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Jeepthrills

Too Fast Play?

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There was an article in the Wall Street Journal two weeks ago about golfers who play too fast. The follow up was in todays Journal. I myself like to play quickly. My regular foursome (sometimes fivesome) can walk 9 holes on a Sunday morning in 1:30 to 1:45. We never rush and we can keep up pace even in front of the fastest groups. We can also carry on a conversation and have a good time with each other.

The article talked about the rude golfers that are always pushing to play through. Have you ever experienced golfers that were too fast? Is there such a thing as too fast?

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There is a group of regulars at the club I work at that think they own the place and they go around the course ninety miles an hour. If you get in their way they start raising cain and bitching. I don't like seeing them come up behind me when I'm out there trying to enjoy a good day on the course. They seldom putt out, just pick anything within 3 ft as gimmies and jump in their carts. I can't play like that!

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There was an article in the Wall Street Journal two weeks ago about golfers who play too fast. The follow up was in todays Journal. I myself like to play quickly. My regular foursome (sometimes fivesome) can walk 9 holes on a Sunday morning in 1:30 to 1:45. We never rush and we can keep up pace even in front of the fastest groups. We can also carry on a conversation and have a good time with each other.

are you sure your handicap is 17.7? that seems really fast :] i'm the highest handicapper in my usual foursome and we take probably closer to 2:15 to walk 9 holes. the other 3 players are all about a 5 or so handicap.

anyway, to address your question; even though i think my usual group takes quite a while to go through 9, people generally dont catch up to us. i think it really matters where on each hole you spend the most time. for example, if your group spends a lot of time on the tee with pre shot routines and what not, the group behind you will most likely have to wait for you to hit your second shots. my group spends most of the time on and around the green so maybe thats why we've never experienced people complaining about us playing too slow. another thing is, people who drive/ride instead of walk should be aware that the group(s) ahead of them could be walking and will obviously play slower. personally i think only older players should be allowed to use carts.

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another thing is, people who drive/ride instead of walk should be aware that the group(s) ahead of them could be walking and will obviously play slower. personally i think only older players should be allowed to use carts.

While it's certainly

possible to play more quickly in a cart, in my experience the walkers are quicker, especially in foursomes (with two carts) because most people can't seem to drive crooked very effectively (to one guy's drive on the left, to the other guy's on the right, back to the first guy's second shot, etc.), but most people can walk in a straight line (to their drive, to their second shot, etc.).

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While it's certainly

I am with you on walkers being faster as a general rule. All that driving back and forth looking for balls, etc, just takes too much time. Also, they tend to hang around their bag at the back of the cart looking for who knows what.

I play with a regular group most Sundays that walk and we always keep up with the cart riders in front of us. Often, we are waiting on them to clear so we can hit.

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There is someone at Bethpage who is a legend when you talk speed.He plays the Red course as the first group out and is done as a walker in 2:45 or better.He has a electric remote trolley cart and a lot of people who go out with him just tell him to play on cause he plays too fast and does not wait for other people too finish.

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While it's certainly

hmm, i see your point. i was basing what i said off of the fact that when my friends and i play courses that require the use of carts we get through the round faster than we do on courses where we walk. i guess it just depends on the group.

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are you sure your handicap is 17.7? that seems really fast :] i'm the highest handicapper in my usual foursome and we take probably closer to 2:15 to walk 9 holes. the other 3 players are all about a 5 or so handicap.

I am in fact a 17.7. I shoot in the low to mid 80's on our home course. However, my experience is that you can be a bad golfer and still play quickly. In fact, my average score has dropped about 20 strokes over the last 10 years, yet my average round has stayed about the same time. I am usually the lowest score in my group. We play ready golf and don't spend too long hunting lost balls.

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I am in fact a 17.7. I shoot in the low to mid 80's on our home course....

it better be par 60 pitch and putt or you NEVER play me for money

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I am in fact a 17.7. I shoot in the low to mid 80's on our home course. However, my experience is that you can be a bad golfer and still play quickly. In fact, my average score has dropped about 20 strokes over the last 10 years, yet my average round has stayed about the same time. I am usually the lowest score in my group. We play ready golf and don't spend too long hunting lost balls.

Unless you play a ridiculously easy course, a 17.7 should rarely shoot in the "low to mid 80s". Let's round up your 17.7 to 18... on a par 72 course, 113 (average) slope, with a course rating of even par, you're best 10 of your last 20 scores would be 90 on the dot. To shoot 81, you'd be a 9 handicap on the same course. To be a 17.7 and shoot 81 somewhat regularly, you'd be playing a course with a slope of 90 (virtually unheard of) with a course rating of 67.

So, yeah, I doubt it. Even if we take "mid 80s" as 85, we're looking at a rating of 71 (with the still ridiculously low slope of 90). Do you play an executive course or something?

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it better be par 60 pitch and putt or you NEVER play me for money

70 Par, 5707 yards 67.1/111. It's not that tough of a course. However, I am somewhat erratic. I can easily follow a birdie with a double or worse. An 83 on that course is a 16.8 index. An 88 is a 22. I'm the kind of player that can shoot an 81 or 82 one day then come back with a 92 the next day. Trust me, if there is money on the line I will probably play more like a 25 than a 17.

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70 Par, 5707 yards 67.1/111. It's not that tough of a course. However, I am somewhat erratic. I can easily follow a birdie with a double or worse. An 83 on that course is a 16.8 index. An 88 is a 22. I'm the kind of player that can shoot an 81 or 82 one day then come back with a 92 the next day. Trust me, if there is money on the line I will probably play more like a 25 than a 17.

that shows exactly why I've problem with USGA handicap system. When you're single digit - with few missed putts, even on 111 slope course it's easy to get to high 70's. That's only few strokes away from your average score - and as you stated - you'd have 2 or 3 double or worse in there. With giving you 15 strokes I've NO CHANCE in hell to win anything. What's more likely - you shoot 80 or me shoot 59?

ooops, sorry, I'm off topic.

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I 100% agree that walkers play faster then riders. I usually carry my bag and walk when I play, however, I played two weeks ago with three guys from my job. We rode a course on a Monday when it was closed (Noone in front and noone behind.) Took 5 hours. Like Erik said driving crooked the whole time and we had to look for one guys ball the whole time.

Also I think playing as a fivesome is extremely rude. I cant see how 9 holes would take 5 people an hour and a half.

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Also I think playing as a fivesome is extremely rude. I cant see how 9 holes would take 5 people an hour and a half.

I agree with you that a fivesome is rude. Unless they can keep pace. We rarely end up with one, but even if we do, I doubt most foresomes can push us at all. We don't mess around. This is also a fun round where no money changes hands. The rest of the group don't post their scores, so we are liberal with their drops, lost balls, gimmies, etc. I however count everything if it is a round that I will post and don't take gimmies. Granted, when it is busy, we end up at 2+ hours. As far as carts go. I agree 100% they generally slow down the game. Unless the two people in the cart have similar games. My Father-in-law is a better player than me. He is about a 10. We both hit the ball about the same distance and both tend to hit a fade with our drives. We have played rounds together where we were the first ones off on the little 60 par we play in West Michigan and we have finished 18 in 1:55. Granted it is only 60 par and there was nobody in front of us all morning.

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Walk or ride, good or bad player, it doesn't matter necessarily. I play regularly with people who easily can play 18 holes in less than 4 hours and the handicaps range from 2-17. I have also played with really good golfers who couldn't play in 5 hours if you gave them a cart by themselves. Back on topic, 4 hours should be what people should be able to play 18 holes in. Any faster than that is asking too much, any slower than that is too slow.

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4 hours should be what people should be able to play 18 holes in. Any faster than that is asking too much, any slower than that is too slow.

I agree with you 100%. 4 hours is not too much to ask. Even though we are fast, if the groups ahead of us is backed up or if they are keeping a reasonable pace, we never get pushy.

Our Wednesday night league is a couples league. We play on a short course that is 31 par for men and 33 for the ladies. Unfortunately we play behind a ladies league that doesn't know the first thing about pace of play. Our typical round is 2:15+. We have brought this up with the course each year for the past 8 seasons and they always say that they will handle it. We are not holding our breath. The closest thing we see to a ranger is the guy at the first tee who checks to see if all of our players are there that night. One night we actually played the last three holes as a twelvesome. I don't know if that is an actual word, but we waited on them on every shot.

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Interesting. I've never seen someone too fast. But I have seen guys that think they are faster than our group, ask to be let through, and wind up being slooooow. Then when you want to be let through, they ignore you.

Very annoying.

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There definitely is a pace that is too fast the same as there is a pace too slow.  And the amount of time that is acceptable obviously shifts depending on the difficulty of the course, conditions and also how many groups are out.  But I feel like the 2hr to 2hr15min pace per 9 holes probably works for most as the target.  There is a bell curve along that time that most golfers should be able to hit and still enjoy the game.

Just the same as players who take 5 hours + for 18 holes messes with everyone else behind them, the people who try to do it under 3 hours and will bulldoze everyone in their path are the same outliers that negatively impact others around them.

When a group is playing faster than the group ahead of them, it's good etiquette to let the faster group play through IF there is space ahead of them.

BUT it's also good etiquette to not push a group (hitting the ball within 10-20 yards of them) when there is no space in front of them, aka keeping up with the group in front of them.

Unbelievable this needs to be explained but think of driving a car on traffic.  You can't pass if there is no space between the cars ahead of you without forcing them to slow down special for you.  Hitting into the group ahead is way worse that playing slow, safety is supposed to be the #1 rule of golf.

It's easy, just don't be an a-hole on the course.  If a faster group comes up on you, and there is room ahead of you, let them through.  If you are the faster group and the group ahead is keeping pace with the group in front of them.  Back off!  Don't make their time on the course they paid for as well suck because you only care about playing fast.

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