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Frank-0-Sport

Telling Stat From 1977 Masters --Tee Time Spacing

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Greetings ....

In watching past Masters coverage, now provided officially on YouTube courtesy of Augusta National, I've noticed a multitude of things in the comparison of past and present tournaments. One of the most telling tidbits comes from the 1977 Masters replay. At about the 29 minute, 35 second mark of the video, the final round tee times are displayed. The spacing (which may also be referred to as intervals) between each 2-man group going off on Number One Tee is eight (8) minutes. Compare and contrast that with the 10-minute intervals for most current final round tee times. Also, if you have paid careful attention, players back then were moving from one hole to the next much faster then the players of today..

Well, you quite naturally get the idea -- slower play has become the unwritten law of the land nowadays. It's no wonder that coverage of final rounds of regular PGA Tour events will more than often run well past 6:00pm, leaving hardly any time to chat with the winner and then (unless it's a big event) see them receive the trophy. And it is also no wonder that on occasion a sudden-death playoff sometimes gets interrupted by darkness and has to be concluded on Monday.

Sadly, the players and the tours are letting this happen, and it seems that all parties are  either unable or unwilling to properly address it.

What do you think?

Edited by Frank-0-Sport

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I think that the course yardage is longer now than it was in 1977, and perhaps they need a bit longer to walk to their tee shots as players are also hitting the ball farther these days, too?

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Strictly qualitative (if that) observation, not quantitative investigation:

Not suggesting that the pros of 2018 are more "professional" than those of 1977, but the game seemed to be played in a slightly different spirit 40 odd years ago. Which I think is true of many sports (watching Sir Jackie Stewart in the kick the tires and light the fires days of 1970s F1 compared to however many hours of prep go into Lewis Hamilton even contemplating driving around the track...)

You mentioned 1977. Here is the British Open for that year:

There is definitely more of a "just get on with it" impression, compared with today's golf.

Trevino appears a lot. In the final round a 35 foot putt appears to get about 35 seconds worth of contemplation before he addresses it and gives it a good punt. He misses, but not awfully...

I wonder if it's that the sportsmen and women of today have such established routines that they have come to trust? Or maybe it's just a misnomer on my part - Trevino and his peers disguised their methods under a cheerful veneer of stand up and whack the ball?

Watch Jack Newton in the 1975 British Open (also on Youtube), even the playoff is played at incredibly brisk pace.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Frank-0-Sport said:

Greetings ....

In watching past Masters coverage, now provided officially on YouTube courtesy of Augusta National, I've noticed a multitude of things in the comparison of past and present tournaments. One of the most telling tidbits comes from the 1977 Masters replay. At about the 29 minute, 35 second mark of the video, the final round tee times are displayed. The spacing (which may also be referred to as intervals) between each 2-man group going off on Number One Tee is eight (8) minutes. Compare and contrast that with the 10-minute intervals for most current final round tee times. Also, if you have paid careful attention, players back then were moving from one hole to the next much faster then the players of today..

Well, you quite naturally get the idea -- slower play has become the unwritten law of the land nowadays. It's no wonder that coverage of final rounds of regular PGA Tour events will more than often run well past 6:00pm, leaving hardly any time to chat with the winner and then (unless it's a big event) see them receive the trophy. And it is also no wonder that on occasion a sudden-death playoff sometimes gets interrupted by darkness and has to be concluded on Monday.

Sadly, the players and the tours are letting this happen, and it seems that all parties are  either unable or unwilling to properly address it.

What do you think?

The eight minute spacing was that way for several years. It was actually that way until the early 1990s. When the majority of players had switched to metal drivers from wooden drivers. Even in the 1987 Masters in the final round the tee times were only spaced apart by eight minutes.

I saw a pairing sheet for the third round in 1987, and the tee times were only spaced apart by 7 minutes. They probably did that on Thursday and Friday as well. Remember up until 2002, Augusta National didn't allow full 18-hole live coverage of the Final Round. That was a Hootie Johnson, brainchild. Their idea as is to this day, less is more. They guaranteed 56 minutes out of every hour of golf action. Which is a little less these days, but still limited commercials which is what I love about watching the Masters.

This policy, was partially the reason, for the tee times being so close together. So that they could guarantee more golf coverage every hour.

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At 8 minutes how fast would they all have to play for noone waiting much (in a perfect world)?

I'm thinking 2 groups on all the par 4 and 5s, one group on the 3s.

((2 * 14) + 4) * 8 = 4 hours 15 minutes, plus some time between holes and looking for lost balls etc.  Say a little less than 4&1/2 hours and noone should be waiting much.  8 minutes seems doable for pros, for hackers, it would probably back up.

Edited by No Mulligans

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4 minutes ago, No Mulligans said:

((2 * 14) + 4) * 8 = 4 hours 15 minutes, plus some time between holes and looking for lost balls etc.  Say a little less than 4&1/2 hours and noone should be waiting much.  8 minutes seems doable.

Thing is, with longer tee times you can make up time. I mean, space them out far enough, and the first group ahead of you will be teeing off on 2 when you're teeing off on 1.

But put them too close, and things have to go perfectly throughout the entire round for the time to be met.

8 minutes is "doable" but the walks are longer now, and there's more trouble, and the greens are faster, and there are more cameras…

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2 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

He is not saying that. When your livelihood depends on the next shot, you are going to focus more. For you and I, shooting an 80 versus 81 is not going to change our life or make us eat Kraft dinner and Ramen instead of fresh food.  It is a different level of importance.

Pros are taking too much time IMO, but we certainly shouldn’t follow suit. 

I don't think that the eight minute tee times really mattered all that much. The walks from greens to tees was and still isn't very far. A lot of casual golf fans don't realize how much of an easy course it is for Augusta National to be walked. Yes it is very hilly, but in general most green to tee walks are very short, the longest is probably the 13th green to 14th tee. 

The only problem you run into is the occasional parking lot at Amen Corner and the 15th tee. Hell, the 15th and 16th greens are less than 100 yards apart. Any loud cheering by the patrons will cause a slight back up at that corner of the course. 

Hell, any loud action at 17 will cause a back-up at 15. The 15th tee and 17th green are close to one another. It's a course that was designed purposely to be walked. When you watch any past Masters or this year's Masters, try to pay attention to the proximity of greens.

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2 minutes ago, onthehunt526 said:

I don't think that the eight minute tee times really mattered all that much. The walks from greens to tees was and still isn't very far. A lot of casual golf fans don't realize how much of an easy course it is for Augusta National to be walked. Yes it is very hilly, but in general most green to tee walks are very short, the longest is probably the 13th green to 14th tee. 

The only problem you run into is the occasional parking lot at Amen Corner and the 15th tee. Hell, the 15th and 16th greens are less than 100 yards apart. Any loud cheering by the patrons will cause a slight back up at that corner of the course. 

Hell, any loud action at 17 will cause a back-up at 15. The 15th tee and 17th green are close to one another. It's a course that was designed purposely to be walked. When you watch any past Masters or this year's Masters, try to pay attention to the proximity of greens.

I agree the pros are taking way too long. What I don’t agree with is us taking the same amount of time because they do it. It’s a game for us. It is their livelihood. 

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Some posts moved elsewhere:

4 minutes ago, onthehunt526 said:

A lot of casual golf fans don't realize how much of an easy course it is for Augusta National to be walked. Yes it is very hilly, but in general most green to tee walks are very short, the longest is probably the 13th green to 14th tee. 

I wouldn't say it's "easy to walk." The green-to-tee walks are generally about 50-60 yards. They were shorter in the past, but the entire course is longer now. 13 to 14 is only 40-45 yards.

10 to 11 is 135 yards (and that's as the bird flies).

Most are closer to the 13-14 walk than the 10-11 walk.

Like I said above, 10 minutes lets you catch up, but 8 minutes requires near perfection or else backups are more common. And Augusta has its fair share of tough par threes and reachable (in two) par fives. Those create backups.

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5 minutes ago, iacas said:

Some posts moved elsewhere:

I wouldn't say it's "easy to walk." The green-to-tee walks are generally about 50-60 yards. They were shorter in the past, but the entire course is longer now. 13 to 14 is only 40-45 yards.

10 to 11 is 135 yards (and that's as the bird flies).

Most are closer to the 13-14 walk than the 10-11 walk.

Like I said above, 10 minutes lets you catch up, but 8 minutes requires near perfection or else backups are more common. And Augusta has its fair share of tough par threes and reachable (in two) par fives. Those create backups.

Yeah... Probably an optical illusion. But Amen Corner is kind of tight down there isn't it? Or not so much since they lengthened 13?

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6 minutes ago, onthehunt526 said:

Yeah... Probably an optical illusion. But Amen Corner is kind of tight down there isn't it? Or not so much since they lengthened 13?

I don't know about optical illusions or anything. I just measured a few green-to-tee walks on Google Earth.

11 I knew was pretty far from 10 because I'd just looked at that hole for the Masters topic (about how much driving has changed over the years).

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15 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't know about optical illusions or anything. I just measured a few green-to-tee walks on Google Earth.

11 I knew was pretty far from 10 because I'd just looked at that hole for the Masters topic (about how much driving has changed over the years).

I watched '87 and '95 a couple nights ago. It seemed that the a few of the greens (before the changes) were very close to the previous green. The 4th green to 5th tee was one I saw, 17 to 18 was another. 

I think they more or less went to 10 minutes for recovery purposes. Though they only went to threesomes on Thursday and Friday sometime in the 2000s.

They used to re-pair by position after every round including the first round. 

@iacas I think partially when they went to full 18-hole coverage on Sunday in 2002, they may have went to 10 minute spacing then. 

If you notice on Thursday and Friday coverage. You only see live coverage from 9 to 18, except highlights.

Saturday you see a little more of the front nine, Sunday you get to see the whole course.

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