Slow play: could caddies be the solution?

mancest

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So in our continuing solution to trying to fix slow play, could caddies/forecaddies be the answer? You have what is basically an employee (think most are independent contractors but they are paid by the course) of the course with every group, they are helping give reads, find balls and club players, could they also be the ones in charge of maintaining pace of play?

If their group finishes in a certain time they get a bump in rate from the course. Finish over a certain time and they get paid less. As I have not caddied, would those that have think this is something that could help? Obviously it is not the end all be all as most courses in the US do not have caddy programs, but maybe more should?

Thanks to Parrot for the inspiration with his recent thread.
 

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Anything that gives a slow player an excuse to stand around and jawbone for a while before hitting his shot is a guaranteed round-lengthener.

Put a caddie with every group and the slow guys get 30 minutes slower while the fast guys get 15 minutes faster. Net total agita? A bunch.

P.S. It could work if you give the caddies the job of picking up a player's ball and moving him to the next hole every time he takes more than 30 seconds to hit a shot.
 

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mancest;n8885185 said:
So in our continuing solution to trying to fix slow play, could caddies/forecaddies be the answer? You have what is basically an employee (think most are independent contractors but they are paid by the course) of the course with every group, they are helping give reads, find balls and club players, could they also be the ones in charge of maintaining pace of play?

If their group finishes in a certain time they get a bump in rate from the course. Finish over a certain time and they get paid less. As I have not caddied, would those that have think this is something that could help? Obviously it is not the end all be all as most courses in the US do not have caddy programs, but maybe more should?

Thanks to Parrot for the inspiration with his recent thread.
I think it could help if guys adopted the "ready golf" mentality. If players still wait around or are not prepared, the caddies isnt going to help the pace of play for that group. Get a group who understands ready golf and are ready when it's their turn to hit a shot a caddie can absolutely help move the pace along.
 

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I am not sure if a caddie would increase slow play. Sure, they would probably be able to give you a read on your putt or tell you about the course. However, I am wondering if two minds talking wouldn't slow down the game.

I know when we play a scramble, my partner and I usually play slower talking back and forth to each other. Versus when I am playing myself, I tend to be much quicker and more decisive.
 

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I don't think a caddie will help slow play. They transfer to much info to the player, then the player is digesting all of this to choose club and shot.
 

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I think it would help out overall but the added employees to already cash strapped courses would not be sustainable.
 

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It wasn't in Chicago at Olympia Fields but maybe it would have been worse without them. We had some long waits.....
 

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mancest;n8885185 said:
So in our continuing solution to trying to fix slow play, could caddies/forecaddies be the answer? You have what is basically an employee (think most are independent contractors but they are paid by the course) of the course with every group, they are helping give reads, find balls and club players, could they also be the ones in charge of maintaining pace of play?

If their group finishes in a certain time they get a bump in rate from the course. Finish over a certain time and they get paid less. As I have not caddied, would those that have think this is something that could help? Obviously it is not the end all be all as most courses in the US do not have caddy programs, but maybe more should?

Thanks to Parrot for the inspiration with his recent thread.
I think it could help. Yes, there is more information but you'd also have someone who can encourage ready golf and staying in position on the course.
 

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mancest;n8885185 said:
So in our continuing solution to trying to fix slow play, could caddies/forecaddies be the answer? You have what is basically an employee (think most are independent contractors but they are paid by the course) of the course with every group, they are helping give reads, find balls and club players, could they also be the ones in charge of maintaining pace of play?

If their group finishes in a certain time they get a bump in rate from the course. Finish over a certain time and they get paid less. As I have not caddied, would those that have think this is something that could help? Obviously it is not the end all be all as most courses in the US do not have caddy programs, but maybe more should?

Thanks to Parrot for the inspiration with his recent thread.
I think this is afantastic idea. I think cost would be a deterrent, but you essentially eliminate any raking time, looking for balls time, distance measuring time, etc. Just coming back from Olympia Fields where they have them and here we have an incredibly hard golf course, and pace is 4:15 and we finished in 3:45 each day.
 

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DMoney79;n8885223 said:
It wasn't in Chicago at Olympia Fields but maybe it would have been worse without them. We had some long waits.....
We did, but finished both rounds in under 4 hours. And remember, the groups we were waiting on (the one really slow one), didn't have a caddie.
 

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I think it could help in many situations such as knowing where errant shots go, or helping to quickly read a green.
 

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I think it could help especially on a course the player has never played. Having the knowledge from the caddie on where to hit and go should speed up the round.
 

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I don't know. I think one thing it would do is increase the cost of what many believe is already too expensive.

I think on the public course side, they'd definitely pass that on to the players. If they were more concerned about pace of play than they were money, they wouldn't have the 8 minute gap in tee times.
 

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radiman;n8885237 said:
I don't know. I think one thing it would do is increase the cost of what many believe is already too expensive.

don't disagree, but... if you were guaranteed a 4 hour round vs a most likely 5 hour round, would you pay an extra $20-25? I know for sure I would.
 

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fuffle master;n8885209 said:
I am not sure if a caddie would increase slow play. Sure, they would probably be able to give you a read on your putt or tell you about the course. However, I am wondering if two minds talking wouldn't slow down the game.

I know when we play a scramble, my partner and I usually play slower talking back and forth to each other. Versus when I am playing myself, I tend to be much quicker and more decisive.
A scramble is like a round of golf interrupted 36 times or so for a work meeting or political caucus.

My favorite is the guy on the team who wants to go look for his ball in the rough for 5 minutes, totally convinced that if he finds it you'll want to play it instead of one of the three balls sitting in the fairway.
 

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mancest;n8885240 said:
don't disagree, but... if you were guaranteed a 4 hour round vs a most likely 5 hour round, would you pay an extra $20-25? I know for sure I would.
Any caddie working for $25/round is going to be double-bagging for sure. That's kind of like saying carts with cart-paths-only is the solution to slow play.
 

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I do think caddies could speed up slow play. Definitely forecaddies help with finding balls. And having a yardage ready to give, as well as helping around the greens and raking sand traps.

When I was a caddie, the holes I forecaddied I would have the players bag setup by the ball with a yardage.
 

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mancest;n8885240 said:
don't disagree, but... if you were guaranteed a 4 hour round vs a most likely 5 hour round, would you pay an extra $20-25? I know for sure I would.
Probably not honestly. That's almost a 70% increase in cost of a round at our course. Putting the $37 round to $62. Ride in a cart and you're at $80 for an afternoon out at the course. My rounds played would drop significantly. I know a lot of people have a better financial foothold than I, and this increase in cost would be no big deal. I just don't think I'd be able to swing it.

I just think that increases in cost would be even more devastating to the overall growth of the game than slow play is. In my opinion, there are other things that can be done. But, a lot of them depend on personal responsibility of the players on the course. A big push from the governing bodies could be helpful. Much like the tee it forward campaign. Maybe a "get your butts moving" campaign is in order :)
 

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Misike;n8885256 said:
I do think caddies could speed up slow play. Definitely forecaddies help with finding balls. And having a yardage ready to give, as well as helping around the greens and raking sand traps.

When I was a caddie, the holes I forecaddied I would have the players bag setup by the ball with a yardage.
But that supposes the players WANT to play in 3-1/2 hours and the only thing stopping them is finding balls or raking bunkers.

What about the person who is perfectly happy taking 4-1/2 or 5 hours to play? All it takes are a couple of those on the course and nobody is going to play faster, caddies or not.

It's why every proposed "cure" for slow play is completely beside the point. If you can't make the 5-hour sloth move faster, giving the guys behind him a bunch of help accomplishes nothing. Less than nothing.
 

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You can be slow with or without a caddy, it doesn't really matter. It all comes down to ready golf.
 

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golfinnut;n8885267 said:
You can be slow with or without a caddy, it doesn't really matter. It all comes down to ready golf.
Exactly. If you spend 60 seconds standing by your ball while nobody else hits, it doesn't matter if you spend it tossing grass up in the air, taking practice swings, standing stock still and fluttering your eyes like Jason Day or if you spent the 60 second quizzing your caddie about yardages and wind and slopes and the price of tea in China. That 60 seconds of NOT hitting is a minute lost forever.
 

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Big Fan of this, especially sliding a caddie some extra cash at the end of the round if they kept on pace. They would take most of the guess work out of each shot, which has to shave 1-2 minutes per shot.
 

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See what I am thinking of is a Forecaddie with each group, He gets paid $80-100 (20-25 from each player), he has a golf board or one of those golf bikes and a rangefinder. Before the round he tells everybody we are playing golf and be ready to be done in under 4 hours. He is able to zip around on his own, get everyone a yardage, club them and move on to the next guy. Then on tee shots he can rides up and spot balls.

If the group finishes in under a set time (say (4:15) the caddy gets an extra $20 from the course, plus any tips the players want to throw his way as per usual.

I think the biggest thing is setting a tone for the players, we are going to play fast and have fun. Like I said, just a fun thought exercise as I think there is zero chance that Caddies flourish at most courses.
 

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JB;n8885230 said:
We did, but finished both rounds in under 4 hours. And remember, the groups we were waiting on (the one really slow one), didn't have a caddie.
Yeah interesting I guess a lot of the time at a course like that would be lost on the greens and looking for balls especially with the rough as thick as it was


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mancest;n8885287 said:
See what I am thinking of is a Forecaddie with each group, He gets paid $80-100 (20-25 from each player), he has a golf board or one of those golf bikes and a rangefinder. Before the round he tells everybody we are playing golf and be ready to be done in under 4 hours. He is able to zip around on his own, get everyone a yardage, club them and move on to the next guy. Then on tee shots he can rides up and spot balls.

If the group finishes in under a set time (say (4:15) the caddy gets an extra $20 from the course, plus any tips the players want to throw his way as per usual.

I think the biggest thing is setting a tone for the players, we are going to play fast and have fun. Like I said, just a fun thought exercise as I think there is zero chance that Caddies flourish at most courses.
Now, I would like and pay for a caddie if they were jumping ahead to look for my balls and giving me tips each shot. Just not sure if this would speed up play. Tough to search and give numbers for each golfer in the foresome. Boy, he or she would be working their ass off.

On the get a bonus if under 4 hours, I would NOT like that. I would feel like I am being rushed if the caddie was constantly saying things to speed us up. I donÂ’t like slow play, but I also donÂ’t like hurried play


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