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What Constitutes Slow Play?


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I recently played at a "reciprocal club" of our club group. They have two 18 hole courses and they send people off both nines of both courses. We were paired with another twosome. My wife and I are pretty good players and we tend to play fast. We played the front 9 in two hours. It wasn't too bad but it felt slow to me. When we made the turn, however, we hit the wall. We actually had to stop playing on the 14th hole because we had to be somewhere. The couple we played with told us that it usually takes 4 to 41/2 hours to play 18 holes. Now I understand that the course was busy and it was "spring break" but I'm not sure I would be able to do that on a regular basis. It actually effects the way I play because on two of the par 5's, I laid up even though I could have got to the green with two shots just to keep moving. Usually when we play, I try to get a tee time at the "path of least resistance". I'm also not sure sending groups off of both nines and shutting the course down for them all to make the turn is good for pace of play. I would think it's good for getting more players on the golf course therefore increasing revenue. I have always argued that the "four hour" round of golf is too long. That number should be decreased. However I know plenty of people who play four and half hour rounds on week-ends and are okay with it. I guess it's all relative? 

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Sometimes I think golf needs a "DELAY OF GAME: 10 YARD PENALTY" flag to be thrown. "Sorry, Bud. You're teeing off back there now."

New study finds slow walkers four times more likely to die from COVID-19: study  

It’s odd you assume this without ever meeting them. Please keep the subject to slow play and don’t read emotions into posts or insult other posters. Same goes with @Frank F and @ncates00. Keep it

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7 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

There can be a lot of different causes of slow play, but one I see frequently here in mid-Ohio is people not understanding how to use carts efficiently. 

Obviously, these people aren't regular, every-week golfers. They get out there and sit in their cart until it is their turn to hit the ball. To us it sounds stupid, but, maybe, for them it's kind of like paying the rent on the cart means being off your feet for the maximum time possible. 

If everyone took the attitude of getting to your ball as soon as it is safe to do so, half these problems would disappear. 

 

I think this is something where clubs can educate players.  Have notices up asking people to play ready golf and the starter/payment booth should mention it to every group teeing off. It really helps to make people aware of this at the start of the round

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9 hours ago, Darkfrog said:

Those of you playing sub 3:30 rounds, just curious how crowded the courses are?

Before the pandemic, I could easily tee off between 630-730am, or 5-6pm in the summer, finish 18 in the 2:30-3:30 hour range, especially playing solo, and it was easy to play through or simply skip over a slow group ahead to an open hole (and then circle back later if I wanted).

Once golf opened up after the pandemic, unless I get the first tee time of the day, playing in anything less than 4 hours is practically a miracle because the course is perpetually packed. It's usually impossible to skip a hole because there are no open holes, and playing through has a similar hurdle, assuming a group ahead is amenable to it.

I agree, 4:15 is slow, however being accustomed to it now, I'm not miserable playing at this pace like I probably used to be.

I played this week in the afternoon. I was in a twosome. We actually played through a guy playing alone. He told us to play through him as he wanted "to work on some stuff". Which was fine. We played in exactly 3 hours and 30 minutes. We were behind several foursomes of senior gentlemen. (BTW - They all looked to be doing the right thing and playing the "forward" tees.) We waited occasionally, but never for very long. All of those foursomes kept a 3:30 pace. So, it can be done. 

One thing was kind of cool. Is me and the guy I was playing with were probably the youngest 2 guys on the course. 

 

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I mostly avoid playing golf on weekends between 9am and 1pm. I have found during this time that most foursomes are not out there to get a round of golf in, they are there to drink beer and escape their home lives. There is zero urgency to their pace, and most don't seem to be brushed up on etiquette. 

If I can't get an early morning tee time on the weekend (before 8am), I will usually wait until the course thins out around 2pm. 

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1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

Most of us on this forum desire to play faster than we are able to on the courses we play. Your times are fast and our target, but almost unattainable at most courses. The general golfing public is just slow everywhere I’ve played including Florida. When you play other courses than your home course, do you get to play that fast? At peak tee times?

Not very often.  But then, we’re playing slowly.  🙂 

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10 hours ago, iacas said:

3:30pm and 2:00pm.

Those players going out at 12:30 would not be done until 4:45. In my 2:00 round I was done at 5. We didn't run into any of those 12:30 players.

So, no, that's not "way" after that.

Besides, you said:

I played outside those ranges and still played quickly. Did you forget what you said before, or misspeak, or…?

Where's this 90%? Oh, a made-up number?

Even if you conducted a poll of actual golfers, maybe they're thinking 4:15 sounds like a dream since they're typically taking 5 hours. The poll results — not that you conducted a poll, you made up the numbers — doesn't mean it's the right amount of time, either Plenty of people here are telling you that 4:15 is slow.

That was my point. That you played outside the peak times that I gave. So of course you can play in YOUR normal time. That's why I said there are options. Again, try doing that on a Saturday between 10-12:30. If you told the head pro at those times his course was slow at 4:15, he would look at you like you had 3 heads. So would all the golfers with there case of beer stuffed in the cart basket.

3 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Honestly you’re just one of those players who’s part of the problem. You’re a slow player and you have no idea you’re slow. You justify it by stuff like this, ‘ I enjoy it.’ Right. And you couldn’t care less if you’re f****** it up for others because they don’t understand how to enjoy it like you. You’ll never change or bother to understand slow play. 

Nope...We'll be teeing off Saturday around noon, and get 27 holes in, and be home before 5...🙂

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Playing a booked up local/muni course any time it's going to take over 4 hrs. Just accept it or don't play. Private courses may have better pop, but people are people. Yes, 4:15 is not bad. 

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11 hours ago, Zippo said:
2 hours ago, StuM said:

I am going out on a limb and will voice an opinion with no facts to back it up.  I doubt many on this forum are the POP problems.  Sure, we have some that feel 3:30 should be the norm and others that feel 4:15 is acceptable given crowded course conditions, but I do not think any of us are those that take 4:15 when the course is empty or play 5+ hours causing the extreme backups that can occur on many public courses.

 

Assume you have a 5-hour allotment of time for golf on any given day.  That 4:15 round of golf will seriously begin to impinge on your 19th hole grill room time.

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7 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

Playing a booked up local/muni course any time it's going to take over 4 hrs. Just accept it or don't play. Private courses may have better pop, but people are people. Yes, 4:15 is not bad. 

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41 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

Playing a booked up local/muni course any time it's going to take over 4 hrs. Just accept it or don't play. Private courses may have better pop, but people are people. Yes, 4:15 is not bad. 

Well...it doesn’t have to be that way though. It’s like traffic. There’s always gonna be those dumb asses who think merging onto a 70mph highway going 45mph is the way to do it. If everyone understood and had a conscience about what’s good for the whole course even these Munis would be more efficient and to most, more enjoyable.

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5 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Well...it doesn’t have to be that way though. It’s like traffic. There’s always gonna be those dumb asses who think merging onto a 70mph highway going 45mph is the way to do it. If everyone understood and had a conscience about what’s good for the whole course even these Munis would be more efficient and to most, more enjoyable.

Yes, I agree, but the highlighted section is where the problem starts, and I really don't see that changing. It's basically just human nature to a bit selfish.

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45 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I'm sure you've all seen this before, but I thought I'd post it here as its pretty relevant. 

5d38a27249a97e0009568618_BacktoTheCart.g

So much of the damage is done before you even get to your ball.

 

This is one of the better articles on things the average golfer should be doing to speed up play.  I think I will print it out and give to my league on the first day.  We clearly have some who commit one or more of those sins.  One of the worst offenders is actually one of the better golfers.  He is a "Story Teller" and does not seem to understand he can pause it while he hits his tee shot.  When I am grouped with him I have to interrupt him at least 3 times per round to tell him "You are up".  I do not mind being the "Bad Guy" but I do get tired of it.

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Last year I played over 40 different courses.   Some were easy some were very difficult.   Some would allow walking, others because of the distances between holes and the terrain required a cart.    I had some times around 2:15 others around 4:30.   I think I had very few rounds that I really considered extremely slow.    Slow as stated above by @Dunit507 is when there are three groups on one hole and the groups in front aren't keeping up.   In my case, Monday, from hole 11 thru 17 we had 3 groups on every hole and I noticed that there were at least 3 holes open.  Yes, "grinding slow pace of play".

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4 hours ago, Vinsk said:

There’s always gonna be those dumb asses who think merging onto a 70mph highway going 45mph is the way to do it.

You're in Florida.  That must happen to you a lot.  A lot of, uh, well-seasoned folks.  Dust collects under their gas pedals.

3 hours ago, StuM said:

This is one of the better articles on things the average golfer should be doing to speed up play.  I think I will print it out and give to my league on the first day.  We clearly have some who commit one or more of those sins.  One of the worst offenders is actually one of the better golfers.  He is a "Story Teller" and does not seem to understand he can pause it while he hits his tee shot.  When I am grouped with him I have to interrupt him at least 3 times per round to tell him "You are up".  I do not mind being the "Bad Guy" but I do get tired of it.

They'll all read it (or skim it) and say, "Eh, that's not me."

Regarding your story-teller... one of my favorite golfing buddies is the worst at this.  He's usually last up on the tee... now it's time to tell his long, convoluted story.  He's holding down the fort.  He means no harm, doesn't even realize he's doing it.  But man, can he hold forth on the tee!  Talk about filibusters...

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4 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Well...it doesn’t have to be that way though. It’s like traffic. There’s always gonna be those dumb asses who think merging onto a 70mph highway going 45mph is the way to do it. 

Yes there are, but that assessment could seem a bit harsh for the elderly trying to do their best. I don't know your age, not asking for you to tell me, but when you get older things just don't work as well or easy. Getting onto the freeway at speeds that seem low to you may seem fast to the older folks. I would not consider them the description you gave them. They are just people trying to get by. The same can be applied to the game of golf inre of slow play. 

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22 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Regarding your story-teller... one of my favorite golfing buddies is the worst at this.  He's usually last up on the tee... now it's time to tell his long, convoluted story.  He's holding down the fort.  He means no harm, doesn't even realize he's doing it.  But man, can he hold forth on the tee!  Talk about filibusters...

Did I mention he's also a course marshal?   

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