The golf book 'The Art of Fast Play' couldn't be more timely as the USGA rolls out its 'While We're Young' campaign
It seems everybody is jumping on the “play faster” bandwagon.
The United States Golf Association rolled out its “While We’re Young” campaign during last week’s U.S. Open, hoping to spur people to quit hanging out at the beer cart (a commercial featuring Arnold Palmer) and taking too long to read putts (another one featuring Tiger Woods) in an effort to encourage faster play.
I’m not entirely convinced that slow play is slowing the growth of the game. I do think it’s keeping avid golfers from playing and enjoying the game more.
Author Sam Dunn, a part owner at Whiskey Creek Golf Club in Ijamsville, Maryland, has released the book, “The Art of Fast Play: Solving Golf’s Maddening Problem of Slow Play", to serve as a point by point guide to get golfers to pick up the pace. Dunn believes pace of play isn’t related to ability.
“Playing in four hours isn’t about hurrying; it’s simply about not wasting time. There are countless ways to waste time in a round and most of them are so small as to be nearly invisible. It’s death by a thousand cuts,” he indicated in the book’s press release.
It reminded me of a round I recently played at Little Mountain Country Club in Ohio. I joined a threesome of great guys on the first tee. My cart mate whispered to me that his friend was a “slow player.” The friend proceeded to waggle and waggle and realign through a pre-shot routine that only Kevin Na or Sergio Garcia would love. It was painful for all of us.
Most of the pace of play recommendations in the book are plain common sense: Tee it forward, watch every player hit so no extra time is spent looking for a lost ball, park the cart behind the green, take a couple clubs with you when leaving the cart, etc. But he also had a few tips to solve those “invisible” problems I’d never thought of.
* Take a bunker rake with you into the bunker to rake going in and out of the sand.
* Put your clubs away after you’ve driven up to the next shot.
* The player with the shortest drive should be dropped off at his/her ball and the other player driving the cart should advance to his/her ball as long as they are not in the way. The first player can then hit and walk up to the cart while the second player is hitting.
If you can’t convince your regular playing partners to play faster, do yourselves both a favor. Get him or her a copy of the book. They may not read it, but they’ll certainly get the hint. It is available at www.vineyardstories.com and www.amazon.com for $14.95.
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