative to the field, after all). There is a bigger difference between the best and worst players in every category nowadays than there used to be, if the game was easier you would see that gap between best and worst shrink instead of grow. The game is clearly more difficult now on tour than it used to be, and the data is unanimous in highlighting this.
With that in mind, here's what I'd propose instead:
Enforce the pace of play rules more strictly - it's literally that simple. Forget about the Observation List BS, and just start enforcing pace of play for every single player on the course.
Quit using unreliable officials with stopwatches, and just use the far more reliable ShotLink to measure each player with less manpower required. 40 seconds to hit every shot for every player, 10 extra seconds for the first player to hit. One bad time is a warning, further bad times are a one stroke penalty. Because enforcement is both more widespread and more strict, make the warnings reset after each round so that a player gets one warning per round instead of one warning per tournament.
Better yet, use a small portion of the advertising dollars to create a second pot of money alongside the new popularity contest. Rank players based on a weighted scale of scoring average and number of pace warnings, call it "player efficiency" or something, and award money to the top-10 finishers. If the Tour shows it's serious about pace of play by putting their money where their mouth is and players will start to listen. Until then it's all bark, no bite, and slow play will happen regardless of players using green books or other charts and data.