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What Constitutes Slow Play?


PSherrard01

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The fastest player I ever played with was a club pro at Tennyson Park in Dallas, one of the assistants. I played 9 holes with her and one other person. On the first 2 holes, I missed several of her shots because, I guess, I looked away for a microsecond. 

I remember thinking "man, I wish I could play like that." It was as if she pulled the club from the bag, walked up to the ball, stopped, and swung. If I remember correctly, she was a player who took her grip with both hands as soon as she took the club out of the bag. She would look down and set her feet, make one look at the target, and pull the trigger, all as one fluid motion without noticeable stops. Breathtaking. 

I've seen people do this if they are super pissed off or just trying to hurry off the course, but she was talking between shots, smiling, and seemingly enjoying her round as if it was her normal round. 

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1 hour ago, onthehunt526 said:

Don’t give me any entrepreneurship opportunities.

Lol, when I was a kid, my friend and I would sneak onto the country club at dusk to scoop up all the ProVs (and others) that we could. We would sort out the ones we wanted to sell (I think we were doing 20 USD for a dozen proVs), then draft pick style the rest off so we had something to play with. Many-a-lollipops were bought with that ProV money, lol.

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Wednesday Night League Night last night. It was raining and cold, but we had a great time. 

Shotgun start. We started on a par 4, not a problem. The next hole a par 5, the group ahead of us must have just tee'd off. At least that's what we thought. Because when we got to the par 5 not one of the four guys had hit their second shot yet. Okay, fine. 

By the time we had actually played 2 holes there were 2 fully open holes in front of the group in front of us. Did I mention the shotgun start? 

Here's what we noticed. None of them did ANYTHING while the others of them were playing. The 2nd hole we were behind them they had 2 guys on the very right side of the fairway and 2 guys on the very left side of the fairway. The green is wide open... so is the next tee box for that matter. The guys on the right did NOTHING until the guy on the left finished everything. Come on guys, you have two open holes in front of you. 

The ranger came by. He asked us if the guys in front of us were having trouble, losing balls or what not. We told him the situation. He sped them up. The never "made up" the time, but at least they didn't fall any further behind. When we all finished the round there were still 2 open holes in front of these guys. 

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8 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

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.

I think pace of play is enforced at the "tourist" courses in Scotland and Ireland, most commonly by the caddies who will strongly encourage their players to keep up.  At courses with less outside play, I don't think I ever saw a marshal, or any effort towards pace of play beyond an expected duration stated on the scorecard.  But that duration was never more than 4 hours, 3:30 to 3:45 for a fourball was most common. Pace of play was enforced by the players themselves, simple peer pressure.  It didn't take my group long to get in the swing of prompt play.  I remember taking 4 whole hours for our second round at Royal Dornoch, and being completely aghast at how slow the play was.

I'll say it again, slow play is anything slower than is generally expected at a specific course on a specific day.  At most courses in Myrtle Beach at 9 AM in April, 4:30 is pretty good.  At my home club on Saturday at 9 AM, 4 hours is really good (its a long tough walk, and lots of us walk), 4:15 is acceptable.  At Glasgow Gailes in June, 3:40 is about right, 4 hours would be incredible slow.    

 

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36 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I'll say it again, slow play is anything slower than is generally expected at a specific course on a specific day.

It is true that you can get yourself in a good mindset to play slower when you know it is coming. 

 

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1 hour ago, mcanadiens said:

It is true that you can get yourself in a good mindset to play slower when you know it is coming. 

Consider link to "music on the course" thread here. :-P

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18 minutes ago, Missouri Swede said:

Consider link to "music on the course" thread here. :-P

What to do when play gets slow.

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So this one requires a bit of setup:

league play last night: Hole one is dogleg right par 5 that has a creek just short of the green. 2-man scramble format, my partner tops out about a 180 yard drive, normally more in the 140-160 yard range. My first tee shot was above average, cutting the corner and going 279. The other three guys all went as they were laying up, I waited for the green to clear, about 240 out, hit a 3w. Unfortunately, it had a bit too much left to right movement on it, causing a yell of "fore" and whistled over the next tee box which is a bit right of the first green.

Second hole is an uphill 256. I have overdriven the green one of the two times I have played it. Once again the other three guys go, I thought I saw the green clear, and absolutely torch my drive. I was pretty sure I was going to be on the upslope past the green again...then when we are walking up the hill I see them leaving the green so I had not seen what I thought I saw...and mysteriously the ball was halfway to the hole, a 200 yard drive. They definitely gave us a look making me wonder if I had hit into them again, they had enough and shipped it back down the hill. With the line I had taken, the ball flight...there was nothing it could have hit and I know my game...I know when I hit a poor tee shot and that wasn't it.

Regardless, that was in my head the rest of the round. So hole #5, about 263 from where we were teeing off, with trees guarding the right and a slight dogleg to a green protected by nasty bunkers. I am not trying to reach the green but the two guys we are playing were. My partner was allowed to tee off out of turn, with a titanic 120 yard tee shot. 2 of us hit it far enough to reach the green but neither he nor I had the fade on it to be on. Group behind us is eyeballing us for not having teed off.

Hole 7 is a par 5 but water about 260 out and another dogleg right so no driver here. So again the group behind us watches as we wait for the group ahead to clear the creek, I put a 3h exactly where they had been and the other two guys, one tries to clear the creek but gets a bit squirrelly and misses. We then wait for them to clear green and 2 of us are at least mid green depth on our approaches (although mine missed right and his missed left). We get the hairy eyeball from the grou ahead of us as they are on the 8th tee box which is about 30-40 yards right of the green. 

 

So this is what the group behind us has seen.

Hole 9 is a driveable 300ish yard hole where you tee off a cliff, the green is elevated but not as much as the tee box and has sand left front and right. The first two league nights I played this side I was even with back of the green in the right fringe and even with the middle of the green on the left. 


The group I have hit into at least once, possibly twice and that both  our opponents and us have been pushing all round is on the green. The group behind us rolls up with just my partner having teed off as he is no threat to get there. 

 

We heard a comment on "slow play" and "no need to wait" when both opponents come up about 50-60 yards short off to the right and I end up 20 yards short of the green. 

 

There is no doubt the group behind us, who were waiting every tee box, felt like we were slow. At the same time, they routinely were hitting their tee shots with no danger of hitting into us before we hit our approach shots..we were that much longer than them...and we were running balls closer to the group in front that I am comfortable with. My first one was an unavoidable miss...my partner had put a ball close to the creek, no point to me replicating his shot and I had plenty of distance to reach the green, I just hit too much fade. Hole 2, I thought I had waited for them to clear green, still not sure what I saw. 

 

But after, accidentally or not, reasonably or not, having hit close to another group I am going to leave extra space. In a league where birdies and winning score points, pars and worse don't...I feel like waiting to hit the appropriate shot is reasonable and am not bothered by the not infrequent shot that could have safely been hit in that instance a couple minutes early. Safety is paramount and we were waiting on the group ahead of us every shot anyway. 

 

But to the group behind us...it looked like we were slow players.

 

Funny thing is...it was something illuminating for me. I am  generally one of the longer hitters when paired with randoms and typically average or short in tournaments. Per golfpad, my all time driver average is 253, with over the past 10 rounds being 256. When I play with lower cap players, that is when I run into the guys who hit longer than me and I am finding...when mixed with shorter hitter(s), say my partner...it actually can make the round longer or at least feel longer for the longer hitters. 

 

And for the group behind, it can seem like the long hitting group is slow as they often have to wait, but with a lot of courses you can't always see the group ahead, so if you roll up on a group on the tee and nobody is in sight, second guy just about to tee off...they might be keeping up with the group ahead just fine, it just needs more time to wait for safety to be able to hit. I have been a lot of courses where I had to wait and thought it was the group ahead only to finally each a hole where I could see a hole and a half ahead and see the group in front of me has been waiting.

Just a mildly different perspective that has been bouncing around the fringes of my twisted little mind.

 

 

 

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Uphill 330 yd par 4, my son and his buddy were being chastised for coming too close to the green on their drives. Guys on the green said they should have waited. Seriously? You think they should wait for you to clear the green on a par four the odds of them hitting are very, very slim? Talk about slowing up play........

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21 hours ago, Big Lex said:

being ready when it's your turn

Also, being too tied up with the concept of having a "turn". If nobody's hitting, hit the damn ball.

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2 hours ago, darthweasel said:

And for the group behind, it can seem like the long hitting group is slow as they often have to wait, but with a lot of courses you can't always see the group ahead, so if you roll up on a group on the tee and nobody is in sight, second guy just about to tee off...they might be keeping up with the group ahead just fine, it just needs more time to wait for safety to be able to hit.

Definitely understand this. The shortest player in the group should always go first, and in ascending order, birdies be damned.

2 hours ago, darthweasel said:

Hole 9 is a driveable 300ish yard hole where you tee off a cliff, the green is elevated but not as much as the tee box and has sand left front and right.

 

2 hours ago, darthweasel said:

Per golfpad, my all time driver average is 253, with over the past 10 rounds being 256.

This sounds like it isn't reachable, but I don't know the actual layout, but even if you actually made the green, its a roller.

2 hours ago, darthweasel said:

We heard a comment on "slow play" and "no need to wait" when both opponents come up about 50-60 yards short off to the right and I end up 20 yards short of the green.

Kind of agree, but really hard to tell.

 

I have "hit into" people before, where my ball is rolling to them at 5 mph and there was never any danger, and these situations happened on some of my longest drives (more often 3 woods) ever. If the green is 30-50 yards out of your normal range you should probably tee it up as soon as they are on the green.

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Anybody who is slower than me.  Right @coachjimsc :beer:

I played in an interclub match today, we were the first group out, we played in 3 1/2 hours, second group I played in 4 1/2 hours.  That is slow.

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12 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

ed.

 

This sounds like it isn't reachable, but I don't know the actual layout, but even if you actually made the green, its a roller.

 

only reason I say it is reachable is in three attempts in league play I have been 1) even with back of the green just off the right edge, 2) front third of green just off to the left and 3) this week was 20ish yards short. For some reason certain holes just "fit" my eye and approach and they tend to be longer and straighter. I also have a few 215 yard drives to my "credit" which is why my average is as slow as it is. I have a lot of misses low and high both on the club face. Helps explain also why with my length and all the time I have spent on my short game my cap this year has ranged from 12.8 to 15.3....

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Today I practiced at the course instead of playing. I was on the short game area and noticed a foursome on 9. They were moving at a glacial pace. Same issues too with two in a cart, but going to one ball at a time. When I finished my practice about 20 minutes later, I could see them still on 10. Luckily the course was empty due to the fog, otherwise these guys would be holding up the whole course.

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32 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

They were moving at a glacial pace. 

Their watch has an hour hand, a minute hand, a second hand, .... oh and an eon hand. 

tumblr_8c44701d012c79e49f4b1ca6b1a1b96d_b5a76f8b_400.gif.5efce3cde5b33ae5d59d33a32bf1175e.gif

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We are expected to play a round at our course in 4:05. If you take longer than this, you get a letter, do it twice you can be suspended from play during busy hours. I always try to keep within one hole of the group in front. It is very easy to play our course in 3;30-3:40, and most do, but all it takes is one group to slow the whole place down. Yesterday, we were behind a group that finished in the allotted time, but the group in front of them finished two holes ahead. I suggest that this constitutes slow play.

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I think playing from the wrong tees doesn't help, but people have egos. I played yesterday. I had two blow up holes where I just picked up because I felt to play it out would have held up play - took net DB on both. It didn't matter because I had to wait for my group to finish playing out the holes. Look, I know when guys get older they don't want to admit that hitting the drive 170 yds means that perhaps they shouldn't be playing from the 6300 yd tees anymore. The 200 yd drive is a pipe dream. I watched this one guy getting frustrated because he can no longer reach any of the greens in regulation. Move up to the senior tees. No one will think less of you. But I understand it's admitting you're getting old. It happens to everyone. 

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