Jump to content
IGNORED

What Constitutes Slow Play?


Recommended Posts

This is a discussion that I have with people at my club on which there is disagreement. My club posts on its scorecard that a foursome should play in under four hours and fifteen minutes. However, it also says that a team is out of position when it is not one shot behind the group in front of it. People in my club regularly complain about slow play and certain players playing slow (as I would imagine people in most clubs do). But how slow does a group have to be before being pegged as "playing slow"? Some groups play much faster than others (sometimes because the players in it are younger and move faster) and it makes it difficult for a group behind it to keep up with them (especially if they are requiring more shots to get around the golf course). If a group is a hole behind on the back nine but they are still on the "course pace" of 4:15, are they playing unreasonably slow? 

I guess the question is, should slow play be defined by position or by time? Obviously the position rule only applies when a group begins play immediately behind another group, but in club competitions that is normally the case. 

I argue that a group is slow only if they are behind the course pace defined by the time established by the golf course, but others disagree.

Thoughts? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 311
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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

Posted Images

Given that I can play a round with nobody in front of me to slow me down in just about 2 hours walking (on a flat-ish course), I consider that having a hole open in front to be slow play, unless you are on pace for say 3.5 hours for a 4-some.  There is no reason (other than slow play) that a round should take 4 hours and 15 minutes. In many cases, it ends up being much more, because if you are on pace for 4h 15mns, all it takes is one bad hole by a couple of the players, looking for balls and whatnot, and voila, now you are over, by 5-10 minutes, easily, because there is no effort or ability to speed up to compensate.

Btw, IMHO, the PGA Tour gives a horrendous example for people to follow, with 2-somes playing in about 5 hours!

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

(edited)
2 hours ago, PSherrard01 said:

If a group is a hole behind on the back nine but they are still on the "course pace" of 4:15, are they playing unreasonably slow? 

I think it is a little of both.  If you are a foursome and on pace based on the clock I have no problem.  It is very possible that the group ahead cold be a twosome with no one in front and it would be unreasonable to expect a foursome to keep up.  I know many say they play in 3 1/2 or less on 18 and that may be true if you are a low HC player but if you get 4 high capers there will be more shots and 4:15 should not be considered unreasonable, remember the game is supposed to be fun.  If you have 4 Bogey golfers they need to hit a total of 360 shots (90 x 4) in only 255 minutes.  For many of us this is a game, not a race.  Please note, I am not saying slow play is acceptable, you need to be ready to hit and not drag things out.

Edited by StuM
Added clarification that I am not promoting slow play.
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

3 hours ago, PSherrard01 said:

However, it also says that a team is out of position when it is not one shot behind the group in front of it.

Having a blanket rule like that would seem tricky unless you have full tee sheets of foursomes every day. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Yeah, it’s both.  If you’re on the heels of the group in front of you then you’re fine no matter how fast or slow you’re going.

If you can’t keep up with them, then to me if you’re playing under 4 hour pace on a normal course in normal conditions then you are just fine.

Regardless, it’s still proper to stay aware.  If the group behind you is waiting for you even though you’re not slow, they’re obviously faster than you so let them on by.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I feel if the course if stacked up when tee intervals / groups tee off on the first hole in less than 8 minute intervals,
it will create a slow pace of play for the day on various sections of a course.

However, if any group fails to maintain with the pace and that group has the players following them by waiting every shot,
and Marshals are not present or not informing the slow group, then there's little hope for a good pace of play.

At a club level I'm sure there are typically members who are noted for playing slow and are usually the ones bitchin at the 
management often saying others are the slow groups... And they will never allow anyone play through...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

(edited)

Slow play seems to be less of a clock based thing than an attitude thing.  If you are plodding along with no rear view mirror nor watching what's going on in front of you, but immersed in your own pace and selfishly not paying attention to those in front or behind of you then you are probably engaged in slow play. 

A lot of folks who infrequently come to the golf course are not aware that there is a pace you should try to comply with.  It's less about keeping up with the group in front of you than staying comfortably ahead of the group behind you.

We know you are having fun and enjoying yourselves but please don't do it at the expense of others. 

There is a social contract, implied among players on the course, that you should try to meet. Stay happy, keep everyone else happy.

Edited by Double Mocha Man
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

2 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

If the group behind you is waiting for you even though you’re not slow, they’re obviously faster than you so let them on by.

Sometimes letting a group play through actually hurts pace of play as often I see people stop playing to let a group through.  All that does is create more of a log-jam behind.  I see no problem with letting a single or double play through but if you are letting a foursome play through then your group is the problem group.  Better you just pick up your ball and move ahead to get into position then play faster on the next holes.  Naturally if you know the course is empty behind then let them play through & enjoy, just do not be shocked if suddenly another group is on your tail.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

26 minutes ago, StuM said:

Sometimes letting a group play through actually hurts pace of play as often I see people stop playing to let a group through.  All that does is create more of a log-jam behind.  I see no problem with letting a single or double play through but if you are letting a foursome play through then your group is the problem group.  Better you just pick up your ball and move ahead to get into position then play faster on the next holes.  Naturally if you know the course is empty behind then let them play through & enjoy, just do not be shocked if suddenly another group is on your tail.

If more and more groups keep catching up to you then my qualifier of "even though you're not slow" isn't really apt.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

  • Moderator
10 hours ago, David in FL said:

Anything slower than my group is too slow.  :-D

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

I agree slow play is more of an attitude. I like to play at pace, meaning we get to our ball and immediately get ready for our shot. The 40 second guideline then feels slow then.

  • Funny 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

(edited)

Slow play can be solved, for the most part by 'ready golf', being ready to hit when it's your turn. It is somewhat of a skill set, and needs to be practiced. It is as necessary to the game as tempo is to a great golf swing. B-)

Edited by Billy Z
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

1 hour ago, Billy Z said:

...for the most part by 'ready golf', being ready to hit when it's your turn.

Don't even need to wait your turn when playing "ready golf" .  For some reason I'm almost always the first person to the next tee.  I step right up and hit. I only honor honors for an eagle or something less.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

(edited)

We only honor birdies or better.  Everything else is ready golf.   

I believe for me, if the flow is steady and continuous the pace is fine.   I've played courses here in Michigan where they say a good time is 4:30 and others that feel like 3 hours is long.    Pace of play can't be the same from course to course but a steady flow where you're not waiting on every shot is my preferred speed. 

Edited by dennyjones
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Not playing ready golf when there is a group right behind. Spending too much time looking for lost balls. Not playing in a tournament and looking over every put like if you make it, you win the Masters. Again if a group is right behind you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Rip62 said:

Not playing ready golf when there is a group right behind. Spending too much time looking for lost balls. Not playing in a tournament and looking over every put like if you make it, you win the Masters. Again if a group is right behind you.

Slow play seems to be one of those "you know it when you see it" things, but I know I'm inconsistent in when I let it get to me.  Group in front of you can be keeping pace, but if it looks like they are screwing around it irritates the heck out of me.  Group ahead fishing for balls when you can see everything is stacked up = OK.  Fishing for balls but they are still on pace for <4hr round but it looks like they could be hitting = "Call the ranger and get these jokers moving!"

And of course I'm sure I'm guilty too.  If I'm walking 9 on an open course I can be done in 1:30 or less.  But I have had Sundays on the muni in a foursome that have taken 5hrs.  it doesn't feel like I'm doing much different, but 10-30 sec of conversation and distraction here and there really add up.  especially with 4 people and a few beverages involved.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 3/13/2021 at 4:27 PM, StuM said:

... but if you get 4 high capers there will be more shots and 4:15 should not be considered unreasonable, remember the game is supposed to be fun.  If you have 4 Bogey golfers they need to hit a total of 360 shots (90 x 4) in only 255 minutes.  For many of us this is a game, not a race.

Precisely.

TBH, I utterly fail to understand some players' hurry.  Ok, yeah: If somebody in front of you is blatantly wasting time I can see how that would be annoying--not unlike the people that occupy weight gear at the gym screwing-about with their phones.

The guys with whom I play are all high HC'ers.  We don't waste time.  We play ready golf, play simultaneously on the fairway when possible, and set up our putts while another is putting if we feel it won't disturb the guy who's up.  Individuals have even picked up their ball and moved on when we got beyond three strokes over par on a hole.  But higher HC means more strokes.

It takes us, on average, four to four-and-a-half hours to play 18.

If we find the group ahead of us more than one hole away, and there are people behind us, clearly waiting on us, we'll let 'em play through.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Administrator
5 minutes ago, SEMI_Duffer said:

TBH, I utterly fail to understand some players' hurry. 

Playing 18 holes in 3.5 hours is nowhere near a “hurry.”

Your 4.5 hour pace would be P-A-I-N-F-U-L to me, in a twosome, behind you. I played Southern Pines two weeks ago, waited on nearly every tee, and finished in 3.5 hours in a twosome. And we were competing. It felt slow. We had push carts, too, and that course isn’t flat.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Support TST Affiliates

    TourStriker PlaneMate
    Golfer's Journal
    Whoop
    SuperSpeed
    FlightScope Mevo
    Use the code "iacas" for 10% off Mevo and the code "iacasjun21" for 10% off SuperSpeed.
  • Posts

    • Worried about hitting your wedge past the pin?  Not to worry, with the new Titleist T-800 wedge, you can safely hit beyond the pin.  The spin will ensure that it will come back.
    • Day 244: spent two hours at the range doing full swing and short game work. Worked on my two pieces with drills using driver and 6 iron. Then went through the bag focusing on long, high, slow backswing. Moved on to longer chips and pitches using various clubs, PW to 58 and varied lies, up and down hill, tight and fluffy. Then did and shots and finished with flop shots over the bunker to a pin only 4 paces on. It was really humid and I sweat buckets. Had to wear my rain gloves most of the time.
    • I will say I was wrong earlier in the thread. I thought it was an intentional act of rudeness, but now I see it’s entirely a tv sitcom now. BD and BK are clearly now egging the fans on. 
    • Eww. Don’t look good to me. I’ll pass.  
    • Hey, wait just a minute ... careful of unintended consequences: Maybe they just need to call these irons the Terminator series. (Gotta be an "I'll be back" reference to golf clubs somehow, but it's not coming to me.)
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Doughboysigep
      Doughboysigep
      (48 years old)
    2. gf-ollie
      gf-ollie
      (30 years old)
    3. IcyInMyEyes
      IcyInMyEyes
      (39 years old)
    4. JB5082
      JB5082
      (20 years old)

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...