The thing is, no one likes slow play,
except for that one guy who sent an e-mail
and told us he is in no hurry to get home
from the golf course and start in on that
honey-do list his wife has waiting for him.
He needs to find the card room at the
club and learn to play gin rummy for a
penny a point. That will keep him occupied
for a while and he won’t hold up the rest of
us while we’re trying to play golf.
Besides him, everyone we heard from
last week is on our side. Slow play is the
scourge of our game. With the exception of
the PGA Tour, which doesn’t have a pace
of play problem – just ask them. Denial is
a powerful force.
The real question is: What do we about
it? Mike Keiser, who developed and owns
the stunning courses at Bandon Dunes
Resort, suggested that the PGA Tour put
the slow players off last every day. That
way, we’d identify them, expose them and
perhaps shame them into playing faster.
It’s a great idea but impractical because if one or more of the slowpokes gets
near the lead, they will have to co-mingle
with the faster players on the weekend for
television. Besides, there are only a handful of really fast players these days.
Vast numbers of PGA Tour players have
fallen into the apathetic majority, which is
to say that players who used to pick up the
pace have slowed down considerably and
now only keep up the tortoise-like pace. If
the Tour allows you upward of five-and-a-
half hours to play, you might as well take
your time. There’s no valor in fighting a
losing battle in this case.
THREE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP IMPROVE PACE OF PLAY
And don’t watch Full Metal Jousting. We
have standards. Can’t do without golf? Go
with the LPGA or Champions Tour. They
aren’t slow. In fact, on average, the women
and seniors are an hour or more faster per
round than the big Tour.
For this to be effective and get the
PGA Tour’s attention, we must have a
groundswell. Tell five of your friends and
relatives and ask them to tell five of theirs.
Go on Twitter and Facebook. Spread the
word to the members of your Saturday
morning dogfight. Put a note on the club
Stand up and tell Ponte Vedra Beach
that you’re mad as hell and you won’t take
it anymore. Let them know that slow play
on Tour begets slow play at your course.
And the slower we play, the faster golf
will shrink instead of grow. We need more
players, especially fast ones, and nothing
drives away new golfers with more certainty than the time it takes to play.
If you have other ideas to draw attention to this cause, please feel free to
e-mail me at email@example.com.
I’m glad to hear from all of you. Just make
sure it’s practical.
In the meantime, join the cause. Let’s
do something that really matters. If an
issue ever needed to go viral in the golf
world, it’s this. If we can stamp out slow
play in our lifetime, the generations that
follow will be indebted to us for as long as
they play our game.
Our mission is to leave golf better than
we found it. This is the way. l