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  1. #1
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    Speed of Play! Etiquette?

    How do we battle this?

    On Sunday I played our season opener AM-AM competition. Our team consisted of two guys in their 60's, one in his 50's and me the young whippersnapper in his 40's. Thankfully we were out first at 0800 hours and were round in 3 hours 45 minutes which is pretty reasonable going for Mach Dunes as it is a fair walk.

    Anyway the second game finished a full 45 minutes behind us! How is it possible for game 2 to lose three, maybe four holes on the first game? It sets the tone and pace for the rest of the field and is really poor.

    Medals are just as bad now, over 4 hours for 3 balls, why?

    I am by no means the quickest player but I know to be ready to play, I know where to leave my clubs, I know when I should be tending the flag and to be ready to play when its my turn (if we're not playing ready golf - which we often do)so we maintain pace.

    Is etiquette the issue? Are clubs not doing enough to promote and enforce this? The amount of golfers I see leaving bags at the front of greens or the opposite side of the green to the next tee, golfers standing chatting or farting about instead of being ready to play etc etc leads me to believe that clubs needs to bring etiquette up fairly regularly to try and educate a lot of "ignorant" golfers.
    Paul Lawrie - The King of Scottish Golf

  2. #2
    Assistant Pro
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    Re: Speed of Play! Etiquette?

    My club is only just advertising ready play as the way golf needs to be played now. Though lots do.
    (Ladies section not so much, they really are slow and hopefully they’ll get some education this season)

    One fourball I see made of some old timers. They play an extreme version of ready play. Once one has tee’d off he’s walking up the fairway. And so on. It looks very fluid and impressive.

    clubs need to be promoting ready play, letting people through etc. I’d like to see signs on the Tees.

  3. #3
    Hall of Famer HomerJSimpson's Avatar
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    Re: Speed of Play! Etiquette?

    It comes down to education, but sadly every club has those that are a regular problem with their slow play and I'd argue the majority would say they aren't slow or cause any issues. Those players will refuse to accept there is a problem and so there is no amount of education or initiatives that will change that. Ready golf may make a difference.

    Similarly we have certain groups especially in the Saturday roll ups that precede our own, that will never let you through and even when a hole down will find some laughable excuse why there isn't a problem and why you can't come through. In competitive play, I would set a maximum (for my club of four and a half hours) for a medal or stableford. That's probably 30 minutes longer than it takes on average but I appreciate some golfers and groups could have a bad day and several playing provisionals on some holes hence the leeway. After that, I'd be getting the comp secretary/captain to be getting an explanation for the delay if they miss the time slot, issue a warning second time, and penalise with a shot penalty for a third offence.

  4. #4
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    Re: Speed of Play! Etiquette?

    I think clubs do need to make people more aware of it and enforce it much more.
    Volunteer course marshalls maybe at the busiest times?
    Nothing too heavy but somebody out there to help things along and keep people aware throughout the round.

  5. #5
    Ryder Cup Winner fundy's Avatar
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    Re: Speed of Play! Etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by HomerJSimpson View Post
    It comes down to education, but sadly every club has those that are a regular problem with their slow play and I'd argue the majority would say they aren't slow or cause any issues. Those players will refuse to accept there is a problem and so there is no amount of education or initiatives that will change that. Ready golf may make a difference.

    Similarly we have certain groups especially in the Saturday roll ups that precede our own, that will never let you through and even when a hole down will find some laughable excuse why there isn't a problem and why you can't come through. In competitive play, I would set a maximum (for my club of four and a half hours) for a medal or stableford. That's probably 30 minutes longer than it takes on average but I appreciate some golfers and groups could have a bad day and several playing provisionals on some holes hence the leeway. After that, I'd be getting the comp secretary/captain to be getting an explanation for the delay if they miss the time slot, issue a warning second time, and penalise with a shot penalty for a third offence.
    so why dont your club do anything about the aforementioned groups?
    In the bag:
    TM M1 9.5 degree
    TM M1 17 degree hybrid
    Orka RS1/RS3 Irons 3-PW
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    Handicap: 7

  6. #6
    Ryder Cup Winner fundy's Avatar
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    Re: Speed of Play! Etiquette?

    Club i left in November comp rounds in 3 balls were a guaranteed 4 hours and often 4 1/2hours for 3 balls. 6600 yard course, a couple of longish walks but nothing too great. 4 hours for me was on the slow side, anything slower was torture, waiting on most tee boxes etc.

    Committee have tried marshalling but ultimately never issued enough sanctions to bother people, especially those who believed theyd paid their money and had the right to take as long as they wanted. Biggest issue there was actually the 8 minute start gaps and that they werent even adhered too, people would tee off as soon as the group in front was out of range which ensured it was backed up before it started. 1st a par 5 second a par 3 and a guaranteed 5 minute wait.

    On the plus side we got the rough cut down on 8 and the tee brought forward as that was causing the biggest bottle neck (220 yard par 3)

    But the proprietary owner wouldnt allow any longer gaps as it ate into the later tee slots where he was making over a ton a 4 ball which left little other room for manoeuvre and its got to the point where 4 1/2 hours is now deemed acceptable by most and if you dont like it then tough

    Easier to make bigger changes in members clubs than proprietary ones I guess but its a golf problem full stop and the pro game is certainly not helping the pace of play for the rest of us
    In the bag:
    TM M1 9.5 degree
    TM M1 17 degree hybrid
    Orka RS1/RS3 Irons 3-PW
    Orka RS10 Wedges 52,56,60
    Ping Ketsch

    Handicap: 7

  7. #7
    Hall of Famer HomerJSimpson's Avatar
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    Re: Speed of Play! Etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by fundy View Post
    so why dont your club do anything about the aforementioned groups?
    No idea. It's been raised jokingly, politely and forcefully to the groups in the clubhouse after, been put in writing several times and it simply gets brushed under the carpet. If the club isn't fussed about slow social play then it's not going to be self-policed. We do have a marshal but what powers does he really have? He can't oik a slow group of fee paying members off or insist they let others through so it's a waste of time

  8. #8
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    Re: Speed of Play! Etiquette?

    I played the brabazon recently and was told at the start that we should be finished 9 holes in 2hrs 30mins (I think) and finished 18 in 4hrs 40mins, which is plenty of time IMO.
    We spoke to the marshall a couple of times on the course as it slowed up a bit in front of us and he said that he made a couple of groups miss a hole out to catch up. I thought this was a good solution to be honest.
    I guess at club level (not the brabazon) its difficult for the clubs to be this strict as they are afraid of upsetting people and potentially losing business/members if they enforce it so strongly.
    Slow play has been a big issue in golf since I started playing 10 years ago and I havent seen any real improvement in playing times. For me it is the most frustrating aspect of the sport but as it is mainly out of my control I am starting to think that I just need to suck it up and accept that golf is a slow game and might ultimately even become a slower game because not much seems to be done at almost every level.

  9. #9
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    Re: Speed of Play! Etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by HomerJSimpson View Post
    No idea. It's been raised jokingly, politely and forcefully to the groups in the clubhouse after, been put in writing several times and it simply gets brushed under the carpet. If the club isn't fussed about slow social play then it's not going to be self-policed. We do have a marshal but what powers does he really have? He can't oik a slow group of fee paying members off or insist they let others through so it's a waste of time
    Why can't he?

    What's the point of employing a Marshall if he can't implement club policy?

    Or doesn't the club subscribe to the etiquette principles in the Rules? (Which the other part of your response suggests...)
    some metal woods,
    any old irons,
    Pick up balls....

    12.2 and moving the wrong way again...

  10. #10
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    Re: Speed of Play! Etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by ademac View Post
    I played the brabazon recently and was told at the start that we should be finished 9 holes in 2hrs 30mins (I think) and finished 18 in 4hrs 40mins, which is plenty of time IMO.
    We spoke to the marshall a couple of times on the course as it slowed up a bit in front of us and he said that he made a couple of groups miss a hole out to catch up. I thought this was a good solution to be honest.
    I guess at club level (not the brabazon) its difficult for the clubs to be this strict as they are afraid of upsetting people and potentially losing business/members if they enforce it so strongly.
    Slow play has been a big issue in golf since I started playing 10 years ago and I havent seen any real improvement in playing times. For me it is the most frustrating aspect of the sport but as it is mainly out of my control I am starting to think that I just need to suck it up and accept that golf is a slow game and might ultimately even become a slower game because not much seems to be done at almost every level.
    The enlightened ones have realised that they risk losing many more members if they don't - accepting that it has to be done in the right way, of course.
    some metal woods,
    any old irons,
    Pick up balls....

    12.2 and moving the wrong way again...

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