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Pace Problem

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Sort of playing the devil's advocate here. That said I am not a fan of slow play either. I just deal with it from time to time. 

I have read several articles that say it should take, on average, 4.5 hours to play 18 holes. 2.25 hours for 9 holes. Myself, like others can play 9/18 faster than that.

My point is, it's an average time. The middle point between the faster, and slower players. Since it's an average, neither the slower player, or the faster player is at fault. 

I have also read about the various causes of slow play. All of them have been listed in this thread many times over.

What I have not read any where, this thread included, is a viable solution for all these various causes. 

With no viable solutions brought forth, this leads me to believe there is no viable solution to the problem of slow play. That, or perhaps golf's governing bodies really dont't want to to fix it in the first place. 

I think it was Teddy Roosevelt (?) who once said if you bitch about problem, without offering a solution, then you are just whining about the problem. If you think I just called you a whiner, my apologies. Not really my intent. 

So, I challenge the folks in this thread to come up with a viable solution to the problem of slow play. A solution that does not create another problem somewhere else in one's golf game. Can you do it? I really can't.

Key word is "viable"......

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17 minutes ago, Patch said:

Key word is "viable"......

And "viable" is the word that keeps anything from happening.  My read is that those who are aware of "slow play" and want to play at a good pace know how to do it and put it into practice.

Those who are unaware of slow play and want to take their time are like old dogs... not gonna learn any new tricks.  Similar to a person who takes his/her leisurely morning walk through the neighborhood.  That person enjoys that pace, it is life-affirming and he/she doesn't want to change it, thank you.

So it kinda comes down to two schools of thought and never the twain shall they meet.

Personally, I'm a fast player... I like to keep a rhythm going.  But, unfortunately, the default is slow play.

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1 hour ago, Patch said:

Sort of playing the devil's advocate here. That said I am not a fan of slow play either. I just deal with it from time to time. 

I have read several articles that say it should take, on average, 4.5 hours to play 18 holes. 2.25 hours for 9 holes. Myself, like others can play 9/18 faster than that.

My point is, it's an average time. The middle point between the faster, and slower players. Since it's an average, neither the slower player, or the faster player is at fault. 

I have also read about the various causes of slow play. All of them have been listed in this thread many times over.

What I have not read any where, this thread included, is a viable solution for all these various causes. 

With no viable solutions brought forth, this leads me to believe there is no viable solution to the problem of slow play. That, or perhaps golf's governing bodies really dont't want to to fix it in the first place. 

I think it was Teddy Roosevelt (?) who once said if you bitch about problem, without offering a solution, then you are just whining about the problem. If you think I just called you a whiner, my apologies. Not really my intent. 

So, I challenge the folks in this thread to come up with a viable solution to the problem of slow play. A solution that does not create another problem somewhere else in one's golf game. Can you do it? I really can't.

Key word is "viable"......

 There of been all sorts of solutions offered throughout the past 400+ posts here...

Sadly, most courses aren’t interested enough to actually implement them.

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I don't think there are solutions, but there ARE techniques that can improve pace of play.  A few that I've seen are:

Set the overall expected duration aggressively.  If you state that you expect each group to play in 4-1/2 hours, some people will think that 4:45 isn't too bad.  If you say you want them done in 4:10, that same group may get done in 4:20.

Show "time par"  for each hole on the scorecard, so that you define the expectation for pace of play.

Those first two can be done with basically no cost to the golf course, just put up some new signs, and add the time par per hole when new scorecards are ordered.

Many resort courses use GPS in carts, and have the ability to show the position relative to pace on the GPS.  Don't be afraid to tell people that they're behind pace, a blinking red box on the GPS may get their attention.  Again, once the course has invested in the GPS units, adding the pace warnings can't cost very much.;

I've seen systems at private clubs that monitor duration, and will not let players book morning tee times if they take too long too often.  Not so easy to do in public facilities.

None of these are cures, but they're tools.

 

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We changed our expected time of play from 4:15 to 4:08 a few years back and got strict about enforcing it (a warning on first offense, restricting playing times on the second). The playing times for Saturdays and Sundays are posted as well so the slowpokes, even if they played within the allowed time were there for all to see. Upon monitoring, we found that the vast majority were now getting it done in 3:50 or less unless they were held up by that one slow group. Next season we are going to 4:00.

Edited by phan52

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15 hours ago, TRUCKER said:

If all you stupid idiots would stop waiting for the green to clear so you can hit your 3 wood 215 yards when you're 250 yards away that would help.

It's funny because I was in exactly the same situation earlier this year, only I hit the 3W and damn near took a guy's leg off. 

As you can see to the left, I suck and feel like a stupid idiot waiting for the green to clear on a low percentage shot. That time, I'd guess it to be a 230-240 yard shot. No way right? Wrong. I crushed it. The ball landed about 5 yards from the green and hopped a few feet behind the player putting. Lucky for me they were very nice about it when I apologized on the next tee. 

It's easy to say these sort of things, You'll be right most of the time, but I don't want to be the exception either.

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21 hours ago, TRUCKER said:

If all you stupid idiots would stop waiting for the green to clear so you can hit your 3 wood 215 yards when you're 250 yards away that would help. Had some ass hat at USKIDS tournament yesterday back up the whole tournament because he hit his drive 235ish yards, and then somehow thought he could hit his 3 wood 280 yards from the rough onto the green.

You realize mishits happen, right? Just because a guy hit a 3w 215 from 250 doesn't necessarily mean they can't hit their 3w 250. Same goes for the driver. Just because he hit it 235 doesn't mean he always hits it 235. I'm not saying I agree with waiting for the green to clear to hit a 3w from 280 out of the rough, but people don't often see the whole picture when they're pissed off about playing behind a group they perceive as slow.

Just as an example, I remember playing a round with @nevets88 last year where these two guys kept on our asses all day (there were groups ahead and nowhere for anyone to go). On the 18th tee, I'm waiting for the group ahead to hit their approach shots and just bullshitting with Steve. The guys behind us pull up behind the tee and I wave to say hello and one of them throws his hands up like WTF are we standing around for? So I ignored him and kept waiting for the group to clear ahead of me and when they finally did, I hit my drive past where they were playing from. Then I dropped Steve off at his ball and went to mine like I always do in a cart and guess what? We waited on our approach shots for the green to clear.

21 hours ago, TRUCKER said:

5 grown men to stupid figure it out.

Bender Irony.png

5 hours ago, mcanadiens said:

As you can see to the left, I suck and feel like a stupid idiot waiting for the green to clear on a low percentage shot.

I never feel like an idiot waiting for a group ahead of me to move on a low percentage shot, even if I end up duffing it after I wait. I've driven the ball over groups of players in the fairway before. Hell, I've driven a green while a group was putting on it. It's much more embarrassing to have to apologize for making a bad decision than it is to look stupid for hitting a bad shot.

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With regard to waiting for the green to clear when waiting to hit a 3 wood into a par 5:  With good fortune I will deposit that ball on the green about a third of the time.  Next to the green another third.  Both are totally rude (and dangerous) to the folks putting out on the green.  The final third is smothered 200 yards.  But I don't plan on that, so I wait.  Which I hate 'cause the people behind me are becoming agitated, even though I can reach the green in two.  Which is why sometimes I just hit the damn layup... to get their staring/burning eyes off me.

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2 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

With regard to waiting for the green to clear when waiting to hit a 3 wood into a par 5:  With good fortune I will deposit that ball on the green about a third of the time.  Next to the green another third.  Both are totally rude (and dangerous) to the folks putting out on the green.  The final third is smothered 200 yards.  But I don't plan on that, so I wait.  Which I hate 'cause the people behind me are becoming agitated, even though I can reach the green in two.  Which is why sometimes I just hit the damn layup... to get their staring/burning eyes off me.

You are under no obligation to modify your game based on the suspected incompetence ( of said game) by the group behind you.  If playing your intended shot has even a remote possibility of seriously injuring someone in the group in front of you...screw those jerks behind.  If they knew you...they would know why you were waiting.

And give the people behind you some credit.  Why assume that they do not understand what the hold-up is?

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4 minutes ago, Piz said:

And give the people behind you some credit.  Why assume that they do not understand what the hold-up is?

But their gaze is burning the hair off the back of my head. 😐  And they're doing this: 😫  And if I hit that smothered shot then they're asking each other,  "What the f**k was he waiting for?"  Guess I'm sensitive to those behind me.
 

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2 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

But their gaze is burning the hair off the back of my head. 😐  And they're doing this: 😫  And if I hit that smothered shot then they're asking each other,  "What the f**k was he waiting for?"  Guess I'm sensitive to those behind me.
 

But you aren't going to hit that smothered shot.  You are going to rope one pin high.  That is why you are waiting.  The people behind you do not know that.  They could infer, from the situation, that you have the ability to endanger the group in front of you.  Maybe they do...maybe they don't.  It is none of your concern.

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1 minute ago, Piz said:

But you aren't going to hit that smothered shot.  You are going to rope one pin high.  That is why you are waiting.  The people behind you do not know that.  They could infer, from the situation, that you have the ability to endanger the group in front of you.  Maybe they do...maybe they don't.  It is none of your concern.

Thank you.  In the best of all possible golf worlds that would be the case.  Now, if those people behind me had once played with me I'd be okay...

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"Better safe than sorry!" Always ask yourself if you would like to have someone hit into you in this situation. Many years ago I had about 245 yards uphill to a Par 5. A foursome was putting out on the green and I decided to hit a 3-wood as the green was up on a hill. Of course I hit the shot perfectly and it carried to about fifteen yards from the green and took a big bounce to the green and ran through the foursome! They were rightfully upset even if the ball was rolling on the green. I went up immediately and apologized. One of them was having no part of that, his playing partners were a bit more accepting of my apology. I have never chosen to hit close to a green with people on it since that time!

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12 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

There may be better ways to phrase this, other than intentionally insulting people.  And why are 5 grown men responsible to decide when someone at a USKIDS event should play?  But yes, this is one of many practices that helps to cause slow play.  And for better or worse, this DOES happen at private clubs too.

There may also be better ways to demonstrate your own literacy, or lack of it.  I'm pretty sure you meant "too stupid to figure it out"

(1)The USKIDS tournament caught up to the general public players by the 11th hole. (2)Doesn't happen at my club. (3)Stop trying to "sound" smart all the time. Real intelligent people don't have to try so hard. 

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I've played a lot of golf in my life and I would argue waiting for a green to clear on a par five isn't the biggest slowdown on a lot of courses I play. Normally, there are at least a couple people in the foursome who aren't going for the green and they can hit their layup shot. They can obviously play while the bigger hitter waits. 

In terms of course issues. I seem to play courses where it is NOT the par 5's that back up. Normally, I find it's the par 3's that are all backed up. I played on Finn Cycles this past weekend. Had a blast, but every par 3 we happened upon had 4 carts waiting on it when we showed up. The rest of the course moved along pretty nicely. 

In terms of players habits, one thing I find that seems to frustrate folks is the golfers who have a whole shit-load of things to do once they walk off the green BEFORE heading off to the next tee. I see folks adding up scores, figuring out who got what points, putting head covers on, etc... I try to be really conscious of this when I play. If I take a cart, or even if I'm using my push cart, I pluck my ball out of the hole, put it in my pocket, push my cart to the next teebox (or ride in the cart). Then once I get to the next teebox, that's where I put my putter headcover back on, enter my score, figure out points and stuff. I think if more people just did that it would help the frustrated guys watching from the fairway a lot.

On the other hand, If I'm playing on a Fiinn Cycle … I don't worry too much... because you aren't going to catch up to me. 

POST SCRIPT EDIT: When I mention putting headcovers on, obviously that doesn't take a lot of time. What I'm referring to is the folks (like me) who are somewhat particular about cleaning off their putter and/or wedges, putting it in just the right place in the bag, adjusting the other clubs around it, so that everything is just right. I know I like to do that, so I do it on the next tee, not the previous green. 

 

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11 hours ago, TRUCKER said:

(1)The USKIDS tournament caught up to the general public players by the 11th hole. (2)Doesn't happen at my club. (3)Stop trying to "sound" smart all the time. Real intelligent people don't have to try so hard. 

You duffed that one.

Badly.

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22 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Sorry for your accident, but you’re wrong. I’m talking about when there is no chance. And any reasonable golfer should know if it’s safe to hit. 30 seconds? Waiting for a group to clear a green takes a lot more than  30 seconds. Again I’m sorry you were hit but that’s not gonna work in this case.

I am not against people keeping up with the group in front of them, they should.  But I was implying that a player who's average with a 3 wood is 200, can probably sometimes, not often, hit is 215-220.  Also, as frustrating as slow play is, if often isn't the guys in front of you that are the problem, they were waiting too.  So give them a break.  Don't bust a blood vessel because a player in front of you is uncomfortable with hitting a shot that MIGHT make the green while the group in front of them is putting out. 

In my case I got hit while walking off the green.  It was a slow day and somewhere more than two groups ahead of my group was a slow group, and the ranger wasn't doing their job.  Had the fellow who hit me waited 15 seconds I would have been in the cart and gone.  Had he hit me in the head I probably wouldn't be here to write this.  So I will repeat in case I wasn't clear the first time.  It just isn't worth endangering someone so you can save a few seconds or even a few minutes on the time it takes to compete a round, regardless of circumstances.  I dislike slow play as much as you do and groups that don't keep up and don't even try to, piss me off,  but I am not going to ever hit a shot that I think has even a remote chance of hurting someone.

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I played TPC Sawgrass earlier this year, and they strictly enforce pace of play.  Several signs that you couldn't miss, the starter reminds you, and your caddie encourages your group.  Somewhere around the middle of the round we had to wait a few times for the group in front, and low and behold a marshal in his cart shows up and chats with us for a few minutes while we wait, telling us that he'll talk to the group ahead and "take care of it".  Having been told the same before, I wasn't placing any bets.  Two holes later he drives past and waves, picks up the group in front of us and moves them ahead to the next tee.  At the end of the round I was chatting to the same marshal, super nice guy, who told me he does it all the time and does his best to get the group back to the hole they missed at the end of their round.  Takes some extra effort and excellent customer service on the part of the course, perhaps takes the group's score out of alignment with the rules of golf (others can answer that, but I assume so), but solved the problem and was well executed.

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