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Pace Problem


Cartboy
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Just wanted to say that two guys in a cart are almost NEVER faster than I am walking at any of the local courses near me. Around here cart golf=slow golf.

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Generalities are worthless for these sorts of discussions.  I have seen single digit golfers back up a course, I've seen walkers play faster than those that ride in a cart.

Pace of play is about each golfer, regardless of handicap or transportation mode making a conscious effort to maintain pace with the group in front of them.  As soon as one person or group decides their round or enjoyment is more important than everyone else on the course, pace slows down.

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Regarding pace of play, I had kind of a weird experience yesterday.    I was in a foursome that I knew in advance was going to be slow, due to the way some of them play.   Lots of bad shots, lots of thinking about shots, loads of time sizing up putts, chatting on the tee box, so forth.  They drive me crazy, but they're my friends, so I try not to be a dick about the slow play unless we hold up other groups. 

When our tee time came, there was a foursome that teed off and we had to wait for them to clear the fairway, and there was another foursome behind us waiting to tee off. 

We took almost 5-12 hours to play 18, and yet we never caught the group in front of us and the group behind us never caught up to us.   We could always see the preceding group clearing the green when we got to the tee on par 4s, and when we cleared the green we would always see the group behind us just pulling up to the tee. 

I thought that was really weird. 

 

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I think you just happen to be among groups that were playing at the same pace, probably because everyone was about the same skill level, that helps, once you get a mix of poor playing groups and better players slow play issues become pronounced.

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I played in a tournament this weekend where there were split tee times off 1 and 10.  Just so happens on the second day I was in the first group off #1.  We played the front 9 in 1.5 hours and it wasn't an easy course.  When we got to #10 there were 3 groups still to get started in front of us.  We still finished in 4.5 hours, on a full course, with flights ranging from scratch to 20+ handicaps, playing every shot.  We were mostly 3-somes which helps, but we all know what is expected in our pace of play. 

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Wow!  Look what happens when I'm away!

:whistle:

What I meant to say in my last post was that for seven years I/we/everyone has tried to find a way to speed up play on our course.  My "Ah-Hah" moment was that that is just not going to happen.  Our course is just too dang hard for many of the "tourist" golfers in our area.  It has a reputation as being the toughest course around, and that just brings us more golfers who should not be playing it.

We have tried everything mentioned here, and things not mentioned here, like shortening the course by instituting Combo Tees four years ago, thinning the rough, putting pace clocks on the course, etc.

We're just never going to be able to speed up some groups.  So, and understanding the shortcomings, what we need to do is have the slow groups yield to the faster groups from the beginning of each day, before the Pace gets unmanageable.

Slower groups having to wait for faster groups to play through may speed them up.  If they understand the Rules of Group, they know who has "Priority on the Course".  If they bitch about slower groups playing through, they don't know the Rules of Golf.

It's time for our course to simply say that everyone does not have to take six hours to play a round just because one group wants to.

 

 

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On ‎2‎/‎2‎/‎2016 at 11:29 AM, Marty2019 said:

Regarding pace of play, I had kind of a weird experience yesterday.    I was in a foursome that I knew in advance was going to be slow, due to the way some of them play.   Lots of bad shots, lots of thinking about shots, loads of time sizing up putts, chatting on the tee box, so forth.  They drive me crazy, but they're my friends, so I try not to be a dick about the slow play unless we hold up other groups. 

When our tee time came, there was a foursome that teed off and we had to wait for them to clear the fairway, and there was another foursome behind us waiting to tee off. 

We took almost 5-12 hours to play 18, and yet we never caught the group in front of us and the group behind us never caught up to us.   We could always see the preceding group clearing the green when we got to the tee on par 4s, and when we cleared the green we would always see the group behind us just pulling up to the tee. 

I thought that was really weird. 

 

Yeah, golfers see the group in front of them and the group behind them, and think everything's fine.

But, they can't see the group behind the group behind the group behind the group behind the group behind the group behind them, all the way back to the first tee.

The marshal can, and he knows what all those groups are saying, and they want him to go take care of the pace problem.

GPS in Marshal mode, showing all the red carts behind the group you're talking to, is pretty convincing.  Wish we had GPS.

Speaking of which, my Uncle was a Marshal, and I was going to take his job when he quit.  Then he died.  I went to talk to the Pro, and he said they got GPS, so they didn't need Marshals any more.  That was nine years ago and they have marshals again, and GPS.

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On February 5, 2016 at 5:47 PM, Cartboy said:

Wow!  Look what happens when I'm away!

:whistle:

What I meant to say in my last post was that for seven years I/we/everyone has tried to find a way to speed up play on our course.  My "Ah-Hah" moment was that that is just not going to happen.  Our course is just too dang hard for many of the "tourist" golfers in our area.  It has a reputation as being the toughest course around, and that just brings us more golfers who should not be playing it.

We have tried everything mentioned here, and things not mentioned here, like shortening the course by instituting Combo Tees four years ago, thinning the rough, putting pace clocks on the course, etc.

We're just never going to be able to speed up some groups.  So, and understanding the shortcomings, what we need to do is have the slow groups yield to the faster groups from the beginning of each day, before the Pace gets unmanageable.

Slower groups having to wait for faster groups to play through may speed them up.  If they understand the Rules of Group, they know who has "Priority on the Course".  If they bitch about slower groups playing through, they don't know the Rules of Golf.

It's time for our course to simply say that everyone does not have to take six hours to play a round just because one group wants to.

 

 

There's a course nicknamed Tierra Tooharda (Tierra Rejada), that added white tees, and that seemed to alleviate the slow play issues. I played there a couple times, once on a weekend and the pace was very nice!

It seems like most people play to enjoy golf and not to over challenge their bounds. It's a very small percentage that play too far back to "challenge" themselves.

Seems like your course should be able to marshall a couple slow groups? For high tech courses GPS carts with transceivers on them can simply alert slow players to move up. Beep their cart or something?

if the groups refuse to believe they are holding up play, just hold them back and let other groups ahead.

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1 hour ago, Lihu said:

There's a course nicknamed Tierra Tooharda (Tierra Rejada), that added white tees, and that seemed to alleviate the slow play issues. I played there a couple times, once on a weekend and the pace was very nice!

It seems like most people play to enjoy golf and not to over challenge their bounds. It's a very small percentage that play too far back to "challenge" themselves.

Seems like your course should be able to marshall a couple slow groups? For high tech courses GPS carts with transceivers on them can simply alert slow players to move up. Beep their cart or something?

if the groups refuse to believe they are holding up play, just hold them back and let other groups ahead.

Your last sentence doesn't solve anything on a busy course.  On my home course they'd be waiting for 4 hours for everyone to pass by before they got the chance to continue.  Chronically slow players and slow groups need a harsh wake-up call, not pampering.  They have to be made aware in no uncertain terms that their dawdling is not tolerated - that their duty is to keep up and nothing else is acceptable.

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(edited)
15 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

Your last sentence doesn't solve anything on a busy course.  On my home course they'd be waiting for 4 hours for everyone to pass by before they got the chance to continue.  Chronically slow players and slow groups need a harsh wake-up call, not pampering.  They have to be made aware in no uncertain terms that their dawdling is not tolerated - that their duty is to keep up and nothing else is acceptable.

We're simply not allowed to be unfriendly hardasses.  The owners want everyone to enjoy themselves.  That is why I started this thread, hoping to find some customer-friendly ways to get slow groups to speed up.

On a busy day, when we have solid tee times until afternoon, the same thing would happen at our course that you describe.

The slow group would either have to wait several times for faster groups to play through, or get on pace themselves.

Yeah, they might be pissed off, but one pissed of group is better than 20, especially when they are the problem.  Would we rather have one pissed off group because they had to wait to let faster groups play through or 20 pissed off groups because one group held them all up and no one did anything about it?

I think the point is that if they see groups playing through, they know they are playing slower than other groups.

At least they would get to play all the holes because we're not asking them to skip a hole.

All I want is a uniform way that we handle pace problems, and the best of the options to me, after seven years of trying, is to let everyone know from the git-go that Pace has Priority on the Course.  The faster group plays through, period.  That seems much more do-able than to say we have a certain pace and we expect everyone to adhere to it.

As this thread attests, if Pace is a problem, it is a really tough problem.  In most cases, someone is not going to be happy.  I've found you can't even talk about it, about how to enforce Pace, without some getting upset.

- - - - - -

I have friends that visit once a year and one of their friends has had several strokes, the medical kind not the golf kind.  He's a pace problem, and he won't give up the game.  We know at the beginning that we are going to let groups play through.

Edited by Cartboy
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2 hours ago, Cartboy said:

We're simply not allowed to be unfriendly hardasses.  The owners want everyone to enjoy themselves.  That is why I started this thread, hoping to find some customer-friendly ways to get slow groups to speed up.

On a busy day, when we have solid tee times until afternoon, the same thing would happen at our course that you describe.

The slow group would either have to wait several times for faster groups to play through, or get on pace themselves.

Yeah, they might be pissed off, but one pissed of group is better than 20, especially when they are the problem.  Would we rather have one pissed off group because they had to wait to let faster groups play through or 20 pissed off groups because one group held them all up and no one did anything about it?

I think the point is that if they see groups playing through, they know they are playing slower than other groups.

At least they would get to play all the holes because we're not asking them to skip a hole.

All I want is a uniform way that we handle pace problems, and the best of the options to me, after seven years of trying, is to let everyone know from the git-go that Pace has Priority on the Course.  The faster group plays through, period.  That seems much more do-able than to say we have a certain pace and we expect everyone to adhere to it.

As this thread attests, if Pace is a problem, it is a really tough problem.  In most cases, someone is not going to be happy.  I've found you can't even talk about it, about how to enforce Pace, without some getting upset.

- - - - - -

I have friends that visit once a year and one of their friends has had several strokes, the medical kind not the golf kind.  He's a pace problem, and he won't give up the game.  We know at the beginning that we are going to let groups play through.

Since you're going to have to piss off that slow group why not do while forcing them to keep pace rather than making everyone else pass them by?  They really aren't going to learn anything about playing a better pace by standing around.  If your rangers were taught to instruct them in good pace habits they might actually learn HOW to keep up.  

For most slow players, it's not how badly they play, but how much irrelevant and unnecessary fiddling they do when they should be hitting the ball.  It's poor cart etiquette.  It's getting hopelessly mired in waiting for who's away to play first.  You don't have to nasty to them to teach them.  If the attempt is made and they don't respond, then harsher steps may be necessary.  One thing that your management needs to have beaten into their heads is that you can never make everyone happy.  

A course that gets a reputation for slow play is going to lose players and revenue.  That or the only players it will attract is the snails, and the more desirable players will find a better venue that is more suited to their style of play.  The problem can quickly spiral out of control.

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(edited)
18 hours ago, Fourputt said:

Since you're going to have to piss off that slow group why not do while forcing them to keep pace rather than making everyone else pass them by?  

Because in seven years of trying every possible way to get slow groups to speed up on our course, nothing has worked.

That's why I started the thread.

Our management company, a really well-known one, was supposed to addressed/emphasized the problem with the GM and Pro(-like person) last season.  Yet we still got numerous bad reviews for slow pace.  The complainers are the ones behind the slow group, of course.

Taking it out on the slow group only, rather than everyone on the course, appears to be the lesser evil.

- - - - - -

The other thing is ease of enforcement, not having to adhere to a set Course Pace, and enforcing the Rules of Golf.  Pace has Priority on the Course.  If you holding someone up, you let them play through:

"It is a group's responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If it loses a clear hole and it is delaying the group behind, it should invite the group behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group."

"Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, priority on the course is determined by a group's pace of play. Any group playing a whole round is entitled to pass a group playing a shorter round. The term 'group' includes a single player."

 

Edited by Cartboy
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Have your plotted the statistics of what is slowing down the pace.  It's talked through this thread from the 5 minute preshot rituals to the looking for balls, to spending forever trying to laser the exact yardages.  

For me I play quicker if I know the yardarges.  So along those lines more yardarge markers on the course and maybe yardage books. 

I have also read in other topics how some countries require a handicap to play golf in general.  I don't think that it would be to outlandish for you to enforce a flight system from your tee box on a day to day basis. i.e. I know that you mentioned that you have stressed moving up the tees but actually making a rule that unless handicap in hand its the whites for men and reds for ladies. 

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Bad cart etiquette is definitely a factor, i.e. one person hitting their approach, then driving 5 yards to the left for the next one to hit, and so on.  Also, if your're waiting for the group in front of you to clear the green, everyone needs to spend that time getting yardages, looking for lost balls, selecting clubs etc. So many times people are just sitting there waiting, then when the green clears is when they start doing the things they could have been doing while waiting.  If your second or third shot is inside 75 yards, take your putter and wedges and walk to the green if your cart partner still needs to go to his shot.  If you get within 5 feet on your first putt, unless you're standing in someones line, putt out.

These things can't be enforced, but they do contribute to slow play.

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6 hours ago, Bill926 said:

Bad cart etiquette is definitely a factor, i.e. one person hitting their approach, then driving 5 yards to the left for the next one to hit, and so on.  Also, if your're waiting for the group in front of you to clear the green, everyone needs to spend that time getting yardages, looking for lost balls, selecting clubs etc. So many times people are just sitting there waiting, then when the green clears is when they start doing the things they could have been doing while waiting.  If your second or third shot is inside 75 yards, take your putter and wedges and walk to the green if your cart partner still needs to go to his shot.  If you get within 5 feet on your first putt, unless you're standing in someones line, putt out.

These things can't be enforced, but they do contribute to slow play.

They may not be easily enforced, but they can be taught, and the attempt at teaching should come before enforcement.  If players are shown the proper procedures and still fail to heed, then enforcement takes the form of having to skip holes to catch up.  If they choose to ignore the warnings, then they have no leg to stand on when the enforcer shows up.

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On ‎2‎/‎2‎/‎2016 at 8:48 AM, colin007 said:

Just wanted to say that two guys in a cart are almost NEVER faster than I am walking at any of the local courses near me. Around here cart golf=slow golf.

Then according to the Rules of Golf, you have Priority on the Course.

See how easy Pace is when you follow the Rules of Golf?

 

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12 hours ago, Fourputt said:

They may not be easily enforced, but they can be taught, and the attempt at teaching should come before enforcement.  If players are shown the proper procedures and still fail to heed, then enforcement takes the form of having to skip holes to catch up.  If they choose to ignore the warnings, then they have no leg to stand on when the enforcer shows up.

Again, that's been our tactic for seven years, and has not generally worked.  There is not a suggestion made in this thread that we don't do or haven't tried to speed slow groups up.  Some do, but mostly slow groups stay slow.

As a rule of thumb, marshaling 18 holes takes about an hour.  If you attempt to "teach" the first time around, and then discover that you're a bad teacher or the slow group is a bad student when you come back around, by the time you "enforce", you have lost half a round of golf and you have forced faster groups to play the slower group's pace.

When I see a group going to 9 at 2 1/2 hours, I tend to say, 'Oh, shit." to myself, because I know we've lost the Pace and it's next to impossible to get it back until that group has left the course.  Sadly, because of staffing cutbacks, that's often the case.  When I say something to the GM or Pro like, "If you want a good pace, you have to be out there from the beginning," it is not received well.

If, OTOH, our policy is Pace has Priority on the Course, let faster groups play through, and that is what they hear when they pay, and from the Starter, and that's what the sign in the carts' signholder says, they have no leg to stand on the first time the marshal comes by and sees groups piled up behind a slow group.

Yeah, I know, it's different than what everyone's used to.

But if you always do what you've always done, you always get what you've always got.

 

 

Edited by Cartboy
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17 minutes ago, Cartboy said:

Then according to the Rules of Golf, you have Priority on the Course.

See how easy Pace is when you follow the Rules of Golf?

 

You (or your mangers) still don't seem to understand that catching another group and playing through them is slower for both groups (and for any groups following them) than if they are all simply required by policy to keep the pace.  The rules are just swell, but playing through should only be something that happens in cases with extenuating circumstances, not a regular habit.  The Rules of Golf were never intended to be used as an excuse for a chronic inability to keep pace with the course.

When the course allows certain groups make a habit of playing so slowly that other groups overtake them and have to play through, then you have failed in establishing and maintaining an effective pace of play policy.  That policy is mired in a time warp from the era when courses were never full.  Those days no longer exist and different steps must be taken if a course is really serious about their pace of play.  It's apparent that your course is more concerned about the minority than they are about the majority.  I hope that doesn't eventually bite them in the behind.

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