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Denmark - Slow Play is Cheating


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This came out in 2013, can't tell if it's fallen by the wayside, but interesting reading Denmark's take on slow play. Is it a widespread a problem in Europe as it is in the US?

This is in Danish, GT does a decent job of translating: http://eccotour.org/blog/slow-play-is-cheating/

Quote:
The vast majority of golfers can agree on that lap times of more than 4 ½ hours is fatal to the game of golf. ECCO is now taking up the fight with a series of initiatives that will hopefully be able to help everyone, both pros and amateurs, for a better flow of golf.

40 seconds and Slow Play is Cheating is the key words of the campaign. It is debatable whether it is cheating playing slowly, but we will say. There are handed out at each tournament Local rules and the "Rules Hard Card" where the tour special rules stated. In Hard Cardet as you can see here are the rules of game speed (Pace of Play) clearly formulated on an equal footing with other local rules. Rules of Golf has no de minimis rule and therefore we believe to be entitled to call it cheating and 40 seconds !!!! - It is all too abundant to hit a golf shot ...

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I wish we could implement this in our league and the league before ours. Last week it took over 3 hours to finish 9 holes because there was a guy in the group in front of us who was unbelievably slow.

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It may be a bit extreme to call it cheating, but taking more than 40 seconds to play a shot is beyond unreasonable.  The idea is excellent and like other pace of play initiatives, I hope it catches on.

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A good baseline but there are times I need more than 40. Not much more but I wouldn't want to be bound by 40 trying to figure out how to pkay a tough shot in league or tournament play. I say this as a vehemently anti-slow play guy. Standing over the ball isn't a pace killer. It the searching for balls after errants shots snd the unrealistic that wait causing backups.
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Difficult call as to cheating or not, in general. Now there are some players that use slow play deliberately, to take playing partners / opponents off their game. Some call it gamesmanship and some will call it cheating. Unless a definitive rule, addressing this in put in play, all that can be done is put them on the clock (PGA tour and your local tournaments) and even at that, it's not enforced all that much. The one thing I can see, is the probability of some folks coming to blows, if a rule comes into effect, unless an outside party is a time keeper.

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A good baseline but there are times I need more than 40. Not much more but I wouldn't want to be bound by 40 trying to figure out how to pkay a tough shot in league or tournament play. I say this as a vehemently anti-slow play guy. Standing over the ball isn't a pace killer. It the searching for balls after errants shots snd the unrealistic that wait causing backups.

Ever watch the PGA Tour?

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A good baseline but there are times I need more than 40. Not much more but I wouldn't want to be bound by 40 trying to figure out how to pkay a tough shot in league or tournament play. I say this as a vehemently anti-slow play guy. Standing over the ball isn't a pace killer. It the searching for balls after errants shots snd the unrealistic that wait causing backups.

I tend to agree that time spent "over the ball" isn't the real root cause. Poor decisions, unreasonable searches, poor time (usually cart) management between shots, and just a general lack of any sense of urgency or concern are much larger issues.

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I tend to agree that time spent "over the ball" isn't the real root cause. Poor decisions, unreasonable searches, poor time (usually cart) management between shots, and just a general lack of any sense of urgency or concern are much larger issues.


Yeah all that and more. I would have elaborated but I was late for work using my tablet to post in the oval office. If I take my average score and multiply it by 40 it's about 55 minutes of actual golf. I average less than 3 hours for 18 most days. I'm not spending 2+ hours traveling to my ball and I don't do much searching so I must be slow.

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A good baseline but there are times I need more than 40. Not much more but I wouldn't want to be bound by 40 trying to figure out how to pkay a tough shot in league or tournament play. I say this as a vehemently anti-slow play guy. Standing over the ball isn't a pace killer. It the searching for balls after errants shots snd the unrealistic that wait causing backups.

The other problem is that some players will start taking as much of the full 40 seconds as they can because they are entitled to it.

There is a similar issue in a game I play that is much more popular in Europe, 3-cushion billiards.  There is, in most big tournaments, a per shot time limit.  But they have found that in some cases it causes players to take MORE time, on simple shots than they really need.  An alternative has been proposed and used in some leagues where it is done more like chess.  Each player has a given amount of time to play all of his shots in the game.  So if he wants to take 2 minutes for a shot, fine.  But if his time flag falls before the game is over he loses, so he better make up that time he spent on that tricky tickey shot by playing quickly when he gets simpler shots.

Unfortunately, I don't see any practical way to overlay the chess clock approach on golf.  But I do think they need to be careful about unintended consequences if they establish a 40 second limit.  Some will take it as an allowable amount of time to take on any shot.  And, as Dave pointed out, there are legitimate cases where one could reasonably exceed 40 seconds, particularly if you have gone off the beaten path and have to figure out distances, angles, maybe walk up to the green, and the like.

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Now there are some players that use slow play deliberately, to take playing partners / opponents off their game. Some call it gamesmanship and some will call it cheating.

If golfers are really doing it (hard to believe), I'd call it stupid, pure and simple.

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Slow play is a bane to golf.  While I would not call it cheating it is the reason that since I have retired I don't play weekends.  There are a few courses in AZ that will remove you from the course and refund your money if you're out of position (based on where you are related to your tee time).  Of course they give you the opportunity to pick up and move into position first (and you have to stay in position) before they ask you to leave.  Your expected position at any time is based on a 4 1/2 hour round so they are not being unreasonable.

Slow play has been around for a long time and occurs for many reasons.  I think just removing continuing offending foursomes from the course is certainly part of the answer.  I would agree that some courses do over commit (not enough scheduled time between tee times) the course too.  Not sure what one can do about that other than just don't play there.

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I have thought for years now that pro tournaments need some kind of "shot clock".  It's boring watching these guys stand around.  Having the shot clock would reward players who can think quickly and act decisively.  It would probably force a few more bad shots and some more scrambling . which would be fun to watch.  Amateur play would automatically get faster because, even though they would not have a shot-clock, they would see the pros on tv playing quickly.  Speed of play would become part of the game, itself.

The trick, though, is to figure out when to start the clock.  If you wait until after the player has addressed the ball . .then that doesn't prevent him from spending a long time deciding on which club or planning what shot to play.  Maybe it should be a longer clock . .like 5 minutes or something .. and start immediately after the previous shot is struck.

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I have thought for years now that pro tournaments need some kind of "shot clock".  It's boring watching these guys stand around.  Having the shot clock would reward players who can think quickly and act decisively.  It would probably force a few more bad shots and some more scrambling . which would be fun to watch.  Amateur play would automatically get faster because, even though they would not have a shot-clock, they would see the pros on tv playing quickly.  Speed of play would become part of the game, itself.

The trick, though, is to figure out when to start the clock.  If you wait until after the player has addressed the ball . .then that doesn't prevent him from spending a long time deciding on which club or planning what shot to play.  Maybe it should be a longer clock . .like 5 minutes or something .. and start immediately after the previous shot is struck.

The problem with that is that it penalizes the longer hitters who have to wait for their playing partners to play first, especially if they have the honor. What they need to do is come up with a way to statistically measure each individual players effect on the average pace of play over the course of the day. Think "minutes gained" instead of strokes gained. From there the Tour can dole out penalties to individual players fairly.

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The problem I see most often isn't the length of time that players spend over their shots, its the fact that they are not ready to play when their turn comes around. They haven't moved to their ball, or haven't selected a club even if they are third or fourth to play. High handicappers pacing out yardages when for the most part they dont know how far they hit each club anyway, and can't hit a consistent distance often enough is another bugbear of mine, along with the mimicry of Pro's habits of taking off and putting on gloves, moving their tee around teeboxes incessantly or making multiple practise swings. Did I mention that slow plays drives me insane?
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