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nevets88

"I wait on every single shot, every single day on the PGA Tour," he said. "I've gotten really used to doing that."

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It's whatever the course ranger and starter say it is.  For the most part they expect everyone at my club to be directly behind the group in front of them.  It's on them to make sure the first group maintains an acceptable pace.

Originally Posted by Stretch

Just out of interest, do you know what the "legal speed limit" (ie. the USGA pace of play rating) is for the courses you generally frequent? Or have you made yourself the arbiter of what constitutes "the acceptable tempo"?

Slow golf, on the players' side of the equation, is largely a cultural issue in my opinion. Habits and expectations are formed by the environment in which you play. I'm lucky enough to belong to a club that has no issues with it, because it's simply not tolerated. If you hold up the field on a members' competition day, you will hear about it at length afterwards in the club house and it may well cost you a few drinks. Informal, but indisputably effective. On Wednesday this week -- paired with a 2, a 17 and a 23 handicap in 30 mph wind -- we went round in just over four hours including a stop for lunch. Full field, all walking, never made contact with the groups ahead or behind and never felt rushed. Got spanked 7 & 6, but that's another story.

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if the starter and ranger said that 3 hours 45 minutes was the acceptable pace, would you be ok with that?

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Part of the problem at the amateur level is that people feel the need to have an exact yardage.  With most average players there's no difference between their 148 yard and 152 yard swing.  Having an approximate distance to the middle of the green should work for nearly everybody, and yardage stakes or on course yardage plates worked for a long time.  For me, golf is about feel anyway.  I know someone who HAS to have the exact yardage on every play and tracks every shot on his iPhone app.  Way quicker to write it down and transfer it later if you want to analyze your game.  Just pick a club that will get you close to the right yardage, hit it, and move on.  What did we do before GPS and apps?  Just played the game and had fun doing so,  The rules are one thing, but playing Ready Golf improves upon that.

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

For the same reason it's not okay to go 85mph on the highway when the rest of the people are driving the legal speed limit.

If someone is playing too slow, they get put on the clock, otherwise it's up to the rest to adjust their speed to the acceptable tempo.   If I'm keeping up with the group in front and the gropu in front is playing at an acceptable pace to those in front of them then the speedy players need to slow down or find another course to play their speed golf at.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stretch

Interesting question. How come it's unfair to hurry up the guys (at the professional level) who play better slow but OK to slow down the players who (would) play better fast?

That sounds great. Can you provide a link with a list of those courses.

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Originally Posted by colin007

Imho 4.5 hours is NOT an acceptable tempo. I think 3.5 hours should be the acceptable tempo. Why is my opinion or pace any less valid?


I'd love for 3.5 hours to be the norm but on a muni this is not going to happen. There are too many inexperienced players and most of these course are hard enough that these newbies will spray a lot of shots causing lost time to look for lost balls. Sure an experienced foursome can get around in 3 1/2 hours but on a muni that is not the norm. Also, most muni's don't have marshall's or the resources to have starters. Adding these would drive up greens fees. Last, most muni players are in carts which actually slow down the play unless you know how to use them properly. This means dropping off one player to hit while the other goes to their ball.

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So are we talking Tour pace-of-play, or local courses on the weekends?

Foursomes (and sometimes fivesomes) teeing off in 7 or 8 minute intervals will never achieve a 3.5 hour pace-of-play.  That's what you get at nearly every public course on the weekends.  4.5 hours under these conditions is probably average or slightly better than average.  5 hours is commonplace.

Twosomes or threesomes teeing off at 8-10 minute intervals, where everyone is shooting right around par, and no one ever has to look for a ball, should never, ever, under any circumstances, play slower than 3.5 hours.  That's the PGA Tour's situation, and their pace-of-play is pathetic.  They should be consistently achieving 3 hour rounds under these conditions, but I think the average is just under 4 (and at times it's 5+).

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To be fair to the pro's you have to remember, they miss the fairway quite often and hit into and around the gallery.  It takes time for the golfer to get to where his ball landed, assess the situation, request assistance in clearing the gallery so he can take the shot, etc.  They are also doing this for a living so I don't mind if they take a little extra time to verify wind conditions in determining the proper club or to read a green.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the overall standard for pace of play is set by the television contract that expects to have a minimum number of hours for televising an event.

Originally Posted by k-troop

So are we talking Tour pace-of-play, or local courses on the weekends?

Foursomes (and sometimes fivesomes) teeing off in 7 or 8 minute intervals will never achieve a 3.5 hour pace-of-play.  That's what you get at nearly every public course on the weekends.  4.5 hours under these conditions is probably average or slightly better than average.  5 hours is commonplace.

Twosomes or threesomes teeing off at 8-10 minute intervals, where everyone is shooting right around par, and no one ever has to look for a ball, should never, ever, under any circumstances, play slower than 3.5 hours.  That's the PGA Tour's situation, and their pace-of-play is pathetic.  They should be consistently achieving 3 hour rounds under these conditions, but I think the average is just under 4 (and at times it's 5+).

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Originally Posted by colin007

Imho 4.5 hours is NOT an acceptable tempo. I think 3.5 hours should be the acceptable tempo. Why is my opinion or pace any less valid?

It's not a question of whose opinion is valid, it's a question of what reflects a realistic, reasonable pace for a given course.

Based on my experience, a foursome of fairly skilled novice golfers would have trouble regularly achieving a 3.5 hour loop on most courses, assuming they're playing efficiently but not cutting corners. Some may be able to do it sometimes, but they're not going to regularly average that. If you make the acceptable tempo too fast, it doesn't really help. You'll drive away golfers who would make a genuine effort to play a good pace, but simply don't yet have the skills to do so consistently. It has to be something that's achievable on average. If you set it based on an above average player's faster rounds, then it's going to be impossible to enforce without annoying people who aren't doing anything more offensive than having a rough round.

The difference between 3.5 and 4.5 hours is about 3 minutes per hole, or a little less than a minute per stroke. That's not an outrageous burden, and if you are playing to be sure you beat the 4.5 hour pace, you have to play to a faster pace most of the time. This way, you can deal with unexpected but legitimate delays from lost balls, e.g.

So dont take it personally.

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Originally Posted by zeg

It's not a question of whose opinion is valid, it's a question of what reflects a realistic, reasonable pace for a given course.

Based on my experience, a foursome of fairly skilled novice golfers would have trouble regularly achieving a 3.5 hour loop on most courses, assuming they're playing efficiently but not cutting corners. Some may be able to do it sometimes, but they're not going to regularly average that. If you make the acceptable tempo too fast, it doesn't really help. You'll drive away golfers who would make a genuine effort to play a good pace, but simply don't yet have the skills to do so consistently. It has to be something that's achievable on average. If you set it based on an above average player's faster rounds, then it's going to be impossible to enforce without annoying people who aren't doing anything more offensive than having a rough round.

The difference between 3.5 and 4.5 hours is about 3 minutes per hole, or a little less than a minute per stroke. That's not an outrageous burden, and if you are playing to be sure you beat the 4.5 hour pace, you have to play to a faster pace most of the time. This way, you can deal with unexpected but legitimate delays from lost balls, e.g.

So dont take it personally.

What exactly is that? Either someone is skilled or they aren't. A novice by definition is unskilled and probably slow. If someone were to travel in a straight line tee to green and hit each shot with the same club with little to no delay taking an average of 4 or 5 shots to reach every green in regulation they might get around in 4 hours. It's not the number of strokes that's slow it's the shots going in random directions after flubs, mishits, shanks, slices and hooks. Looking for the ball, deciding on which shot to play next as if it matters, zig zagging all over and all collecting together to watch each player's shots. It's awful to be in a group like that and even more awful to be in the group following right behind on every painful shot.

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Originally Posted by MSchott

Quote:

Originally Posted by wadesworld

There's a balance which has to be achieved.  Personally, I think many people and courses are taking it too far.

While we all hate slow play, overly-fast play can be just as annoying as well.  If you don't have time to get comfortable over your shot or read your putt properly, you're not going to make good shots.  In fact, you may end up taking longer playing 7 quick shots than you have 5 deliberate shots.

For that matter, when I'm out on the golf course, I want to enjoy being there.  I'm not going to play slowly, but if I leave the course feeling like I played at a breakneck pace just so I could move as quickly as possible, I missed an opportunity to enjoy being out on a beautiful golf course.

This is a good point but unfortunately there are some golfers who are not used to being on a crowded course that take too long and object to being asked to pick up their pace. Typically these golfers are in carts and have iced beer on their carts.

Give the anti cart comments a rest.  It really gets old.  I'll pit me and my group of 4 in 2 carts against you and any two of your buddies walking and the four of us will leave you 3 in the dust.  the only way you could keep up is if you literally run from shot to shot.  Take it to the bank.

I see walking golfers who stop the beverage cart every time it passes them to resupply the beer stock in their push carts - and since they are walking, they are slower than we are in the first place.  I know lots of riders, myself included, who rarely drink alcohol on the course.  But it gets really old always having to defend my choice against the likes of you who are so stuck on unrealistic stereotypes.

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

It's whatever the course ranger and starter say it is.  For the most part they expect everyone at my club to be directly behind the group in front of them.  It's on them to make sure the first group maintains an acceptable pace.

This ^^.  And the starter is just informing you of course policy, not some number that he made up.  Most courses it's between 4:15 and 4:30, because this is just what it takes a typical amateur, casual fourball to play a comfortable 18 holes on a busy course where they might run up behind someone and have to wait a time or two.  And that is if everything is going well.  If an early group gets bogged down with a full course behind them, regardless of the reason, that can cause a logjam that lasts all day.


Originally Posted by colin007

really?  heres what i see on TV and on my local muni - pros and hackers alike who arent ready to hit their shot as soon as someone else is done hitting theirs.  seriously, i see clowns on the tour not ready to hit their shot until after they watch their playing partner(s) hit their shots.  then they discuss yardage with the caddy, club selection, wind...etc.  instead of doing all of this while the others are hitting.

and then at my local courses, same thing.  people are oblivious to the task of playing golf with purpose.  "oh, its my turn?"

To expand this, for the casual golfer, why are you even waiting until it's "your turn"?  If you are ready and Joe Away isn't, then hit the ball.  (Assuming that you aren't waiting on the group in front of you)

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Give the anti cart comments a rest.  It really gets old.  I'll pit me and my group of 4 in 2 carts against you and any two of your buddies walking and the four of us will leave you 3 in the dust.  the only way you could keep up is if you literally run from shot to shot.  Take it to the bank.

I see walking golfers who stop the beverage cart every time it passes them to resupply the beer stock in their push carts - and since they are walking, they are slower than we are in the first place.  I know lots of riders, myself included, who rarely drink alcohol on the course.  But it gets really old always having to defend my choice against the likes of you who are so stuck on unrealistic stereotypes.

In my experience the slowest players are in carts. The fastest players are often in carts too. People only remember the painful experiences though, not the times they were played quickly through and never saw that group again, because on that day they were the slow(er) group.

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Originally Posted by Datsyuk

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Give the anti cart comments a rest.  It really gets old.  I'll pit me and my group of 4 in 2 carts against you and any two of your buddies walking and the four of us will leave you 3 in the dust.  the only way you could keep up is if you literally run from shot to shot.  Take it to the bank.

I see walking golfers who stop the beverage cart every time it passes them to resupply the beer stock in their push carts - and since they are walking, they are slower than we are in the first place.  I know lots of riders, myself included, who rarely drink alcohol on the course.  But it gets really old always having to defend my choice against the likes of you who are so stuck on unrealistic stereotypes.

In my experience the slowest players are in carts. The fastest players are often in carts too. People only remember the painful experiences though, not the times they were played quickly through and never saw that group again, because on that day they were the slow(er) group.

You are relatively new here so you don't know me, but I worked for 5 years as starter at the busiest public facility in the Denver Metro area, and the stereotypes just don't work.  I watched players make the turn on our 18 hole course for hours on end (part of the job is to record turn time for each group and inform management/rangers of issues), and there is no single type of player or group that I could ever pinpoint for slow play.  Slow players are slow because they are slow.  There are any number of ways that they manage to dawdle, whether it's poor cart etiquette, poor walking etiquette,  poor golfers taking too many strokes, good golfers taking too long to make a stroke, not being ready to play when it's time to play, and just generally seeming unaware of how to play a efficient round of golf.  And that doesn't even address the problem of hitting the ball into trouble, taking too long to search, or everyone stomping the weeds looking when the other players in the group could be hitting while the 4th starts the search by himself.  By all means help him out, but play your own shot first if the way is open, especially if you are already off pace because of other issues mentioned above.

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I consider myself a hack. I'm about an 11 now, which is pretty much terrible, meaning I'm closer to being a 25 than i am to scratch. That being said, my friends of the same skill level and i have no problem in playing 9 in an hour and a half, and 18 in 3:15. When i play in a cart its quicker. The tour guys don't have an excuse, imho...

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Originally Posted by colin007

I consider myself a hack. I'm about an 11 now, which is pretty much terrible, meaning I'm closer to being a 25 than i am to scratch. That being said, my friends of the same skill level and i have no problem in playing 9 in an hour and a half, and 18 in 3:15. When i play in a cart its quicker. The tour guys don't have an excuse, imho...

No matter how you feel about it, you are outside of the envelope of reality.  The question is not whether it's possible, the question is whether it's realistic.  The answer is no, it's not realistic.  I've played in a fivesome in under 4 hours, but that doesn't make it a reasonable target for a typical public golf course.  For one thing, it's rare that such an opportunity would even exist, because you aren't going to have an open course ahead of you most of the time.  Could the pros play faster?  Of course they could.  But when each shot can make a difference of several thousand dollars, they aren't going to pull the trigger until they are ready.  That is a simple fact.  I deplore the bad habits I see from the Tour players, yet I also understand why they do as they do.

What I really have a problem with is that so many other weekend golfers, can't understand that it's okay for the pros because it's their job, and there is a huge paycheck waiting at the end of the day.  Following those same methods is ridiculous for a casual player because he has little besides his score on the line, and maybe a few 50 cent skins.  Going through all of that rigamarole isn't going to help him because he doesn't really know what he's trying to do in the first place, and usually couldn't execute the shot when it's all said and done .  When I get to the first green and find that I got paired with a putt stalker, I just groan because I know that I'm in for one of those days.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

You are relatively new here so you don't know me, but I worked for 5 years as starter at the busiest public facility in the Denver Metro area, and the stereotypes just don't work.  I watched players make the turn on our 18 hole course for hours on end (part of the job is to record turn time for each group and inform management/rangers of issues), and there is no single type of player or group that I could ever pinpoint for slow play.  Slow players are slow because they are slow.  There are any number of ways that they manage to dawdle, whether it's poor cart etiquette, poor walking etiquette,  poor golfers taking too many strokes, good golfers taking too long to make a stroke, not being ready to play when it's time to play, and just generally seeming unaware of how to play a efficient round of golf.  And that doesn't even address the problem of hitting the ball into trouble, taking too long to search, or everyone stomping the weeds looking when the other players in the group could be hitting while the 4th starts the search by himself.  By all means help him out, but play your own shot first if the way is open, especially if you are already off pace because of other issues mentioned above.

I wasn't saying slow walkers were faster than slow cart players or that a typical fast group of walkers was faster than quick cart players. I was actually suggesting it's a matter of perception. People remember their worst experiences, one of which would be as a walker playing behind a slow cart rider who just manages to stay out of touch (not easy to play through). Quick cart riders coming upon a group of slow walkers would likely play through very quickly and the walkers wouldn't even remember the incident the next time out. It's easier to play through walkers as a cart rider than the other way around.  A couple of the longest most painful rounds I've been a part of were in a cart, but they were with strangers who were new to the game. The absolute slowest golf I've been a part of was with new people on foot who really shouldn't have been on the course. None of those rounds were "typical" or they wouldn't stand out in memory so vividly. None of them should be used to judge what typical players do, yet some people do judge all walkers, cart rider, push carters, seniors or whatever based on a bad experience.

I'm new here, but i'm not new to this sport. Your opinions are based on your experiences and mine on my experiences. If someone has to be here for a long time to voice their opinion when you're discussing a topic or to reply directly to you, even when they're essentially agreeing with you, then thanks for the warning.

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Originally Posted by Datsyuk

I'm new here, but i'm not new to this sport. Your opinions are based on your experiences and mine on my experiences. If someone has to be here for a long time to voice their opinion when you're discussing a topic or to reply directly to you, even when they're essentially agreeing with you, then thanks for the warning.

I wasn't putting you down about being new here.  I was saying that because I've posted my experiences as a course employee before, but not since you joined, so you wouldn't know what my comments were based on.  Sorry for the misunderstanding.

I've recorded turn and finishing times for literally hundreds of groups and thousands of players, all genders, ages, and levels of experience and proficiency, and modes of travel around the course (not counting 40 years of playing experience), and I have never found a noticeable trend where I could say this particular type is the worst offender.  There are some tendencies.  New players are often slower for two reasons:  they take a lot of strokes and they don't know that slow play is an issue because nobody ever told them.  They are also the type who seem to take a request to pick up the pace to heart more than an experienced player who wears blinders and refuses to acknowledge that he might have a problem.  As a result the new player while sometimes being a bit slow, is also the most easily retrained with polite counseling from a course employee, and is usually very cooperative and open to suggestions.  That is the sort of thing that someone who has never worked in my position is unlikely to be as aware of.

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