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Is slow play ever justifiable?


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My group uses the double bogie rule, and for some double par. If you have a putt for double you take it, then pick up. Or if the course is crowded your putt for double is "good". A number of great suggestions have been offered, many of which I use as well, so there is really no justification for slow play--or at least for holding up everyone else while you play slow. Everyone has to learn, and if a group is slow but the course is empty and/or they are VERY careful about letting faster groups through, then I have some tolerance.
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I think you missed the part where it says AND you're holding up the group behind you. In other words, if you're holding people up and there's space ahead of you, you let them through, regardles

No. Somebody that bad needs to hit the shot, pick the ball up and put it in their pocket, carry it up to where a good shot would have gone, and try it again. Then repeat above...And spen

No - slow play is never acceptable. All players who are shooting over 110 or so should be playing a stroke limit of double par.  When you reach stroke 8 on a par 4, you put the ball in your poc

I don't experience this as much as a lot of you do.  It seems like even if I feel I have to wait for every shot - the round still ended up in about 4.5 hrs.  Most rounds - during primetime weekend play - go a little over 4.  I certainly wish it went a little faster - notably trying to squeeze in 9 after work or something, but it doesn't sound like I have much to complain about. I can't imagine the 5-6 hour rounds I hear about on here.

That being said - and maybe a little off topic - I'd like to know how the folks here handle it when the group in front of you is slow - but not waving you through.  Do you call the clubhouse?  catch up to them and ask about playing through?  What's protocol?

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This is not acceptable. Sounds like the poorer golfer was not ready for 18 holes. When I first started golfing it took me about a year before I attempted an 18 hole course. I started with Plenty of range time, then pitch and putt courses, and eventually worked up enough nerve to play a nine hole exectuive course. During that time I read golf books and spent time on golf forums so I knew about pace of play. I did get scolded once by an older gentleman for walking directly on his putting line. Never did that again!

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I am indifferent to slow play in all honesty. My regular style of playing is calm, relaxed, yet intense ready golf. When I play alone and there are not many people around me, I typically finish in 3-3.5 hours tops which includes a stop at the turn to get a hot dog and/or a beer/gatorade/water.

I typically try not to let it bother me so much as I am usually let through. I do become a little more annoyed by slow play when I'm playing bad though, as opposed to when I'm playing good (which I believe is the opposite for most people). You would think on a bad day, you want that extra time to gather yourself and calm down, but for some reason my brain starts firing on all cylinders and I'm in a hurry to make another mistake apparently.

Anyway, in your case, I can see and understand the cause for frustration. I know many people will say that this type of play is not acceptable on any golf course as well, but ... what is this course like? Is it a well-maintained course that is in the $50-$80 range for 18? Or, is it more or less a mediocre muni-lot with $25-30 range and additional discounted specials?

If this type of course is the latter, that new golfer may have picked just the place to learn the game and get used to an actual course.

I guess I'm not going to fault anyone who is out and having a good time and trying to play the game - so long as I am let through. I will handle waiting for you to tee off and watch your play so that I know how to approach you at the next box. If we do meet up again and I am waiting on you, I am definitely going to ask you if I can play through. I can't recall ever being told 'No' either.

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I see this here and there and no slow play is never justifiable. More people should pick up if they are new and struggling. Maybe even choose to start playing each hole at the place of the second shot of the better players in their group. There really isn't a reason to experience the entire course at that level and many would be better off on a par 3 course until they can make reasonably consistent contact. That's where I started. I was a kid but still no reason to make a hard game unpleasant. That said part of the problem usually is the person playing with them trying to give instruction on the course. The demonstration swings, helping line up putts to make 12.

I've experienced more slow play this year than last year but it's usually not noobs. It's men playing from the wrong tees and lack of distance isn't the problem. It's the lost balls, the endless search for lost balls, the time spent trying get up and down for double because they've wasted shots getting to the green because they play tees longer than their abilities. I get it when the back is 6100y on a 68/115 but I see the 20+ crowd on the tips of very difficult courses. What really drives me nuts if those guys are usually the ones waiting for greens to clear on an approach that's longer than any drive they hit all day. Everything they do is unrealistic. I don't expect to finish in 3 hours but it gets silly.

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Originally Posted by trackster

This was originally going to be a rant about a particular group of golfers today but I feel a more constructive topic can be made of it.

Got to the course at about 6:30, was suppose to tee off at around 6:45.  As soon as I entered the pro shop there was a group of three golfers tee off.  Two of them hit decent shots but the third barely left the tee box.  At about 6:45, my friend and I walked up to the tee box.  I am not exactly sure on the time but I am guessing we waited in excess of 15 minutes before it was clear to shoot.  That means this hole took them roughly 30-35 minutes.  By the next hole, the poorer golfer had moved forward a tee.  But when you are hitting 20 yards a pop that does not help much.  They let us pass by hole 3 and we were in the clear.  We finished the front nine by 8:30.  This group of three was just starting hole six by this time.

While they did let us pass, which is nice, those first two holes took roughly 50 minutes to complete.  The rest of the 7 holes took about that much time.  While my initial reaction was irritation I started to see the different side.  The poorer golfer had clearly not played very much if any.  There was many swings and misses.  The golfer must have also felt obligated to play the tee box that his/her friends were playing.  With the golf skill set that this person had, it would have been very difficult to complete a round in a reasonable time.

Is slow play more excepted if the person is not taking a lot of time between shots but is just bad?  When I first started I didn't know about speed of play, etiquette, etc.  I didn't even know half of that stuff existed so therefor I couldn't look it up.  I didn't have golf "figures" to explain stuff to me and keep me in the know.  Can you really fault a new player who has no guidance on the issues?

Depends on the definition of slow play. I've been pushed before, and I don't play slow. So some people are unreasonable. I hate to tell people not to play, but a person should have some sort of capability to hit the golf ball before stepping foot on the golf course. Take a lesson, get the ball in the air and some decent distance. A guy who tops the ball 6 times in a row should seriously consider not playing golf on the course just yet.

Also, there's issue with carts. I think people actually play slower on carts than walking. The reason is, they stay and watch there partner hit. Let the guy take his clubs, and go to your ball. Get ready to hit, and just go pick the other guy up on the way to the next shot. I see people sitting around one ball, its absurd. Carts can kill "Ready Golf". I've been in a foursome walking, and we pushed a foursome in carts. That should not happen.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

Also, there's issue with carts. I think people actually play slower on carts than walking. The reason is, they stay and watch there partner hit. Let the guy take his clubs, and go to your ball. Get ready to hit, and just go pick the other guy up on the way to the next shot. I see people sitting around one ball, its absurd. Carts can kill "Ready Golf". I've been in a foursome walking, and we pushed a foursome in carts. That should not happen.

Yep, agree with this. It seems like the foursomes in carts cause the majority of backups I see. I don't understand how people can be riding and be slow! It is ridiculous. They all drive to one ball, one guy makes a club selection and hits his ball, then they go to the next one and repeat. This is a big part of the reason that I am anti-cart.

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I hate when you have the backup, and the group(s) ahead of me are making me wait on shots while a group (or more) waits behind me.

I really don't care about playing slowly and hanging out on the golf course waiting to take my next shot, but I do hate being the guy slowing people down.  Makes it a lot less fun.

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Originally Posted by MPtheKid

Yep, agree with this. It seems like the foursomes in carts cause the majority of backups I see. I don't understand how people can be riding and be slow! It is ridiculous. They all drive to one ball, one guy makes a club selection and hits his ball, then they go to the next one and repeat. This is a big part of the reason that I am anti-cart.

The only time I see people in carts slowing things down is if they are chasing balls around the course. We ride most of the time in pairs of similar players or with one long player paired with a shorter one. Only one stop on the way to the furthest ball. Nobody is ever pushing my group, riding or walking. I've never seen a group in carts riding single file from ball to ball.

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Originally Posted by Dave2512

The only time I see people in carts slowing things down is if they are chasing balls around the course. We ride most of the time in pairs of similar players or with one long player paired with a shorter one. Only one stop on the way to the furthest ball. Nobody is ever pushing my group, riding or walking. I've never seen a group in carts riding single file from ball to ball.

I don't doubt that some people in carts use them efficiently and it seems like you do. I was just stating what I see the majority of the time.

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Originally Posted by MPtheKid

I don't doubt that some people in carts use them efficiently and it seems like you do. I was just stating what I see the majority of the time.

I do see people doing insane stuff in carts but always related to bad golf and stupidity. A few weeks ago I watched a guy leave his cart and walk to a ball on the opposite side of the fairway. Following that they got back into the cart and drove backwards to a different ball. A total WTF moment. I think I posted about it here. It was a slow day all the way around. Enough so that I bailed without finishing as soon as I was close enough to the clubhouse to drive off without disturbing others. Happened twice in two days. The second time I left because a group with a new golfer was letting her take 10-15 shots to each green and another 3-4 to putt out. Took me 1 3/4 hrs to get through 5 holes and two of them are par 3's.

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No. Somebody that bad needs to hit the shot, pick the ball up and put it in their pocket, carry it up to where a good shot would have gone, and try it again. Then repeat above...And spend a lot more time at a practice range. When my wife first started playing she wasn't much better than what you described and that's what we always had her do, and nobody waited on us.

I couldn't agree more, this is how my brother in law and I play. I hit a drive, he hits a drive and I his is awful then we ride up to my ball where he takes a drop and so on and so forth...

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For your buddy who shoots 120-130 but loves to putt . .if he's not near the green after par + 2, maybe he could drop somewhere at a nice approach shot distance . .make the approach shot and then putt out?  I used to do that quite a bit.

That is a very good suggestion. If I have the nerve I'll suggest it to him :>)

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No doubt some of the fault falls on the course management. Anymore I'd rather play at a course that is strictly enforcing POP even if I have to spend more. A few post which tees should be played based on index and I'm all for it. They know how the course should be played. I wish more had kiddie tees. That would be a good place for beginners to start. At least they'd have half a chance to play the course from a spot suited to their ability without holding up those behind them.

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I learned to play on a par three course. Most people who played at that course (and I'm guessing most people that frequent par 3 courses) were bad players, novices like I was. Good place to start the game. If they are taking that long on a full length course then they are not ready for big boy golf.
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We've had this argument out before.

I take the totally opposite side.  When I was just starting out I played like that guy.  My point then, and now, is that slow play and being bad are not the same thing.  If he isn't taking too long between shots, and he isn't "slow" but just needs a lot of shots, then its not slow play.

Your gripe isn't with the player.  He paid his $60 just like you and, provided he hits the ball at a reasonable pace, he deserves to play a full round of golf by the rules of golf  (i've also posted up topics before when *the same exact forum posters* post up yelling at beginners to pick up and bend the rules to play faster and then, in a seperate thread, argue that people should never cheat or turn in handicap scores that arn't "real".. which is it?)

Anyway, your gripe isn't with the player, its with the course.  If the course doesn't have a time limit on rounds and doesn't have rangers, then don't play there so that they get them.  Absent pre-posted restrictions in the pro shop or around the course, he is well within his rights to play a legit round of golf since he paid his greens fee.

Its not your place to decide whether or not this guy should pick up or let you play through.  Its your place to decide you arn't going to patronize a course that allows slow play.  And if you decide to play a course that doesn't have rangers or time limits, you will play 6 hour rounds sometimes.

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Originally Posted by colin007

I learned to play on a par three course. Most people who played at that course (and I'm guessing most people that frequent par 3 courses) were bad players, novices like I was. Good place to start the game. If they are taking that long on a full length course then they are not ready for big boy golf.

I still play the par 3 I learned on back in the 70's. Good approach shot practice and also for the nostalgia factor, takes me back to a better time. That course has 2 par 3 courses and one if not both has adult leagues that play them. Back in the day the pro there actually taught beginners on that course and they may still do it. When I took golf up again after a decade plus layoff I went back there and put in my time and I had more skill from previous experience than a beginner, no trouble getting the ball in the air etc. Probably played it 20-30 times to brush up. Honestly it helped. I went from picking up the first time out, my parents had me playing 9 at a private club the first time, talk about brutal, to a 15 hc in a couple of months. It's just 500 yds but after that I spent time on their longer 1100 yd par 3. Many days I played it over and over. Got to the point where I could shoot 23-25 regularly. Good clean fun.

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Originally Posted by johnclayton1982

We've had this argument out before.

I take the totally opposite side.  When I was just starting out I played like that guy.  My point then, and now, is that slow play and being bad are not the same thing.  If he isn't taking too long between shots, and he isn't "slow" but just needs a lot of shots, then its not slow play.

Your gripe isn't with the player.  He paid his $60 just like you and, provided he hits the ball at a reasonable pace, he deserves to play a full round of golf by the rules of golf  (i've also posted up topics before when *the same exact forum posters* post up yelling at beginners to pick up and bend the rules to play faster and then, in a seperate thread, argue that people should never cheat or turn in handicap scores that arn't "real".. which is it?)

Anyway, your gripe isn't with the player, its with the course.  If the course doesn't have a time limit on rounds and doesn't have rangers, then don't play there so that they get them.  Absent pre-posted restrictions in the pro shop or around the course, he is well within his rights to play a legit round of golf since he paid his greens fee.

Its not your place to decide whether or not this guy should pick up or let you play through.  Its your place to decide you arn't going to patronize a course that allows slow play.  And if you decide to play a course that doesn't have rangers or time limits, you will play 6 hour rounds sometimes.

Yes, we have had this argument many many times.

Try this, teach your new players stableford, give them a 36 handicap then watch play speed up.

The player would have something to aim for and would be under 110 strokes.

6 hour rounds numb the mind.

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