The end of slow play??

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When you play tennis you have to bring your own tennis balls and you are only allowed to touch with your hands your own balls - so they have to make their balls to make sure it’s theirs before picking them up.
I'm not sure in which edition of The Complete Golfer (1st Ed 1905) that Harry Vardon first had a go at four-ball foursomes (as fourball was called back then) - but in my 1914 copy - his views...?

The new foursome is also a selfish game, because it is generally played with too little regard for the convenience and feelings of other golfers on the links. It is very slow and couples coming up from behind who do not always care to ask to be allowed to go through, are often irritated beyond measure as they wait for four balls to be played through the green in front of them, and eight putts are taken on the putting green. The constant waiting puts them off their game and spoils their day.

And he goes on to go through how things get even slower and more confused when playing a four ball match - players in a pair working out what best to do; balls being mark and lifted ('continual lifting and replacing') etc.

Plus ca change. Vardon may have been thinking this over one hundred years ago - and he is of course right as we continue to think the same today :)

I'll add - he also admits that the fourball game has it's merits...however...

His book as a very interesting read for those interested in how the game was back in the day. But on this topic

See Chapter XVII - On Foursomes

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q4NFDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA219&lpg=PA219&dq=what+did+harry+vardon+think+about+four+ball+golf&source=bl&ots=jOWz1gPq68&sig=ACfU3U3tAUjFASuI1q9A3aX3UtwJ9BKk7Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjc08urjMLpAhXONcAKHX8pAE0Q6AEwDnoECA8QAQ#v=onepage&q=what did harry vardon think about four ball golf&f=false
 
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DRW

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Sadly doesn't solve it completely, wife/son left after 14 holes of a lot of waiting yesterday with 10 minute times. Still slow.

Its not always the total time taken, but the flow that is important to how it feels out on the course.

I thought Trevose has an interesting tee system, 2 ball golf upto 9am(could be remembering wrong with the timings!) and then 4 ball golf.
 

pendodave

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I would vote for that.
I'd often thought it was a bit quaint that some more traditional clubs have a 2ball (incl 4somes) rule in place, but now I've seen it in action, I can see why they do it.
Having said that, I love playing with a group of mates, so while thinking that some windows during the week for 2balls might be a good thing, I'd never want to be a member at a club where I couldn't play as a 4 ball.
 

clubchamp98

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I'd often thought it was a bit quaint that some more traditional clubs have a 2ball (incl 4somes) rule in place, but now I've seen it in action, I can see why they do it.
Having said that, I love playing with a group of mates, so while thinking that some windows during the week for 2balls might be a good thing, I'd never want to be a member at a club where I couldn't play as a 4 ball.
Me neither but a set time for people to play early would be good.
I would say before 9.30.
I worked shifts and there was nothing worse than being stuck behind a fourball when I had to get to work on afternoons.
This would fix that.
 

clubchamp98

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Sadly doesn't solve it completely, wife/son left after 14 holes of a lot of waiting yesterday with 10 minute times. Still slow.

Its not always the total time taken, but the flow that is important to how it feels out on the course.

I thought Trevose has an interesting tee system, 2 ball golf upto 9am(could be remembering wrong with the timings!) and then 4 ball golf.
Slow play isn’t caused by four balls !
It’s caused by slow players , until we sort them out it won’t change.
We still have slow two balls relative to everyone else.
 
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Played 3 rounds of 18 and haven't gone beyond 3 hours 20 minutes yet (despite waiting on several tees for the group in front); also managed 16 holes in 2 hours 15 minutes. It's AMAZING how much 10 minute gaps + 2 balls makes. It does beg the question why every Stableford is 4hours+ and Medals 4:30+
 

jim8flog

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I doubt many courses that rely on visitors and societies to bolster their finances would survive if 2 ball golf became the norm.
Yes, rounds are faster but not that much to make up for losing out on revenue from 3 and 4 ball societies
It would also consign Foursomes, 4BBB etc to history....
What I do think the current climate shows is that, with correct spacing of tee times, rounds can be played faster if you're not standing around waiting. Obvious but now we have the proof.

Visitors and societies make up a huge part of our income even with a full membership of around 800 players our membership fees would probably have to increase several hundred pounds a year.
 

jim8flog

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Played properly foursomes can be quicker than 2 balls. And foursomes is a 2 ball anyway.
As per Crow played properly i.e when one player is walking to the tee their partner is walking forward and so on through the round..

Trouble for me is when I have played foursomes or greensomes I feel as If I have only played half a round.
 
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As per Crow played properly i.e when one player is walking to the tee their partner is walking forward and so on through the round..

Trouble for me is when I have played foursomes or greensomes I feel as If I have only played half a round.
You need to immerse yourself in the format which means being so engaged that as well as playing your own shots, you are with your partner playing his shots in your head. You and He are one. Once you've managed that then you'll really get foursomes.

At first I found it easier to play the shot when it is my turn than to cope with the outcome of my partners. But in time I learnt to consider my partners shot, good, bad or indifferent - as if it were my own - because he and I were one. And that made things a lot easier to manage in my head. And hugely enjoyable.
 
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IanM

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Not keeping score, worrying about the score and picking up gimmes sure speeds it all up! :) Only allowed singles or 2 ball with folk in same house in Wales!

And, it isnt the end of slow play. My mate was out of the course for the first time today..... he will have slowed it down a bit!
 

KenL

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Going back to the 1960's my old club had a 2ball/foursomes only rule until 10.30 am.
Gave the members a quick round until the visitors and 4 balls started at 10.30.
Foursomes was still a popular game then.
[For newbees foursomes are when two pairs play each other hitting alternate shots, not to be confused with fourballs or even the nondescript 'pairs']
I hate foursomes, just saying. :ROFLMAO:
 

jim8flog

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You need to immerse yourself in the format which means being so engaged that as well as playing your own shots, you are with your partner playing his shots in your head. You and He are one. Once you've managed that then you'll really get foursomes.

At first I found it easier to play the shot when it is my turn than to cope with the outcome of my partners. But in time I learnt to consider my partners shot, good, bad or indifferent - as if it were my own - because he and I were one. And that made things a lot easier to manage in my head. And hugely enjoyable.
I have played a fair amount of foursomes and I really get it. It is just a simple thing for me as said I finish and feel that I have not played enough golf to put it in another way.
 

murphthemog

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Played 3 rounds of 18 and haven't gone beyond 3 hours 20 minutes yet (despite waiting on several tees for the group in front); also managed 16 holes in 2 hours 15 minutes. It's AMAZING how much 10 minute gaps + 2 balls makes. It does beg the question why every Stableford is 4hours+ and Medals 4:30+
We play 4 ball medals at my place, at 10 minute intervals, and 4 hours is the norm. 4 1/2 hours is pathetic.
 

Slime

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Last week was my first 18 hole game for eight weeks.
I was a bit sad that it was over so quickly.
Tomorrow I'll make sure I take my time, obviously mindful of those behind, but I'll not be in any rush to finish.
 

HomerJSimpson

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Slow play isn’t caused by four balls !
It’s caused by slow players , until we sort them out it won’t change.
We still have slow two balls relative to everyone else.
I agree but sadly a number of people won't accept they are the problem. We have a couple of notorious slow players in our weekend groups, one on the roll up before ours and a guy that seems to freeze over the ball and take up to 30 seconds just standing there before hitting it (and has been timed at 42 seconds). Noth are incredibly defensive and prickly whenever the subject is brought up How do they get sorted. Neither will change their ways willingly
 

saving_par

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I agree but sadly a number of people won't accept they are the problem. We have a couple of notorious slow players in our weekend groups, one on the roll up before ours and a guy that seems to freeze over the ball and take up to 30 seconds just standing there before hitting it (and has been timed at 42 seconds). Noth are incredibly defensive and prickly whenever the subject is brought up How do they get sorted. Neither will change their ways willingly
Surely this is easily sorted, kick them out of the roll up and explain why.

They may have to change their ways willingly if they want some mates to play with.
 

HomerJSimpson

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Surely this is easily sorted, kick them out of the roll up and explain why.

They may have to change their ways willingly if they want some mates to play with.
True but bound to cause friction and doesn't stop it happening in competitions and matches either. The thing is they know they are slow but seem unable and unwilling to change. I don't see what the club can do to re-educate them and surely imposing restrictions only runs the risk of losing them as members. It's a tough one to strike a balance
 

KenL

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To me Scratch foursomes matchplay is the purest form of golf.
I loved it and had some great partners over the years.
Purest form? Surely teeing your ball up is the purest form.
Foursomes is an elitist form of the game in East Lothian. Only played (to my knowledge) regularly at Muirfield, Luffness after lunch and the EL winter league.
 
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