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What is your definition of slow play?


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Originally Posted by colin007

id like to hear from people in other countries, specifically ireland or scotland (maybe parts of England also).  i played last summer with a lady from Ireland, she belongs to a club, told me that if your foursome takes more than 3.5 hrs they take away your tee time privileges for the next week.  do it twice and they take them away for a month.

is slow play an "american" thing?

She belongs to a club... Hmmm.

That is a huge difference in the UK.  Someone posted numbers a while back somewhere, and something like 90% of the players in the UK belong to clubs.  That makes things like pace of play a lot more controllable when you have a captive clientele.  Here in the US we have one of the lowest percentages of players who are club members.  Most US players play daily fee or golf card or semi private courses, making it much more difficult to train and enforce pace of play.  Since they are also competing day to day for your green fees, they don't want to drive anyone away, and they can't call a meeting of the membership or send out a mailing delineating a pace of play policy and holding training sessions on it.  They also don't have recourse to punitive measures, up to and including the suspension of reservation privileges.

Educating the general public is what is needed, but how to go about accomplishing that is the real issue.

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IMO, slow play is when you're not keeping up with the group in front of you - for whatever the reason might be.  If there's no group in front of you, slow play is when you're unnecessarily holding up

Slow is as slow as it feels. Again- If you play on a ''normal" course like a Muni or even a public course at peak times on a weekend you are NOT going to zip around in your precious 3:15 or whatever.

Bit of a cop out in that first line. I clearly wasn't talking about the math. The minutes/shot idea doesn't work because... 1. Putting is pretty much equal time no matter the handicap 2. Th

Telling someone to play faster is not the answer. Telling someone how to play faster is the answer. I don't think there's enough of the how to play faster. It's more of "we have to pick up the pace." But if your playing partners are already playing as fast as they can, and don't know how to eliminate any extra activities they're doing or how they can improve their pace of play they'll just rush make some bad shots and slow things down even more.

So perhaps there needs to be some education done, and how the education is done is also important.

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That is a huge difference in the UK.  Someone posted numbers a while back somewhere, and something like 90% of the players in the UK belong to clubs.  That makes things like pace of play a lot more controllable when you have a captive clientele.  Here in the US we have one of the lowest percentages of players who are club members.  Most US players play daily fee or golf card or semi private courses, making it much more difficult to train and enforce pace of play.  Since they are also competing day to day for your green fees, they don't want to drive anyone away, and they can't call a meeting of the membership or send out a mailing delineating a pace of play policy and holding training sessions on it.  They also don't have recourse to punitive measures, up to and including the suspension of reservation privileges.

Educating the general public is what is needed, but how to go about accomplishing that is the real issue.

Youtube -  instead of making  it about how  penalty strokes can be slapped  onto your score. Show people how to play faster and that they will enjoy their game better. Title  the series: Enjoying the game of Golf or something like that, and gear it toward the average person.

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Telling someone to play faster is not the answer. Telling someone how to play faster is the answer. I don't think there's enough of the how to play faster. It's more of "we have to pick up the pace." But if your playing partners are already playing as fast as they can, and don't know how to eliminate any extra activities they're doing or how they can improve their pace of play they'll just rush make some bad shots and slow things down even more.

So perhaps there needs to be some education done, and how the education is done is also important.

Sadly most people don't read it, but my club gives you a whole booklet on the services, practices and general info about everything at the club.  Including rules.  And including how to not play slowly.  It has a lot of good tips and explicitly states that we are a community and that slow play annoys a lot of people.   The tips are pretty good, and some that I never thought of before.

Unfortunately so many people end up with the mindset that their preferred way to play is exactly how they want, and no one is going to tell them differently.  I was the second person off last Wednesday and the single in front of me was so slow and deliberate about everything.   Saw me the entire back nine, didn't say a word and not once cared that I was there.   After a couple holes of watching him look for balls near hazards (while I was waiting in the fairway) or hit an extra ball/extra putts, I had no desire to play with him.   Fortunately most shots was only a couple of minutes wait.   But how rude to not either wave me through/ask me to play along or even not do things to be so slow.   After every hole he would get in his cart and it looked like he was texting or checking his phone, and he did this right next to the green I was about to hit into, so I had to wait for him to drive off.   He could have done it on the next tee if he really needed to.   That tells me that he's a self-important jerk, and that's a big part of the reason we have a slow play problem.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

That is a huge difference in the UK.  Someone posted numbers a while back somewhere, and something like 90% of the players in the UK belong to clubs.  That makes things like pace of play a lot more controllable when you have a captive clientele.  Here in the US we have one of the lowest percentages of players who are club members.  Most US players play daily fee or golf card or semi private courses, making it much more difficult to train and enforce pace of play.  Since they are also competing day to day for your green fees, they don't want to drive anyone away, and they can't call a meeting of the membership or send out a mailing delineating a pace of play policy and holding training sessions on it.  They also don't have recourse to punitive measures, up to and including the suspension of reservation privileges.

Educating the general public is what is needed, but how to go about accomplishing that is the real issue.

Youtube -  instead of making  it about how  penalty strokes can be slapped  onto your score. Show people how to play faster and that they will enjoy their game better. Title  the series: Enjoying the game of Golf or something like that, and gear it toward the average person.

But then people will have to go to youtube and find it and then remember.


I think the USGA or PGA or someone needs a good advertising company to come up with funny signs that they can put at each tee that reminds people to stop farting around.   For example:  "Hey Lord Fizzlebottom!  Stop standing on etiquette... when you're ready , golf !"

People will still ignore them but at least they can get people's attention while they are playing golf.

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I think the USGA or PGA or someone needs a good advertising company to come up with funny signs that they can put at each tee that reminds people to stop farting around.   For example:  "Hey Lord Fizzlebottom!  Stop standing on etiquette... when you're ready, golf!"

People will still ignore them but at least they can get people's attention while they are playing golf.

I like it when I see the "While We're Young" posters on a course.   The best system I've seen are the clocks that are timed so that on every tee, it should be your tee time if you are on time.  So if your tee time was 10:15, then you would see 10:15 on every clock on every tee.

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One other thought I had on this, is the whole 4:15-30 expectation that is set for a round.  One problem is that it's the MINIMUM requirement.  If you're playing any slower than that, then you (theoretically) should be asked by the ranger to pick up.  I think that allows some people to think that playing a 4:45 round is okay, because it's close enough.  While technically speaking the minimum is just that, the minimum acceptable time, I think it may lead to groups that don't want to let faster groups through because it's their god given right to play in that position as long as they are playing to the minimum speed.

I was out in Vegas playing a round a few months back, and we waited on a foursome literally every shot for the first 6 holes for at a minimum of 5 minutes every shot.  We got to a par 5, and we had to wait for them to clear the green, for at least 15 minutes.  They finally finish up, and one of the jackasses decides he wants to go try his first putt again, which is on the fringe of the green 50 feet away from the cup.  So he takes two practice strokes, then hits his putt (which he misses horribly again, then has to walk back to get his ball (in the exact opposite direction of his cart).  I just about let my 5 iron rip into him when I saw him put the ball down.  The next hole, we get to the tee box, and these guys are 100 yards in front of the tee box, looking for someones wayward drive.  They could have simply moved their carts a bit and let us play through and we would have been gone, but they don't.  Finally at hole 7 a par 3, we pull up to the tee box, and they still have two guys left to tee off.  We had to ask to play through, and they reluctantly agreed.  They weren't going to let us through until we asked.  Long story short, we played around the remainder of our round with nobody in front of us, ate lunch, and were headed back to the hotel as they were just starting 17.  /rant

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I like it when I see the "While We're Young" posters on a course.   The best system I've seen are the clocks that are timed so that on every tee, it should be your tee time if you are on time.  So if your tee time was 10:15, then you would see 10:15 on every clock on every tee.


Most of the courses with built in GPS units have a pace of play tracker that tells you the elapsed time and if you're behind pace.  I guess the more technological version of your clocks.  The problem with both systems is that the culprits for slow play are either oblivious or self centered jackasses who think it's their right to impede the play of others.  In either case those systems won't do anything to help the problem.

The "While We're Young" and "Tee it Forward" campaigns are good starts, but I think they fail to reach the culprits behind slow play.  It really needs to start with the courses themselves.  They need to clearly lay out the expectations prior to the round in the clubhouse/starter house and enforce it via aggressive rangers.  By aggressive rangers, I simply mean rangers actively enforcing pace of play throughout the course and round, not the retired guy cruising around on a cart simply as a "presence" thinking about his round of free golf he's going to play when he's done for the day.

The tee it forward campaign would be best addressed by the starter and course.  They should have a recommended set of tees based on handicap and/or length and suggest the appropriate tee box.  I've seen a few courses do this well, and it seems to at least help.  You'll still get the 25 capper who thinks he hits it 300 off the tee and needs to play the tips or 1 up, but I think there are some guys who don't relate slope/length from each tee to just how difficult the round will be for them and how much more enjoyable it would be from a different tee.  A starter making that suggestion would help tremendously for their enjoyment and pace.

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Most of the courses with built in GPS units have a pace of play tracker that tells you the elapsed time and if you're behind pace.  I guess the more technological version of your clocks.  The problem with both systems is that the culprits for slow play are either oblivious or self centered jackasses who think it's their right to impeded the play of others.  In either case those systems won't do anything to help the system.

The "While We're Young" and "Tee it Forward" campaigns are good starts, but I think they fail to reach the culprits behind slow play.  It really needs to start with the courses themselves.  They need to clearly lay out the expectations prior to the round in the clubhouse/starter house and enforce it via aggressive rangers.  By aggressive rangers, I simply mean rangers actively enforcing pace of play throughout the course and round, not the retired guy cruising around on a cart simply as a "presence" thinking about his round of free golf he's going to play when he's done for the day.


I do agree.  I see it as two problems to solve.   You have people that don't know better, but would do better if they did.   The other problem is the self entitled jack-holes who would ignore a neon sign telling them to move.  The expectation setting and rangers/enforcement would probably annoy people like that enough that they would go somewhere where they won't get bothered for someone pointing out how dumb they are.

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I'm old. I've slowed down. I walk to stay in shape. It's pretty simple. If someone is faster than I am, I let them play through. Chances are, if they're a single we team up and I'll pick up my pace a little (usually it's my walking), they'll slow a little and we'll have a fun rest of the round. If it's a casual round and I can't find my ball after a cursory look, I'll drop, take two stroke penalty, and hit - no it's not rules but then I don't want to hold up play in a casual round either. That doesn't happen often anymore.

But I find more often than not anymore that I'm pushing the group in front except in my league.

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Unfortunately so many people end up with the mindset that their preferred way to play is exactly how they want, and no one is going to tell them differently.  I was the second person off last Wednesday and the single in front of me was so slow and deliberate about everything.   Saw me the entire back nine, didn't say a word and not once cared that I was there.   After a couple holes of watching him look for balls near hazards (while I was waiting in the fairway) or hit an extra ball/extra putts, I had no desire to play with him.   Fortunately most shots was only a couple of minutes wait.   But how rude to not either wave me through/ask me to play along or even not do things to be so slow.   After every hole he would get in his cart and it looked like he was texting or checking his phone, and he did this right next to the green I was about to hit into, so I had to wait for him to drive off.   He could have done it on the next tee if he really needed to.   That tells me that he's a self-important jerk, and that's a big part of the reason we have a slow play problem.

why didnt you ask to play through?  theres nothing wrong with asking to play through.

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Trying to teach someone how to play ON the course is also a pretty terrible idea imo, which is what I got stuck behind yesterday. :censored:

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why didnt you ask to play through?  theres nothing wrong with asking to play through.


Agreed.  Or perhaps the old "shot across the bow" . . . Kidding.

Kind of.

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I think it can differ by your area, example I'm down here in Florida and most courses a cart is required, A 4+hr round in a cart is extremely slow. Last night I played 18(6911yrds) shot +13 in 2hrs, and it was me and a guy who shot probably 100+ probably took him 2:20 caught up to him on the front about 6 holes in. Mostly in the summer the play at a decent pace the problem is though in the winter with a lot of snowbirds who are used to walking their courses up north and playing 4+hr rounds. There is nothing that ruins a good round more for me then having to wait on every shot. What it all comes down to is how you play. You should setup take a practice swing or two then hit your ball and move on, keep a good pace on the fairways, park your cart in the proper positions so your not going back and fourth, then you can take your time on the greens. Oh and that guy who has to re-putt every time GTF off the course theirs nothing I hate more then standing in the fairway with the next fairway open and waiting for some douche bag to go back to where his first of 3 putts was and re-putting, if you want to practice your putting use the practice putting green not every green on the course. Oh and hustle a little bit, if I skull one over and everyone is waiting on me i'll jog to my ball, just have respect for the people playing with and behind you and keep the pace up. Now if everyone is waiting, which happens, then all you can do is get a 6 pack special and get your drink on.

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At my course Castle hill country club in NSW if your not withing for the group ahead to play your shot your to slow even if your a hole ahead of the group behind the course Marshall will hurry you on it so ridiculous the pace of play is very annoying out in Australia for a Englishman
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I walked 36 holes in 5 hours today. The course was pretty empty otherwise there would have been a lot of "slow" players out there. I didn't do the slow down on putts and approaches thing that I did last time out. Putting was fine but approaches were kind of streaky. I think shots into the green is where I need to slow down my game and think about what I am doing. Putting and hitting driver off the tee I think I need to keep it simple and just do it. Thinking too much gets me in trouble, especially with the driver. I have finally changed my swing at least with the driver. I just take one slowed down practice swing to make sure I am using my new swing and not my old swing and then I hit it. Putting I think I holed one putt outside of 10 feet today so just lag it up close and tap it in unless I hit an approach or chip between 5 and 10 feet, then take a little time to read it. Hopefully I'll get better with practice outside of my rounds and eventually need to put more effort into putts in the 10 to 20 foot range.

But approaches are where I can really gain or lose strokes right now. Being on the green is a huge advantage because those are almost always 2 putts at worse. If I'm off the green there's probably a 70/30 chance of 2 putt to 1 putt, so more than likely it's an extra stroke for every green I miss, and I pretty much need to hit my approach to inside of 10 feet to have a chance at birdie. So that's where I need to spend a couple moments judging if I am correctly aimed at my target, if I need to run it onto the green or get it there in the air, if I'm better off short or long, etc.

Pitching/chipping fits in with putting and driving. I'm at such a low skill level with those right now that too much thinking does my head in and I hit some terrible shot. I definitely need to put in some practice with my short game, been neglecting it big time.

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I'll tell you what slow play isn't... a wide open course!  First day of the year where I could tear through at my own pace today.  It was glorious.

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