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What Constitutes Slow Play?


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10 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

I take exception with that. I can (easily) play in 3.5 hours, walking, and putt out as well. In fact, the putter is probably the best club in my bag.

What I don't do however is pretend that every putt is for a million bucks (who pays that anyway, as I want in on that action...), read the f**ing thing from all sides, twice, and only start doing all that when it's my turn, then proceed to miss the putt and do it all over again.

I routinely see fairly fast groups tee-to-green that literally drop anchor on the green for maybe 10 minutes!  Stop. Doing. That

Having never played with you, I find it interesting that you could take exception with anything that I wrote. What I conveyed was how I personally witness guys who love to brag about playing fast (is it really a race to the 19th hole or to a lower handicap?) and yet, they are the same guys that either can't putt from 3 feet when when it counts in match play or in Club events mainly because they constantly give themselves and others 6 footers as a "gimme".

I don't know about you, but I live on a golf course. When I tee it up at 8 a.m., that is my day. I'm there to try to shoot my lowest score every day. As long as I am keeping pace, that's all anyone can expect to be honest.

Some guys here who are retired seem to be in a great hurry to a. Not putt out. b. Brag about a 3.5 hour round c. Run home to take a shower and a nap. 

I don't walk around the hole from all sides (although I am entitled to having paid my fees) nor, do I pretend that every putt is for a million bucks. However, how do you know that what you might be witnessing is someone who just may be shooting his/her lowest round of their life? 

In my opinion, having a 3.5 hour round is less important than reducing your handicap. As long as the latter doesn't impede others. We all pay our greens fees and I don't pay mine to play at a faster pace just because the guys behind me aren't putting out or who may be playing a scramble,

I adhere to Rule 21.2 when it applies to speed up play and also allow faster players (3 ball or twosomes) to play though. Anything else requires just a bit of patience on others' part.

You sound like a player who putts well, and for that I congratulate you. May we all aspire to reach that level of play with the flat stick.

Cheers!

 

 

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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."

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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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An issue to be considered is that not all players are 30 years, in their prime, but also have health issues which slow them down. Also, higher cappers spray the ball around often, and it isn't just 4 shots that are put into the equation of time, sometimes it 8 shots on a par 4 from several in the 4some. So many tangibles challenge pace of play.

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2 hours ago, Frank F said:

Having never played with you, I find it interesting that you could take exception with anything that I wrote. What I conveyed was how I personally witness guys who love to brag about playing fast (is it really a race to the 19th hole or to a lower handicap?) and yet, they are the same guys that either can't putt from 3 feet when when it counts in match play or in Club events mainly because they constantly give themselves and others 6 footers as a "gimme".

I don't know about you, but I live on a golf course. When I tee it up at 8 a.m., that is my day. I'm there to try to shoot my lowest score every day. As long as I am keeping pace, that's all anyone can expect to be honest.

Some guys here who are retired seem to be in a great hurry to a. Not putt out. b. Brag about a 3.5 hour round c. Run home to take a shower and a nap. 

I don't walk around the hole from all sides (although I am entitled to having paid my fees) nor, do I pretend that every putt is for a million bucks. However, how do you know that what you might be witnessing is someone who just may be shooting his/her lowest round of their life?

 

My post was not aimed at you directly. The "exception" clause was perhaps a bit too strong. What I really meant to say is that a lot of times, people don't allocate the proper weight to putting, whether it is too much time (the ones who seemingly always putt for $1M) or not enough (too eager to take gimmes), and that there is a way to play fast and putt out. It's not mutually exclusive.

I get it that you find all your time on the course enjoyable and if you can do it daily, more power (and enjoyment) to you!  I am very content playing 3 times a week and would much rather be done in say 4 hours than 5 or 6, as it happens sometimes.  As I clumsily said, I have witnessed people, in the group ahead of me, routinely taking 10 minutes to putt out, and so I made the (only very "slight") exaggeration that they are always putting for a million bucks and reading from all sides, multiple times. But it does take some doing and lollygaging to spend 10 minutes putting out... And no, it's not their best round in their life when they start doing this on hole #1, and then go on #2, etc...

Anyway, enjoy your golf course living. I am just a little bit jealous (usually playing on munis)! :beer:

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4 hours ago, sjduffers said:

I take exception with that. I can (easily) play in 3.5 hours, walking, and putt out as well.

By yourself? You should be able to do that in an hour less....

Anything over 3:45 for a foursome is slow.

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In reading several of these posts, many valid points were made. Pace of play on any course Public, Semi-Private and Private alike will experience slow play. But let’s look at the variables mentioned and perhaps a few more. It was mentioned that 8 minute tee time separation is a factor, group size, playing the right tees, course difficulty (length, terrain, greens, layouts and so one). But icas made a comment that made me think of “skill level”.  His index says Pro so I suspect he is somewhere between 1.0 to +1.0.  The group I play in regularly ranges from 4 to 8 HDCP.  We hit the ball ok and sometimes we are first out and we can finish most of the courses here at Pinehurst in 3hrs to 3.5hrs.  So let’s take a typical day at any course and you will find a wide range of handicaps playing together. Now let’s sprinkle in kids, recreational golfers who play once in a blue moon, couples..you get the gist here.  We played #2 a few days ago and we had 5 groups on the same hole! One on the green, one in the fairway and 3 on the tee!  Welcome to the 5.5 hour round.  Again why does this happen?  We watched guys playing the Blue tees that couldn’t hit it 150 yards, then there’s the guys that want to play the US Open tees. It’s a walking only course so let’s have the group that rides. Most cart paths are on the right side of the fairways here, but they hit to the opposite side. Walk to the ball, walk back, on and on! 
We have fast players here too. Ask them what they shot  and they will tell you “1hr 50min”!  Why?  
Slow play is what it is, Marshalling is a lost art.  And so is patience!  
Did you know in Sweden and Germany you have to be certified and pass a test to play! Hmmm?

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5 hours ago, Frank F said:

I personally witness guys who love to brag about playing fast (is it really a race to the 19th hole or to a lower handicap?) and yet, they are the same guys that either can't putt from 3 feet when when it counts in match play or in Club events mainly because they constantly give themselves and others 6 footers as a "gimme".

I don't know about you, but I live on a golf course. When I tee it up at 8 a.m., that is my day. I'm there to try to shoot my lowest score every day. As long as I am keeping pace, that's all anyone can expect to be honest.

Some guys here who are retired seem to be in a great hurry to a. Not putt out. b. Brag about a 3.5 hour round c. Run home to take a shower and a nap. 

I can't speak to what you may or may not have seen but keeping pace is not just about bragging.  I often play late in the day due to work and slow play can prevent me from finishing my round before sunset.  I once had a twosome in front of me say "What's your hurry, you will never finish anyway.  I told them I would and just pushed my way through.  I next saw them on #8 tee as I was diving out toward the road in my car after having finished.  (fyi, it was a 9-hole round that day).  And please note, I am a High HC.  

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1 hour ago, colin007 said:

By yourself? You should be able to do that in an hour less....

Anything over 3:45 for a foursome is slow.

Deathly slow!

Our game on Fridays is as a 5-some.  We play three different two-ball games among the five of us. Each game a 10/10/10 Nassau with automatic two down presses on all bets.  Any one person can win/lose a couple hundred dollars if things were to get out of hand. I only mentioned that to show that we care about our scores and the game a lot more than how long it takes us to get around…

...anything over 3:15 we consider slow.  We often finish in 3 hours flat.

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2 hours ago, Sandy Lie said:

 And so is patience!  
Did you know in Sweden and Germany you have to be certified and pass a test to play! Hmmm?

And if you're in Scotland they'll run you over if you dawdle past a 3 hr round pace.

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9 hours ago, colin007 said:

And if you're in Scotland they'll run you over if you dawdle past a 3 hr round pace.

That depends where you are.  If I remember right, the scorecard at the Old Course suggests 3:55 is the maximum, but that allows time for sightseeing and picture-taking.  The caddies DO make sure their groups are keeping pace.  But yeah, golf in Scotland is pretty quick compared to "normal" golf in the US, that 3:55 is at the really long end of their spectrum.  I think part of that is a function of the handicap system.  If you're not posting a score for a casual round, and playing Stableford a lot of the time, there's no real reason to finish every single hole.  In the States we're required to post every time we play, so we do tend to finish holes more often, which does take a little more time. 

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Last week I walked 9 in 1:20 as a single with no one in front of me and a single in a cart behind me. This week I walked 9 in 1:40 with a couple riders in front of me that I actually played the last 3 holes with and a single rider behind me. I probably was "slower" last week than I was this week because I could have let the single rider play through last week. The single was usually in the fairway while I was putting out. I would have let him play through if he asked or even looked like he wanted to. The single this week looked he hung back and practiced on the green and never was right on top of me, so it was never a consideration to let him play through. 

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I played the back nine earlier this week and ran into a threesome on the 12th tee that was part of a Monday afternoon scramble league at my home club. Teeing off on number 10 a little before 5:15, I reached the 12th tee about 5:30. They were ultra slow on the greens, and I didn’t finish until about 7:30, taking about two hours to play the last seven holes.

I think a large part of it was that after holing out, one of the guys would hit several extra putts while the other two guys got in their carts and drove to the next tee. He did that on a lot of the holes (I counted five out of the last seven holes where he did it), and doing that kind of thing over several holes can really add up.

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15 hours ago, colin007 said:

By yourself? You should be able to do that in an hour less....

Anything over 3:45 for a foursome is slow.

I agree. No, in a foursome. I stated in a prior post in this thread that I have played by myself in just under 2 hours, walking. Trust me, I am not one of the slow ones... 👍

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3 hours ago, dagolfer18 said:

I think a large part of it was that after holing out, one of the guys would hit several extra putts while the other two guys got in their carts and drove to the next tee. He did that on a lot of the holes (I counted five out of the last seven holes where he did it), and doing that kind of thing over several holes can really add up.

It really irritates me when we are waiting and the group ahead takes extra practice shots/putts like this.  That is highly inconsiderate of them.  You can take all of the practice shots and mulligans you want as long as the group behind is not waiting on you.

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Sadly, for me, slow play is anything more than 4:30 for 18 holes. I can easily play 18 holes, walking, in around 2 hours, but that's a once in a blue moon occurrence where I play. My home course "suggests" 4:30 pace (or maybe it's 4:15). The course has marshals, but they're volunteers doing it for free golf. There is no real enforcement of pace of play expectation. The tee sheets are packed with foursomes at 10 minute intervals (it was worse when they were 8 minute intervals), and unless you manage to get out in the first group of the day, a sub 4-hour round is a miracle. From mid-morning on, 5-6 hours is not unusual, which is why I tee off as early as possible.

I've learned to live with slow play. I found ways to pass time and changed my habits and expectations to make the round "flow" better. I'll walk around the greens and fix 5-6 pitch marks while waiting to putt. I'll find divots in the fairway and put them in divot holes, or do little feel drills/rehearsals in the fairway. I'll look for balls in "ball graveyards" and then leave them on tee boxes for others. I'll collect bay laurel leaves to put in my grain storage bins and grain mill to keep bugs out. I observe the wildlife; hawks, coyotes, wild turkeys and try to take a picture to show my kids.

Slow play seems like a complicated issue to me. I blame golfers and course management, but I don't have a solution. I must say I am envious of golfers who are finishing in 3-3:30 per foursome.

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1 hour ago, Darkfrog said:

Sadly, for me, slow play is anything more than 4:30 for 18 holes.

I think in the Bay Area that is not uncommon. I noted in my first post on this topic that I used to play at Santa Teresa in San Jose every Saturday morning and 4:30 would have been considered a fairly quick round. 😀

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1 hour ago, ssbn611 said:

I think in the Bay Area that is not uncommon. I noted in my first post on this topic that I used to play at Santa Teresa in San Jose every Saturday morning and 4:30 would have been considered a fairly quick round. 😀

Never played in the South Bay (I'm up by Oakland/Berkeley border), but  it is still the case, at least at public courses.

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3 hours ago, Darkfrog said:

I've learned to live with slow play. I found ways to pass time and changed my habits and expectations to make the round "flow" better. I'll walk around the greens and fix 5-6 pitch marks while waiting to putt. I'll find divots in the fairway and put them in divot holes, or do little feel drills/rehearsals in the fairway. I'll look for balls in "ball graveyards" and then leave them on tee boxes for others.

I'll play behind you any day...

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3 hours ago, Darkfrog said:

Slow play seems like a complicated issue to me. I blame golfers and course management, but I don't have a solution. I must say I am envious of golfers who are finishing in 3-3:30 per foursome.

This is how I feel as well. I wish marshalls would/could enforce PoP, but they need all the business they can get and aren't going to alienate paying customers. If the course is empty I expect 2.5 hour rounds, but 4:30 to 5 hour rounds are commonplace on the weekends where I play.

I have only ever complained once to staff. It was a winterish day where carts had to be back by 6 pm. I got to the course at 345 and asked for a cart and 18 holes and i was denied the cart. I planned on walking 18 so off i went. When i got to hole 6 i was held up by a twosome in a cart. No biggie, figure they are playing 9, and didn't let me play through. When they made the turn I had to call the clubhouse to complain because they still hadn't let me play through and I wanted to get my round in before dark, and at the pace they were playing they may have made it to 13 before the cart was due back. They weren't exactly slow, but wouldn't let me through to an open course when I was at least 1.5x their speed. That is the stuff that frustrates me now. 

 

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