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What Constitutes Slow Play?


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58 minutes ago, DrvFrShow said:

I can't wait for the state to open up full again so people go back to work and the courses aren't as crowded.

That's the key takeaway here...

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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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2 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

 I can't wait for the state to open up full again so people go back to work and the courses aren't as crowded.

I've been working primarily from home since the pandemic began and I haven't found the time to play as much golf as before the pandemic.  I need to get on these people's schedule. :-$

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2 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

they had enough and wanted to split off and play ahead. Fine, but it just slowed the course down even more because we had to wait for them to wait for the group in front etc

I understand wanting to get away from the complainers but overall it hurt those behind you.

Good part is you could hit into them and tell them to pick up the pace since they were now holding you up.😜

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3 hours ago, Sandy Lie said:

Played #8 today in 2:40.  Just a twosome in carts. Played through a Resort Foursome.  Could have played a bit faster but my friend who is 70 can’t seem to find his ball much anymore.  I’ve become his fore caddie!  LOL!  Age has its own handicap on the course.

Just missed you by a few days, we played #8 on Sunday a week ago, during the afternoon members times.  The first 9 wasn't bad, but we played too quick, and ran into the last few groups waiting to begin their round in the double-tee system.  Ah well, it was golf.

22 hours ago, Billy Z said:

Our 4some just played this saturday in 4 hours. I never, ever, expect to play under 4 hours on a saturday. I'll take 4-4:15 any day the course has a good amount of people on it. This 3-3.5 hour round is only for those who don't have anybody infront of them. It's impossible on most days when teeing off other than the first group or two.

I think a major part of the slow play discussion is personal preference and local custom.  In some parts of the world a walking fourball playing in 3-1/2 hours is normal, 4 is really slow.  In others, getting done in 4-12 is pretty quick.  The one critical thing is to be able to adapt, to speed up play to meet the local standard, or to accept slower play when its unavoidable.  If you can't walk 18 holes in 3:30, don't go to Scotland, if you can't stand taking 4:30 to play don't go to most golf resorts in the US.  And I mean the generic "you", not any particular person.

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For the most part, golfers are at the mercy of the slowest group on the course. Yes, they can be passed, but not by the majority. It really has to be a totally concerted effort by all players on the course, and that is difficult. Personally, if I could count on a round lasting 4 hours flat, I would be very pleased.

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I think 3-3:30 is a good pace for a foursome. Course difficulty, familiarity, and setup matter. Can fly around my local track. Other courses which are more challenging would be difficult to hit under 3:00 unless many things fall in place.
Playing fast is enjoyable. Constantly thinking about playing fast probably isn’t enjoyable for most people. 

My group can still be relatively fast but when 3 of us are on the same cadence and the 4th isn’t and your constantly thinking “just hit the damn ball” that 3:30 round will feel glacial.

In my area if you want to play quickly on the weekend at a public grab one of the early tee times. Get anything after about 7:30 AM and it’s a crap shoot. 8:00 AM and after and it’d be like winning a small lotto to finish under 4:15. Too many casual golfers fill the weekends where it’s not a big deal to commit a significant chunk of the day since they are only doing it like once a month. Their focus is a bit more socializing and enjoying the company. And none of that is to say there arent a ton of more serious players which are terribly slow. 

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Me and a friend, as a twosome, played behind a foursome ofyounger players say in their mid-twenties. I see it often with younger golfers especially, the feeling they have to play the back tees for validation. They could hardly keep anything in play and we're constantly looking for golf balls in the heather (links course). They would have definitely been better off playing from the front tees. They also spent too much time on the green trying to get a read on their putts. I think golfers try to mimic the PGA players and take too much time. For us as a twosome it really challenges your stamina/focus due to waiting all the time. It probably wouldn't have done any good to play through because there was at least one other foursome in front of them just as bad. I really don't care to play through other golfers in such situations, that throws me off as well.

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I played Sunday with one friend and two of his friends that I had met once before.   These guys don't keep a handicap but enjoy getting out on the golf course.   On one hole, my friend was about 6" from the hole having missed his bogey putt.   I gave him the putt and one of the guys piped up and said "No, he has to get the full course experience.   He paid full price, he has to putt it.".   I told him to pick it up.   We finished in 5 hours!  UGH!!!

I played with a different group today and thought we played slow but were not hindered or pushed by anybody on the course.  3:30.   Everyone played ready golf.  

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What constitutes slow play?

Being by yourself with a foursome behind you and taking pictures of the birds in the area for 10 minutes, even if five minutes is just filming geese shitting. Then you finish playing the hole and continue to film the geese shitting.

Your taking so long over the ball and duffing in front of Alli and I or Alina and I and we have enough time to drop a fishing line in and catch a fish and put it in a bucket... that’s slow. 
 

I went to play golf and ended up going on a fishing trip.

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32 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

 On one hole, my friend was about 6" from the hole having missed his bogey putt.   I gave him the putt and one of the guys piped up and said "No, he has to get the full course experience.   He paid full price, he has to putt it.".   I told him to pick it up.   We finished in 5 hours!  UGH!!!

Do you really think that the reason it took so long is because some were holing everything out? A 6 inch putt is literally a tap in that should take no more than 3 seconds to complete.

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TIL @Billy Z is an ageist.

I think the number of people (regardless of age) playing the wrong tees is fairly small.

We have a topic about that somewhere.

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I would encourage folks to read "Out of Time" by Bill Yates. There are many contributing factors to slow play, and golfers are only part of the overall picture. It definitely opened my eyes to elements that are out of my personal control with regards to pace of play. For example, I didn't realize that courses can have an official pace of play rating, which is determined by some sort of simulation software. From reading the book, I recall that most course pace ratings fall somewhere around the 4-hour mark. So given a fully booked course, under typical circumstances, expecting a 3-hour round is probably unreasonable.

 

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1 hour ago, Bonvivant said:

Do you really think that the reason it took so long is because some were holing everything out? A 6 inch putt is literally a tap in that should take no more than 3 seconds to complete.

That one putt wasn't the cause but the result of additional slow play.   That attitude toward the pace of play was the cause of slow play.    "I paid my $$, I'm going to get the full course experience".  You've have thought that everyone was playing for big $$ and taking forever before each shot.   I was trying to speed up play w/o success.  

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40 minutes ago, iacas said:

TIL @Billy Z is an ageist.

I think the number of people (regardless of age) playing the wrong tees is fairly small.

We have a topic about that somewhere.

Sorry, I agree,

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1 hour ago, dennyjones said:

That one putt wasn't the cause but the result of additional slow play.   That attitude toward the pace of play was the cause of slow play.    "I paid my $$, I'm going to get the full course experience".  You've have thought that everyone was playing for big $$ and taking forever before each shot.   I was trying to speed up play w/o success.  

Gotcha. I used to care what other people did in their round (usually this was some form of rule breaking, not pace related), but then I realized that they paid their own money for whatever experience they wanted, so it wasn't any of my business. I have gone ahead of my group that I was paired with if we fell behind, but couldn't do it with friends.

 

There are 3 types of golfers that I see being "slow". I have played with all of these types and usually I will break off ahead if it is bad enough.

1.) "The all-dayer": Usually a married guy that has convinced his wife that golf takes 7 hours, and less often a college aged guy that is trying to get sloshed. Typical round time would be 5+ hours if you let them, with the remaining time spent on post round drinks.

2.) "The pro": Anyone that replicates what they see on TV. Double plum-bobbing starting after its their turn to play and backing off of shots because of birds or wind are common occurrences. Round time is definitely over 4 hours on an open course if you get 3 or more in a group.

3.) "The cheapskate", can actually play a round of golf in under 3 hours, but prefers to spend time hunting for golf balls. Usually it's their own, but could be lost in the woods for up to 10 minutes on a trail of urethane gold. If they don't come out of the round with 2 dozen more balls than they started with, it's a day wasted.

 

I've heard that in Europe PoP is more strictly enforced, and IIRC they almost enforced PoP at Troon in 2016, but they decided against it. I would love to play their, where carts are rare and you must move your butt....or else.

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I agree that the flow of the round has alot more to do with the subjective experience of speed than does the actual speed you're playing.

I've been called a slow player, but that was in the first few years I played. When I started playing with better golfers, I quickly learned how to not play slow. It isn't any one thing. It's alot of little things...having brief routines, being ready when it's your turn, watching your ball and others' balls when they go offline, putting the cart in the correct place, not leaving clubs around that you have to walk all over the place to pick up, not doing inconsiderate things like re-putting the one you just missed, making practice/correction swings after hitting a bad shot, etc. I like to talk, and I occasionally have to tell myself to shut up and play. 

Not everyone walks the same speed...not everyone eats at the same rate, or takes the same length shower, etc. So it's a little unfair to ask everyone to play at some arbitrarily defined speed. People should be allowed to take their time and enjoy their round within reason, and by that I mean in the context of the situation. If it's a super crowded course on a weekend, you're being an assh*le if you hold people up, even if it feels like you have to rush a little. If you don't like rushing - I absolutely HATE being rushed - then don't play golf on a day like that. Or, learn how to deal with feeling rushed, if you have no other days you can play. 

By contrast, if it's Sunday afternoon at my club, where often there aren't alot of people playing, and a single player is pressuring a slow-ish husband and wife, standing with hands on hips on every tee, etc., I think this is inconsiderate as well. 

I played in a threesome of college friends Friday, and it took us about 4:05 to walk 18 on a hilly course with push carts. We see each other a couple of times a year and usually talk alot, and the marshall reminded us on the 6th hole that we were out of position, and so we stepped up the pace and played the last 12 faster. On Monday, playing absolutely horribly, but as a single, at my private club course, I played 18 holes in 2:10. Tonight, playing 9 holes at the same club, with a cart, hitting nothing more than quarter and half shots (it was an experiment), I finished in an hour. 

Playing 18 holes in under 4 hours is not - or should not be - that difficult for most people. 

 

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55 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

3.) "The cheapskate", can actually play a round of golf in under 3 hours, but prefers to spend time hunting for golf balls. Usually it's their own, but could be lost in the woods for up to 10 minutes on a trail of urethane gold. If they don't come out of the round with 2 dozen more balls than they started with, it's a day wasted.

Don’t give me any entrepreneurship opportunities.

Edited by onthehunt526
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