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If every golfer were an 18 or better handicap, would slow play be a thing of the past?


nevets88
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i played with a guy last week who was a scratch player, and he had a set routine that he went into before every single shot.  for anything other than a putter, he would take three practice swings, look at the target, look at the ball, look at the target, look at the ball, swing.  for putting, he would look at his line behind the ball, look at his line on the opposite side of the cup, look at it from the the low side of the line, three practice strokes, putt.  even though this guy was scratch and shooting well, it was slow going because he never ever varied from his routine.  so no, i don't think handicap makes much difference in pace.  some people play fast (like me), and some people don't.

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

I find handicap is a poor indicator of pace of play because it's more the mindset of the player than their skill level.

Some guys have a busy life where they try to fit golf into it but don't have the luxury of 5+ hour rounds so they play accordingly with one eye always on the time.  Other guys are escaping from work / family or just have nothing else better to do.  These guys have a few drinks, take their time while they play and feel their green fees entitle them to a full days worth of entertainment.



Amen!

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Originally Posted by mirv

i played with a guy last week who was a scratch player, and he had a set routine that he went into before every single shot.  for anything other than a putter, he would take three practice swings, look at the target, look at the ball, look at the target, look at the ball, swing.  for putting, he would look at his line behind the ball, look at his line on the opposite side of the cup, look at it from the the low side of the line, three practice strokes, putt.  even though this guy was scratch and shooting well, it was slow going because he never ever varied from his routine.  so no, i don't think handicap makes much difference in pace.  some people play fast (like me), and some people don't.



Sure the scratch player in your example is slow, but imagine an extra 30 strokes played that way. I know 25+ cappers with that routine. They are very slow.

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things I see that slow down rounds

1. people hitting from tees too far back for them.

2. wild drivers who are also short drivers

3. groups who don't go to their own balls and/or separate once near the firsts ball

4. guys who took 108343 strokes to reach the green and then read putts like they are going for a major championship.

5. groups who lolligag around the green..laying clubs on the far side of their cart, talking after each player putts, talking while addressing their own putt or doing the same on the tee box. Marking 6 inch putts and then waiting to finish and then casually strolling off of green complexes

6. I'm sure if I thought long enough I could name this one.

None of those are handicap based.  All are common sense/etiquette based.

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We would still have slow play. I see golfers all the time who are in the 6-15 handicap range who are slow players. If I start listing the reasons I would begin ranting. Most of the problem in general comes from the excessive amount of mental analysis people devote to reading putts, usually waiting until its their turn to putt before reading their putt. The same issues with club and shot choices is endemic. It amazes me that people think the time to do all this is when its their turn to play, not while the other guy is taking his or her turn. Most of us don't have the ability to hit all the shots pros do so why does it take so long to make club and choice decisions?
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In my experience, it's the better players that spend more time looking for lost balls.

Maybe they're willing to spend more time per ball, but they have fewer balls to find. A lot of poorer players will spend 2 minutes looking on literally every other hole. I think adds up to more for them.

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Long story short.  Cut my index finger badly at work a couple weeks ago so I'm out of action for a few weeks.  Decided to go look for balls at the local muni.

Was waiting for a two some on the tee to hit before I walked across a fairway back to my truck.  A 310 yd par 4, these guys were playing off the back markers.  There was a foursome on the green putting out but these guys were waiting like they might actually drive the green.  (Tour bags, Ping G15, Titleist 910 drivers, etc.)

4 some clears the green.  1st guy tees off and promptly hits a worm burner about 75 yards.  2nd guy hits a vicious slice into the woods I was just ball searching in. That drive barely went 200 yds

Plain and simple.  A lot of the slow play I see is golfers clearly over-estimating their abilities and playing off of tees way over-matched for those abilities.  Having $2-3k worth of golf equipment in your bag doesn't increase your ability.  Spending a few minutes in pre-shot routine rarely helps either.  Some of the best golfers I've seen or played with were already thinking of the shot as they pulled up to the ball,  saw the shot as they approached it and then had a very repeatable swing that allowed them to basically step up to the ball and hit a good golf shot.  Not much of that I see these days.  Way too much trying to act like pro's but getting hacker results.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

Sure the scratch player in your example is slow, but imagine an extra 30 strokes played that way. I know 25+ cappers with that routine. They are very slow.



yes, that would be quite a drag.  i've been behind people who were obviously in the 20-handicap range who took forever to line up and swing, but i can't recall any of them not waving me through pretty quickly (fortunately).

also, i agree whole-heartedly that people hitting from the wrong tee box eats up a lot of time and kills the pace.  i never once stepped onto the tips until i regularly shot in the 80s from the whites.  i felt like i had to earn my place on the back tees, but evidently a lot of other golfers don't follow that idea.  my dad used to always want to hit from the same box as me, and he's lucky to hit a drive 220 yards.   finally i told him, dad, you're dooming yourself to shooting 100+ if you play back here with me.  get up there on the front tees (1300 yards shorter than the tips at our regular course) and see what you shoot.  so he reluctantly goes up there and shoots 79 for the round.  after that he pretty much stayed up there, though if we're playing with a group, his pride takes over again and he thinks he needs to hit from the back with the rest of us.  i pulled him aside, again, and said "dad, nobody here is going to think any less of you for hitting from the reds,  especially if you shoot in the 70s.  just get up there and play your game."  he's stubborn as a mule, though, and always hems and haws and says something like "well, i'll just try it back here and see how i do."  and invariably, he cards a 98 or 100 and slows everything down.

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Originally Posted by JetFan1983

Would it really hurt golf that much to force players to take an etiquette class prior to being allowed on any course? Once you pass the class (maybe like 20 minutes long), they put your name in the system (the internet) and they can just see if you've taken it already when you go in to pay your greens fees. I doubt it would solve the problem, but it may help some.

I'd like to see a reality show on the golf channel in which three slow players and a very acerbic, cutting, and insistent etiquette coach play a round and the coach just tears into them.  Makes them cry.  Yes, that's what I want to see: slow players cry.  I think it would be a hit.  A guy (I imagine a Dennis Leary type; Don Rickles would have been ideal but he's too old) who totally unloads on slow players, who says all the nasty things you've wanted to say.  I'd watch.

"Hey, how much do you think that flag stick weighs?"

"uh... i don't know.."

"Well that's because you haven't picked the damned thing up all round!  Closest to the hole gets the flag!  First in the hole puts it back in!  Is that too complicated, or do you think you can get that through your thick head?"

etc., etc., etc.

To the OP, maybe play would speed up, but as someone cynically and accurately stated, the courses would just shoe horn in more tee times.

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Hell's Clubhouse! Throw Gordon Ramsay on there and let him rip into people. THAT would be hilarious. I love me some Kitchen Nightmares/Hell's Kitchen/Master Chef.

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On a typical round, I could easily point my smartphone to the hole ahead of me, press record and later insert comments and a voiceover. God knows I have plenty of opportunities where I play. Talking, looking for ball forever, not ready with club selection, walking really slow, 30 seconds over the ball before swinging, wasting their time doing nothing while other people putt, etc...

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Originally Posted by jetsknicks1

No. Slow play doesn't have anything to do with skill level. It has eveything to do with courtesy, not looking for a lost ball for an hour and not standing over a shot like it's your approach at the last hole of the US Open.

Yes it does.

Poor players have to hit more shots and poor players have to look for more balls.  That all takes time.

A good player can be slow as well but it's rare to see a foursome of good players that are slow.

And good players may be slow as well but it's just more frustrating to be behind poor players for some reason.


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I think it does,they only tend to be slower on the greens.

today we were stuck behind a slow 4 ball but the 4 ball behind us kept driving over our heads,the ball nearly hit me twice. I couldn't keep calm anymore so i had to say to them about it..

is it ok to drive over slow players heads?

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Is this a real question?

Originally Posted by N255

...

is it ok to drive over slow players heads?

Yes, you may drive over my head a second time if you wish to be arrested for attempted assault (I'll consider the first time an accident and the second time an attempt to harm me), lose your ball when I take it as evidence, and lose your playing privileges at the course lest they be open to liability charges by letting someone so dangerous on their course.

Back to the OP, high handicap does not mean wild which does mean slower. My Dad has a high handicap because he hits the ball short, very often, but straight enough to never lose a ball. He is not slow. Hitting the ball wildly makes you slow no matter what else you do. Hitting it often does not have to make you slow.

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As has been said throughout the thread a lot of factors go into this equation.  Overall though I have to side with the factor of poor play having the greatest impact on slowing down play.  I can't think of a single time where a course I was playing was backed up due to a group of low cappers taking an extreme amount of time.  In my experience you follow that log jam up to it's source and it's always a foursome of guys hacking it up.  Maybe it's because they are drinking, maybe it's because thay are simply that bad, but it's always been a group of guys spraying the ball all over the place and simply trying their darndest to hole out.  Even if a group like that allows faster groups to play through their poor play creates a bottle neck.  Solutions to this are tough.  Should a well meaning high capper carry 40 balls in their bag and quickly drop one every time they hit one that will require a search?  How fair is that to them?  You'll never get better if you don't tough it out, but that poor player is going to hold up a group even if his playing partners are all scratch golfers who make it their business to help him keep up with his ball.  In my city the way this has been handled is that the local muni that offers the cheapest rates in town is know to be the hacker's paradise.  Another club a mile away has always inflated their green's fees in the hope of steering the hackers away to the muni so that they would gain a reputation as being the course for those who are more serious about their game.  And truth be told this pretty much works.  Would you pay twice the rate for the couple of times you play a year just so you can shoot 120-140, or are you going to the bargain course?

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Hard to say, but you see people who don't know how to play ready golf, or who take 1 club from their cart, its the wrong one, go back and get the right one, and those who look forever for a lost ball - people who just seem oblivious to the idea of maintaing a decent pace of play. I think that generally, more experienced players understand how to maintain a decent pace of play, regardless of handicap.
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i think that the pros take longer then the golfers who suck, if u watch the pga those guys are so focused and take as long as they need. but i am sure on just a Sunday morning with your friends not having sucky golfers will speed up play

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