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Old 01-13-2019, 11:20 AM   #1801
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IMHO the problem with slow play, lies with the players not the size of the hole or the length of the holes. I play twice a week with guys from 60-80 years of age and any one of our foursomes can finish a round in four hours and most times much less. We are not sticklers on the rules, inside the leather is usually a gimmie, lost ball hunt time is less than five minutes and will be going down to three, an OB ball, drop along the line the ball went OB but no closer to the hole, and no one takes more than a double bogey, even if they want to play it out. Most importantly we play from the proper tees, 65+ play from the senior tees and 70+ can play the up tees. And last but not least we play ready golf. Our groups have been playing together four plus years or longer and all understand the rules, when a newbie shows up we mentor the person and make sure they understand we are out there to have fun and not to kid ourselves about making the senior tour. Just last week a threesome I played with finished in three and a half hours and it was a cart path only day. Some golf purist may chuckle but the whole point of the experience is to have fun, enjoy the social fellowship and nature.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:27 AM   #1802
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And just a footnote, we play many tough and challenging courses, a Jack N. Bear Trace track just outside of Chattanooga is our home course, we also gamble and use a modified stableford quota system so everyone has a chance to win the money. At anytime there are usually more than a few side bets and mucho trash talk. But again, the main thing is, we all have "fun."
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:31 AM   #1803
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One of the reasons I look for early tee times is not only because I'm an early riser, but because the faster players tend to play earlier. Myself and a golf buddy will normally walk a 6500 yard course in well under 3.5 hours if there are no delays in front.

Ready golf isn't that hard...no one needs to wait for the other guy if they you are on opposite sides of the fairway. By the time you reach your ball you should have already narrowed it down to 1 or 2 clubs. Inspect the lie, pick a club, and hit the ball. You only need 20 seconds.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:35 AM   #1804
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IMHO the problem with slow play, lies with the players not the size of the hole or the length of the holes. I play twice a week with guys from 60-80 years of age and any one of our foursomes can finish a round in four hours and most times much less. We are not sticklers on the rules, inside the leather is usually a gimmie, lost ball hunt time is less than five minutes and will be going down to three, an OB ball, drop along the line the ball went OB but no closer to the hole, and no one takes more than a double bogey, even if they want to play it out. Most importantly we play from the proper tees, 65+ play from the senior tees and 70+ can play the up tees. And last but not least we play ready golf. Our groups have been playing together four plus years or longer and all understand the rules, when a newbie shows up we mentor the person and make sure they understand we are out there to have fun and not to kid ourselves about making the senior tour. Just last week a threesome I played with finished in three and a half hours and it was a cart path only day. Some golf purist may chuckle but the whole point of the experience is to have fun, enjoy the social fellowship and nature.
I agree it's largely bad habits by a few players that slow everyone down. It just occurred to me a 15" would almost have to speed up play on greens, where some of the bad habits frequently occur.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:40 AM   #1805
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IMHO the problem with slow play, lies with the players not the size of the hole or the length of the holes. I play twice a week with guys from 60-80 years of age and any one of our foursomes can finish a round in four hours and most times much less. We are not sticklers on the rules, inside the leather is usually a gimmie, lost ball hunt time is less than five minutes and will be going down to three, an OB ball, drop along the line the ball went OB but no closer to the hole, and no one takes more than a double bogey, even if they want to play it out. Most importantly we play from the proper tees, 65+ play from the senior tees and 70+ can play the up tees. And last but not least we play ready golf. Our groups have been playing together four plus years or longer and all understand the rules, when a newbie shows up we mentor the person and make sure they understand we are out there to have fun and not to kid ourselves about making the senior tour. Just last week a threesome I played with finished in three and a half hours and it was a cart path only day. Some golf purist may chuckle but the whole point of the experience is to have fun, enjoy the social fellowship and nature.
Good points I can relate to. We use Tee It Forward and play shorter tees (5,500 yds or so) which both speeds plays and makes the game more enjoyable and still a good challenge. We chuckle when we see groups playing longer tees that have no business playing.... unless they are in front of us. I'm the youngest in the group so the tees that they select are usually shorter than I like but I can then just chose to leave the driver in the bag and tee off with a 3-wood or 5-wood.

For some reason a couple years ago we got colorblind... all the white stakes turned to red stakes. And we take a quick look for a lost ball but that is about it... as a dear departed friend used to say... they make millions of balls every day so there is no need to waste time looking for a lost ball. We usually finish in 3 1/2 to 4 hours unless we get held up... yesterday was about 3 3/4 hrs.

A couple years ago I played at a course that was designed with 4 loops of 4 or 5 holes so every 4 or five holes you were back at the clubhouse. While they did it mainly so they didn't have to build restrooms out on the course, it also facilitates playing 9, 13-14 or 18 holes depending on what you have time for. Especially when it is hot, 9 holes isn't enough but 18 is a long slog.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:41 AM   #1806
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One of the reasons I look for early tee times is not only because I'm an early riser, but because the faster players tend to play earlier. Myself and a golf buddy will normally walk a 6500 yard course in well under 3.5 hours if there are no delays in front.

Ready golf isn't that hard...no one needs to wait for the other guy if they you are on opposite sides of the fairway. By the time you reach your ball you should have already narrowed it down to 1 or 2 clubs. Inspect the lie, pick a club, and hit the ball. You only need 20 seconds.
Absolutely. But I don't know how to change the bad habits that so many display on every course I play. Looking for lost balls way too long.
  • Lining up putts like it's to win the Masters, and not looking until it's time to putt (that really frosts me) - and it seems to be a groupthink where they all do it!
  • Not playing ready golf when one player is holding everyone up.
  • Players who don't ask groups to play through when there's a big opening in front of them.
  • Parking carts too far from the ball, or (far) away from the path.
  • Watching everyone hit before thinking about your shot, picking a club, etc.
  • Beginners -though I can't think of a time when I haven't been waved through by an experienced player out with the beginner - so not a real problem IMO.
I gently nudge players I'm with, but I can't do much about other groups without being considered rude in today's PC culture...

I played 18 alone with a motorized cart last year in a time that I don't dare publish, no one would believe it.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:22 PM   #1807
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Do you agree that it would help if the game could be sped up significantly? I’m just asking, not challenging your POV in any way. I’ll play golf no matter what, even four hours is too short to me on many good (weather, score, company) days. Golf will find a new equilibrium if necessary, it won’t outright die.
Yes, I do agree that speeding up the game (in all the ways mentioned above) would help but, I honestly think it would mostly help those of us who already love the game, by shortening our 4-4.5hr +/- rounds to 3-3.5hr +/- rounds. And, I’m all for that. But, I don’t think that is the silver bullet that will make golf more attractive to a wider audience; that’s a more complex issue to address. Separately, I am a fan of well designed executive courses that can be played in 2 hr +/- and, I’m also a fan of playing 9 holes more often.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:42 PM   #1808
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Slow play starts with a full tee sheet. If a course sends a 4 player group out every 7 to 8 minutes, the course WILL back up. There will be waits on every hole if not every shot.

I don't see the need to play speed golf. A significant number of groups I play with do a good job of playing without delay. When not held up, it is common to play in 4 to 4 1/4 hours which I find very comfortable. When I do see slow players there are a few common themes. Spending way too much time looking for balls hit off the course. Not being ready when it's their turn. Very long pre-shot routines. Spending way too much time reading greens and executing a putt.

I would like to see a course offered on how to be efficient and play without delay. Maybe require a certification of completion to secure early tee times.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:17 PM   #1809
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When I was young(mid 30's) there were several groups of retirees on weekends that we always had to pull over and let play through. They were so fast that we called them the galloping herd. We were not that slow maybe 4 to 4.5 hr rounds. Today that is exactly how we play....3 hours or less. It's not hard when playing ready golf, gimmies and no more than 3 minutes looking for golf balls. And it doesn't seem like we are playing fast.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:39 PM   #1810
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One cure for slow play is having marshals that do a good job.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:11 PM   #1811
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Can see part of the problem reading some of the responses here, some think 3:30 is a good pace, others think 4:30 is adequate. Kind of like driving a car, everyone thinks they're driving the correct speed. The gage I use is if their is a hole open in front of our group and groups behind us are waiting then we're playing slow. Time to pick it up no matter the pace you're playing at.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:53 PM   #1812
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Can see part of the problem reading some of the responses here, some think 3:30 is a good pace, others think 4:30 is adequate. Kind of like driving a car, everyone thinks they're driving the correct speed. The gage I use is if their is a hole open in front of our group and groups behind us are waiting then we're playing slow. Time to pick it up no matter the pace you're playing at.
Yep, it's all about expectations. I know some young folks who complain that golf "takes too long", but even if they had a wide open course in front of them it would still take them 5 hours to play, because, "that's how long it takes."

If I was so inclined, I could find some great pace of play quotes from 80-100 years ago. Same grumbles about slow play, but a very different set of expectations. The general consensus then was, why does it need to take 3 hours to play 18 holes?

Just one, a photo from "The Spirit of St. Andrews" by Alister MacKenzie. The caption reads, "The first hole at Cypress Point-a wonderful start to a 2-1/2 hour round of golf." Cypress Point originally ran about 6400 yards.

Okay, a 2nd. In the 4th round of the 1955 US Open at Olympic CC (6700 yards) in San Francisco, Ben Hogan, crippled legs and all, completed his round in 3 hours and 7 minutes, tied for the lead.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:07 PM   #1813
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Yep, it's all about expectations. I know some young folks who complain that golf "takes too long", but even if they had a wide open course in front of them it would still take them 5 hours to play, because, "that's how long it takes."

If I was so inclined, I could find some great pace of play quotes from 80-100 years ago. Same grumbles about slow play, but a very different set of expectations. The general consensus then was, why does it need to take 3 hours to play 18 holes?

Just one, a photo from "The Spirit of St. Andrews" by Alister MacKenzie. The caption reads, "The first hole at Cypress Point-a wonderful start to a 2-1/2 hour round of golf." Cypress Point originally ran about 6400 yards.

Okay, a 2nd. In the 4th round of the 1955 US Open at Olympic CC (6700 yards) in San Francisco, Ben Hogan, crippled legs and all, completed his round in 3 hours and 7 minutes, tied for the lead.
Yes, having a caddie carrying and selecting your clubs may have had an influence on the speed of play as well, back in those days you mentioned.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:22 PM   #1814
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Yes, having a caddie carrying and selecting your clubs may have had an influence on the speed of play as well, back in those days you mentioned.
We see how well that works on the PGA Tour, today, don't we?

In my limited experiences with caddies today, I've not seen any indication that caddies "speed up" play, but I do think that they sometimes "prevent (excessively) slow play." It depends on the course and, as I said earlier, the expectations.

Back in the day, one definitely did not have the obsession over yardages, however. That didn't really arrive until the 1960's. Walk up, pull a club, and hit. I think that tended to be the practice.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:56 PM   #1815
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What is foot golf?

What it says, literally. It is golf with a soccer ball, soccer shoes, using your foot as golf clubs ...
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:47 PM   #1816
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Can see part of the problem reading some of the responses here, some think 3:30 is a good pace, others think 4:30 is adequate. Kind of like driving a car, everyone thinks they're driving the correct speed. The gage I use is if their is a hole open in front of our group and groups behind us are waiting then we're playing slow. Time to pick it up no matter the pace you're playing at.
I'm a quick player but have nothing against slow players...as long as they realize that they're slow and let faster players through. I have a few friends that are casual golfers and they're a little slower so I make sure that we either keep up or let people through.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:20 AM   #1817
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IMHO the problem with slow play, lies with the players ...

Absolutely. [Rant mode on] It's the golfers who are looking for their golf ball "inside" OB area instead of moving on to the provision ball. It's the golfers who acts like they are in a laid back picnic, walking 0.2 miles per hour around green. It's the golfers who don't understand the simple two words, "ready golf." It's the golfers who does practice putts, extra swings after the fact as if there is no one behind them waiting for them to clear out. It is ... [Rant mode off ]
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:04 AM   #1818
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What it says, literally. It is golf with a soccer ball, soccer shoes, using your foot as golf clubs ...
Oh. No thanks. If I need alternatives, I go to the local disc golf course.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:08 AM   #1819
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One course near me also installed the foot golf holes/greens. Guess what? Even less players play foot golf - far, far less. It's mostly unused and I wonder how long the course will maintained the foot golf greens. But I give them credit for trying to generate more revenue.
There was a course by me that held some foot golf tournaments. They had 27 holes and used 9 for foot golf. The turnout was huge. Rarely saw anyone just coming out to play foot golf , but did see a few people on occasion.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:37 AM   #1820
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I took practice swings out of my game a few years ago. Not only did my scores improve, it is much quicker. I pick my spot, line up my feet, align myself with the ball (front, middle or back as appropriate in the circumstances), take a breath and then just hit the damned ball. No worries about a bad practice swing.
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