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The Speed Freak

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Once again on TheSandTrap, I see people trying to rationalize the 5-hour round. Are we really at this place again?

I don't get it, everyone. People should refer to Fourputt's posts, which have all been pretty sage, and re-evaluate what they're doing if they can't finish a round in 4 hours without it being due to the group(s) in front of them being sh*theads.

I shoot in the low 70's basically every time I play now. I don't play explicitly fast, but I walk unless it's cold. I pay attention to the wind. I try (as best I can) to play the hole from the pin backwards so that I'm planning where in the hell I want my ball to go before I hit it. I play a home course that I know well, which most of you on this site do as well.

Other than assessing your lie, reacting to changes in the wind, or realizing that a pin placement isn't what you thought it is...there is no reason to take extended time over a full swing. Not to ruffle feathers here - but good players don't often take full practice swings UNLESS they're trying to rehearse a specific and/or exotic shot. Most good players assess the lie/wind/pin, pull a club, do a brief pre-shot routine (as in 30 seconds max), hit the shot, wipe their club, and walk. And they do all of it briskly. The only good golfers I've ever seen that play slow do so on television for millions of dollars. None of us on this site are playing on TV for money and going to the Tiger Woods school of marriage, so there's no reason to be slow about whatever it is we're trying to do on the golf course. None. Stop rationalizing it, because your dead wrong.

Dawdling on the course is bad for two reasons that are both quite obvious.

  1. It leads to slow play.
  2. It doesn't help your score. Most of you would score better trying to RUSH than you would farting around. Why? Most of us aren't close to being masters of this game. We don't have enough 'shots in the bag' to cripple ourselves with choices - like the pros do. All we do when we fart around, take 10 practice swings, think too much, back off our shot twice, and all that other sh*t - is we make ourselves worse! Don't think so much. Let your body take over. And if you hit a bad shot, deal with it and hit a better shot on the next one. If you hit a bad shot on the next one, have another beer. And if you hit a d*ck-out drive, enjoy the sunshine and pray it's not a cold day.

Nothing about golf pisses me off more than folks that try to rationalize slow play. Nobody's advocating that you play George Bush Sr.-style speed golf, but mother of Christ, get on with it already! You can enjoy the scenery and the play as much, if not more, in 4 hours than you can in 5. To quote Shakespeare, "The sweetest honey is loathesome in [its] own deliciousness." .

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Speed Freaks, I always keep pace so please:

Stop pushing me about wiping down my club or replacing my headcovers.

Stop telling me to just drop when my drive goes in the woods.

Stop jumping on the tee box when you don't have honors.

Stop putting first if you're not away, just so you can speed walk to the cart and wait for the rest of us.

If we're on pace, I'm stopping at the clubhouse at the turn for a dog & a beer to go. Deal with it.

Slow Freaks, I always keep pace so please:

Do not stand on the green counting you strokes, get your ass in the cart.

Don't even think about answering that phone.

If you're not in the water, leave the ball retiever in the cart. Stop ball hawking.

If you think you might "Be away" on the green, stop standing there waiting for someone to tell you it's your turn.

If we're on pace that doesn't mean you can stop at the clubhouse and ask for a grilled Ruben sandwich. Get a dog & a beer and move on.

Thank you.

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Originally Posted by ghalfaire

I guess I could go either way on this.  But being concerned about where you are relative to the group in front of you isn't necessarily being a "speed freak".  My regular group usually turns in a round in 10-15 minutes less than 4 hours.  I think this is a good pace and if it too slow for you we let you play through.  But I too wipe my Irons off after use, put head covers on the woods, and have a pre-shot routine I follow and I don't want to play faster than this because it screws up my game.  So if the group in front of us plays faster than that I don't worry too much unless we are not on track to finish in 4 hours +/- a few minutes then we will try to speed up.  But the point of the game is get the lowest score you can not how fast you can play 18.  So I believe the answer to slow play is go be concerned with your position relative to the group in front of you and your speed of play. But I don't feel I have to turn a round in 3 hours 15 minutes flat just because the foursome in front of me does or the one behind me wants to (although we always offer to let faster groups play through).  Maybe a little consideration of others is always the answer to a lot of conflicts both on the golf course and other places too.

I agree with you. What I was trying to describe with my post is the lack of consideration the "Speed Freak" has for the players he is playing with. If you think about it, the only entity with a vested interest in fast play is the golf course management; the slower the play, the less money they make. I assume most golfers, like me, enjoy the game and enjoy being outside with their friends, playing golf. Given that, why are they in such a hurry to finish? I get a sense that fast play is sort of a "macho" thing. I wonder if the women golfers are as obsessed with it?

I'm not advocating slow play; I'm advocating courtesy to your playing partners.

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Originally Posted by GolfBookie

If you think about it, the only entity with a vested interest in fast play is the golf course management; the slower the play, the less money they make.

I guess that's true, in the sense that they could book more tee times if people played faster. But there's a limit to how close they can squeeze tee times together - no matter how fast the group in front of you plays, it's going to take them a minimum of X minutes to clear the fairway after teeing off - and I think the tee time intervals at most courses are already pretty close to that X value. I.e., they can't really make any more money past a certain point, and they're already at that point. So what's really happening is the courses are crowding us in, and they've got our money for the round regardless of how long it takes. The only incentive they have for fast play is some golfers might not come back if the course is habitually slow - but as long as they can keep filling their tee sheets they don't care about that.

Originally Posted by GolfBookie

I assume most golfers, like me, enjoy the game and enjoy being outside with their friends, playing golf. Given that, why are they in such a hurry to finish?

Here are a couple reasons: 1) It really takes you out of your rhythm when you have to wait a long time on every shot. Some of us aren't out there solely to be with our friends and soak up nature - if that were the case we'd go to some park and have a picnic. We're also there to try to score as well as possible, and slow play prevents that.  2) Some of us have other things going on in our lives - maybe we need to get to work, or back to our families. When slow play makes the round longer than it should be, or than we planned it to be, it's frustrating.

Originally Posted by GolfBookie

I get a sense that fast play is sort of a "macho" thing. I wonder if the women golfers are as obsessed with it?


For Pete's sake, machismo has nothing to do with it.

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Originally Posted by GolfBookie

I agree with you. What I was trying to describe with my post is the lack of consideration the "Speed Freak" has for the players he is playing with. If you think about it, the only entity with a vested interest in fast play is the golf course management; the slower the play, the less money they make. I assume most golfers, like me, enjoy the game and enjoy being outside with their friends, playing golf. Given that, why are they in such a hurry to finish? I get a sense that fast play is sort of a "macho" thing. I wonder if the women golfers are as obsessed with it?

It's not a question of enjoying the time out, it's a question of being able to crowbar an outing into a busy schedule.  It's not a "macho" thing at all, it's that my ducking out to play golf often requires my wife be stuck at home looking after cranky kids.  Running an extra hour after naptime ends eats a major amount of goodwill...  I'm not looking for speed golf, just being able to count on 9 holes in 2 hours or 18 in 4 would be fine, but around here anyway, that's often a lot to ask.

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Originally Posted by GolfBookie

I agree with you. What I was trying to describe with my post is the lack of consideration the "Speed Freak" has for the players he is playing with. If you think about it, the only entity with a vested interest in fast play is the golf course management; the slower the play, the less money they make. I assume most golfers, like me, enjoy the game and enjoy being outside with their friends, playing golf. Given that, why are they in such a hurry to finish? I get a sense that fast play is sort of a "macho" thing. I wonder if the women golfers are as obsessed with it?

I'm not advocating slow play; I'm advocating courtesy to your playing partners.



RIGHT.

And what people on this thread are saying, rightly, that playing a round of golf in more than 4 hours on almost any course is SLOW PLAY. So, you are advocating for slow play, basically. Accepting a 5-hour or, goodness, a six hour round is advocating for slow play.

I play usually a two ball, sometimes a three or four ball if we get in on the daily skins game at our home course. It never takes more than 4 hours unless there are idiot groups in front of us. Nobody rushes. Nobody bitches to other guys about slow play because, frankly, nobody has to because there's nobody in our core group with the audacity to needlessly fvck around. If I took 2 minutes to hit a shot, or if our group took 10 minutes on a green, or some of the other horrible sh*t I've experienced and seen folks attempt to justify on this thread and on this site...I'd probably go out and shoot 110 too. Jesus! How can you play golf where you're analyzing every shot like a stock trend? Save that for the range, when you've got time to tinker about endlessly.

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I'm sorry, but IMHO some of you are wound just a bit too tight about this.  Should 5 or 6 hour rounds be "acceptable"?  Of course not.  But if the course is not able, or willing to do anything about it, then either find somewhere else or sometime else to play or start learning to deal with it.  This is a mental game we play, and if having to wait too much prevents you from scoring the way you feel you should, that's between your ears, not a function of the wait.

No one is "advocating" for slow play, and saying so is just ridiculous.  I don't have the power to do much of anything about the groups in front of me.  As long as I'm keeping up with them, I have little choice but to "accept" a round of X length.

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Originally Posted by jwrussell

I'm sorry, but IMHO some of you are wound just a bit too tight about this.  Should 5 or 6 hour rounds be "acceptable"?  Of course not.  But if the course is not able, or willing to do anything about it, then either find somewhere else or sometime else to play or start learning to deal with it.  This is a mental game we play, and if having to wait too much prevents you from scoring the way you feel you should, that's between your ears, not a function of the wait.

No one is "advocating" for slow play, and saying so is just ridiculous.  I don't have the power to do much of anything about the groups in front of me.  As long as I'm keeping up with them, I have little choice but to "accept" a round of X length.



To truly be a part of the "slow play" debate, you have to include at least one the following (better luck next time):

1.) Accusations toward others for being too slow or too obssessed with playing quickly (every person feels they're a good driver, have a great sense of humour, and play golf at the perfect speed)

2.) When you lack a solid argument against a dissenting opinion, play the "you're part of the problem" card!!

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Originally Posted by jwrussell

Heh.  You think a "bad golfer" shoots in the 90's.  That's cute. ;)

*goes and hides in the corner with his regular 120-ish scores*



I'm not saying that 90's is bad.  Sorry if I offended anyone.  What I meant was that even if you are playing with someone that is not the same caliber as you and you often wait for their duffs, you can still plan ahead on what shot you are going to take so when it is finally your turn, you can hit.  I have played with guys who are in the 100's but still understand the concept of ready golf and just being aware of themselves on the course.  I feel like the most time wasted in the round is on the putting green.  Which I can seem to understand.  You have anywhere between 10 and 75 feet to put your ball in the hole.  But you walk 300-500 yards, hitting 2-3 shots, to get there in half the time it takes for you to putt the ball 2 maybe 3 times .  Everyone needs to understand that even if you take 5 min looking at your line at every angle you still have relatively the same chance of knocking in that 30 footer as you would if you just looked from the back of the ball and got the correct speed. We do not play for millions of dollars and I know that the pros look at there putts from every angle possible but really watch them how many of them make that 30 footer after all that work.  I bet everyone can make about the same amount of 30 footers as the pros do without a 10 min routine.

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Never met a guy like this. I sometimes speed it up if my playing partners are very slow, but it rarely has any effect. I play pretty effectively anyways, so there is not much to be improved on. It is kind of silly to watch people play slow, getting asked by a marshall to speed up and they start jogging around the course, hitting the ball without even considering where they want to hit it.

I let people through if there is space for them in front of my group, they are pressing on, and I see that our group won't catch up with the group ahead again. If the course is stuffed, I don't let anyone through. It's their fault for being only one or two players.

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I play pretty quick. I would be too embarrassed to have a long pre-shot routine because chances are the ball is not going where I want it.

*stands and thinks about shot*

*checks lie*

*grabs 7 iron*

*holds it up and assesses grip*

*checks wind*

*puts it back and grabs 6 irons*

*holds it up and assesses grip*

*addresses ball*

*waggle*

*waggle*

*steps back and assesses wind change*

*addresses ball*

*practices swing several times*

*looks at target*

*waggle*

*looks at target*

*waggle*

*SHANK*

Repeat.

Now, if I have a quick pre-shot routine, I can blame not checking the elements for my bad shot.

Works great

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

I'd a hell of a lot rather play with him than with the guy like you who doesn't care.  You do realize why you have those 5 hour rounds, don't you?  It's because of guys like you don't care that they are a half  a hole behind.  When every group has one like you, what should be a nice 4 hour round turns into a grueling 5½ hour test for even the most patient player.  4 hours is quite acceptable for a group of 4 - 5 hours isn't.  I sit in my starter booth and time groups as they make the turn (part of my job).  The first groups out turn in under 2 hours.  As the day progresses and groups start turning in 10-12 minute intervals instead of the 9 minute spread they should have, the turn times stretch out commensurately.  By noon most days they are up to 2:20 to 2:30 coming off the 9th green.  That's what a half hole behind gets you.

If every group actually paid attention and stayed in position, every round would be 4 hours or less.  There is no reason in the world why, if the first 5 or 6 groups can finish in 4 hours that the rest can't, aside from the fact that someone just doesn't care about keeping up.  Anyone playing on a busy course should make that awareness a normal part of  his game.  The fact that you think it's all a joke makes you part of the slow play epidemic.


You wanna know why courses are packed and slow?  The bold right there is it.  9 minute tee times are a joke.  Sorry, its just the course being greedy and trying to cram as many people onto the course as possible.

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Originally Posted by laconic517

You wanna know why courses are packed and slow?  The bold right there is it.  9 minute tee times are a joke.  Sorry, its just the course being greedy and trying to cram as many people onto the course as possible.


I have to disagree on this one - 9 minutes is more than enough time for no one to have to wait.

We do 7.5 minutes between tee times (with groups going off 1+10 on weekend mornings) and nobody waits unless it is a shotgun tournament. Honestly the first 8-10 groups on each side go out even faster than that since we have 8:15 every week and tend to go off 10 minutes early.

Maybe me belonging to a private club and having one of the higher handicaps there contributes to the speed.

On the other hand, a public course down the road does 6 minute tee times and is way off on times by 8:30AM. Having a 9AM there might get you out by 10:30

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Originally Posted by meenman

I have to disagree on this one - 9 minutes is more than enough time for no one to have to wait.

We do 7.5 minutes between tee times (with groups going off 1+10 on weekend mornings) and nobody waits unless it is a shotgun tournament. Honestly the first 8-10 groups on each side go out even faster than that since we have 8:15 every week and tend to go off 10 minutes early.

Maybe me belonging to a private club and having one of the higher handicaps there contributes to the speed.

On the other hand, a public course down the road does 6 minute tee times and is way off on times by 8:30AM. Having a 9AM there might get you out by 10:30



As the course starts to load up, 9 minutes is barely enough spread on the typical public course, and that's if everyone is on the ball.  The course I work at does 9 minute intervals most of the day (for the first 3-4 hours it alternates between 8 and 9 making an average of 8.5), and unless those early groups are all pretty squared away, the course starts to back up on either a shortish par 5, or on the first par 3.  Increasing that spread to 10 minute intervals seems to mostly eliminate the log jams.  It's a pretty fine line.  I can't imagine the mess we'd have with 7 minute intervals.  A private club has a captive customer base.  Every member knows what to expect and what is expected of him.  That isn't the case with a public course.  We have fixed tee times and nobody goes out early unless there is an open time in front of them.  The only thing you do by pushing groups out faster is cause worse jams somewhere out on the course.

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so, of course the speed freak I played with today would hit his drive and start walking up the fairway before the other 3 players even hit. didn't bug me until we were on the 7th and he would be near the green when I would hit my approach shot. cause, I don't want to hit him. oh well. his fault, not mine.

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Originally Posted by golf4fun12

so, of course the speed freak I played with today would hit his drive and start walking up the fairway before the other 3 players even hit. didn't bug me until we were on the 7th and he would be near the green when I would hit my approach shot. cause, I don't want to hit him. oh well. his fault, not mine.

Don't let it bug you - maybe that's just his version of 'ready golf' in his mind (foolish as it is to be standing at the target).  I played yesterday with three riders - and I was the only walker.  If I was safely on the other side of the fairway, it wasn't unusual for me to start walking slightly ahead them - by maybe 20-30 yds.  I'd wait there for the guy away to hit, and then start walking to my next shot.  Almost always, they'd beat me to to the spot on the hole where my ball was lying simply because they had the wheels.  I wasn't pushing them by any stretch - by walking a bit ahead while they would prepare to hit and hit.  It was more like me just trying to keep up.

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