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Thread: Is pace of play *actually* hurting the game?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Ehhh. Things evolve and weather/geography plays a large role in this. Being social on a golf course is not more Top Golf than playing golf. Golf is a social game. While I don't drink or play music while I play, the social aspect of the game to me is more important than any strike I will ever make at a little white ball.

    ... Poorly stated on my part JB. Yes, being social plays a big role in the game as long as it is equal to actually playing golf. Obviously you can do both. I am talking about the players I see that think actually playing golf is almost optional and drinking, blaring music, all going to the same ball in their carts, driving them a few steps off the cart path and on the grass to see 2 steps on the tee and practically driving on the fringe around the greens, hitting multiple shots, taking forever with the cart girl, buried in their phone instead of hitting shots and having no regard for anyone else on the course. That said, for me playing the game is more important that the social aspect that I do very much enjoy, but I would not play alone and continue my quest to be the best player I can be if the social aspect were more important that playing the game. I come from a lifetime of competing after playing college football, ACC summer basketball league and travel team tennis so competition, even with myself is the main reason I play this great game. Obviously Ymmv ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Wait. How can you penalize the course for not enforcing pace of play, but not penalize players that are a problem because they will be alienated? The course would be doing what you say is an issue, to avoid penalty. And frankly the course is penalized as less people are coming out, and based on the closures across the country over the last 15 years, they know that it has at least been a contribution to it.

    The course sets a rule of the longest it should take to play a round of golf. That is their discretion. That does not mean nobody should finish before that allotted time, its like a minimum speed sign on a highway. Unfortunately instead it is viewed as a speed limit by far too many.

    Reprimanding players that are continuing to slow the course down is not a double edged sword to me. Doing nothing, which is largely what is done now is a major problem. It can be put aside with blinders but when half the golfing population says pace is an issue (according to far too many articles) and the golfing population continued to shrink from 2011 to 2017, something has to be done. The good news is that the USGA in all of their issues, believes it to be a problem and works to market alternatives like tee it forward. The PGA of America, believes it to be a problem and is working with booking systems hopefully alleviate. The entire symposium in Tokyo, was about future technology that will hopefully help in some ways alleviate the problem.

    With all of that said, if people don't believe there is an issue, or are never told, or flat out don't care, then the game will continue to lose players.

    Easy question. You pull up to the course and they say we can squeeze you in, but it's going to be 5+ hours are you staying? Most casual golfers or even more than recreational are saying no. That is where the problem exists.
    I penalize courses that don’t maintain a reasonable pace of play by NOT spending my money there.

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    Major Champion oiler3535's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    It should be very simple. You fall behind the allotted pace, you are asked to speed up. If you still stay out of place, you must pick up your ball and move forward to where you are back in place. There should be time checkpoints every 6 holes (3 times a round) to make sure people are not falling too far. It only takes a single foursome to kill an entire course on a busy day.

    The problem is the entitlement of "I paid my fees, I get to play all of the holes". If this becomes commonplace in golf, you would have far less people discussing pace of play and either finding other issues not to play or coming back to the game. I think you would find more golfers are for more pace checkpoints than less.
    I love the idea. I really do. But many courses don’t have any Marshalls at all, let alone 3 to enforce checkpoints. I’ve wondered if a monetary enticement might work. Pay a $50 deposit and if play under par, or at least keep up with the group ahead of you, you get it back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chisag View Post
    ... Poorly stated on my part JB. Yes, being social plays a big role in the game as long as it is equal to actually playing golf. Obviously you can do both. I am talking about the players I see that think actually playing golf is almost optional and drinking, blaring music, all going to the same ball in their carts, driving them a few steps off the cart path and on the grass to see 2 steps on the tee and practically driving on the fringe around the greens, hitting multiple shots, taking forever with the cart girl, buried in their phone instead of hitting shots and having no regard for anyone else on the course. That said, for me playing the game is more important that the social aspect that I do very much enjoy, but I would not play alone and continue my quest to be the best player I can be if the social aspect were more important that playing the game. I come from a lifetime of competing after playing college football, ACC summer basketball league and travel team tennis so competition, even with myself is the main reason I play this great game. Obviously Ymmv ...
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    Late to the thread, but first to the basic question about slow play .......... It absolutely bugs me, I have skipped holes, and even left the course, but I am one of those that has very little patience (I think my DNA is missing the patience gene). Still, as long as things are moving along I'm okay, its the unnecessary slow pace, most causes having already been mentioned in this thread, but boiling down to a lack of awareness or consideration for others, that gets to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    It should be very simple. You fall behind the allotted pace, you are asked to speed up. If you still stay out of place, you must pick up your ball and move forward to where you are back in place. There should be time checkpoints every 6 holes (3 times a round) to make sure people are not falling too far. It only takes a single foursome to kill an entire course on a busy day.

    The problem is the entitlement of "I paid my fees, I get to play all of the holes". If this becomes commonplace in golf, you would have far less people discussing pace of play and either finding other issues not to play or coming back to the game. I think you would find more golfers are for more pace checkpoints than less.
    The problem is also that a lot of courses in a very competitive market are afraid to lose customers by enforcing pace of play. Personally I think they have it wrong (see below), but most courses in my area do not use Marshalls, and those that do rarely do anything about pace.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deezballs View Post
    I penalize courses that don’t maintain a reasonable pace of play by NOT spending my money there.
    Absolutely agree! Unfortunately not enough players do this, if they did the courses might decide to do something about it.

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  9. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Exactly. ABC Golf Course says "Starting 9/1, new Policy is in Effect". Outlined in pro shop and on website.
    It doesn't cost the course too much more, because rangers are set at 5, 10 and 15. Plus with proper pace, they keep things rolling and more happy customers continue to come back. The problem goes back to my second paragraph there though. Social media and entitlement era.

    Perhaps clubs can get ahead of the problem by utilizing social media themselves. As you mentioned in another post, things evolve. As I'm sure most agree, golf is losing the battle, in part, due to it being viewed as an archaic/elitist sport that doesn't coincide with today's youth. So I say, tackle those damn yutes head on!
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    It is all relative, to say a round should take x amount of time is a good start however take this morning for example we played the front 9 in an hour and 15. The back nine took 3 hours so total we went around in 4:15 which is the suggested pace of play but the back 9 was so bad it ruined the entire round in terms of the perspective on the pace of play.

    I think people need to realize they are not cashing checks and the extra minute you stand over the ball may actually be harming you. We are amateurs only about 1% of amateurs have control over what they are doing on the golf course. The rest are truly just making a pass at the ball and hoping it goes well. Show me a 10 capper that knows where the ball is going and I will show you someone that is not honest with themselves. The extra 30 seconds doesn’t make your swing better.


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    Quote Originally Posted by lightningbolt44 View Post
    It is all relative, to say a round should take x amount of time is a good start however take this morning for example we played the front 9 in an hour and 15. The back nine took 3 hours so total we went around in 4:15 which is the suggested pace of play but the back 9 was so bad it ruined the entire round in terms of the perspective on the pace of play.

    I think people need to realize they are not cashing checks and the extra minute you stand over the ball may actually be harming you. We are amateurs only about 1% of amateurs have control over what they are doing on the golf course. The rest are truly just making a pass at the ball and hoping it goes well. Show me a 10 capper that knows where the ball is going and I will show you someone that is not honest with themselves. The extra 30 seconds doesn’t make your swing better.


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    Oh man. That's a rotten way to spend the back nine. I'd love to have someone try and argue pace was OK because the overall was on target when the back was so bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightningbolt44 View Post
    It is all relative, to say a round should take x amount of time is a good start however take this morning for example we played the front 9 in an hour and 15. The back nine took 3 hours so total we went around in 4:15 which is the suggested pace of play but the back 9 was so bad it ruined the entire round in terms of the perspective on the pace of play.

    I think people need to realize they are not cashing checks and the extra minute you stand over the ball may actually be harming you. We are amateurs only about 1% of amateurs have control over what they are doing on the golf course. The rest are truly just making a pass at the ball and hoping it goes well. Show me a 10 capper that knows where the ball is going and I will show you someone that is not honest with themselves. The extra 30 seconds doesn’t make your swing better.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
    Oh man. That's a rotten way to spend the back nine. I'd love to have someone try and argue pace was OK because the overall was on target when the back was so bad.
    I'll be honest, I don't mind people playing slow. That's their prerogative. What I mind is people not letting me or my group play through. I swear, when I was a kid, sometimes we played through, sometimes we let others play through. It was never a deal. That was just the courteous thing to do in golf. Now, it's like pulling teeth to get some group to let you play through. I don't care how many groups are in front of them. If everyone was just courteous enough to let others play through, everyone, slow and fast alike, would be happier.

    EDIT: The way to fix the 'whole course' pace of play issue is for those cart GPS's to not allow time to be 'earned' on the faster holes. If you were faster, that's fantastic. But just keep pace of play per hole, rather than per round.

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    Mike and I played a goat track this morning and went out at about 7:45. We were a twosome in between a 3 and a 4, we finished in right about 4 hrs and waited on every shot. It was not slow by any means but it did feel very slow.

    We just relaxed and chatted the time away, but I do think it messed with our timing. Never could get in a groove at all and the 4 behind us was a hole and a half back the whole time. So they were really methodical to say the least.

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    I try to play a lot in the weekday mornings or early afternoon when others are not on the course. It also makes my wife happy because then I am home in the evening when she is home. I have played 18 rounds alone in about 2.5 hours plenty of times. I am a fast player most of the time and in many ways too fast. I do not like sitting around waiting on every single shot. Its not as much about time for me, its more about the back issues I have that are non existent as long as I am active. 15 minutes, sometimes less, of inactivity and it can tighten up so bad I can hardly move.

    I played last night with a buddy. We did not tee off until 5:30 in the afternoon and even though we ran across a few people on the course and neither of us was playing our best game, we still finished all 18 in 3 hours. This morning, I took my wife and kid to ride along with me and started a little before 11. I caught up to 2 guys on the 3rd hole who let me play through on the 5th. Then I found myself behind another single waiting on an older foursome in front of him. Now I stopped at every green to let me 3 year old out to "play golf" with his putter while daddy finished the hole so I was not exactly flying around the course. The other single and I ended up playing the last 3-4 on the front nine together with my little buddy "playing" on every green except the 9th. I ended up totally alone for the back 9 and the older foursome was not all at the 10th when I got there and I was able to play through. That worked well for about 3 holes until I ran across another foursome of average weekend golfers. They were a bit slow but I will admit part of that was the foursome of older ladies in front of them who appeared from the distance to be decent golfers but just moved like molasses. I guarantee I waited at least 10 minutes on every single shot. The older foursome behind me actually caught up to me on the next to last hole and I had not seen them at all when I left the 10th green.

    I am fine with not playing 18 in 3 hours but I am not really excited at all when I am sitting there with my back tightening up on every single shot. I do understand though why the pace ahead of me is not as fast as me of course in that situation so I am not upset about it but that is why I mostly play at the times I play. For me, and I do understand many do not have my availability times, I try and play when I know I can play however fast or slow I want.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oiler3535 View Post
    I agree with the latter point. I don’t necessarily agree with the former. I’ve played with many many people not coming close to breaking 100 (mostly women but not all) who are way faster than some of the scratch golfers I play with.



    That is an extremely good attitude to having public courses close and only being the sport of the rich.
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    and fwiw most everything (complaint wise) in this thread is about our own experiences and how it bothers us. So I go back to my earlier point that pace issues are far more our problem (those already playing the game) than it is ever any real deterrent towards others getting involved.

    On a separate note.....Top Golf has been mentioned in this thread a couple or so times. I think TG in itself is a pretty cool thing. However I do feel that if it has an affect on actual golf participation it will be much more a negative one than a positive one. Most Topgolf-ing from my experiences is much more a party eating/drinking/goofing atmosphere. People taking most that to then begin playing out on the courses would be an issue imo. Etiquettes including pace would all be affected in a very negative way.

    Another note. Golf courses that don't have a minimum 10 minute between tee intervals shouldn't ever give anyone a false sense that they actually take pace issues seriously. 7.8 minute tee times are a pace issue from the very first tee before yiou even begin as you already stand on the tee and wait for the group ahead to clear so that you can hit. That is a waiting problem that is unnecessarily set from the first tee and now your following in a waiting line for every shot with no elbow room between groups. Pace is never and exact science but is in many ways a cat and mouse thing. Distance gaps between groups needs elbow room in it in order for it to work out well and have a respectable pace. It must allow for some unsteadiness of even a group of better players to be able to move slower and quicker during the round as they play.

    The distance gap has to allow for less than good play to take place and allow for groups to sort of fall back and forward vs the group ahead. There needs to be not one stroke but at least a stroke and half gap when starting so that groups can move a half stroke (elbow room) in either direction between falling and gaining back and forth the 1 and 2 strokes gap. When tee times are too close together there is no elbow room for that and it doesn't work well at all. You end up losing that cushion of the half stroke gap in either direction which is actually a full stroke of elbow room. But when you have groups wait on tee #1 for the group to clear and then hit the very second they do clear it eliminates that cushion and hence becomes a pace problem from the very first tee. That kind of spacing would require perfect play from everyone in order to ever work. I mean your already waiting because they place you on a first tee with the very intent of having you wait for it to clear so you can hit. From that point forward you will now have to wait for every shot. Pace requires elbow room in order to work.
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    I certainly chose for many years to not play golf on most weekend or evenings because the pace was to slow. If pace would have been better, I would have played an extra 15 plus rounds each year. I solved my slow play issue by joining a private club a decade ago and I will never go back to not having a private membership. For morning rounds I normally finish in 2:30 as a twosome and under 3:05 as a foursome. Four hour rounds still happen but that’s usually as a fivesome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chisag View Post
    ... I played 107 rounds in 117 days in Phoenix his past winter, most of them as a single. Being paired up with slow groups is even worse than playing behind them because I can see the groups piling up and know their pain. One thing I have found out is slow players have no idea what slow play is. They usually never wait, get to tee off and hit shots at their own pace and have no reason to pay any attention to anyone else on the course. I had one instance playing with a slow group where three 4somes were behind us on the tee of a par 5. We "caught up" to some young guys that were drunk, blaring their music and spending much more time socializing than hitting shots, always driving their carts to every shot together instead of gong to their own balls. They were also hitting several shots. My group was furious which I found laughable and said "Now you know what it is like for the 3 groups behind us". Of course they looked back for the first time and took offense saying they were playing golf and just had a few bad holes looking for balls and taking penalty shots. NOTHING like the guys in front of them that had no respect for the game. I told them s-l-o-w is s-l-o-w to the group behind whether they are talking or just taking forever to hit a shot.

    ... I have been playing as a single for many years now after going to the PGA Show every winter and spending several weeks after playing golf and I have never, and I mean NEVER played with a slow group that thought they were slow. Most saying people are trying to play too fast. I am reminded of George Carlin that said " Have you ever noticed that anybody driving (playing golf) slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"
    I think it is great you can walk after surgeries. I completely disagree, and I assume you are dissing me, when I said up to 90% need to walk. There are many reasons people need to walk. Just because you are a walking does not mean that ALL walkers play fast. If you can convince every US course to get caddies, provide electric walking carts, or have rangers on every few holes to enforce faster play, I guess you will get pissed every time you are in a group that plays slow. How about enjoy the game and that fact that you can play after back surgery. I cannot have surgery because my fractures are in the thoracic region and NO neurosurgeons want to do surgery in this area if I can play golf. I am happy to be alive, walking with a C2 fracture, and playing the game I love. Please do not discount me because I cannot walk. I bet I play faster than you do even when you walk. I am not trying to be confrentational, but sticking up for those of us that need to use a cart.
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