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What Constitutes Slow Play?


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Got stuck behind an outing today, apparently was a last minute booking.   we were the first group after the outing.  Still teed off at 1209 scheduled.   Unfortunately the Group ahead of us, and ahead of them SUCKED.  Scramble format, and their best shots were 75 yards off the tee.   Then they would wait for the green to clear 200 yards out just to hit 4 shanks.   5 and a half hours later!   95 degrees today in NY. If I didn't pay and drive over an hour, I would have walked off after it took an hour to do 3 holes.   Oh and yea, had to call club house because they drove across the first green

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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."

I said it earlier, but I'll repeat it.  You can be playing at a very good pace, well within the acceptable pace at a specific facility, but if there's a faster group behind you and there's consistentl

Will see if the lessons are learned by the slower players on my league last.   Today we needed to beat the rain to get our round in. As usual I was in the last group since my job is to send people

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On 6/4/2021 at 1:29 PM, phan52 said:

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.

I'm not sure I agree that this is slow play, but they really should have invited faster players (your group) to play through.  Its absolutely possible to play at a reasonable pace, and still be going slow enough to inconvenience faster groups.  

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On 5/1/2021 at 4:49 PM, Sandy Lie said:

Haven’t read 100% of the posts but I find that early morning golfers play faster. Reason being that mid morning golfers may on average be older and tend to start later.  My typical tee time is no later than 8:00am, and now with summer it’s around 7:15.  If I’m playing courses 2, 4 or 8 here at Pinehurst resort tee times have priority most of the time. They start at 6:50 when Spring arrives and if your lucky to get an early Member time on those courses under those circumstances it’s guaranteed a 4+ hour round will occur.  I used to think that caddies speed up play but find more often than not it doesn’t.  But if we’re out first on the courses I mentioned we scoot around in less 3 and 1/2 hours walking. 

…another slow snail pace round on #2.  While putting we watched two Resort tee times go off, the first one we felt was the pace makers for the round, that was until the next group in front of us teed it up.  A total of nine tee shots were taken before they started down the fairway. Yes they decided to play the tips. To make it worse one guy was using his cellphone to record the group. Storms were set to roll in around 1:00 and we hoped our 9:00AM start time would be fine.  Both of those groups had caddies by the way.  I’ll just say our round was very statuesque as we waited all day.  At 4 hours and 20 minutes we made it to the par 3 15th the weather changed very quickly and it came down hard and fast. We dumped the push carts and jumped in the other guys carts and hightailed it off the course.  Hope they had umbrellas!

If you like slow play the place to be is at Pinehurst in the Summer.

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1 minute ago, Sandy Lie said:

…another slow snail pace round on #2.  While putting we watched two Resort tee times go off, the first one we felt was the pace makers for the round, that was until the next group in front of us teed it up.  A total of nine tee shots were taken before they started down the fairway. Yes they decided to play the tips. To make it worse one guy was using his cellphone to record the group. Storms were set to roll in around 1:00 and we hoped our 9:00AM start time would be fine.  Both of those groups had caddies by the way.  I’ll just say our round was very statuesque as we waited all day.  At 4 hours and 20 minutes we made it to the par 3 15th the weather changed very quickly and it came down hard and fast. We dumped the push carts and jumped in the other guys carts and hightailed it off the course.  Hope they had umbrellas!

If you like slow play the place to be is at Pinehurst in the Summer.

I guess if I’m going to go to Pinehurst or Mid-Pines, I’ll have to go in the Fall/Winter offseason.

7:15... wanna golf with me at 5:00 am on the Solstice?

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"Anyone who drives faster than you is a maniac! Anyone who drives slower than you is an idiot! - George Carlin"

Thanks for the Saturday morning laugh, boogielicious.

My old golf partner George Zakarian, may he rest in peace, once told a group of officers at the Fort Eustis golf course, "We may suck, but we suck fast."  Zak and I used to play 18 holes at Norwich Golf Course in Connecticut in two hours, with a cart.  (The 1980's.)

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On 6/10/2021 at 9:37 PM, Sandy Lie said:

 A total of nine tee shots were taken before they started down the fairway. Yes they decided to play the tips. 

If you like slow play the place to be is at Pinehurst in the Summer.

While a breakfast ball is understandable, FIVE of them is, well, geez, rude! I imagine they felt entitled, to "get their money's worth" at the historic #2. Never mind that they are essentially making it so other groups cannot get _their_ money's worth...

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Will see if the lessons are learned by the slower players on my league last.  

Today we needed to beat the rain to get our round in. As usual I was in the last group since my job is to send people out.  I put the 3 slowest players with me in the last group,  I then pushed them the whole way.

 At one time a guy was waiting for me to play first but I was only 170 out and was going for the green,  this guy can’t hit a driver 170 and was @ 165 out. I asked if he was hitting to the green and when he said “No” I said then why wait, hit away.  Another time I handed him his driver while I walked to the tee box.

At one point he commented the course could not be played in less than 2 1/2 hours.  I then told him we just finished in 1 hour 55 minutes. And he said “No way I was never rushing”.  I told him it was not about rushing, it is about being ready to play and playing smart.

In the bar afterward most players commented how nice it was to get around in less than 2 hrs.

I can only hope they remember next week.

 

 

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On 6/7/2021 at 10:00 AM, DaveP043 said:

I'm not sure I agree that this is slow play, but they really should have invited faster players (your group) to play through.  Its absolutely possible to play at a reasonable pace, and still be going slow enough to inconvenience faster groups.  

That’s why most scorecards say “ Let faster groups play through”, not “Let faster players play through unless you think that you’re playing at a reasonable pace”… 😉

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On 6/7/2021 at 10:00 AM, DaveP043 said:

I'm not sure I agree that this is slow play, but they really should have invited faster players (your group) to play through.  Its absolutely possible to play at a reasonable pace, and still be going slow enough to inconvenience faster groups. 

I agree as long as they were not holding up people behind them. If they did, if they let them play through, then it's not bad.

If they have a group in front of them, who are crazy fast, it's not slow play for the group behind them if they play at a good pace. 

19 hours ago, David in FL said:

That’s why most scorecards say “ Let faster groups play through”, not “Let faster players play through unless you think that you’re playing at a reasonable pace”… 😉

Yep. If you are being pressed, just let a group play through. 

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the example of the group with two holes above is certainly one of those infuriating things. The lack of awareness can be frustrating and I know for me at least, the long waits between shots tend to lead to higher scores.

 

But I will also say...and this in no way justifies or is meant to be less critical of the slow players...I have been with people I have randomly matched up with who are so intent on monitoring the pace of play of others that they make the round unfun. Playing in a tournament...where you know good and well it is going to be a long round, I just assume going in 5-1/2 hours and am usually not far off...we had a guy so mad at the group in front of us as he thought they were slow, slow on the greens, slow getting to their ball...

 

and we get to a par three, they are on the green putting when the group ahead of them finally gets in their carts and drives around the green to get to the next hole. And from the tee box we are on we can see that green and teebox...that group was hitting their approach shot to the green.

 

So one group has left the 8th green, the next group is hitting their approach shot, a third is about to tee off, the group ahead of us is on the 7th green (a par 3) and we are on the tee box...and this guy is so disgusted with the slow play of the group ahead of us that he is heading over to the tournament director to complain. Even worse, he was making so many comments and exhibiting his disgust in other ways that it was miserable to be around him and detracted from my enjoyment of the round.

 

Was it slow? Absolutely. Over 2-1/2 hours for the front 9. Would I like it faster? Yep. Do I need to be a miserable $%^& about it and ruin other peoples rounds? Blame every chunk and thin and slice on the people ahead of me? Be pathologically incapable of counting strokes? (I actually finally called him on that...you say four? one was into the sand, the other was short, front of the green...3 putt...might be six." he counts it off...oh yeah, guess it was") 

 

I get it. We all need to play faster. We all wish the people ahead of us who are always the culprits would play faster. But stop being so intent on whether they are slow that you impact the enjoyment of the round for your playing partners.

 

Okay, now I need help getting down from my soapbox...

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On 6/10/2021 at 9:37 PM, Sandy Lie said:

…another slow snail pace round on #2.  While putting we watched two Resort tee times go off, the first one we felt was the pace makers for the round, that was until the next group in front of us teed it up.  A total of nine tee shots were taken before they started down the fairway. Yes they decided to play the tips. To make it worse one guy was using his cellphone to record the group. Storms were set to roll in around 1:00 and we hoped our 9:00AM start time would be fine.  Both of those groups had caddies by the way.  I’ll just say our round was very statuesque as we waited all day.  At 4 hours and 20 minutes we made it to the par 3 15th the weather changed very quickly and it came down hard and fast. We dumped the push carts and jumped in the other guys carts and hightailed it off the course.  Hope they had umbrellas!

If you like slow play the place to be is at Pinehurst in the Summer.

Thanks for this. We were considering Pinehurst as a retirement location. I'm a fairly fast player. This would drive me nuts! I'm very surprised the starters would allow this. Also, I thought the caddies might push them a bit. I guess they are afraid they might hurt their tip.

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I still find that 4 golfers walking no matter the skill set can and will be faster than most weekend warrior carts. In my opinion when carts are taken by a certain faction of golfers it is as if they have resigned to the fact that they are at a bbq with golf clubs. Brutal! Bbq golfers are the worst. 

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Course closures have my home course packed every day.

Pace has been bad enough that a couple of people in my normal foursome think we ought to make it a fivesome.  I do like playing with the prospective fifth and maybe it won't matter much with the way pace has been lately. Still shudder at the idea.

Guess we can start out three and two and adapt as the round develops.

 

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On 6/3/2021 at 9:06 PM, colin007 said:

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

^This.

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1 hour ago, jmanbooyaa said:

I still find that 4 golfers walking no matter the skill set can and will be faster than most weekend warrior carts. In my opinion when carts are taken by a certain faction of golfers it is as if they have resigned to the fact that they are at a bbq with golf clubs. Brutal! Bbq golfers are the worst. 

Not necessarily true at all. Put those walkers in carts and they'll be faster. Fast players are fast players, and players who walk learn to be fast because otherwise they end up walking 30% more. So they learn the "tricks" to be pretty fast. Also, they have to stay ahead of people in carts (or keep up with them in their own groups).

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8 hours ago, iacas said:

Not necessarily true at all. Put those walkers in carts and they'll be faster. Fast players are fast players, and players who walk learn to be fast because otherwise they end up walking 30% more. So they learn the "tricks" to be pretty fast. Also, they have to stay ahead of people in carts (or keep up with them in their own groups).

Yes that type of player in a cart would move faster. Carts are faster than walking. I am referring more to the type of golfer. I probably should have specified that those are the 4 golfers I was talking about. They know how to move around the course. 

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7 hours ago, iacas said:

Not necessarily true at all. Put those walkers in carts and they'll be faster. Fast players are fast players, and players who walk learn to be fast because otherwise they end up walking 30% more. So they learn the "tricks" to be pretty fast. Also, they have to stay ahead of people in carts (or keep up with them in their own groups).

Agree 100% fast players are always fast.  Here’s a funny add on….played #4 the other day, just a threesome. Myself, a young kid from Texas that was here playing in a Junior event and another Member.  We were all walkers.  On the very 1st hole it was evident that we would be slow!  The kid played the Green, we played White tees. I’ll only describe the first hole and just multiple this by 18.  I was on in two, the kid was just off in two as was the other player. I putted, got it close and finished. The kid was next and he did the same.  Player 3. Here is what he did for all 18 holes. First he looked at his line from behind the ball. Then he walked counterclockwise to a midpoint away from the pin and squatted to look at the green surface. Then he walked to the far side of the pin, squatted again and looked back towards his ball to look at the line a 3rd time. Then he walked half way back and squatted a 4th time to look at the surface again. I watched this for a few holes, then on the 5th hole the kid looked at me and raised his eyebrows, I chuckled.  After a few more holes the kid  couldn’t wait any longer and just putted when he was ready, I did the same.  This guy never varied from his approach to his putting, I’ll give him that, but talk about slow play!  I may look at a tricky putt now and then, but this was ridiculous! IMO.

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1 hour ago, Sandy Lie said:

Agree 100% fast players are always fast.  Here’s a funny add on….played #4 the other day, just a threesome. Myself, a young kid from Texas that was here playing in a Junior event and another Member.  We were all walkers.  On the very 1st hole it was evident that we would be slow!  The kid played the Green, we played White tees. I’ll only describe the first hole and just multiple this by 18.  I was on in two, the kid was just off in two as was the other player. I putted, got it close and finished. The kid was next and he did the same.  Player 3. Here is what he did for all 18 holes. First he looked at his line from behind the ball. Then he walked counterclockwise to a midpoint away from the pin and squatted to look at the green surface. Then he walked to the far side of the pin, squatted again and looked back towards his ball to look at the line a 3rd time. Then he walked half way back and squatted a 4th time to look at the surface again. I watched this for a few holes, then on the 5th hole the kid looked at me and raised his eyebrows, I chuckled.  After a few more holes the kid  couldn’t wait any longer and just putted when he was ready, I did the same.  This guy never varied from his approach to his putting, I’ll give him that, but talk about slow play!  I may look at a tricky putt now and then, but this was ridiculous! IMO.

So you and the kid got to be greenside spectators for 3ish minutes on every green after the 5th...

I look at my putts from multiple angles but I do it while others are lining up their putts.

I played a round yesterday and one member of the foursome was a bit slow because of his routine.  We started falling behind.  The slo-poke, on every shot, would look up at the pin, look down, look back up at the pin, look down, rinse and repeat.

Finally Ron, getting flustered at the slow play, spoke to him point-blank.  "You know, the pin isn't moving anywhere when you look down!"

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