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Pace of Play Survey Results (240 Golf) - READ and SHARE

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I don't want to beat around the bush here (my own "pace of play" will be quick on this post ), so here are the survey results from this survey that many of you voted in.

The survey results are not shocking to me, but they may shock you or your golf course operator.

What I'd like from you: send a copy of the results to your local golf courses.

The survey is heavy on results and virtually non-existant on the advertising for 240 Golf. If you fear blowback, print it out and just drop it in your pro's office when he's not there or something. If you're unafraid, email it to him. Post it to his Facebook wall. Distribute it to the various committees or members with whom you play regularly.

240 Golf is attempting something good with this, and TST supports their efforts. A whole lot more people would enjoy golf more, and play more, if rounds didn't take so much longer than they need to.

So again:

Please send a copy of the results to your local golf courses.

Thanks.

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Sign up (or log in) today! It's free (and you won't see this ad anymore)!

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Let me add a quick note to Erik's post. Let your pro know we will be at the PGA Merchandise Show next week. And if you are attending please stop by and visit.

240 GOLF - Booth #3303

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I've shared it with Whispering Woods and the pro there. :)

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I just sent a link to the head pro at my home course in Colorado.  Although they are far being the worst in the area for slow play, they do still have issues on occasion.  Education can't hurt.

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Good stuff.  Some of this information illustrates a human disconnect at play: there is a consensus that slow play is a problem, but a good majority if people believe they aren't the problem.  I see this at play on the course a lot.  I've been in groups with a slow player or two, and I've [at times ruined my game because I] played faster to compensate for them.  A lot of the times it's because they take far too long on the green and don't line up their putts until the next person has shot.  Then we'll get to a course bottleneck par 3, wait there for a couple groups to finish and I'll hear some of the slow players complaining about how long those guys are taking on the green.

What I'm getting at is that until there is some education about personal accountability, a lot of the issues of slow play won't be corrected.  People are often fine with rule enforcement until it comes to them.  As a collective and in relation to the group, the rules are fine.  But in individual circumstances, the violator of the rule feels like they are an exception a lot of the time.  "I can take longer lining up my putt because:

-it's for birdie

-it's for par

-it's to save bogie

-i'm having a great round

-i'm a low handicap

-i'm a great putter"

It's our inherent selfish, human nature at play.  People first need to be educated to realize that the pace of play etiquette standards apply to them under all circumstances, with illustrations of how them not taking personal responsibility affects others.

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I agree totally with these findings, however I'm skeptical that any brochure or "education" on improving pace of play will move the needle much, if at all.  Once a person is out on the course, it's usually just them and at most three other people (probably friends).  I think the "I paid good money for this round so I'm not gonna be rushed" mentality sets in and there are very few people in the immediate vicinity who are going to challenge it or confront the slow person (or group) since it will likely cause a scene.

The only thing that can really make a difference is a greater marshal presense on the course.  I'm not suggesting one per hole - it would be more big brother-like then - but more than the usual one or two.  If a group or person is identified as being slow, the marshalls need to strictly enforce pace-of-play, either by following along with that group until they are playing faster, or by kicking them off the course if they don't listen.

IMO, the only way to truly make people play faster is to provide an incentive... in this case a negative incentive.  If they play slow, their going to have a marshall audience watching them annoyingly until they speed up, or their going to get flat tossed-out.

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Originally Posted by dc3032

I agree totally with these findings, however I'm skeptical that any brochure or "education" on improving pace of play will move the needle much, if at all.  Once a person is out on the course, it's usually just them and at most three other people (probably friends).  I think the "I paid good money for this round so I'm not gonna be rushed" mentality sets in and there are very few people in the immediate vicinity who are going to challenge it or confront the slow person (or group) since it will likely cause a scene.

The only thing that can really make a difference is a greater marshal presense on the course.  I'm not suggesting one per hole - it would be more big brother-like then - but more than the usual one or two.  If a group or person is identified as being slow, the marshalls need to strictly enforce pace-of-play, either by following along with that group until they are playing faster, or by kicking them off the course if they don't listen.

IMO, the only way to truly make people play faster is to provide an incentive... in this case a negative incentive.  If they play slow, their going to have a marshall audience watching them annoyingly until they speed up, or their going to get flat tossed-out.

It isn't just education.  It's the course committing to making the information available and then adhering to it in how flow on the course is managed.  The rangers, marshals, course assistants - whatever you want to call them - and  starters would also be trained in how to enforce the posted pace of play rules without alienating the players.  Golfers could not say that they didn't know the policy because it would be posted all over the course.  There would really be no excuse for not maintaining a reasonable pace of play.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

It isn't just education.  It's the course committing to making the information available and then adhering to it in how flow on the course is managed.  The rangers, marshals, course assistants - whatever you want to call them - and  starters would also be trained in how to enforce the posted pace of play rules without alienating the players.  Golfers could not say that they didn't know the policy because it would be posted all over the course.  There would really be no excuse for not maintaining a reasonable pace of play.

If that's the case then great! I'm fully behind this.  I for one, hate being THAT guy who's holding everyone up.  If I'm having a bad hole and it's getting to be an issue, I'll pick up... I'm not playing for a Green Jacket so it's no big deal.  Plus, I find it less fun having a group breathing down your neck the entire time.

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Originally Posted by dc3032

I agree totally with these findings, however I'm skeptical that any brochure or "education" on improving pace of play will move the needle much, if at all....The only thing that can really make a difference is a greater marshal presence on the course

Your skepticism is shared by quite a few I'm sure. The alternative of doing nothing to address the problem of poor pace-of-play etiquette is guaranteed to not "move the needle."  Marshaling can help but sadly many golf courses today are not putting the needed resources behind such programs in terms of personnel, training, and most importantly consistent enforcement of the policies.  An effective marshaling program requires a significant $ investment.

240 GOLF will be a process. The program includes a number of merchandising/education materials in addition to the brochure. Plus a series of videos will be produced demonstrating good pace-of-play etiquette. The program, if supported by the golf course, will in time provide all golfers fast and slow alike a common language to discuss pace-of-play and how to "pick up the pace."

One of the most common suggestions is to play "Ready Golf."  We agree 100%.  The problem though is the term ready golf has devolved into nothing more than playing your shot when it is not your honor. That action is only part of ready golf, it is not however the full meaning. Ready golf is to be ready to play when it is your turn in a timely fashion. 240 GOLF reintroduces all of us to the true meaning of ready golf and goes a step further by educating golfers on how to be ready.

So here's the vision. You step onto the first tee with three strangers.  After introductions one the guys instead of saying "we play ready golf" says to you, "We play 240 GOLF." And you say, "Perfect. Love to play with guys that understand good pace of play etiquette."

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here is something I would like to see implemented...

as a rule for the occasional player/non-competitive rounds, and it actually would lower handicaps.

White out of bound stakes, should all be red tipped

the player can take the distance, with a drop and a one stroke penalty

instead of re-hitting as required now.

1) it will speed the game up

2) it will lower handicaps, not inflate them

3) use of red tip drop rule- this is in non-competitive rounds only - use white stake rule during competitive rounds

4) saves a possible double shank out of bounds (saving money! and balls)

5) and it will make a golf outing more enjoyable and less taxing mentally.

maybe a different color than red? - as red is used for hazard play, but you get the picture...

another pace setting rule - putt the heck out when you can, leaving a 1 footer is ridiculous

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If this could be condensed into 1 or 2 pages it might be a lot easier to print and distribute as a single, double-sided flyer. Just a thought.
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Originally Posted by walk18

If this could be condensed into 1 or 2 pages it might be a lot easier to print and distribute as a single, double-sided flyer. Just a thought.


The Etiquette rules are printed on a 4''x6'' card.  Exactly the same as a standard size scorecard.

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Are there any plans to expand the survey to increase the sample size? I am not sure how astute golf pros are when it comes to quantitative analysis but a sample size of 300 is too small to make generalizations about the golf population as a whole. That is not to say I do not think you are right but I know that under scrutiny you would get a lot of grief about such a small sample.

This may not be the place for this question (please direct me to the thread if it has already been discussed) but are there any theories about why play is so slow? I have not noticed it being any slower from when I use to play regularly ten years ago but it seems to be a pressing topic on the forums and on Golf Channel etc.. Golf participation is apparently down significantly which would lead me to believe if less people are playing, it should be faster?

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IMO 300 seems like a significant enough sample when you consider that the questions involved shouldn't be too affected by demographic nor regional changes.

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Originally Posted by CanuckAaron

Are there any plans to expand the survey to increase the sample size? I am not sure how astute golf pros are when it comes to quantitative analysis but a sample size of 300 is too small to make generalizations about the golf population as a whole. That is not to say I do not think you are right but I know that under scrutiny you would get a lot of grief about such a small sample.

This may not be the place for this question (please direct me to the thread if it has already been discussed) but are there any theories about why play is so slow? I have not noticed it being any slower from when I use to play regularly ten years ago but it seems to be a pressing topic on the forums and on Golf Channel etc.. Golf participation is apparently down significantly which would lead me to believe if less people are playing, it should be faster?

The 300 sample size is about right for market research. With that said you may be right about golf pros not understanding what makes for acceptable numbers. Marketing research is not their expertise. The report says there is 5.8% margin of error. Looks to me a swing of 6% in either direction would not change the results. 83% want golf courses to provide education about pace of play according to the survey. Would it matter if only 77% responded that way?  don't think so.

As to your second question, the number of golfers on a course can make a difference but even when play is light a few slow golfers on the course causes the problem everyone is talking about.  I for one hope this program has some success.

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

... Then we'll get to a course bottleneck par 3, wait there for a couple groups to finish and I'll hear some of the slow players complaining about how long those guys are taking on the green. ...

It's our inherent selfish, human nature at play. ...

I would suggest that human shortcomings are the major cause of slow play. That said, course-related problems are an aggravating factor:

  • A crazy pin placement, which causes 80% of the golfers on the day to three-putt the hole.
  • {Blind, sloping landing areas} + {modern no-caddie foursomes which lack eyes up ahead to track drives}. If a course has a tournament or just a high-play day, couldn't you put a spotter out there to help people find their balls? Especially if two side-by-side holes have mysterious landing areas.
  • The greens crew is suffering from the flu, and the rough hasn't been mown in five days.
  • A bridge or a hill-side cart path washes out, forcing carts to take a 300-yd. detour.
  • A scattering of volunteer trees has made a fairway 20 yards narrower than the designer intended.
  • No. 6 tee is a quarter-mile from the No. 5 green, and the scorecard locator map is inaccurate.
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