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Is pace of play (or slow play) a real problem?

Pace of Play  

124 members have voted

  1. 1. Is slow play a real problem?

    • Yes
      98
    • No
      26


271 posts in this topic Last Reply

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2 hours ago, CaseyD said:

What?

I'm not sure what you don't understand.

I say something, and you reply refuting something that has absolutely nothing to do with what I said. For example:

5 hours ago, iacas said:

No.

And the entire point is that five hours should not be the norm. The norm should be closer to four.

That extra 25% matters.

Your response?

"How do we/ does the golf community eliminate playing by the rules?"

Wha????

I play by the rules in every round of golf I play. I played with another guy, each of us had a push cart, from 6850 yards last year, and we waited on a single for the last four holes and played in 2:45. Would have been 2:30 if we didn't have to wait for the old guy ahead of us. We both shot in the 70s (70, 73 or so), and we both played by the rules, completely.

I played in a foursome the other day with three walkers. We played in 3:05. All following the rules, as one of the players was playing a qualifying round.

3 hours ago, CaseyD said:

If we are trying to be honest in an honest mans game then there are going to be delays.

Huh?

3 hours ago, CaseyD said:

And if a person is playing to be good and establish their handicap then they are taking their time, lining up shots and lining up putts.

Two of us did that in 2:45 (waiting on a guy). Four of us did that in 3:05.

http://www.gamegolf.com/player/iacas/round/2407954

3 hours ago, CaseyD said:

expecting every level of golfer to play at that pace is just unrealistic.

No it isn't!

3 hours ago, CaseyD said:

Do the courses designate two weekends a month to handicap establishment rounds?  (and that’s an honest question). The rest of the month it’s just drop and go if you hit a hazard and nothing more than 8 on any given hole?

Complete straw men bullshit here. You've made up this straw man that to play golf at a reasonable pace you have to "not care" or "rush" or "not play by the rules" or something.

PGA Tour players often play a round in well under three hours when they're by themselves as the first guy out after an odd number make the cut. They care. They're good. And they're often playing from >7000 yards or whatever. They're playing by the rules, too.

2 hours ago, sjduffers said:

Nobody said a 4-some should play in 2 hours. I didn't say that and nobody else has either.

But, if each individual in the 4-some can play a round in 2 hours (by themselves), especially walking, as it is trivial to do in a cart, then they should have no problem playing under 4 hours as a 4-some. QED.

Yep.

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Again comparing a near perfect round, better than perfect round and pga tour players against weekend warriors who on average shoot in the mid 90s and expecting the pace to be the same.  

👍

and I’m pullin straw men? I’m just gonna say it cause you say it, I have no Phuken clue what it means though 😂

 

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4 hours ago, CaseyD said:

Again comparing a near perfect round...

Most bogey golfers I see chew up most of their shots chipping and putting. They are usually within 20 to 30 yards in regulation. A little extra chipping and putting shouldn’t slow things down if everyone is paying attention and ready to play their shot. There is the tee shot in the woods thing, but these guys usually don’t search that long. Not playing Ready golf and not understanding true golf etiquette is the big time waster. People standing around watching their friends all hit before they even contemplate what they will do next themselves is often the issue. I believe that they think that they are being polite, but they are just insanely ignorant and inconsiderate to everyone else behind them. And yes I hate the d bags that race around in their cart playing “polo” as you say that aggressively push people when on a clogged up course.

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6 hours ago, CaseyD said:

Again comparing a near perfect round, better than perfect round and pga tour players against weekend warriors who on average shoot in the mid 90s and expecting the pace to be the same.

Again, some of the fastest players I know don’t ever break 80.

A guy who doesn’t break 80 doesn’t need to spend as much time assessing the lie or the wind or deciding on what type of shot to hit. He’s often a “get the yardage and try to hit it solid” type of guy.

The vast majority of time wasted does not involve hitting shots. It’s parking the cart in the right place. Watching where your ball goes. Playing ready golf. Taking the right clubs. Etc.

I play Whispering Woods with a guy that doesn’t break 90 all the time in two to two and a half hours. 18 holes. We aren’t at all playing cart polo.

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Is slow play a problem?    It can be.   

There could be many reasons for slow play and it could be a different reason each time you experience it.  Slow play can be caused by players of all levels and you cannot always blame the group immediately ahead of you for it.

Is there a way to always police slow play outside of a league, tour or tournament and make EVERYONE happy?   Absolutely not.

 

if you were put in a position in which your income depended on the profits made from a golf course, how would you try to solve the problem?      

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

The vast majority of time wasted does not involve hitting shots. It’s parking the cart in the right place. Watching where your ball goes. Playing ready golf. Taking the right clubs. Etc.

Or, dropping a guy off at his ball and heading to yours. It’s ok to walk a bit even if a golfer takes a cart. 

 

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We (foursome) played a 4++ hour round yesterday. It didn't seem that long. We all scored in the mid/low 80s using two carts. Course was just under 7K yards, and was busy, but not over loaded with golfers. No real back ups anywhere.

It just took a little less than 5 hours to get through the 18 holes. No big deal for me. I am on golfing road trip. It's a destination golf resort. How ever long a round takes,  it is what it is. Not going to let the time spent dictate to me how I play. 

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23 hours ago, CaseyD said:

So this is a very interesting discussion. What we know, the busyness of a course doesn’t contribute to slow play because regardless of skill level everyone should be playing at the same pace? (both of the above “facts” can be checked in previous posts) If some one could explain how a group who let’s say is a normal weekender group all shooting 90-92 is playing/ can play at the same speed as a decent group who are all shooting 80 or under I’m all ears. You’re talking on average 4.5 more shots per hole but that’s not slowing anyone down? Who knows maybe we just found out why you’re shooting in the 90s. Take your time on shots.  As stated above people going at a par 5 in two can definitely bunch a course up, doesn’t mean they are playing slow though.

If if a group of high handicappers is playing 18 in under 3 hours!?!? Then either you play on the worlds smallest golf course or you’re playing polo. 

And if as stated above one group is some how playing twice as slow as the rest of the course then play through. It should open right up once you get past them. We’ve all played through or have been played through at some point. What’s the big deal. 

But my pace of play shouldn’t be effected by someone who has a longer logistical drive to the course than I do.( again that was stated above) a persons choice of residence cannot be factored into pace of play concerns, sorry. I mean yea that sucks if you have a 45 min to an hour drive to and from the course but that’s not anyone’s fault.

What hasnt been dicussed is course design. Links style course will generally take longer than your typical square muni. But your typical square muni will generally end up stacking groups up at tee boxes due to the back and forth nature of the course layout. 

i don’t know if I still have one laying around but my “home course” is a links style course that used to have the minutes per hole listed. Like Hole 1= 7 min after Hole 2 you should have 15 min total playing time and so on. Even the scorecard put you at 4hrs 15 min. 

I've posted this before, and it seems appropriate here too:  

"Your proper position on the course is directly behind the group in front of you, not directly ahead of the group behind." 

Naturally it is adjustable on a course with only a few groups (there is obviously no reason to try and catch up with a group in front who started a half hour ahead of you) , but it does apply strongly to a fully booked course on a nice summer Saturday.  If you do fall behind do to some issues with a certain hole, it is your responsibility to regain your proper position in a timely manner.  4 hours for an average fourball on a typical public course when it is just moderately busy is a good target pace.  It's not the best pace possible, but it's one that all but the most picky speed players can live with.

 I played 9 holes a couple of days ago.  I was the only person on the course, riding, and it took me about an hour, and I wasn't even pulling flagsticks when I putted.  I'm a pretty fast player, and I'm not sure how I could have played any faster (3 times I played a second ball when the first one didn't do what I asked, but that is another minute on the round at most).  The cold front that is currently moving across the plains was just edging into Colorado, and the wind was whipping about 35 mph, so I had 2 or 3 extra strokes when playing into that gale (I made one triple, one birdie,and 7 bogies).  18 holes would have taken 2 hours at that pace, and add in 3 more players, all dealing with their own issues along the way, and 4 hours would not be an exceptionally slow pace.

I have played in a few minutes under 4 hours for 18 holes playing in a fivesome, but that was exceptional.  Most of the courses with which I'm familiar post an expected pace of between 4:20 and 4:30 (those are supposed to be targeted maximums, not average rounds).  I've yet to see a course which is expected to take more than 4½ hours to play, yet I've played a lot of rounds which took more that that because we couldn't move any faster than the group in front, and they were waiting on the guys in front of them, etc. 

Some of it is caused by overcrowding on weekends, some of it is players not really understanding how to play at a reasonable pace, but a lot of it is just players not being ready to play when they are up.  Golf has always been a social activity as well as a competitive game/sport, but the social aspect must be tempered by paying attention to pace of play.  There is plenty of time to chat when waiting on the tee, or when moving up the fairway.  When you get to your ball, it's time to prepare to play, even while your companions are doing the same. 

I've seen an entire foursome play their second shots in under a minute once the first player hits.  They do that by getting the planning done immediately when they arrive near their balls.  As long as your ball isn't in a position to bother another player,  There is no reason for you not to be ready to play your stroke immediately after he does.  I will often be starting to address my ball while the previous player's ball is still in the air.  Unless a ball is headed well off line, there is no reason for all 4 players to stand around and watch the roll-out of each ball.  

Be aware, be ready to play, and play ready golf.  

Edited by Fourputt

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18 hours ago, CaseyD said:

How do we/ does the golf community eliminate playing by the rules?  And I’m not saying we are not obiding currently but if we are trying to establish handicaps there’s no way around it.  If we are trying to be honest in an honest mans game then there are going to be delays.  Even using the other guys timeline of 8 minutes a hole and an hour walking that’s 3hrs 15min. And if a person is playing to be good and establish their handicap then they are taking their time, lining up shots and lining up putts. And that 3h 15m is for a solo player. We haven’t accounted for foursomes. Even with ready golf you’re gonna add a good handful of minutes which pushes just your group towards the 4hr mark. expecting every level of golfer to play at that pace is just unrealistic.  They paid the same as you and I so how can we expect them to not get the same experience we are getting? We can’t ask them to pick up their ball after 8 minutes.

Do the courses designate two weekends a month to handicap establishment rounds?  (and that’s an honest question). The rest of the month it’s just drop and go if you hit a hazard and nothing more than 8 on any given hole?

Yes I agree.  There are the slow scratchers and the fast 90 players. But with all things(ready golf, setting up, reading putts) equal if you take more strokes it takes longer. 

Playing by the rules is NOT a cause of slow play, or at least there is no reason for it to do so.  I've played by the rules in 95% of my casual rounds and all of my competition rounds since 1989, and it has never made me a slow player.  Part of it is actually knowing the rules well enough to immediately know your options and procedures without thinking or looking it up.  I'm already thinking about what I'll need to do even before I get to my ball.  I'm planning my next shot literally from the moment that my current shot stops rolling.  The plan may changes as I get closer to the ball and see that the situation is a bit different from what I expected, but I'll still have a pretty good idea as I get out of the cart.  I'll already have checked my distance (most players are far too picky about getting exactly the right yardage, even though they almost never hit it that closely), know what club I'm going to use, and generally how I'm going to play it.  If I'm first to play, the time from arrival at my ball to ball in the air is less than 45 seconds, generally less than 30 seconds, because I've done most of the preparation before I get there.

I very rarely take the full 5 minutes for a ball search.  I will have already played a provisional ball, so once I determine that my best course is to continue with the 2nd ball, I abandon the original ball and play on.  Generally no more than a couple of minutes lost.  I know the rules for taking relief and how to drop, and it's usually done while others are playing their shots anyway, so no time lost at all there.  Modify this when we have to wait on the players in front of us - I may take the full 5 minutes for a search if that doesn't result in my group falling behind.  Next year the search time will be reduced to 3 minutes max, and even that is more than I usually spend on it.

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3 1/2 hour round in a threesome today with two playing partners in a cart and me walking. Two of us are 90's players and the third rarely breaks 110.

If someone got to their ball first, they'd take the shot. No one looked for lost balls. We still had time for conversation and didn't feel like we rushed through the course. No one was behind us and the husband wife in front of us played even faster.

It was a very relaxing and enjoyable round. I'm starting to understand how a foursome can play in under 4 hours.

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To answer the OP - It all depends on the situation; so yes and no!

I can sometimes play in the week and either play solo or often with a couple of old boys - one of which is super fast the other, well, super slow.  If we all play together I accept the pace is slow and usually it's a 3.5 - 4 hour round.  If just me and the fast guy play it can be 3 or under.  Playing on my own with no waiting I've played the course, walking, in 2 1/4 hours but that is walk, hit, repeat for all 18.  Come Medal day and I know I'm looking at up to 5 hours for the round.

Given that situation affects speed one can't be too quick to judge speed of play - it's how it is . . . . but . . . .

What does infuriate me is when slower groups don't let others through, especially one balls (or if they do it's after 5 awkward silence meets on the tee box where four fellas are pretending you're invisible until they finally crack and then oh so graciously concede their lofty position to you - dicks!  ha ha).  That and general fcuk-wittery like not bringing enough clubs from a buggy, marking cards or chatting on greens and leaving bags/carts at the farthest point from the next tee, taking 3000 practice swings, walking back down a fairway without any warning etc.  You know, the general dumb stuff.

I play better when I'm at a quick pace but so long as the pace is steady I'm OK.  It's the needless waits and interruptions that do my head in.  I'll have to add that it's usually the hackers (sorry!) that slow things up most.  It's as if they are embarrassed to let people through like it somehow makes them worse or inferior or something?!  We all start somewhere but just learn the etiquette and folk won't mind at all . . .  they're like leaner drivers on the roads without L plates.  

Sorry, that turned into a massive rant ha!  In summary then, 4 hours is about as long as it should reasonably take in my opinion, even in comps; and I think the biggest barriers to quicker play are folk wasting time and not being ready or not following accepted protocol - not age, sex or standard of play per se.

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20 hours ago, Jrryan97 said:

Is slow play a problem?    It can be.   

if you were put in a position in which your income depended on the profits made from a golf course, how would you try to solve the problem?      

 

Good question:  Our course has signs at every few holes reminding people to keep up with the group in front and let quicker groups through, avoid slow play etc and we are now encouraged to play ready golf in Comps (although judging on my last Medal that concept is harder for some to grasp than others . . .).

We don't have a ranger or starter and I think that would help.   I think a club has to make a concerted effort to create a culture that embraces quicker play.  Too often seniors (usually) complain and the club relents - i.e. they made a four hour round rule for senior comps but quickly pulled it due to complaints!  Like any business if it's from the top down and it's consistent the message gets through.  You'd want to go lightly and approach it positively I guess but with the aim being a culture where time-wasters are gently chided and peer-pressure is made to help folk speed up i.e anyone with a 'Thou Shall not Pass' attitude is given the cold shoulder or reported (which is where the ranger comes in)

Ultimately it will always come down to manners and awareness of others - and as we find with all humanity, some are just better at that than others . . .

 

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Where does pre-shot routine fit into the slow play conversation? I ask because my pre-shot routine does not include a practice swing. Not on the tee, not from the fairway, not during putting. The only time I use a practice swing is when chipping or hitting a flop shot. I'll try to get a "feel" for the distance. But for any full shot or for any putt I don't take a practice swing. Some people I play with think its bizarre. But by the same token they are happy with speed at which I play. 

I don't recommend a practice swing or a pre-shot routine without a practice swing, I think you should do what works for you. But I'm curious what the folks out here think. How does pre-shot routine fit into the slow play question? 

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4 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Where does pre-shot routine fit into the slow play conversation? I ask because my pre-shot routine does not include a practice swing. Not on the tee, not from the fairway, not during putting. The only time I use a practice swing is when chipping or hitting a flop shot. I'll try to get a "feel" for the distance. But for any full shot or for any putt I don't take a practice swing. Some people I play with think its bizarre. But by the same token they are happy with speed at which I play. 

I don't recommend a practice swing or a pre-shot routine without a practice swing, I think you should do what works for you. But I'm curious what the folks out here think. How does pre-shot routine fit into the slow play question? 

I’ve seen pre-shot routines that are painfully slow to watch, but for the vast majority I don’t think it causes much delay. A pre-shot routine which includes a practice swing or two is common and reasonable imo.

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2 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Where does pre-shot routine fit into the slow play conversation? I ask because my pre-shot routine does not include a practice swing. Not on the tee, not from the fairway, not during putting. The only time I use a practice swing is when chipping or hitting a flop shot. I'll try to get a "feel" for the distance. But for any full shot or for any putt I don't take a practice swing. Some people I play with think its bizarre. But by the same token they are happy with speed at which I play. 

 

I take at least one, maybe two practice swings (anymore is off-putting mentally) and line up but that takes seconds really.  I'll also try to do it as others have just finished their shots or while I wait, so long as it won't distract others.  I'm gauging my next shot as soon as the last one lands so unless my lie changes things I'm pretty much ready to go.

What can be irrigating is when folk wait until everyone has played then think about their shot, club, have five practice swings, check the wind, check the yardage, then the wind again, then change club, have five more practice swings. . . and so on.

I'd say a routine, including a few practice swings is fine so long as you're ready!

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4 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

I’ve seen pre-shot routines that are painfully slow to watch, but for the vast majority I don’t think it causes much delay. A pre-shot routine which includes a practice swing or two is common and reasonable imo.

I sort of work both ways on this.  I will usually start a round with a single practice swing as part of my routine, mostly to rehearse the takeaway.  I have a tendency to push the club out right from the start if I don't think about it.  That results in an out to in, over the top swing which will cause either a slice to the right or a dead pull left, both of which are assured of screwing up a hole with the first swing.  This tendency has become more pronounced since I've gotten older, starting to slide when I was in my early 60's.  If I start my swing with my shoulders instead of my hands, so that the clubhead moves back on a straight or slightly inside path, I hit the ball more solidly, straighter and farther.

If the swing feels comfortable after the first few shots, then I will often drop the practice swing for the remainder of the round.  

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On 10/7/2018 at 6:36 AM, saevel25 said:

Or, dropping a guy off at his ball and heading to yours. It’s ok to walk a bit even if a golfer takes a cart. 

 

That walking thing... It's probably good for us, and something I need to keep reminding myself.

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3 hours ago, Fourputt said:

I sort of work both ways on this.  I will usually start a round with a single practice swing as part of my routine, mostly to rehearse the takeaway.  I have a tendency to push the club out right from the start if I don't think about it.  That results in an out to in, over the top swing which will cause either a slice to the right or a dead pull left, both of which are assured of screwing up a hole with the first swing.  This tendency has become more pronounced since I've gotten older, starting to slide when I was in my early 60's.  If I start my swing with my shoulders instead of my hands, so that the clubhead moves back on a straight or slightly inside path, I hit the ball more solidly, straighter and farther.

If the swing feels comfortable after the first few shots, then I will often drop the practice swing for the remainder of the round.  

I suppose there are a couple of things I could do to play faster...

  • Too many practice swings on chips and pitches
  • Tagging clubs with my GameGolf phone app. 
  • Overly concerned about moving while someone else is taking a shot or putting
  • Probably too much conversation

But really, a lot of that changes when a course is busy.

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