Slow Play = Course Greed
My colleague Dave is like the guy who blames the bears for visting his campground when he leaves a picnic table of food out overnight when it comes to the slow play issue. Slow play isn’t a golfer’s etiquette problem. It’s a course problem.
Rangers aren’t going to help this pox on the game unless they go into the clubhouse and talk to the people taking the tee times. The average guy on the course doesn’t need a lecture. The greedy folks in the clubhouse do.
By grabbing every possible greens fee and stacking tee times together, the courses are the ones usually inflicting the glacial pace of play on their customers. On most golf courses there are simply too many golfers out there to allow for a three and a half hour round.
And why do golf course get away with it? Because too few golfers complain or hold the courses to any standard. Too many golfers act like they’re priveledged to be playing a course rather than understanding they’re paying customers with rights. You’re the customer. If this was a restaurant and you had to wait two hours for your entree, you’d definitely raise a ruckus. Why let the courses skate by?
Slow play is here to stay until the whole industry standard changes. How many golf publications besides this one ever mention a word about pace of play in any of their course reviews? No one’s calling the courses on it. Instead you complain about your neighbor on the course, a guy who’s waited all week to play a round just like you. Look beyond the foursome in front of you.
Follow the money. Your money.
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Quick real story... When with a major U.S. golf corporation as Head Professional at a private club, we had a regional meeting. The topic of major concern was pace of play. My facility was the only in the region without a problem, as we oversaw the course properly. We made sure people stayed up with the group ahead with a great member/club concern program. At the end of the session which took about two hours with all the professionals sharing their problems and their solutions, the topic changed immediately to 5 somes. After 5 minutes, their solution to 5 somes, "let them play 6, and get the extra $15-$20 per open cart seat"..........(Hello)......
How do you think the AVID golfer got to be that way? They were beginners just like everyone else. If it was'nt for the beginners and intermediate golfers this game would stop growing. So chase them off the course? If you offer the customer great service, great food and a quality golf course, I would hope to be busy.
Yes, we experience days of slow play because we are popular and run a quality operation, not because of greed. In many popular restuarants you expect to wait, but in the end, its worth it.
Your golf course is crowded - what a great problem to have.
Golf course design has altered to lengthen courses to cope with the better equipment. This suits the better players but the average (unpractised) gofler is now left further behind.
Then what about the lack of yardage signposts, leaving visitors guessing about the distances (and taking minutes to do it)?
Finally, whose bright idea was it to make the distances from Green to Tee as far as those from Tee to Green. (Answer: Jack Nicholas. I think he had shares in a buggy manufacturer!)
It all adds up to more time needed for the average (22+) golfer. And if you hound them to play faster, they will only go to pieces and then take longer!!
In any case, if I wanted to run round my golf course, I would take up jogging.
I manage a golf course that has a slope rating of 148 and I know the issue with our pace of play falls into 2 catagories;
1st - Is the fact that the "design" of this course does not allow for a "run around the park" pace. It just is not possible by design. 2nd - It just takes 1 group to play slow or fall out of position to make everyone behind them feel like they are in a funeral processional and ruin the golf experience.
Pace of Play has ben an issue forever. It is not all of a sudden due to the operators. It is a fine balance and chore to make the golf experience and financial picture work. So if we have Tee times every 20-minutes and experience better pace of play but lose our $$'s at the end of the year, then I guess we will fold up the shop, course, clubhouse and everything else.
What would he write about then???
PGA Golf Professional
The only reason for slow play is that the courses don't enforce! I just got back from the St. Andrews Old Course where I completed a round beginning at 10:30AM in four hours. There is probably no course busier in the world! Although we had a brisk pace and we were not behind the group in front of us, we were reminded twice to keep the pace fast (in a non offensive way). It was quick everywhere else I played in England and Scotland. They get it, and even the slow Americans adjusted.
We Americans take way too much time aligning and practice swinging, often walk to the ball without a couple of likely clubs, look forever for lost balls, don't hit provisionals, circle and gawk at each person in the group's lay and shot, seam to avoid "ready golf" like the plague (even when someone else can't find their ball or are going from sand trap to sand trap around the green), and don't even start lining up our putts until the other person has finished putting. I'm not talking about beginners! Aim as you walk up and just hit the darn thing already, Sergio.
For the most part here Marshalls are worthless because they rarely say a darn thing, and it's absolutely the course's fault. Yes it is!
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