While We’re Young – Solving the Pace of Play Issue
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While We’re Young – Solving the Pace of Play Issue

While We’re Young – Solving the Pace of Play Issue

The rhetoric is entirely tired, but it doesn’t change the reality that slow play is still the single largest problem in golf, and no one has a good answer…yet. There are ideas, studies, and plenty of pontification – but is it possible our focus is misguided?

Can we speed up the game, by literally speeding up the game?

A few weeks ago, we shared a video (above) of a Lacern Golf Cart capable of traveling at 50 MPH. Much to our surprise, it became our most viewed Facebook post ever. While some of you loathed the idea, and no doubt, amateur NASCAR, and golf likely don’t mix well, golfers are hungry for this conversation to go somewhere other than where it’s been, which is nowhere.

What’s at risk is nothing less than the next generation of golfers, and perhaps we’ve already lost our chance to capture the oft-discussed generation of millennials, but the point remains; there is nothing is in place that guarantees golf’s long-term survival. Look at professional football. Conversations around CTE and the real, quantifiable health risks associated with the sport are having an impact on participation. See John Urschel

What do you think Pop Warner and JAA fields will look like in twenty years if the game doesn’t adapt? Is there any reason why golf should be more immune to change?

We often cite generational differences and over-scheduled calendars, but today’s kids don’t do much other than sleep, socialize (in virtual environments) and attend school for 5 hours at a time. The nature of golf dictates it will always be more marathon than a sprint, and I’m not suggesting it needs to morph into a 30-minute activity, but in its current form, the list of reasons to choose golf is over-shadowed by myriad barriers.

The bottom line: Golf must become more inviting to younger players, and there’s nothing about a 5-hour round that’s attractive to anyone.

What we must avoid is giving attention to factors which are either unlikely to change (tee time intervals, course design) or not root causes of slow play (ineffective marshals or the failure to practice ready golf). Cash strapped courses are always going to pack tee sheets, and ready golf is helpful, in as much as a teaspoon is helpful for shoveling your way out of a blizzard.

Critics love to finger point at the Kevin Na’s and Jason “All” Day’s of the PGA Tour, and while the its what the pros do mindset sometimes translates to the amateur level, isn’t it possible the blame is misplaced?

We’re talking about professional golfers, playing the most difficult courses under extremely challenging conditions as a means to earn a paycheck. What they do is nothing like the calamity of Joe Public and the 5+ hour Saturday round at the course down the street. The latter is our problem to solve, while the former continues to be largely ignored by the ruling bodies, which, ironically take years to study topics before rendering a decision that seldom accomplishes anything while often running contrary to the best interests of its majority constituent – the amateur golfer.

Is it possible solutions lie in paper clips and staples, not combustion engines and fancy algorithms? Simple, functional and easy to implement, not complex and cost aversive; these are the criteria which can lead to viable and actionable solutions. That’s the good news.

Bad news? I have no answers, but I do have some ideas. My hope is to alter the direction of this conversation, and in that process maybe we strike gold. After all, unintended consequences gave us champagne, Coca-Cola, and the potato chip.

im4

BRAINSTORM

If the game is going to take less time, shouldn’t each cog in the wheel seek to become more efficient? The physical speed at which players move around a course is as good a starting point as any.

Let’s go back to that golf cart.

What if golf carts were made for a single rider instead of two and weren’t so damn slow? 50 MPH is probably excessive, but what about 20 MPH?  It might be slightly less social, but there’s nothing efficient about strapping two people into the same cart and watching them zig-zag around the course like drunken lightning bolts. There’s still plenty of time to razz your buddies as they line up that 4-footer for double. Four players, four carts and 9-holes in 60-90 minutes. Why can’t that become the norm – or at least an option?

Footgolf introduced the concept of different (yet loosely related) activities sharing the course. Let’s keep the basic structure, but instead inlay a series of shorter 9-hole courses with larger cups into the existing course. We’re not exactly pro-HackGolf here, but is there anything wrong with giving players of varying skill and experience choices which are more congruent with their actual playing ability?

This is why ski hills offer everything from the magic carpet to double-diamond black chutes – all at the same location. Golf courses have 4-5 sets of tees which only change a single factor – distance. Does this go far enough to authentically serve beginning (or lesser skilled) golfers? Without better options, novice players are going to struggle mightily, and that often means the groups behind them struggle mightily too. 2.5-3 hours to maybe break 80 over 9-holes, does that math work for anyone?

This may not directly impact how quickly players move around a course, but what if courses sold tee times rather than memberships? Like season tickets, individuals would own a time and cost would be a function of the specific time you want to purchase. The concept of fractional ownership already exists overseas where courses operate based on this premise and pace of play isn’t nearly the issue it is here. At a minimum, it’s a step in a different direction, and the openness to different structures is exactly the thinking we sorely need to embrace.

END

If the past is prologue, private courses are going play faster than public ones. The average length of a round increases throughout the day and pretty much everyone is reticent to admit or label themselves a slow player – even when confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary. None of that is going to change anytime soon.

Some feel a laissez-faire approach is best. Golf, as an industry and game, will grow and shrink over time and this cyclical reality should be expected and even embraced.

I disagree. This isn’t cyclical. It’s a fundamental point of transition where we engender the very real possibility that we’ve already lost a generation of golfers and without some creative thinking, the very fabric of the game could start to unravel.

This won’t happen overnight or even in the next several decades. But as with the example of football, people will alter behavior when provided different information. Generations of golfers are going to reap the decisions we sew now, and if easier, uncomplicated solutions are to be found and put into place, my hunch is it’s going to take something better than the collective wisdom of another USGA study or rehashing of how to play ready golf. It’s going to come from an organic conversation where the only rule regarding the pace of play is there are no rules.

Golf has a history, which should be honored and upheld. But part of that history is change and adaptation, and while golf drags its heels more than pretty much every other sport, change is inevitable.

The physical act of a four-ball playing 18 holes and shooting around 100 takes about an hour. The way in which we create structures to manage the other 2-3 hours will have everything to do with who is playing this game when those currently making the rules are no longer around.

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Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris is a self-diagnosed equipment and golf junkie with a penchant for top-shelf ice cream. When he's not coaching the local high school team, he's probably on the range or trying to keep up with his wife and seven beautiful daughters. Chris is based out of Fort Collins, CO and his neighbors believe long brown boxes are simply part of his porch decor. "Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different."

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

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      Phillip Yanski

      7 years ago

      The solution is simple, but it’s golf course management that either doesn’t want to solve it or refuses to put out a little effort to solve it. Here’s the solution – actually have a starter, actually have a ranger and have the staff in the pro shop offer some pre-round guidance.

      The staff in the pro shop need to set some pre-round guidelines with golfers. Simple things like: please keep the pace of play to around 12 minutes per hole. If you’re new to the game, play your shot from the tee, but then pick your ball up and move it with the better players in your group, rinse and repeat. If you lose a ball, only look for a couple of minutes, and then move your ball up 50 yards from the green. Just simple things like that.

      The starter ensures everyone is ready at their tee time and the ranger enforces the rules set by the staff in the pro shop. If you have a horrendous group taking forever, the ranger needs to move them up and let others play through.

      Maybe a group of golfers become offended and choose not to return. It’s a good loss. We keep making exceptions and catering to the occasional/terrible player and ignoring the dedicated/hardcore golfer.

      Reply

      Terry Gorman

      7 years ago

      Effective course marshalling works but it’s almost non-existent.

      I’ve been a golfer for 15 years and play about 175 rounds a year at a large variety of courses both munis and semi-private.

      In all those years I’ve only met one useful course marshall.

      My brother in law and I were paired up with a father/son who were having their once a year golf game. The course was mature, tree lined with a pretty deep secondary cut. They were all over the place and the Marshall came up to us on the 6th tee off box.

      He said “Hi guys, you’re between 2 to 3 holes behind and we’d like you to catch up to the foursomes ahead of you. Do you mind if I help you out?”

      Of course we all said “Great, help away”, but we didn’t really know what he could do to speed up our group.

      He the proceeded to park his cart on the sidelines about 150 yards out from the tee. He noted where anyone’s ball landed that was off the fairway and he marked it with a flag. Then he did the same for our second shots.

      When we arrived at the green, he tended the flag while we putted and then urged us to move to the next tee while he replaced the flag.

      After 3 holes he told us we were caught up and he bid us good day.

      Now that was effective and intelligent course management.

      Only ever seen it once in 15 years.

      Reply

      Kerry Cole

      7 years ago

      My comment to some of these guys who are older is “While we are still alive guys?”, that on gets their attention provided they can still hear? And I give up on what to say to the clowns who have to inspect every put possibility known to man.. This part of the game is very frustrating to me.. sometimes will gently (?) hit into the group and use the excuse, I didn’t realize I could hit it this far.. then they get the hint and let me play through…

      Reply

      Steve S

      7 years ago

      I’m an older guy an I play faster than most guys younger than me. I’m an 11 and I can walk a course in 3 hours and have played in a golf cart and played 18 in 2 hours…as long as there are no idiots in front of me.

      Bottom line it ain’t old or young it’s ignorance, arrogance and poor manners. Once you have a putt for triple bogey pick up and MOVE ON.

      Reply

      Larry

      7 years ago

      I now have an answer for slow play, I have 14 clubs, tees, balls and a good book…I am kept busy all day.

      Reply

      Dave

      7 years ago

      Lets see. 50mph golf carts and beer on the course. Yea, nothin’ wrong with that idea.

      Reply

      Denvertim

      7 years ago

      I am not sure where my first post went… but oh well.
      First thing is that you have 2 competing ideas
      1 – Slow play (or play slower than I want it to be)
      2 – New players.
      They are most the time opposite of each other.
      To encourage people into game I invite people and send them to trainers etc etc. But the Number one thing that drives them away .. IS YOU .. Yes look into the mirror. Your elitist attitude that makes them feel uncomfortable.
      That means the course marshal who snips at them to hurry up causing them to even play worse. To the Owner of the course who feels everyone should play each and every hole the same way. Yes lets get that extra 400 a day by shoving people into 8 minute tee times.. even though IT DOESN’T WORK. To the people who play with the new or inexperienced players , play from the tee box they are comfortable with. I always ask what tee box do you want to play from . They usually answer something like BLUE or WHITE. That’s my clue to play with them from the WHITE. Most people will be super happy you picked the easier tee box, It can really change the game for you, the course can really change. Your GHIN score will reflect the change of tee boxes don’t worry.
      Course management – I really want to smack the heads of designers or owners (lol)
      Lets do simple math
      Average female golfer hits golf ball off tee 150 to 180 yards
      Average make golfer hits golf ball 200 to 230 yards
      SO what do they do? Put the Forward Tee 20 yards (MOST TIMES less) in front of the forward men’s tee? Are you just STUPID? that tee box should be 50 yards in front or more.
      Easy TEE Placement 430 yard hole;
      Forward (Ladies Forward TEE) 300 yard
      Mens Fowarfd (LADIES TIP) 350
      Mens Challenge (400)
      TIP (championship Tess) 430
      Another thing that would make it more enjoyable for new players is 9 holes. Most of the new players I have introduced want to play 9 holes, its what they have time for and it suits them, Here in Denver we have (non executive) 4 courses that accommodate this. Yes the others will allow it at noon or 1am but ask Buffalo run in commerce city , a really good course (links style) they have found that the occasional 9 hole group or couple doesn’t effect money and it helps to keep time short as they tend to be newer players (not always) walking .
      Here is another thing they are ignorant of, Aurora has 5 municipal course including one executive. None allow 9 holes before 12 or 1. NONE, if they were smarter they would have from opening to 8:30 am 18 holes booking with back 9 allowed to be booked for 9.
      Then after 8:30 ONE COURSE of the 5 keeps the 9 hole going front and back. They rotate this through each of the 5 course. This allows new people to play 9 get done quickly yet experience a course that may be new to them. MORE EXPOSURE = MORE dollars. During the weekend if not always the course rough needs to be cut shorter to allow the new players to find the balls.
      Anyway in all stop your elitist BS, Golf is for everyone and help don’t judge.
      Slow play can be cone with people using correct tees, I saw ONE course in all that I played on the First tee box have a sign that helped people pick the right tee box. It showed handicap, score and driving yards listed from each tee box. It was easy for people to find the right one. This should be the Marshalls first job or the starter get people to use correct tee box for their level of play.
      THE USGA is hurting the game. Yes by having one set of rules it encourages people to follow those rules. Their needs to be a Pro set and an Amateur set.
      Some of the differences -Lost ball – just drop from last known place. No penalty just loss of distance. ( its what we do in our group)
      Flag can stay in cup – no penalty. Try it and you will be amazed how much faster that one little thing is.
      Putt till its in – seriously you need to laugh at the people who worry about someone stepping on their line on a municipal course . Your not Dustin Jason it really wont effect you.
      Hitting a ball is 2 stroke penalty while putting . again for amateurs just put it back at last known spot no penalty. Again look at the rules and get rid of the ones that are not needed in amateur play.
      And yes those are rules including gimmies I use in our group that play. I offer to play scramble a hole or 2 if someone is struggling. And most of all I remember when I started playing and how I felt stress or anxiety playing and help remove it so people can have fun.

      You have to get out of this rut and think if we don’t get people into this game we will lose more and more courses which will only put more people into crowded courses . This game and it is a game should be fun for all not just YOU!

      Reply

      Karl

      7 years ago

      I agree with the idea of another set of rules for amateurs.
      I created a fun, fast game which is great for beginners called Wungolf. You pick up after 1 shot over par , then go putt. Please check it out at wungolf.com

      Reply

      Tim Lundy

      7 years ago

      IMO the problem isn’t turbo golf carts, the problem is that some golfers don’t come to the course with pace of play in mind. We’ve all seen the two guys in the cart, one warming up and getting ready to hit, while his buddy, whose ball is 75 feet away, is just sitting in the cart instead of over at his ball also getting ready to hit. Slow golf is a series of decisions like this. Ready golf is a big help. If you’re ready around the greens or on the fairway, hit your ball. Don’t wait for Sally Slowpoke messing around looking for her ball in the trees, keep the game moving.

      Golf courses need to encourage this type of play with effective starters and course marshalls, proper signage on the first tee, and reminders along the way.

      Reply

      Jeff Franke

      7 years ago

      I’m with you Tim! Its the slow golfers and their “I don’t care” attitude more than anything. I live in the Desert where Lucerne filmed that video, and can tell you from lots of experience, people just dont give a damn if they are several holes back, jamming the pace of play, because they think they are entitled to that for paying the fee. I get super tense when I’m in groups that are slow and gently remind them to get going and maybe pick up and go to the next hole. I’m not a Marshall either! They can be good golfers or hackers like me, but you have to be considerate and let people play through and if you still cant keep up, please, do us all a favor and take up another sport.!

      Reply

      Cameron Marks

      7 years ago

      Blaming the cart is like blaming the club for your mistakes. It’s not the technology, it’s the player or group of players who don’t know normal golf etiquette that make a round 5+ hours

      Reply

      Kenny Duff

      7 years ago

      WHO IS TAKING 5 HOURS TO PLAY GOLF!!!

      Reply

      Si Grady

      7 years ago

      Most guys around the Old Course these days ???

      Reply

      Gorden

      7 years ago

      Almost every men’s club I have ever played with…..it is so important to line up that one foot 3rd putt…and so important for other 3 or 4 players to watch each others shots before even picking a club for their shot…..Men’s club golf the biggest Wanna be golfers on the planet.

      Reply

      JasonA

      7 years ago

      Don’t dis Kevin Na! Any golfer that can earn a living playing golf, while having to yell “PULL THE TRIGGER” at himself is a legend!

      At the moment I’m struggling with my setup. So choice is: Do I hit one when uncomfortable over the ball or do a reset? The speed-of-play nazi’s tut-tut on the reset, but I’ve learned to apologize, and do it anyhow because one in the bushes is always slower than one on the fairway.

      But I’m always aware of not _wasting_ time.

      Reply

      Dave Smith

      7 years ago

      Slow carts are not a problem. And with the way less people are golfing slow golf will be solved soon. For the last two years I have played over 300 rounds as a single on more than 100 different courses. Only one time did it take me more than 3 hours most time under 2. There is no body out there

      Reply

      Johnyam

      7 years ago

      I believe a lot of course need to start enforcing tee times better. Most guys get to the course at their tee time not hitting the first shot then. Also almost every public course never turns away people who show up when they don’t have a tee time which can cause an extremely slow round especially when the group ahead tee’s off 15 minutes late.

      I think some course should only allow twosomes out during specific hours, like first 5 rounds are only twosomes, and from like 3-6 pm only twosome. Ive played a few course like this and it is great

      Reply

      10

      7 years ago

      Well said

      Reply

      Richard Morris

      7 years ago

      Faster carts will not solve anything, except help prove Darwin’s Theory (see two guys kill in Dodge Hellcat test drive after running off the end of airport runway).

      My buddies and i have played many 3-hour rounds walking. This is accomplished by being in motion whenever possible, not being rude but not standing there to watch a shot. On the greens we only mark if our ball may interfere with someone else’s play.

      Some contend that the game requires deep thought and slow controlled movement. Ever hear of “think long, think wrong”? How many times have you watched someone take a dozen practice swings and then top it 20 yards. If it takes that many practice swings to get comfortable over the shot, maybe you should consider a different shot.

      What if comes down to is a respect for other people. Understand that other people have other things to do and would like to be done in 4 hours. Move with purpose and alacrity.

      Reply

      Ron Whitmore

      7 years ago

      Well said Richard and most of the boys I play with employ all of those method including moving expediently (Not rushing). I’m
      74 and still prefer to walk and get it done in well under 4 hrs on most courses. Our winter escape however has courses with long walks between greens and tees (Some over 1/4 mi at the turn). Our walking groups get it done in 4 – 4 1/4 hours ( I once Fit-Bitted two of the courses at 6 1/2-71/2 mi)
      I suspect many of these younger respondents are in this category and should probably try walking and try being a little more expedient and considerate.

      Reply

      Mark Jay

      7 years ago

      Personally I quite like the idea of the golf board, as I understand you can drive the boards anywhere on the course so I think has good potential to speed up play. I think the issue with golf carts is sometimes you can’t get them near where you’re playing from. Personally I tend to walk but if I’m playing with a group of guys in carts I will be last person to my ball

      Reply

      Bill Brothers

      7 years ago

      The danger here is alienating the people that golf wants to embrace. Leaping to the conclusion that golf is declining because of the time required is not necessarily sustainable logic. It may contribute, but is not the only factor. My wife is learning to play golf and she is slow. Rude comments by other golfers, balls hit into our group, etc. do nothing more that drive away new golfers. We always let people play through, but get derisive comments from other for doing so. We used to play at a nice par-3 executive course every Saturday. She loved it because it only took an hour and a half to play nine. I liked it because I didn’t have to get out my “big” clubs. All of the competitive golfers played “across the street.” Now that we have moved to an active retirement community with three 18-hole courses, that option is out.

      Golf education comes into play as well. I’ve been to a number of educators and not a single one has even talked about how to conduct oneself on the golf course or pace of play. They are all focused on golf mechanics. Want to speed up golf? Want to get more young people into the sport? Train people on how they should play the game. They will enjoy it more and potentially stay with it.

      My points:
      1. A golf course doesn’t have to be 7000 yds to be challenging.
      2. Not everybody wants to play competitive golf.
      3. New players are normally the slowest. If you want new players to be faster then set the expectation that they have to have some golf education before getting on the course.
      4. Put per-hole timers into the infrastructure and charge a “slow fee” for slow play. (Wrong in my mind, but will drive the right behavior)

      The other thing that drives me crazy is that people who have played golf for all of their lives know all of the unwritten rules. However, having spent the last three years learning the game and trying to learn the unwritten rules, I can safely say that it is a daunting task to try to learn the game. Besides learning the physical task of striking the ball and the official rules, there are an incredible number of unwritten rules that people scowl at you for violating but don’t have the courtesy to explain why.

      Just for the record I am 63, been playing golf for three years and normally shoot in the low 90s shooting from the blues. I am still a slow player, but that’s just the way it is.

      Reply

      Regis

      7 years ago

      I’m 66 and I’ve been playing for over 50 years and I agree with everything you said in your post. I played at a private club for about 30 years. Over the course of time more and more emphasis was put on fast play. The golf committee even has a sub committee on fast p!ay. Letters from the board. Forget bringing a business guest.
      I’ve relocated to a development in SC. Last week we had our member guest and I invited my lifetime friend and playing partner who still plays at my former club. We played a practice round in about 3:15. But one of the tournament rounds was just under 5 hours. USGA rules. All balls played down . Everything putter out. My partner’s course demeanor was embarassing. So much so that I privately apologized to our two playing companions afterward. Walking in front of other players; playing out of turn; running between shots. It wasn’t my friend. It was the fast player that overemphasis on speeding up play had created over time. To what end? Both of us are well past the age where we have to worry about getting home to the kids (maybe grandkids) and that would have been true for everyone playing in our member guest. Hyper emphasis on fast play will do more to ki!! the sport than grow it

      Reply

      SImms

      7 years ago

      Your guest can play our course ANYTIME, as for you and your Club friends , you can stay home.

      Denvertim

      7 years ago

      Yes well said. They don’t realize they very same people who they are criticizing are the people that will make or break this game in the future.
      The elitist need to understand its a game that isnt always played the way they expect it to.
      Course cater to the elitist will only find less and less people booking their course.

      Reply

      Russ

      7 years ago

      I’m liking the golfsixes format. Seems it’s catching on in Europe. The course in AZ looks really great. And including the family in every aspect makes for a good 2 hours or less.

      Reply

      Thomas Im

      7 years ago

      Solution: separate rules for amateurs and pros. If you hit the ball in the woods, drop a ball, one stroke penalty and move on. Double par rule. All putts that are putter length are a gimme.

      Reply

      Sean

      7 years ago

      Courses need to offer partial refunds to golfers that play 18 holes at a faster rate. Play in 4:30-5 hours no money back. Play in 4:15 get $x back, play in 4 hours get $xx back, play 3:45 etc etc. Incentive to play faster. Just a blueprint would need tweaking per course and green fee. Charge the slow pokes more.

      Reply

      Denvertim

      7 years ago

      SO because we don’t play your way you are right and everyone else is wrong?
      Wow you must be fun! Stop being an elitist and realize not everyone is as good as you or awesome as you!
      What your plan will do is cause more strife more anger and less people playing

      Reply

      Mike

      7 years ago

      There are a lot of factors involved in pace of play. My friends and I generally play a round in 4 hours walking, when on a walking friendly course and the same 4 hours when we have to ride unless it is cart path only. We are in our 70s, playing for a little cash and hole out each putt. On an unfamilar course it takes a bit longer but not much. Our index’s range from 5 to 24 and we each tend to hit some pretty poor shots each round. Generally, we have to look for errant shots on our tree lined courses a half dozen times among the four of us. Therefore, in or experience there is more affecting pace of play than carts, lost balls and actual scoring. I think attitude and expectation may be important factors. The way to faster play is simply to help new generations come to expect to “Finish in Four!” No gimmicks, just expectation.

      Reply

      Thomas Murphy

      7 years ago

      Want to play a faster round of golf? 2 easy suggestions
      1) play mid-week, I play in 3 hours of less all the time walking
      2) play 9

      Golf needs more support for playing flexible number of holes. If you really want to play 18 it takes time. If you can only play on weekends, it takes more time. Building more courses doesn’t fix it because golf isn’t a constant demand just like most “recreational” activities.
      Golf is a costly, large time commitment…it is a hobby they all take a lot of time and money. When that time means get together with your buds on the weekend…leaving spouse and kids at home for 5 hours…wait you are already gone 9-12 hours a day for work….
      So there is a 3) more family friendly options…guess what…that may “slow the game down” family teeing off from 4 different places, balls everywhere but isn’t it great to see?

      Reply

      Ima Dunse

      7 years ago

      Not unless it hits the ball for all these hacks out here

      Reply

      Bill

      7 years ago

      I understand that slow play is a nuisance to people that are fairly decent players but let’s not forget about the beginners. The ones we are trying to get involved in the game. I also understand that they can allow you to play through however they paid the $50 to $200 dollars to play the same as everyone else. And nothing is worse than a guy that thinks he knows what he’s doing and rags on a new come to the game. They usually don’t come back. All that being said perhaps we shouldn’t be in such a hurry to speed up the game as to have a little patience with those that we think aren’t as blessed as we are that can play par golf or a couple over. Just my thoughts. Thank you for your time.

      Reply

      Denvertim

      7 years ago

      WELL SAID

      Reply

      dcorun

      7 years ago

      I always walked until I got neuropathy in my feet from chemo. That said, I can still play in 3 1/2 hours by myself riding. When grouped with other golfers it can take 4 to 5 hours to play. The reason IMHO is to many golfers try to copy the Pro’s. They don’t think about the shot coming up until they arrive at the ball. They try to decide on a full 7 iron of choke down on a 6 and then hit worm burners. They plum bob on the green and look at it from every angle. Look from the side, line it up from behind, set up and let it go. Do some of those things and it could knock some time off a round.

      Reply

      P.J.

      7 years ago

      Golf courses can solve this problem by actually using marshal’s. Not the people just riding around saying hello. Some course call them ‘player services’. They’re so afraid of losing a sale, they won’t force players to speed up. Ironically, it works the opposite – there are courses I won’t play (mostly muni’s) that have 5+ hour rounds on the weekend where my buddies and I never play.
      There are to many self-entitled golfer’s who say they paid their money, just like you did, and don’t want to be ‘rushed’. One person playing slow actually affects dozens of players behind them. So what’s worse, one group upset or four or more groups behind them frustrated and angry because of slow play. I’ve seen more arguments between groups over this, than any other, on a golf course.

      Reply

      JJB

      7 years ago

      PJ’s comments are right on! No golf course wants slow play but MOST are afraid to discuss the subject with the very people it matters most to; the players. If there is a Pace of Play program, promote it, discuss it @ the check-in desk, at #1 check-in, etc. Let people know what the goal is.

      Reply

      10shot

      7 years ago

      If the course take my $$ I play my game. Sorry to those good players having to wait a little bit.
      The slow hacks are the driving force paying the lions share of greens fees.
      That’s why the Marshals have gone by the wayside.
      Many courses have still have Marshalls, play time enforced, 4.20 minutes usually. Have all those fast great players, play those 150.00 n up greens.

      DRMock1

      7 years ago

      Response to 10SHOTS: Its most likely not your golf skills but your entitled “If the course take my $$ I play my game” attitude. First off did you inform the golf course you would be playing slow and “good players having to wait a little bit” when you paid your green fee? Probably Not! I know a lot of golfers that struggle and shoot high scores but still manage to play 18 holes in around 4 hours. Do you ever practice? Let people play through? Or is it always “If the course take my $$ I play my game” attitude? Tips for faster play. Watch your golf ball land and go directly to it. Play ready golf and be ready to hit your next shot. Be aware of the groups in front and behind you so you can speed up or let the group behind you through. Enjoy the game of Golf!

      Patrick

      7 years ago

      Can we speed up the game by speeding up the game? A brainstorm? That isn’t the term I’d use for it.

      Saying pace of play is the problem is like declaring the earth flat. Everybody who plays can attest to the truth of pace of play is slow.

      Golf is dying! We need to save golf! Isn’t that code for “we need to save our revenue”? Golf was banned what 600 hundred years ago? It doesn’t need our help to survive. The industry needs to adapt NOT the game.

      I did like how the author basically tried to box everyone in to a narrow little area…didn’t work very well.

      Comment was edited for pace of reading.

      Reply

      thomas murphy

      7 years ago

      +1

      Reply

      Denvertim

      7 years ago

      Yes my first post was deleted. Guess if you dont agree then your voice is removed.
      The premise is so wrong. What he states would be the same as traffic is bad so lets make faster cars?
      And these others who state slower players need to speed up? What they don’t take into effect is the way to speed up Traffic (and that’s what it is) is fixing the course . I go into more detail other places

      Reply

      Pete

      7 years ago

      Another annoying trend is for people on the tee, waiting for a par 4 green to clear! What on earth are they thinking?

      Reply

      Aidan

      7 years ago

      you are right.
      a lot of golfers need educated.
      leaving golf bags at front of greens.
      marking down scores before leaving the greens.
      having to be told when to play.
      learn how to basically play the game,
      ex. how many players do you know that cannot get their ball out of a bunker even after playing this game for years and when they go to the practice area they stand and hit 50 balls with driver.
      CRAZY. need i say more.

      Reply

      Robert Van Dusen

      7 years ago

      I actually think carts make golf slower.

      Reply

      Thomas Murphy

      7 years ago

      a faster cart so you can get to your next shot and wait for the guys ahead longer

      Reply

      glenn

      7 years ago

      Banning carts might be an option in temperate climates, but where I play the temps can get in excess of 40C. I much prefer walking, but once I know we are in for a really hot one I’ll take a cart.
      It’s also a revenue stream for the club, and for most clubs they need as much help as they can get. If you can afford it then why not.

      If you don’t have a handicap you play from the shortest tees (don’t like it – get a handicap)

      No change for stroke play events – but don’t play so many

      For any other type of comp:
      Have 3 comps at once – Front 9 Back 9 and 18 – but you have to nominate before you start (this also works for those that like a more leisurely game as they could even take a break for something to eat or drink after 9). If you have nominated for 9 holes (and you can still get a tee time for the other 9), then you move in to the 18 comp (can’t win prizes in both)

      Leave the rough alone – there has to be some penalty for errant shots. If you’re really bothered then treat rough like a hazard and give the option of a 1 shot penalty.

      OB – automatic Par+3 for the hole. Move on to the next hole (if you don’t like that, then just make all OB’s hazards and see the next rule).

      For ALL hazards – make automatic 1 shot penalty and drop at point of entry. If people know they don’t have a chance to find their ball and attempt a miraculous recovery shot from the hazard and they are going to be penalised anyway, quite a few won’t even bother looking.

      For Bunkers – give the option of a 2 shot penalty and a drop out in a drop zone (that doesn’t have a bunker between the ball and the green!)

      General play (including on the green) – no penalty for hitting an opponents ball (more than likely going to hinder you than help you anyway)
      No flag tending – you can either leave it in or out – your call. That way all the players can focus on their own shots while someone is putting.

      Reply

      Aidan

      7 years ago

      rough is a major problem. if you go off the fairway why do we have to spend time looking for our ball when it is right under our nose. long grass or thick grass a a big negative. strategically placed tress is the answer in my opinion

      Reply

      DRMock1

      7 years ago

      Slow play is not a golf cart speed problem or a golf rules problem. It’s an unaware, self-centered, I have five hours to kill, don’t care about anyone else on the course problem. It only takes one group to slow down the whole course. It only takes one person in a group to slow down a group. If you scatter a slow group in every couple of hours the course will be slow all day long. These people are slow due to playing distracted i.e.… talking, texting, looking for their lost ball, club, or head cover and not ready when they should be preparing to hit their shot. This problem would be solved if these people were aware about what was going on around them or cared about the other golfers on the course. They don’t!

      In my opinion the only way to control speed on a golf course is to have a trained marshal. One that understands why a group has fallen behind and can take steps to encourage them to speed up. This needs to be done in a respectful but authoritative manor. There has to be consequences to slow play or nothing will change. A foursome should be able to play 18 holes in around four hours.

      Consequences to slow play: Forced to allow groups to play through, or forced to skip holes to get back into position.

      Reply

      Lorne

      7 years ago

      Unfortunately, “golf culture” or etiquette doesn’t get passed down anymore than general driving skills in urban areas do. And driving is government regulated! In both cases the offenders are in their own little bubble and are blissfully unaware of doing anything that affects others.

      How can you realistically inform and regulate how things are “supposed to” take place on a golf course when there is no obvious standard to the newbie? I’m 52. For golfing, driving, or whatever, “common sense” dictated that I should imitate successful people. If I was given enough indicators that I needed to change something to get better, I did. Nowadays, many people are bubble wrapped in entitlement and are unaware of any outside stimuli. Turning around and seeing 3 groups on a par 4 has become normal to them.

      How do you change the way people learn and think without conflict? The polite nudges and initiatives of the USGA, golf course signs, etc are no more effective than passing a left lane hogger on the right! They didn’t learn a thing.

      Reply

      Barry Moss

      7 years ago

      I got taught as a youngster to A – always know where your ball landed B – always be ready to hit your shot when it’s your turn and finally C – ALWAYS walk briskly to your next shot.

      5 – 7 seconds standing over a putt seems an age to others but isit really that long in the context of a golf match? You can make that up easily but observing points 1 – 3.

      Barry

      Reply

      Vin Smith

      7 years ago

      So right! I started playing golf when i was 14, many years ago – now 48. My mother taught me to: 1. keep an eye on my ball and all others in the four; 2. if you can not find it look 20m back – it never goes as far as you think; 3. play a provisional of the tee if you slash it deep into the rough!; 4. If there was an opportunity to play from where you lost it for a notiional penalty that would assist; 5. Love the idea of not needing to tend the flag when putting, think that may have come in; 6. new players need to be taught that whilst pro’s “need” to have 10 waggles, yardage, wind, looking at four angles on the green for every putt most of us don’t; 7. if you have putted out you can walk to the next tee and then fill in your card their. Handicaps haven’t reduced over time with these modern conventions. Geez i sound old. My mother use to play 3 to 3 1/2 hour round in a four – rest her soul – what a great woman.

      Reply

      Jeff Franke

      7 years ago

      Right on about pace of walking! How many times do you see golfers walk around in circles away from the direction of the next tee or the green, looking lost, or hanging around waiting to walk back to the cart or even proceed to the next hole! I hate it!

      Reply

      Franklin Lee

      7 years ago

      5 hr. What would take that long ?

      Reply

      Clint White

      7 years ago

      Single carts not faster carts…idiots will crash faster ones….every had own cart will go faster.

      Reply

      Johnny Ra Ra

      7 years ago

      Is there a rifle mounted on the dash to clear slow groups in front?

      Reply

      Patrick

      7 years ago

      Best comment yet! Good job!

      Reply

      Mike Wenning

      7 years ago

      The answer lies in educating golfers on golf etiquette. Spend no more than 3-4 minutes looking for a lost ball. If there is a foursome you are holding up on every hole; allow them to play through. After 3 putts, pick up your ball and move on. If it takes more than 5 fairway/bunker shots to get to the green, pick up your ball and take whatever your partners feel is a fair score on that hole. ALWAYS be ready to play/putt.

      Reply

      Darryl Alexander

      7 years ago

      I totally agree with you mike… I can’t tell you how many times I see some person spending God knows how long looking for a lost ball! Also, the idea of best ball should be implemented into league play. Yes, I do realize it will affect a person’s individual handicap, but processes can be put into place accommodate the golfer, and allow others to get a decent round in without having to be on the course for hours.

      Reply

      ChrisK

      7 years ago

      I don’t think slow play can ever be removed. Trying to make it a little better is about all anyone can do, but i’ve noticed a lot of the suggestions so far requires actual knowledge of the game that high-handicappers / beginners just don’t possess. Personally, i’d recommend stopping at double-bogey on your score if you get that high (i’ve seen some say stop at 8, but i think that’s too high), and another thing is the physical act of just marking your ball. I can’t remember where I saw it, but guys marking their ball, cleaning their ball, lining all the arrows up, missing the putt, and then doing it all again on a 5-footer really do add a huge amount of time to a game.

      Reply

      Jon

      7 years ago

      My ideas for faster play.

      1. Don’t need 60 mph cart fleets, take the speed governors off of the existing carts. Replace electric cart batteries at proper intervals so you are not stuck with slow carts or dead ones that really slow down play.

      2. Courses with alternating 7 and 8 minute splits are destined for 5 hour rounds. Those with 10 minutes splits should be no longer than 4 hours. Do the math, the former means 32 golfers an hour on the course. The latter means 24. This is the single biggest determining factor in pace of play.

      3. White staked OB should be stoke and distance eliminating second shots, provisionals and the occasional hike back to re-tee. I have played with a lot of players that announce at the beginning of the round that we are playing OB’s as laterals anyway. Just codify the rule.

      4. Where ever possible trim the trees from the base up to 7 or 8 feet and limit the rough to 2.5 inches. Makes errant shots findable and more readily playable, thus is faster. Added break in wetter climes, trees trimmed this way promote airflow and drier conditions.

      5. Increase the diameter of the hole to about 6 inches. Horrors!!! Did you know that the current diameter was established without much thought at all? Some Scottish dude had a bunch of left over random sized pipe that was used when they first decided to encase golf holes. Voila a standard is born.

      6. Cheap way to encourage playing forward. Reverse the tee markers, making the reds the longest and the blacks the shortest.

      7. Too often I see women and juniors playing from front tees that are 5,400 yards or more. Encourage courses to add a set of “real” front tees (not just a mowed circle) at 4,800 yards, it is faster and more satisfying for women and juniors. For those women and juniors that don’t need the advantage they can always move back one.

      8. If you find yourself falling behind, then on the next hole send the first two to hole out to the next tee to get a head start on the next hole. You will start to catch up and you will put a little distance between you and the foursome behind you.

      9. Don’t let your buddies replay shots just because they are frustrated over a bad strike.

      10. Limit practice swings to one.

      Reply

      Darwin

      7 years ago

      Yes!

      Reply

      Kenny B

      7 years ago

      Great list!

      2. Courses with alternating 7 and 8 minute splits are destined for 5 hour rounds. Those with 10 minutes splits should be no longer than 4 hours. Do the math, the former means 32 golfers an hour on the course. The latter means 24. This is the single biggest determining factor in pace of play.

      Which is why courses like mine have 8 min times. 8 more golfers at $50 = $400.

      Reply

      Denvertim

      7 years ago

      But if they did the math of how those 400 dollars add into slower play to the point of tee times get backed up?
      Sure during the week 8 minutes work. On the weekend on a city course or public you are just asking for trouble.
      I wont play 2 courses because the backup is sometimes 3 groups deep on par 3. They have 8 minute tee times. across town another course has 9 minute tee times and I have never seen a backup.. ?
      If courses would look at this as traffic problem they would see that doing 8 minute tee times till 8:30 am then move to 10 minute tee times would allow traffic to remain steady

      Regis

      7 years ago

      A 10 minute starting time gap would solve 75% of Golf s slow play concerns. All the suggested fixes in the world won’t he!p a course with an 8 minute gap. Ever notice the difference between a shotgun tournament with just one group assigned per hole as opposed to one that has more than one (1A 1B) assigned to certain holes?

      Reply

      Edie

      7 years ago

      Just as you see women and jrs playing from the front tee, I see men playing from the ‘tip’ that can’t make it past the front tee. I asked a co-worker what tee he plays. He said it depended on where the others played from. He knew he couldn’t hit it past the front but ego wouldn’t let him move up.

      I also see groups of 5 that putt like their lives depend on it. I know they have a little cash on the game but those few dollars hold up the rest of the field.

      My friends and I kept waiting and waiting recently and when the Marshall came around, he told us there was a group of 4 that were playing really slow that wouldn’t let anyone through but there was nothing the course could do about it. Until a course steps up and enforces pace of play, things will not get better.

      Reply

      Jon

      7 years ago

      Edie: Here here. You are certainly spot on. Forgot that one. Though I kind of covered it with reversing the colors of the tees.

      Dave Sanguinetti

      7 years ago

      I think faster rounds are directly related to more power and more speed!!!!! Go faster, go quicker, “get down tonight”, thanks K.C. and your sunshine band!

      Reply

      Lance Warheit

      7 years ago

      Kent Warheit
      Perfect cart for joe!

      Reply

      Joe Golfer

      7 years ago

      I started playing golf in my mid teens. No lessons or skills. My father had a rule for us kids. No shots after taking eight on a hole. I realize this will not sit well with the sticklers for the rules or guys betting on scores. He joked that you just lay the eight on its side, call it “infinity” since that symbol resembles a sideways 8, and count it as a nine. He didn’t want us kids ruining it for the people behind us, so we just had to deal with it.
      Honestly, I have no idea what the answer is. My personal experience has been not so much slow carts and such, but slow golfers who either are not skilled or are not ready to hit when it is their turn or who take too much time in preparation for that perfect shot that never happens.

      In my late twenties (late 1980’s), I had a job that allowed me to golf at twilight (3 pm) once a week. It once took me until 9 pm to play just 16 holes, and I had to quit due to darkness. Just had an incredibly jammed course and many SLOW golfers ahead.
      Nowadays I can actually reasonably play a decent time on weekdays, as golf simply isn’t as popular as back then, partly due to time and partly probably due to expense for the average guy in this economy. I drive past my local course and see many holes wide open during the weekday periods. And I don’t live out in the sticks, as this is the suburbs of a huge major city.
      Weekends can still get slow though.

      Reply

      Matt Williams

      7 years ago

      Im a medium speed golfer so I get irritated both ways too slow or too fast. Too slow messes up the flow too fast and now you’re hurting your game and making others feel rushed. I play by myself in 2hrs flat in a cart as a 1 handicap so I know I’m not slow. I notice everyone seems to take most time getting yardages. I’d rather not take out the laser and gps but my course doesn’t keep anything marked well. My suggestion is for courses to put super visable yardage markers that stick up in fairway 50 100 150 200 250. It also helps people aim off the tee at courses they don’t play often. The putting thing, sure putt out if you aren’t standing in someone’s line it’s your right in stroke play. Play with no more than 4 or no less than 3 in a group would help. Leaving the pin in which is being revised should help too. We don’t take more than a double if your a single digit or a triple if your a double digit. Honors is an awesome show of respect off the tee and makes you want to tee off first, but its ready golf to the green, if you can. If you notice you’re falling back then it’s ready golf tee to green until you catch up. Hitch a ride if your walking to get to your tee ball. If you know someone is in the crap everybody go look right away and don’t spend more time than allowed. I could go on forever I think. Fast carts,hills and cocktails with the boys “not smart”.

      Reply

      Rich B

      7 years ago

      No matter the golfer’s skill there are going to be times when a shot is hit off line. Clean up the course. Rake the leaves. Shorten the rough. Maintain the course so balls are visible and easily found without a lot of time wasted. Always have a marshal or two on the course. Ah, but that costs money. No fivesomes or sixsomes. Don’t take 5 bad practice swings before making a bad swing at the ball. It’s not helping!

      Slow play is not new, it’s always been there.

      Reply

      WayneB

      7 years ago

      In addressing attracting a younger generation, less holes needs to be considered. It doesn’t necessarily have to be 9 holes, but the discussion needs to be had.
      Most sports of perceived length have short versions, whether it be cricket, bowls or other similar sports.
      Purists will scream (as they did for the other sports), but promotion of a shorter version would be more attractive (and not just to a younger generation).
      The lesser time requirement would open the way for mid week competitions, or even extend the autumn after business hours play.

      Reply

      dan

      7 years ago

      If you do not have a registered handicap that the course can access upon check in you play from the forward tees. Eliminates ego, encourages people to get handicaps and play to the appropriate tee box.

      Reply

      Rod Sink

      7 years ago

      How about hitting it in the fairway instead of the woods and taking 10 minutes to pronounce it is lost.

      Reply

      Brian

      7 years ago

      GPS tracking and timing of golf carts. May not be financially feasible for some courses, but most likely MUCH cheaper than buying a new fleet of carts. When you check-in and pay, you are registered to the cart. Tracking and timing will be activated. A warning light system will be installed in the cart. Green light you are on pace. Yellow means you are slow. Red means to move along faster. Blinking red sends a marshal to move you along or let others play through. This could also identify what players are holding up play, and make the marshal’s job easier. Chronic slow play(more than a 3 time offender) gets you a polite email/text to speed the heck up next time.

      Obviously this would be an expense(money & employees) some courses are not willing to make. A risk vs rewards ratio would have to be established to make it appealing to courses. I know I would seek out courses who actively discourage slow play. If a system like this is not currently available, inventors please contact me for the manufacturing and marketing rights. ;-)

      Reply

      raphael

      7 years ago

      recently i played a 4ball in 3h40 (first flight), me and my teammate played +2, the other team played, i believe, +10. there where moments we had to go looking for golfballs and still played a quick round (which we didn’t notice). The second flight was 40-50min behind us. The biggest difference was we played “ready golf”, not running but play when ready, go directly to your ball,… and not thinking we are playing the masters and 5practise swings per shot. for professionals it’s ok to take some time to play a shot (every shot is worth a lot of money), for amateurs take some time but not too long.
      but hey that’s just my idea ;)

      Reply

      Mark Carey

      7 years ago

      Most private courses have a good pace and let’s face it around will take 4 hours to play when there are 4somes on the course. The old clock system that was set at people tee offs was the most effective. If you are behind by more than 10 minutes, you get sent to the next tee box

      Reply

      tom missler

      7 years ago

      i play well over 100 rounds a year, using a cart as i am disabled.
      95% of the time i’m the only rider, as our the other members
      of our group. 3hrs to 3 1/4 unless a tournament, then sometimes 4 hrs
      to even 5 hrs.
      slow players never have to adjust, just the fast players adjust to the slow. worst thing by far about golf is the pace of play. lots of decent ideas. biggest is to get golfers to understand the problem. slow play
      drives people away from the game. no one seems to have a standard.
      to me over 3 hrs is to long, but many places that keep track have a 4.5 standard. i love golf. the slow player won’t beat me by being slow,
      because it is one more element that players need to overcome like
      weather conditions or bad breaks. fast is better, but if necessary
      i’ll play slow.

      Reply

      Bob Stone

      7 years ago

      1. Two flags on all greens. Different colors. One color for regular … One with larger whole, that would work exactly like “slope” difference on courses today.
      2. Stop with the “AGE” placement for deciding what tee to go off of. I’ve seen men in my league from white tees who could not hit as far as men from senior tees. Determine based on drive distance. Just equal the field, not “stigmatize” anyone, and lower scores AND time.
      3. Course give tee times to fast players …with understanding that if pace of play at any hole is beyond allotted time the MUST skip holes to adjust. Those not finishing on time will be charged extra.
      4. Have someone who releases people at the tees go over simple issues that MANY golfers just don’t think of to pick up pace….a. One club rule. You hit a club, get in the cart and ride to next place to hit. THEN you change it for the next one to hit, etc.. b. Tell stories at club house. Sure, it’s fun, but I’ve seen men holding up play simply talking. c. Pick up after an agreed limit. (Say double or triple boggy. Keep people from having AWFUL scores and they’ll want to come back to play. d. Call club house and KNOW what you want at turn, not go in and spend 15 minutes looking over the menu. e. more as needed.
      5. Give “cheap” bonus to folks that finish early. So much for each 20 minutes saves. Or something comparable.
      6. REQUIRE – USGA handicaps. Those with low handicap tee times get earlier tee times, etc…
      Bottom line, if pace of play is really the issue ….There are a lot of things you can do without the golf cart going fast. Bumps in the fairway, drinking, etc…is a recipe for disaster. And give me some time, I’ll come up with a dozen more. Someone just has to DO it!! Simple as that. Oh…and at MY course? ….of which I am a member? We can finish a round in 3 hours and 15 min. Some will hit around 80…others 90…but we All get done and have a great time. Thanks for listening

      Reply

      Kenny B

      7 years ago

      6. REQUIRE – USGA handicaps. Those with low handicap tee times get earlier tee times, etc…

      That would really upset the ladies at my club. They start in the morning an hour before the men, because they will play an hour faster than the men’s league. Their handicaps range from 15-40.

      Bill

      7 years ago

      If you require handicaps to get on the course, how does one acquire a handicap? I am an avid golfer but have no handicap. Making me acquire one rather than encouraging me to get one just signals to me that the “experienced” golfing community really is a big clique that doesn’t want new golfers. i.e “Don’t show up here until you can shoot 85 and play in 3.5 hrs.”

      Regis

      7 years ago

      With a!! due deference -you’re nuts. I played most of my life at a private club. Are you aware that to establish a USGA handicap one has to be a member of a club or a golf association? I’d say upwards of 60% of regular golfers don’t carry a USGA handicap (and I’m being conservative) Plus it takes at least 10 rounds to establish a handicap and it costs anywhere from $25-$50.. So now you expect resort courses ,fee courses, and municipal courses (funded by taxpayer money) to turn away golfers who don’t have an established handicap? Good luck selling that to anyone

      LAbillyboy

      7 years ago

      You will never get me in a fast golf cart… they are dangerous enough as is. Golf takes 4 hours… that is fast enough, quit trying to turn it into a race… People who don’t have 4 hours can play tennis… I play to relax and enjoy myself not to feel like I am in a hurry, that’s what I do all week at work… No thanks.

      Reply

      Tim Carmitchel

      7 years ago

      I agree. Once again elite players try to make it the problem of us not as good.
      The author is looking at it backwards in my opinion.
      Its not slow play that is keeping people away. It’s people like him who don’t play like he feels we need to so he is right and we are wrong.
      Now I don’t want longer and longer games, but if golf wants to grow it needs to do a couple things.
      Encourage courses to play 9 and not just after 12!
      Encourage players to play at the tee boxes they should…. put signs explaining each tee box and expected score. And for God’s sake male them more than 2 steps. If your average female golfer drives it 150 to 180 then it should be 50 to 60 yards difference between white and red.
      Teach marshals how and when. How many are rude! Last weekend after a brutal par 3 for all four of us the Marshall came up to us and said this…. “it’s really not worth mentions but you are about one golfer stroke behind the group ahead” now he passed us 3 times and did not see that except that hole we waited a couple minutes on group ahead. All he accomplished is turning our fun into comments about him. He failed
      Golf omg why do you not have separate rules for amateurs…… every other sport does? Make the rules more friendly. Example might be if you go into water drop at or behind spot or in drop zone and drop no penalty except distance? It would speed up as people would not take multiple tee shots. Same as out of bounds
      Lastly encourage (not sure how) to play match play and or max double par score

      Reply

      Jason

      7 years ago

      I read through way too many of these comments, lost balls seem to be the most oft mentioned culprit. My observations after a few years at a private home course:
      1. Shorten the rough. Even short rough is punitive for the average golfer so 2.5″+ is not required.
      2. Individual carts, or walking. I’ve played on individual carts a few times with some like minded buddies and we get around in under 3 hours. It’s great.
      3. Lateral hazards. Make everything a stroke and a drop. Change the stakes for tournaments if you need to.
      4. Encourage ready golf. A few times, when lots of guests were on the tee sheet, our pro has stood out near the first tee for a little “Welcome and Introduction Message” (my term), encouraging the groups to play ready, repair marks, hazard rules, etc. I think this helps.

      Reply

      Kenny B

      7 years ago

      The advent of carts has probably slowed down play but only because of the social advantages of having one. As courses here is the U.S. got longer and the distance between green to next tee got longer, places like resorts made carts mandatory.

      Faster carts will not speed up play. We have members that have their own carts that go faster than rentals, and they just have to wait between shots like everyone else. My course (a muni) bought new carts at the beginning of last year. A friend of mine repairs them after people get done trashing them; broken axels, steering, one cart was even rolled. I cannot imagine the damage that would be done on carts that go faster, let alone the damage to the course.

      I do not like slow play, but I do not like being rushed either. Pace of play is dictated by several factors that have been discussed already. Another one is the tee time gap. A muni is all about putting as many people on the course as they can; they are trying to make money, but the 8 min tee time gap is impossible to avoid waiting on nearly every hole. The courses can do more to improve slow play, and they have to evaluate their clientele to determine how their course is setup; minimal rough, red stakes instead of yellow or OB, low-lip bunkers, shorter holes, etc. If the course wants to cater to the better players, the difficulty of the course should be clearly advertised (think of Bethpage Black). Most high handicap golfers do not want to play a really difficult course; it’s just not fun. Sure, there will be some, but that’s when the marshals need to be present to move them along or take them off the course.

      To me the game really hasn’t changed all that much over time as far as pace of play. I believe it has always been a problem and that for the last hundred years some players have played 18 holes in 2 hours and some have played in 5 hours. I don’t know if there is any way to check playing times back then. It’s perceived that it’s more of an issue now because of millennials lack of patience and golf organization’s belief that they have to get more young people involved to “grow the game” and slow play is what’s preventing young people from taking up the sport/activity. I disagree. If that’s the premise, then the game of golf will be changed for the worse. Young people will come to the game because they like it, just as all of us did. Some will come as kids, others like me will come when they are older and couldn’t play other sports anymore (I was 45). If the game is changed to allow people with no patience to take up the game, they will not last and/or we will have more people we hate to have playing in front of and behind us.

      Reply

      aiden

      7 years ago

      cut the rough and plant some trees

      Reply

      Bob Sanderson

      7 years ago

      How fast do you need to ride to your next shot???

      Reply

      Jack

      7 years ago

      Playing in Ireland:

      1. Cut the Rough, We let it get too long especially on Links courses and we are doing is having everyone looking for a ball if one golfer goes off course.

      2. Simpler and Cheaper than carts is a tracker on balls… A Bluetooth or RFID tracker with a 25 yard range would do..

      Generally if you take the lost ball and I stuck my ball into crap out of it… Nearly all rounds run at the same pace give or take 30 min…

      By the way unless in Spain, I love to walk courses…

      Reply

      Dan

      7 years ago

      What’s more macho, your overall score or playing 7500 yards to look macho? This is where some abbreviated form of the Platzreife would help.

      Reply

      boag

      7 years ago

      I am old and my handicap is going up. I think moving the tee blocks up and changing their colour, so that there is no shame in hitting from yellow or red or black etc. Encourage players to consider the yardages when they choose the tees they should play. My biggest annoyance is waiting for a guy to hit a shot 180 yds from the green when he drives the ball less than 150 yds . I like to give myself the chance to be on a par 4 in 2 shots, and I don’t like long par 3’s. There was a fellow at our club who waited for his partners to tee off and then he drove his cart up the fairway and set his ball on a T. Wider fairways and a shorter first cut would also help. Playing everything outside the first cut as a lateral hazard from where the errant ball shot likely is, would help. Unless necessary, don’t mark your ball on the green. Just don’t move to too much when you line it up. The pro shop should promote a “mercy” rule. ie pick up your ball at 3 or whatever over par. After the first errant bunker shot, a hand mashey should be permitted.

      All of this should be promoted at the Pro shop. They have much to gain. Timely play should be actively encouraged. Many golfers have no idea how long 18 holes should take…..and how much they aggravate those following them.

      Reply

      Deadeye

      7 years ago

      Hmmmmmm, slooow plaaay. I really must take some time to think about my answer. I will get back to youuuuu.

      Reply

      Denny Mazur

      7 years ago

      I’m available if you need someone to test this!

      Reply

      Mike Tipton

      7 years ago

      Faster golf carts is definitely not a viable solution to slow play. If a cart is faster that a player can walk, then it’s fast enough. Slow play is caused by so many elements that there can be no single solution. Some changes that would help are as follows:
      1.) Use tee boxes appropriate to each players skill level
      2.) Out of bounds or lost balls could be played from point of entry
      3.) Ready golf could apply to all shots from tee to green
      4.) Players not putting could be reading their line

      I also endorse playing 9 hole rounds if your pressed for time.

      Reply

      Jak6389

      7 years ago

      The only thing I would add is that most of the slow players have no idea/awareness they are the slow ones. The ones that are aware don’t give a crap. You can see that is some of the posts….

      Reply

      Phill

      7 years ago

      If you play a round of golf on your own and there is no one else on the course do you complain to yourself about slow play? I don’t think so. It’s when you are playing with others waiting for them to play their shots, but mainly when you catch upto the group in front.
      A four-ball takes longer to play than a person on their own. Also a stroke play competition takes longer than a stapleford competition ie can’t score pickup. Adjust tee times accordingly.
      NO PRACTICE SHOTS crap idea, three practice swings then play, whether you normally take practice swings or not. Few can walk up to a shot cold and play a good shot.
      Some course’s have larger holes on winter greens as ball does not run as true. Could be adopted by more course’s
      Marshalls on course’s. If you don’t keep up to the group in front and groups are stacking up behind you then you should be told to let the group or groups behind to play through. So if you do play slow then your round maybe six hours or more as you let the groups through.

      Reply

      Kastleja Mitteregger

      7 years ago

      Michael Benecik wie soll das gehen?! spielt das cart auch für mich?!??!

      Reply

      Shane Curlee

      7 years ago

      Who in the hell golfs for 5 hours?

      Reply

      Bob

      7 years ago

      Change scoring to one point for par, two points for birdie, and three points for eagle. No points for any score over par.

      Reply

      Mike Storch

      7 years ago

      Would help if the starter would actually maintain tee time spacing. In reality it’s some retired guy with a clipboard collecting receipts. As soon as the group ahead gets 2 yards out of range the next group tees off. A par 3 second hole also doesn’t help.

      Reply

      Rob Roth

      7 years ago

      Stop golf carts all together and that would speed up play

      Reply

      EzeeEd

      7 years ago

      I’ve read some good ideas and some not so good. There is no single answer but there is ONE solution to all. Time is all about management and each individual has a preference. The preference is important to that individual. Maybe it’s walking the course at a leisurely pace or lining up a putt. Under current conditions of play, the only solution is someone monitoring the pace of play. A marshal can force players to pick up the pace even if it means skipping a whole. There is only one course I know of in the Los Angeles / Ventura County area that does that and you can play a round in 4 ½ hours or less on any given Saturday. The marshal tracks your time and forces your group to keep pace with the group in front. It’s a simple solution and accomplishes the desired result. P.S. There is nothing worse that waiting to hit on every whole when the group in front is lagging behind by a whole or 2.

      Reply

      Steve Giovanelli

      7 years ago

      I played yesterday. There was a group two groups ahead of us that had more than a full open hole. It made me wonder how much faster it would be if they simply marshalled the course. A cheap and effective way to speed up the play. I don’t want to racing down the fairway at 50MPH.

      Reply

      Release

      7 years ago

      By allowing over speed on a golf course is a really bad idea all the way around.
      First, the golf course is not designed for speed traveling, even on paved cart path. There is a reason why the carts on the golf course have a speed governor to avoid speeding related accidents.
      Secondly, being on the golf course is kind of like being on a two way country roadway. You can only move as fast as the traffic in front of you allows.
      The issue is from the golfers using the golf course, not a slow golf cart.
      A Ferrari will not go much faster than a Pinto in traffic, which I believe the real life simulation had been done by Car and Driver.
      In fact it’s against the regulation to have a golf cart with no speed governor on the golf course. It’ll open up all sorts of problem.

      No this is a bad idea.

      In the countries which have more population than the land available for golfers, they have rules of using the golf course. A new golfer has to go through the etiquette training and efficiency test before one could use the golf course. Yes, mandatory classroom and lessons are required and a passing grade will issue a license to golf.

      This is the solution to rid of the selfishness exhibited on the public golf courses in recent years. Or we can wait for some golf courses to close down and the rest raising the green fees to trim the golfing population.

      Reply

      Mike Tipton

      7 years ago

      In the early 70’s, my brother and I had to pass a written & oral exam on rules & etiquette before we could play without an adult escort. I often wondered why this requirement did not apply to adults.

      Reply

      matt

      7 years ago

      Put a locator chip in all the balls, similar to what top golf already uses. No more searching for lost balls. Balls cost $10 each but you don’t lose as many. Use the chip for distance to the pin as well. Now you have an easy to find golf ball and you know what the distance to the pin is before you get there. Possibilities are limitless. System could even club you after a few holes.

      Reply

      Kyle

      7 years ago

      The Business side of the industry wouldn’t allow it. The companies make their best margins on golf balls. If we never lose them, we never pay them.

      Reply

      LAbillyboy

      7 years ago

      How does that work when the ball in in a lake? Do the balls swim?

      Reply

      Bullwinkle Moose

      7 years ago

      I started playing with a gentleman when I was young, he never wasted time. I’m not exaggerating when I say he would exit his cart and hit his next shot before the cart came to a complete stop. He called practice swings, “Daisy Swings” and said to practice with a sling blade if that was what you wanted to do. In group play no one ever wanted to be in front of him. I think one practice swing is too many but acceptable, more than 1 is a waste of time unless you are playing for more than $100 a hole. Plumb bobbing on a green is a complete waste of time, pro’s can’t even do it most of the time. Our Senior Group plays to either a maximum triple bogey (rarely) or double bogey (most of the time). Our average round is 4 hours, and we have Ladies Seniors playing with us and they are faster than 90% of the men and are more fun to play golf with than most men.

      Reply

      Jim

      7 years ago

      The biggest problem isn’t how fast the carts go, but how ignorant most golfers are on the course. I played over the weekend on a course that should take 3.5 hours but took over 5 hours to play. The biggest problem was 3 groups directly in front of us. From staring down your tee shot into the woods, to all the carts driving to each person’s ball instead of finding your own ball, to lining up 6″ putts – it gets ridiculous. Most people aren’t that good but still wait until the group in front is 350 out from the tee or off the par 5 green even though they couldn’t possibly reach them. And in my area of New England the rangers are useless. Most courses are happy with the volume of golfers and don’t care to move slow players along. Every course should issue rules of the game (maybe 10-12 simple rules) to give a clue to those that can’t seem to think on the course. And how about some common sense too – if there’s a few foursomes waiting on the tee behind you and no one within a full hole in front of you get moving you slug. It’s no wonder new golfers are keeping away, it just takes too long in this instant gratification society we’ve built. Even I don’t like the 5+ hour rounds and I’d stay out there all day. It’s just too frustrating and really takes away from the enjoyment of the game. A faster cart – probably not the solution but we’ve got to change something to keep the game alive.

      Reply

      Bruce

      7 years ago

      Have played golf for close to fifty years now and currently play three + rounds per week, with three balls averaging thee hours twenty and four balls about twenty minutes longer. It is rare to see anyone using a buggy on any of the courses I play in the south east of England and the few ocasions in my life I have used buggies abroad where it is the norm I find it takes longer to get round with players wandering about carrying several clubs walking backwards and foward across fairways buggy to ball,ball to buggy.
      If you want to speed up play try walking no only will you play quicker but you will put off the day that using a. buggy is the only way you can get arround a golf course.
      Seventy seven years old next month and if It took four hours for a game of golf there would be no time for a pint or two after which would be a real disaster!

      Reply

      Kurt

      7 years ago

      Spot on! Here in the US the use of carts invites all of the “riff raff” out to the golf course where they have no clue as to how to play. Removing carts would reduce the invasion of the clueless.

      Reply

      LAbillyboy

      7 years ago

      And would drive green fees sky high… and close golf courses, the “riff raff” provide revenue to allow the courses to operate. Cart fees add revenue that would otherwise be tacked onto your walking green fees… Can’t stand negative, intolerant, snobby golfers constantly complaining about slow play, the grass, the rough, carts, what everyone else is doing wrong.. . You are outside, on a beautiful lawn enjoying a sport… who cares if it takes 4-5 hours? If you don’t have the time, take up tennis.

      Bill Baldewicz

      7 years ago

      Totally agree with Bruce. Young players (<66 yrs old) in carts are not playing the sport of golf anyways. Walk, keep all your clubs with you. Follow your line of flight from the tee and walk right at
      your ball—as opposed to those in carts who lose their line of flight
      getting over to their cart and following those darn cart paths.

      Brett Smith

      7 years ago

      Is there a machine gun to get rid of the golfers in front of you ???

      Reply

      eric

      7 years ago

      Slow play is like the car driving in the left lane going below the speed limit. Some people just dont get it.

      Reply

      Tom Harris

      7 years ago

      Amen, you are so right. Slow play in golf is all about the people just like the LLD’s (left lane drivers), get out of the way for faster people!!!

      Reply

      John

      7 years ago

      Have you ever noticed that most of the slow play occurs AFTER the players get on the green. Following the general rules of golf related to putting is, in my opinion, one of the biggest reasons for slow play.

      One little change can greatly speed up this part of the game. Once you start putting on the green, you putt till you’re in the hole.. and anything less than a foot is a gimme.

      I watched 3 guys in front of me last Saturday who took an extraordinary amount of time to putt because they would always let the player furthest from the hole putt and the others would not even get ready to putt till it was their turn. Stupid slow!

      Reply

      LAbillyboy

      7 years ago

      That would be the rules of golf… the player who is away plays first. I really don’t want you standing on my line to putt so you can be in a big rush… People should be ready to go when it’s their turn… I play with a couple guys who you have to tell them it’s time to hit every shot…. so I do… no big deal. Not worth getting upset about it.

      Reply

      xjohnx

      7 years ago

      Here in New England, the only thing that needs to change is people’s own expectations. People around here aren’t afraid of confrontation and speaking their mind. Unfortunately, most of the time it’s complete nonsense based on their own lack of acceptance of the situation.

      Every day there is someone riding my rear bumper on the way to work and I can see them waving their hands and yelling “go” because I’m apparently in their way. Its doesn’t matter one but that I’m going 10mph over the speed limit and there are 40 more cars beginning two car-lengths in front of me. The same thing happens on the golf course. They’ll yell from the tee or fairway for you to hurry up and get off “their green” at 9:30 on a Saturday morning regardless of the fact that there are 11 more foursomes directly in from of us and nobody is going anywhere.

      If you want to play a round in 3 hours you have to understand the days and times that it’s realistic to do so and accept the fact that there are too many times and places that you’re not going to avoid the 5 hour round. Why don’t you just enjoy the fact that you’re out there or find a new time to play golf.

      Also, the only real universal solution from my point of view is a better understanding and diligence to play ready golf. I respect the rules as much as anyone but, putt out of turn if the guy who’s further is still raking the bunker. We can all do our part.

      Reply

      Alex

      7 years ago

      If you live in Southern California , here is a list of days and times you can expect that 3 hour round:

      Same Applies if your looking for a 4:15 round.

      Reply

      Tim Mckeever

      7 years ago

      Nothing says “Grow the Game” like a $20K golf cart.

      Reply

      Dick Rodgers

      7 years ago

      No cell phones!

      Reply

      Larry London

      7 years ago

      Faster carts could be a disaster on most courses that have any slope. Carts do not have the stability to manage slopes at fast speeds. I agree that all areas on course should be marked or indicated as red stake areas. Limit areas of long carry, deep fescue, etc. Mark sprinkler heads with distance along with stencil distance on cart paths. Use prism flag sticks. Most importantly ensure that your course displays a poster on proper etiquette, and hints to speed up play.

      Reply

      Augustine Fan

      7 years ago

      I agree to a certain point – having single rider power carts will speed up GETTING to the ball, but won’t speed up the time it takes for someone to 1) look for a lost ball 2) pull the trigger on a shot 3) read greens and putt out. Having said that, I play alot of rounds on resort courses that is not walkable (lots of long walks in between holes) and often have to share a cart whith someone and we almost never hit the ball to the same place so lots of wasted time driving to both balls and deciding who to take the cart up to the green….

      Reply

      Tom in Florida

      7 years ago

      Education to play faster from the PGA and USGA would probably help more than anything as it trickles down to local clubs and websites such as yours.

      The single, slightly faster carts would help (not 50 mph) but not until the overall golf population understands and executes ways to play faster.

      My suggestions would be:
      – Watch your ball closely and where it lands.
      – HURRY to your ball then take a maximum of 20 seconds to hit the ball from tee to green and enjoy the game.
      – Take no more than one minute to look for a ball.
      – Play ready golf from tee to green.
      – Drop a player off at their ball with multiple clubs before going to your ball. The dropped off player walks to intercept the cart.
      – Create a maximum number of strokes taken per player BEFORE the round starts to pick up and move onto the next hole (a triple?).
      – Stay within 1/2 – 1 shot of the group in front of you.
      – Keep lengthy conversation to the cart or while walking not holding up a shot.

      I’m sure there are many other ideas but the bottom line is adults need education like children do, especially if they are not aware of ways to do something like, speed up play.

      Reply

      GTA Mark

      7 years ago

      Your list is a good start Tom. I would like to add the following:
      – Recognize your abilities and be honest with yourself: use the forward tees if you lack distance; recall, you’re not playing for your tour card.
      -No scavenging for lost balls: you already have a large collection of golf balls at home, why are you looking for more lost balls and slowing everyone’s play?
      -Have more marshall’s at the ‘bottle-neck’ holes to move play along
      -Be aware of guys behind you – they want to play too; so keep up the pace of play

      That’s my contribution. I’m sure there are more.

      Reply

      Dave Cammilleri

      7 years ago

      We play in 2 hours every Saturday. Everyone goes to their ball and just hits it. We have a couple people hitting at the same time. We only spend 1-2 minutes on each green. Everyone plays better cause you don’t have time to think about all that crazy shit people worry about. Just play fast my friends.

      Reply

      Tillman

      7 years ago

      My octogenarian father in law taught me to play when I was 70. He would not let me on the course until I could hit 10 shots in a row with my clubs straight down the fairway That took me three months.

      Once we went out to play, he emphasized ready play. One practice swing and get on about it. A ball on the woods, take a drop after a couple of minutes and go.

      No such thing as a 4 putt… pick up and go.

      As a result, fast play. After he passed, the habit stayed with me.

      I wish all players had the benefit of his tutelage.

      I really miss him.

      Reply

      Dan Beveridge

      7 years ago

      I agree with Ian. It is an attitude. “I paid my money ( private or public) now leave me alone. I find it quite fascinating that most golfers would give sacrifice an awful lot to play places like Pine Valley, Shinnecock, Augusta, or Cypress Point. Those places do not suffer from slow play. They have rules that most everyone adheres to. Should you not be able to abide by the rules you generally will receive a pleasant note with a check stating, thank you for your interest however it has been made abundantly clear you really don’t understand. No one in any of the governing bodies of golf will publicly address this issue in the US. In my opinion, until honest conversations happen we will continue to shrink the game.

      Reply

      Greggytees

      7 years ago

      Totally agree with both of you but–it starts with management running the course. Do you want players to have a good time and return and then recommend your course. Or do you just want to turn your course into American Airlines golf, just turn and burn. When the burn gets too deep—they go somewhere else!!

      Reply

      Bignose

      7 years ago

      The concept of tee times being sold has some traction here in the midwest. A lot of courses here sell the rights to reserve early morning Saturday and Sunday times for the year. A few talk about requiring those groups to certify themselves as faster groups: if you don’t hit the turn and the end of the round within a certain time, you risk losing those choice tee times. However, I have not seen too many enforce that and one slower group still gums up the works.

      Until the demand is high enough that the course knows it can make up the revenue from booting slow groups or the course loses enough revenue from the players feeling inconvenienced by the slow players or both, I think they will continue to allow the slow groups out and tell the rest of the groups to deal with it. I don’t see demand being high enough right now in general. This is a chicken and egg problem… perhaps a course could get the demand if they get a reputation to enforce pace of play, but I haven’t seen one yet.

      Reply

      Alex

      7 years ago

      Interesting concept. It would be nice if the weekend tee times were divided by pace. If you book between 7 and 9 you have to sign off that you will play in 4 hours or the Marshall will make you skip holes without a refund. 9-11 4 1/2.

      Reply

      Gisle Solhaug

      7 years ago

      Where I am from, Norway, you need a medical certificate proving that you are not able to walk in order to drive a golf cart. Walking is not slowing down the game, it just makes it more enjoyable. The main reason for slow play is looking for lost balls. If the golfers´ clubs were matched so that you can apply the same consistent swing to all your clubs you will keep the ball in play. And the game will be faster and more enjoyable for all. Forget about Swingweight, which was designed for wood shafted clubs, and get your clubs matched.

      Reply

      Jacob Maroske

      7 years ago

      Try playing in a 3 ball instead of a group of 4 much faster but generally pace of play is didctated by the speed of the field, if you tee off mid field and theres blockages up ahead the day is always gonna be slow only way it can be fixed is bigger gaps in the time sheet but generally no takes much notice of their allocated tee time and just tee off when the group before them is out of driving range instead of waiting the 6 or 7 minutes till your actual tee time

      Reply

      Arek Liszka

      7 years ago

      Its not the solution. 1. Play with free drops 2. Stop playing on wrong tees. Just to keep up with friends. 3. Stop thinking youre god damn good with 20 handicup. Just hit the ball. 4. Take caddies, they will find your ball !

      Reply

      Dave Cammilleri

      7 years ago

      I refuse to play long par 4’s anymore. I only want a short iron into most greens. I don’t hit it far.

      Reply

      Dave

      7 years ago

      Some good ideas here. How about the staff coarse superintendents and his crew, put pins in areas where it’s possiable to putt to not on slopes etc. The tee boxes are large for a reason move the markers up front or use front tees , set up coarses for the public who are playing not every player is a 2 cap. Only need tougher conditions for tourneys etc. I strongly believe that set up has a lot to do with slow play. It’s not just about high ruff fast greens or how wet the playing conditions can be.common sense from staff has to be accountable .that said we have to pick up the pace of play . We are not making a living at it.

      Reply

      Stephen Metcalfe

      7 years ago

      The biggest problem with golf and the time it takes to play is “eighteen holes”. At this last open there were USGA TV adds promoting “nine holes”. Great. But where? I don’t see any municipal courses turning their eighteen into two nines anywhere. Eighteen hole of golf too often feels like an entire day no matter how fast the course is playing. Nine holes of golf feels a window of recreation

      Reply

      jack faigenbaum

      7 years ago

      I am a 9 hole member at WAGC ( Perth , Australia ) and play 2x / week and love it
      I am time poor and this gives me the opportunity to play

      Reply

      Bill O'Keefe

      7 years ago

      Many of these suggestions make sense but only if players use common sense and don’t try to emulate pros. There are simple rules at almost every course for speeding up play but too many players just ignore them. Use financial incentives. If a foursome finishes in 4 hours or less, refund part of their fees. Require a surcharge deposit which they get back if they playIf they play in under 4 ½ hours and forfeit if longer.

      W

      Reply

      Duffer E

      7 years ago

      As stated by the title, the issue is SLOW PLAY, not slow driving. I imagine a faster cart would only cause more bottlenecks, as the people behind slow players would simply catch up to them faster.

      Reply

      Mike

      7 years ago

      The object of the golf game is to hit the fairways,if so why not go to the ball and hit it without a practice swing. This will speed up the game 2hrs 15 minutes 18 holes off 9 hcp average 80 shots

      Reply

      Tim

      7 years ago

      I’m going to be sharply criticized for this response but I think attempts to significantly speed up the game will do more to hurt the sport than to help it. The difficulty of the game itself, both physically and mentally, is pressure enough, without the added pressure of if worrying about playing at breakneck speed. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m all for playing a round in four hours or less, but most golfers (especially youngsters or newcomers to the game) become extremely nervous on the course when they feel that they are holding up play. The nature of the game itself calls for thoughtful and deliberate action. Let’s not ruin the game and discourage new players by being to militant on this point. Slow golf is better than no golf!

      Reply

      Gisle Solhaug

      7 years ago

      Hi Tim.
      Most people will probably not agree with you. But you are absolutely correct.

      Reply

      Alex

      7 years ago

      In theory this is a good thought. But more often than not the people who are playing slow do not realize it is an issue. If you are shooting 125, you shouldn’t be playing on a hard course from 6500 yards on a Saturday morning. Unless your one of the rare few who can shoot that 125 in 4 hours. Instead you should be at the driving range honing your skills, scrambling with your friends or playing in the afternoon and being cognizant enough to let people play through. I think the issue is that there is plenty of literature on how to speed up play, however it’s not making into the hands of people who need it. Like it or not this information needs to be delivered to people at the course, because many of the slow players are not going on to the USGA website to read about how to speed up their play. Courses should have to join a program to designate their courses as a “pace of play educator” , and to be part of this membership they should required to have a conversation with groups about their abilities before they play and educate new/bad golfers on their policies and course etiquette. Part of this designation to require patrons to play from a certain tee based on their handicap/average score.

      Reply

      Vmazz

      7 years ago

      – Like the idea of single carts, but 20 MPH max.
      – When your ball is on the green, get it lined up and leave it there if it’s not in the line of another putter.
      – Non-tournaments: Play OB and lost ball from the approximate point of entry. Take a two shot penalty instead of one… same thing.
      – When two people are using one cart be smart and efficient. You should almost never sit there and wait for your partner to hit. He should have clubs to walk to the green (if inside say 120 yards) and you should be getting ready to hit your shot.
      – Biggest area I see fault are guys taking forever to line up and hit putts. I think 90% of all of us would better if we get a first quick gut read and putt it!
      – Absolutely NOT FOR making the hole bigger. Destroys the integrity of the game.
      – More tee boxes could help, but I doubt it. Ego will alway get in the way.

      Reply

      Bob

      7 years ago

      OMG, and I hate to use the phrase, long pre-shot routines, not really playing ready golf, these two things can add almost an hour to a round.

      This is not the pro’s where livelihoods depend on extreme levels of accuracy, to me golf means to have fun, still be competitive, enjoy the fraternity.

      I am a novice, and yeah I lose balls so I buy cheap. Balls hit out of bounds, into the woods, take another out, repeat the shot, take the strokes and move along.

      I’ve played behind groups where it seems they take unlimited puts; maybe if you hit a triple boogie you should move along?

      Reply

      Vmazz

      7 years ago

      Like this idea of triple bogey max. If you have an established handicap, hit to your max and move on.

      Reply

      Pascal R.

      7 years ago

      I am sorry to say, but I noticed some time ago that in the US even with cart it takes longer to play 18 holes then in most European places. For me this has to do with course management & ego of the payers. In many European countries would be golfers have to do some basic training courses prior to being allowed on to the course. It does not fix all issues, but it at least explains proper course management (i.e where is next tee, where do I need to put may bag, etc). That is a start.
      Unfortunately I also encounter lots of people where their ego prevents them from picking up the ball after 10 strokes and still not even near the green. What to do there I have no idea.

      Reply

      Jeff Dimmitt

      7 years ago

      If people would play the proper tees than golf would be faster. But everyone thinks they drive it 300.

      Reply

      GTA Mark

      7 years ago

      Came here to say ^this^; leaving satisfied.

      Reply

      Cliff Morgan

      7 years ago

      300??? That was a few years ago… With each driver I’ve gained 30 yards

      Reply

      Jeff Dimmitt

      7 years ago

      i doubt anyone picks up yardage with new driver since the COR measurement has not changed. Don’t buy the hype…..

      Reply

      Thomas

      7 years ago

      Speed up the short game around greens. Always waiting for farthest away to chip and putt. Same on second shots. Issue one cart per player.

      Reply

      Matt Craze

      7 years ago

      Hi hate the idea of larger holes, and not being able to walk (if not where’s the physical exercise in golf). Here’s a couple of thoughts from having very, very little time to play golf between running my own business and studying an MBA:

      (1) As a golfing purist I hate any idea of modifying the game but I can get my head round playing 12 or 13 holes. With just 9 I am underwhelmed — 12 or 13, I am reasonably satisfied. Perhaps all golf courses should receive minor tweaks to always have a 12 hole option (most courses should be able to do this unless they were built like St. Andrews or Royal Troon). So in sum, if you want to play 18 holes, that’s fine, but you can play 12 too.

      (2) Make holes shorter. Even top players don’t enjoy slugging it over 7000 yards. You don’t see many complaints about short courses, as long as its not too short. The only way you can resolve this is be removing the back tees from play on any given day so that the “He Men” types don’t feel like they are taking the less manly option.

      (2) Develop and nurture the ideas of virtual rounds – recently I have taken to visually playing the course. I go to the range. And play each short on the course in my head, as if I was playing the course. I note down what happened on each hole (I pushed the 4 iron tee shot right, it went into the bunker). Then I when I finish at the range, I go the short game area and play out those shots. Finally I go to the putting green, and hole those putts. It’s a great way of feeling like you’re playing, when you don’t have time. This is might easier at a club where the putting green, chipping green, practise bunker and range are all in the same place – (i.e. where you could play all shots consecutively).

      Just a bit of brainstorming there :)

      Reply

      Ian B Hamiton

      7 years ago

      Hi,
      Slow play is purely down to ignorance, bad manners and modern day attitudes. The first and most important lesson any golfer should get is ETIQUETTE. END OFF.

      regards
      Ian

      Reply

      John Marsh

      7 years ago

      A whole fleet of single rider carts would be costly: 1) to maintain 2) storage space – not much smaller than a two rider cart
      I run a golf league & we stress 1) Golf etiquette – let more talented golfers play thru 2) Play from the proper set of tees for your skill level handicaps are set from the tees you play from – age no factor

      Reply

      Gregor

      7 years ago

      I know this is a bit radical, but how about a rule change with regards to a possible lost ball off the tee. If your ball isn’t on the fairway, and isn’t in a water hazard, you have the option to take a free drop at the point where the ball left the fairway with no penalty stroke, AS LONG as you do not exit the fairway to find your ball. You then have a choice as to whether you lose distance and the ball, or take the distance plus a possible bad lie, and you have to choose before leaving the fairway. It would definitely speed up the game, although it is a pretty major change to tee off strategy.

      Reply

      Patrick Butler

      7 years ago

      This is a silly article. Pace of play has nothing to do with cart speed or, as inferred in some comments, with people who suck at golf. It has everything to do with people either being stupid, inconsiderate and taking themselves and the game too seriously or not having enough common sense/never being taught how to play quickly. The problem is it takes only one group to screw up an entire course for an entire day.

      People need to be educated on how to play golf quickly. Don’t walk from the cart to your ball with only one club (or be that total tool who takes none.) Don’t drive to your ball, take your 3 practice swings, hit, clean your club, put it away, THEN drive your partner to his ball. The driver should drop his partner off at his ball with all the clubs he needs then drive to his ball so that they can be ready to hit right after one another.

      As far as high handicappers, my 80 year old mother who is a 30+ index plays fast. She walks up to her ball and hits it. When she reaches the highest score she can post she picks up.

      Reply

      Bill Baldewicz

      7 years ago

      I am an anti-fan of golf carts to begin with. They pervert the sport into an amusement park ride. So drop the fast cart idea. In late afternoons I have played many rounds walking , myself or with by friend, in 2 1/2 hrs. (18 holes). 3 to 3 1/2 hours walking, even long courses is simple for a 3-some or 4-some if you agree to play “ready golf”, and allow players to putt out without marking and waiting. Playing without using a cart improves golf scores, and maybe even speed of play because there are fewer lost balls by walking golfers (think about it–obvious). Walking golfers have all their clubs and balls
      with them at all times. Walkers place their golf bag in positions that facilitates walking to the next tee efficiently.

      Golf courses should bring back 9-hole rates (most courses now have only one rate). Courses could place a few signs out that discourage slow play. Marshals should encourage players to speed up. Years ago they did this when I began playing golf in ~ 1961.

      Reply

      Bryan

      7 years ago

      At my home course, the things I see that contribute to slow play:
      – looking for lost balls
      – slow play on the green
      – zigzagging carts – often back towards the tee (looking for balls they drove past)

      I find I play as quickly with or without a cart. Walking time is not a big factor as that is thinking time not needed over the ball once you get there.

      Lost balls – this could be minimized on a lot of courses by cleaning up the areas next to the fairways. Get rid of the underbrush so it is easier to look/find. My home course has just started to do this and I think it will make a difference. At least in the “most popular misses” areas.
      Slow play on green – leave the stick in, so people on the green can put instead of waiting for someone just off the green. Play ready golf, stop putting the hole on slopes. Us high handicappers aren’t going to 2 (or even 3) putt on a steep sid slope cut. And don’t leave a lip around the hole when it’s cut.
      Carts – those single carts could help some. May hurt some too – faster means easier to zip by your ball and then you have to go back. Also, with another person with you (on the cart or walking) the second set of eyes can mean finding a ball (rough or woods) much faster.

      Oh, and for those of you held up, if it’s not chronic yet (one or two holes only), don’t do things to make them feel the group ahead rushed – they will help worse shots and thus take even longer. Give them a bit to notice you and try to speed up first.

      Reply

      Rekklss

      7 years ago

      Bingo. Finally the correct answers.
      Player egos on teebox … eliminate the back tees & move white up. More Marshalls that actually do something about slow play.
      Cut rough shorter – flat areas for pin placements. Talking about recreational golf here. Tournament golf is entirely different.

      Reply

      Birdieputt

      7 years ago

      Faster golf carts won’t help with the pace of play, in fact I’ve played with four walkers who normally play in well under 4 hours.
      Golf course can go to a 10 minute spread for tee times. We recently played the Dormie Club in the Pinehurst area on a very busy day. They use 10 minute intervals for tee times. Our foursome rode and played in 3+50 with no one pushing us. Secondly, the rangers need to be proactive in maintaining pace of play. Don’t just drive by and wave with a “how y’all doing”. Lastly, EVERYONE needs to play ready golf. If some one has a fourth putt, pick up the damn ball. When one has reached their Equitable Stroke maximum, pick up the ball and move on. It’s not rocket science & the game should be played in under 4 hours.

      Reply

      Scott King

      7 years ago

      I walked in a threesome yesterday with two riders. We played in 3:45-ish. Is this not fast enough? I like the game being around 4 hours +-

      Reply

      Terry

      7 years ago

      1) How far does a cart drive on an average round? With curves, crossing fairways, looking for balls, etc., I think adding 50% to the course length is generous overkill, but let’s say 50%. So, if a foursome takes four hours to play a 6500 yard course, a cart (yes, there will be two carts but because they’re both moving at the same time we’ll only factor time on one) would travel approximately 9750 yards, or roughly 5.5 miles. If that cart goes 15 MPH, that’s about 22 minutes of cart-driving time. If the cart could go 50 MPH, the drive time drops to around 6.5 minutes. So with these high speed carts we could conceivably reduce a four hour round down to a three hour – 45 minute round – reducing our overall round time by 9 to 10 percent. I don’t know if that is worth the effort.

      2) It might make golf more popular among younger folks and NASCAR fans. 50 MPH with high torque? Cool! “Hey, Bubba! I ain’t gonna use the bridge. Watch me jump the creek! Woohoo! I’m the Dukes of Hazzard!” Yeah, I’m not so sure this is the demographic we’re looking for…

      3) Finally, slow play has been around for a long time. I remember when Jack Nicklaus was blamed for influencing slow play and I’m sure every generation since Old Tom Morris had someone that they thought played too slow and influenced others to play slowly. I’m not sure how you fix it. Employing rangers to help keep up the speed of play? Clocks on even numbered tee boxes? There may be things that help a little, but they won’t fix it. Yes, I’ve been terribly frustrated being stuck on the course for 5+ hours on a weekend. I try to take solace in knowing I’m on a golf course and not working on my honey-do list.

      Reply

      Scott King

      7 years ago

      I don’t need stupid people driving faster. Just drive/walk/run to the ball and hit the damned thing.

      Reply

      Greg

      7 years ago

      Slow play really burns me. Some ideas I like:
      1. Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail – entire course is lateral hazard. Go to where you last saw your ball, take a drop and move on.
      2. Hermitage Golf Club, Nashville. Tee boxes according to your handicap/average score. Ego prevents many golfers from moving forward tees that they should be playing.
      3. Mark your scorecard on the next tee. When you putt out, go to the next tee. IMMEDIATELY!
      4. When your cart partner or other players slice a ball way right, other golfers go their balls on the left and be ready to hit.
      5. Who cares about honors unless someone gets a birdie?

      Reply

      Judge Smails

      7 years ago

      What is golf? A social interaction, or sport? Obviously, for most it is a combination of the 2. More of the former leads to slower play in and of itself– excluding the slow player, or ball hawker. But the pure sport player can gum up a course just as easily.
      For the public golfer, the end of slow play is just a fantasy. There are too many variables.
      In my group we have a 7 HC that will take 5 hours to play and will hit 14 greens and take 27 putts.
      I play the same 18 holes with a 10 HC in 3.5 hors.
      And we both walk.
      We chat in between shots and on the tee.
      But when he addresses the ball, time stands still…….
      All it takes is one person….just one….and the whole course waits on him/her.
      How do you fix that ( besides planting a 9 iron in the temple–yes, the thought has come to me from time to time!)?

      Reply

      Kameron Matthew Wall

      7 years ago

      I enjoy a full 5 hour round

      Reply

      Isaac Ward

      7 years ago

      What’s a typical golf cart’s top speed now? I think 50 mph is extreme but if you could get them all to go 25-30ish and have all patrons sign waivers before round (as most courses already make you do) it’s a no brainer way to help the pace.

      Reply

      Brandon Tonkovich

      7 years ago

      We would rubber band the governors down at the course I used to work at and get the carts up to 25 on flat parking lots. So carts come with that capability already, just have to turn them loose. But like I said, guys flipped carts left and right while only going 10-15 mph on the hills!

      Reply

      Carolina Golfer 2

      7 years ago

      As a Director at a golf course, I see lots of things that contribute to slow play. Yes not using the cart effectively is one thing. Players sitting in the cart while your partner hits waiting to be driven 20 yards to your shot, happens all the time.

      Would the single golf cart eliminate that, not 100%, you’d still have players that pull up next to each other (think motorcycles at a traffic light), but sure hopefully the majority would go directly to their shot.

      The thing I witness the most is just plan horrible play, we have a saying at our course that I stole from an old friend who was Director of Golf at a course, “Please play well and play fast, if you play poorly, play faster!” Nobody needs to see someone shooting 110 spend 5 minutes looking for 12 lost balls, taking 5 practice swings, or lining up a putt from 4 feet for triple bogey….My goodness guys….give it to him!!

      It’s not just poor players that play slowly, I have played with several guys who are low single digits and some of them take way to long over each shot. Sure you could argue that they are good because they are focusing, but that has to be a limit on how long it takes to hit each shot. it’ll never happen, but I’d love to see a 15 second clock or something once you have arrived at your ball to play it.

      Ready golf, continuous putting (in casual rounds) would definitely help. On that note, It has become too common on the PGA Tour for a player that says to his partner, “i’ll finish” yet he marks his 18″ inch putt and takes the time to precisely put it back and line it up. Now I know he’s putting for tens of thousands of dollars or more in a lot of cases. But I think it needs to be, if you’re going to finish, you can’t mark your ball, you just have to step up and putt.

      By marking and picking up and lining it up, he isn’t doing anything to really speed up play.

      Reply

      chip

      7 years ago

      single carts I feel would work in picking up the pace of play.

      Reply

      Kenny B

      7 years ago

      Not on courses that allow walking. Pace of play is only as fast as the slowest walking group, and if there is more than one slow walking group then…

      Reply

      Matthew Woodcock

      7 years ago

      I agree with all the little things not amounting to much time separately, but together it adds up. The foursome I play with can regularly play 18 holes in under 4 hours. Ready golf, generous gimmes, picking up the ball when the hole is a lost cause. I would imagine the biggest single issue is time spent looking for a ball. I’ll admit that I am guilty of this. Sometimes we hit our ball into the rough and can’t find it and spend way too much time looking for it. For non competition play this should be a free drop (as long as it didn’t go on) My group plays that way all the time. Treat all hazards as lateral hazards, would be a nice start. If everyone in your group can shave 30 seconds of each hole that’s 9 minutes per person and 30 minutes collectively. I’ll finish with this, we aren’t tour pros and should stop treating every shot like it is going to win us a million

      Reply

      Bruce

      7 years ago

      Single player carts make sense: 50 mph is just plain stupid.
      A related issue is fast play or growing the game – choose one or the other. New players will take more time as they learn the game – “golf is a game played on a 6 inch course between your ears”. New players need to think to improve.
      Of course, we could choose to ban new players, that is, if you do not play today, then you can never play. That would speed the game and solve course congestion. A modest proposal for speed.

      Reply

      Woody Stillwagon

      7 years ago

      For day players, do away with bunkers – replace with flattened sand traps. Flat sand traps are much cheaper to maintain, are more uniform, easier to get out of, and will speed up play.

      Reply

      Stephen Pearcy

      7 years ago

      At least the idiots wouldn’t be driving around hanging their left foot out the door. This cart would not speed up the game, rather it would slow it down as we waited for ambulances to reach the victims. In addition can you imagine how such a beast could be (mis)used to tear up a course. Two places to speed up the game: forward tees and on the green. How about a 1/2 inch larger hole and leaving the flagstick in. How about mark you ball only once and putt out. Stuff like that.

      Reply

      RMK

      7 years ago

      Slow play is a primary reason I only played 3-6 times a year for the past 30 years.
      I played 18 alone last evening, empty course using a power cart in 2 hours. I even played 2 balls on a couple of holes. Slow play is the problem and it isn’t only bad players. Using the wrong tees for your skill level, 2-3 practice swings, studying putts and bad cart placement (walking 50 yds to the ball) are just a few.

      To avoid this I play early, late or on unusually hot or cold days. I also play through or around slow groups if they like it or not. The game can easily be played in 3 hours as a friend and I (he’s a 3, I’m a 5 index) prove on a regular basis.

      Reply

      Denvertim

      7 years ago

      SO because we don’t play your way you are right and everyone else is wrong?
      Wow you must be fun! Stop being an elitist and realize not everyone is as good as you or awesome as you!

      Reply

      JD

      7 years ago

      A speed cart wont stop the people looking in deep woods. I cant stand people looking for their balls literally and figuratively all day. Just take a drop and move on.

      Reply

      Brandon Tonkovich

      7 years ago

      Yeah this is a great idea, until some drunk idiot kills someone or themselves. I grew up playing golf in West Virginia where carts and mountain golf courses don’t mix as currently constituted, let alone a golf cart flying 50 mph. How many courses do you think would want to take on this liability? I think that’s the main roadblock for the idea taking off.

      Reply

      Dennis

      7 years ago

      One way that would help is to eliminate the distance part of the stroke & distance penalty. It seems like I read that that was being considered by USGA.

      Reply

      greg p

      7 years ago

      People would still park it on the opposite side of the green.
      Speedy play is all about common sense and consideration for those following you.

      Reply

      TonyG

      7 years ago

      This would make for a good series to break down every aspect of the game. Often overlooked are the Marshals. In the US, they spend most of their time looking for golf balls. Often it is because they do not have the support of the club which is afraid of losing one over privileged millennial. When I played in Scotland, they told us that you get 2 warnings about slow play before being asked to skip a hole or be kicked off. Oh by the way, this was warning #1.

      Clubs don’t realize that by not offending one slow player, they just offended the 10 groups behind them.

      Reply

      Tom Reed

      7 years ago

      The age old quandary,…how to speed up the game. Fast carts will not solve the game. Individual carts MIGHT help, since each golfer is going to their own ball. However, I play with a 4 person group that consistently plays a round in 4 hours. We play ready golf. We don’t agonize, analyze, or anal-yze each shot. Two of us shoot in the mid 70s to low 80s, and 2 shoot in the upper 80s to high 90s. If we play as a 2-some on days when the whole group cannot play, then we generally play in the 2:45 to 3 hour range. Golf is supposed to be enjoyable. Forced fast rounds, or unforced really slow rounds ruin the enjoyment. Just 1) be ready, 2) hit the ball, and 3) go find it and hit it again. We have enough time between shots to talk. Just wish my battered knees would allow me to walk 18 or 36 like I did when I was 18.

      Reply

      Carolina Golfer 2

      7 years ago

      Really good post on all accounts!!

      it doesn’t have to become a speed race, but shouldn’t be a death march either.

      We do have some dew sweepers who go off the first time every morning, and they play too fast…yes there is such a thing, as maintenance crews need to count on the back nine not being occupied until at least two hours after opening, if the first group of is reaching the back nine, just because Bob wants to be done in 2.5 hours, he shouldn’t be upset at the course. Everyone wants a properly maintained course, but take the approach “dont’ do it in my backyard”

      Reply

      DAVID

      7 years ago

      Sign me up, will try anything if it can help reduce “Mens Day” from 4 1/2 to 5 hours!

      Reply

      ScottC

      7 years ago

      I agree with the concept of more tee boxes and different size holes. My wife is a new golfer and a shorter course of say 2500 yards with a 6 to 8-inch cup would a much better way for her to learn to play. Right now I have her tee off from the 150 yard marker on par 4’s and no more than 250 on par 5’s.

      The idea of lifelong golf would allow new players to start on a course that better fits their skills yet allow them to play with better golfers. As they get better they can change tee boxes to make the course longer and more difficult. Also as they age and need a shorter course to continue playing, they can move back down to those shorter tee boxes. Medinah CC re-built course 2 with that in mind. They call it “Golf for Life”. It can be played up to 6400 yards, but with 7 tee’s they can accommodate players of all levels. Here is how they break down the tee’s:

      Gold / Silver
      Either a professional/scratch golfer or highly accomplished golfer, respectively, with years of golf experience and an established handicap index between plus numbers and the low teens. These golfers likely play at least two rounds per week and work seriously on all areas of their game.

      White / Green
      Appropriate for the majority of the club’s golfers, including most seniors and women, who love the game and play often. Handicaps range from the mid-teens to high 20s. These golfers take occasional lessons, sometimes practice, but mostly just like to play as often as possible.

      Yellow / Blue
      The mid-20s and higher handicappers, plus beginning golfers of three types: Someone who likes the game and has played a few rounds; a young beginner who has recently started playing and enjoys it; a younger golfer who is getting stronger and/or more skillful while growing. This category also includes the casual golfer who enjoys the game but doesn’t want to ruin the experience by making it competitive, as well as those golfers who prefer playing nine or fewer holes.

      Orange
      The novice or true beginner who has never played, is just getting started, or a youngster who plays just a few times in summer while off from school.

      The tees a player uses is predicated on how far the player hit’s a drive.

      Men

      Handicap

      Tee

      Total Distance (Driver)

      5 & Below

      Gold

      250

      6-10

      Silver

      225

      11-15

      White

      200

      16-20

      Green

      175

      21-25

      Yellow

      150

      26-30

      Blue

      100

      30+

      Orange

      75

      Women

      Handicap

      Tee

      Total Distance (Driver)

      Pro

      Gold

      225

      0-5

      Silver

      200

      6-11

      White

      175

      12-21

      Green

      150

      22-30

      Yellow

      125

      31-39

      Blue

      100

      40+

      Orange

      75

      Reply

      Greg

      7 years ago

      I’m not sure a golf course’s insurance company would let them get a fleet of these carts, someone is going to kill themselves doing 50mph into a bunker. I live on a course where a lot of members own their own carts that can do 20mph. I can speed up play a bit if everyone has one (one guy per cart).

      I’ve tried the golf boards, and while fun, its probably easier to use a pull cart. They are heavy and a bit hard to maneuver around hairpin turns and switch backs on hills.

      One thing that can speed up play, is make every hazard a lateral water hazard (red stake). Having to run back to the tee box to re-tee because you didn’t hit a provisional slows things down a lot.

      Reply

      Terry Wittek

      7 years ago

      Insurance won’t allow it would be my guess

      Reply

      John Noirman Miles

      7 years ago

      Gene Sarazen was correct in 1937 when he tod the USGA that slow play would eventually ruin the game of golf. At that time he suggested an 8 inch cup which would take the emphasis off putting and place it back on shot making. This has been proven to speed up the game significantly. I recently witnessed twenty four 4-person scramble teams play in 3 and 1/2 hours utilizing 8 inch cups. Forget past scoring records. They are immaterial. Only the lowest score wins.

      Reply

      Jon Cawley

      7 years ago

      How about adding another hole or two on the greens for those that are not so good at hitting iron shots close. Even chipshots might be sped up a bit by the ball ending up closer to another cup than the intended one.
      If the flags were different colors the gamblers could decide which color on the first tee.

      Reply

      Alec S.

      7 years ago

      Searching for lost balls is the biggest time waster in my opinion. That’s why I buy used balls so if I can’t find my ball after 30 seconds of searching I just take a drop by where I lost it. No need to waste time, just take a stroke and move on.

      Reply

      Dave Rose

      7 years ago

      I am a senior citizen so my reply will be skewed by that. I, and my buddies, primarily play 9 holes. I think we would prefer 12 or 13 holes but not 18. My wife agrees with me ( on this subject ).

      Reply

      Jake Ulrich

      7 years ago

      Carts may help on some courses, but most are walkable in under 3 hours if not crowded. And it is not only high handicappers. I have been behind a 3 ball with a +1, O and 5 that took 4.5 hours.
      Seems that the move to 9 or 12 hole rounds may help if the revenue from more players offsets the expectation of lower overall cost for shortened rounds. Also the 9-12 hole tracks may take up less land making them more accessible to urban dwellers. Definitely an issue.

      Reply

      Larry Proffer

      7 years ago

      1. Looking for lost ball. The three minute rule will not keep weekend warriors form looking for a ball for 15 min. Someone please invent a tracking system that the average guy can afford.
      2.Educate golfers. Take the clubs you need, don’t get out of cart with one, walk up to your ball thirty yards away then decide to change clubs and walk back to cart, etc, etc. Play ready golf.
      3. Play ready golf. A little less socializing while playing would speed thing up too.

      Reply

      John

      7 years ago

      I routinely play both walking and riding. When I ride, it is at my home course where pace of play guidance is just under 4 hours for 18. When my kids play with me, we finish 9 in just over 90 minutes. If I play by myself I am done in just over 70 minutes. Walking extends the time to approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes for 9 with or without my kids (10 and 13).

      Having single person carts would absolutely speed up the game.

      Reply

      Ken Duncan

      7 years ago

      Golf is a sport, golf with buggies is a pass time unless the golfer has health issues. Slow golf is the result of people with golf clubs on a golf course that have no clue about Golf Etiquette.

      Reply

      John McCullough

      7 years ago

      Plenty of golfers get around in way under 4 hours without any cart at all.

      Reply

      Benjamin Berry

      7 years ago

      Continuous putting. 1 minute amateur lost ball search rule.

      Reply

      Simon Gill

      7 years ago

      Cart speed is not the issue. Single riders per cart would help if you play in the States or other resort courses. In the UK where we walk, the biggest issue has to be lost balls – rough too long and not enough players hitting a Jerry (Jerry Adams – Provisional). Then you have the guys who take an eternity over every shot thinking they are going to be Jordan Spieth. I’ve played a 5 ball twice in recent times, both in California, and both rounds finished in under 4 hours. I’ve played as a 2 ball in India where it’s taken over 5 hours! Education of etiquette to new players is one answer, not being afraid to tell your playing colleague they are too slow.

      Reply

      T O'Connell

      7 years ago

      Rangers that can identify the “cause” of slow play and respectfully nudge them along.

      Reply

      chuck bush

      7 years ago

      I often walk, vs. riding and can play a round just as fast as cart riders I play with. Being ready and not spending time looking at laser etc. Some players are just slow for many reasons that I can’t relate too. Oblivious to playing at a good pace. Good friends, so sometimes I just have to suck it up!

      Reply

      Donald Perry

      7 years ago

      Who wants to cut it in half gezzzz I enjoy my game An the sites on the course

      Reply

      Brandon Wooley

      7 years ago

      Only way that speeds up a round is if it can hit shots for people who suck.

      Reply

      Jim

      7 years ago

      I do not think we should start speeding up thinks in golf. We tend to run from Mondays to Fridays and then on week-ends with kids activities. Let’s just focus on having a good round of golf without thinking of speeding our shots. Speed became a second nature in business but we are talking golf, passion, good times…

      Reply

      Seth Coleman

      7 years ago

      I can walk in 3 and a half hours so the golf cart isn’t the issue

      Reply

      Seth Rogaine

      7 years ago

      Beg to differ. If you can walk and pace at 3.5 hours, imagine how much faster if you take the walking component out.

      Reply

      Scott Romines

      7 years ago

      cool cart, but def not a solution to slowplay…..the speed of the golf cart has nothing to do with it

      Reply

      Bill McMillan

      7 years ago

      Not to me mention all the uneven surfaces and potholes on the fairways…ill stay with the conventional slow carts

      Reply

      Cliff Morgan

      7 years ago

      No it’s not a solution at all. You have people who have a two min pre-shot routine and then shank it. We also have people who are addicted to finding golf balls and won’t buy new ones.

      Reply

      Dave Cammilleri

      7 years ago

      It also takes them 5 minutes to get off a green. It’s crazy how slow people play.

      Reply

      Cliff Morgan

      7 years ago

      I like the carts that have GPS on them because it tells you if you are behind schedule

      Reply

      Geo Golfx

      7 years ago

      Then we get more idiots on Instagram jumping bunkers etc. Most people can barely handle one that goes 12 MPH. 4 MPH carts would be far better :)

      Reply

      10shot

      7 years ago

      Well said
      But, some on here want to play 18 holes in 2.5 hours cuz they have places to be. 18 holes of Golf takes 3-5 hours. faster carts will lead to more hole jumping, crashes you name it.

      Reply

      session

      7 years ago

      I was the first one out on my home course Saturday and my cart goes right at 20MPH. Playing by myself with no one in front of me I finished in 2 hours and 36 minutes (used the 18 birdies app to confirm time). I didn’t feel like I was rushing and I shot a 93 so it wasn’t like i was just flying through every hole. I think faster single rider carts would help a lot.

      Reply

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