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35 comments

Comment from: Robert Y [Visitor]
Yea, to hell with golf etiquette. I mean,it's not like Rory is a professional or anything. Oh wait, he is. Would it have killed him to handle the matter off the course?

Why don't we just throw out all golf etiquette? I may even start playing the holes in whatever order I want. Maybe #2 first...then over to 14, 9, 8 and 17. I can't wait to start shouting during someone's backswing. I may even take a page from "Caddyshack" and whisper "miss it....miss it" during an opponent's putt.

Great idea you have there.

Rob


06/14/05 @ 14:15
Comment from: Jacque [Visitor]
I think Sabbatini should be banned from the US Open. I no longer enjoy the NFL or NBA because of the bad boy image and the 'arrest of the week' -- we need some sport to show our sons and daughters sportsman like conduct.
06/14/05 @ 15:03
Comment from: mike [Visitor]
If you want speedy golf stick to the putt-putt track. Those of us who can actually play respect the game and its inherent etiquette. If you want quick and dirty go find some NHL or NBA to watch. Why are you playing golf if you are in a hurry? If the sun affects you, maybe try some GoldenTee video golf. It should be on par with your athletic ability and mental capacity. Ben Crane showed that he is a much bigger man and a consumate gentleman. The fact that a spoiled, pouting brat could have cost him 250K, but didn't, just shows how much intestinal fortitude and conviction that man has. If more professional athletes were like him, we wouldnt have a sports world full of Sawn Kemps', Randy Moss', and Barry Bonds'. Its, YOU, the media outlets, that keep those individuals on the forefront. Thanks for nothing.
06/14/05 @ 15:37
Comment from: Shanks [Visitor]
Ditto the three guys ahead of me. Sabbatini is well-known as one of the Tour 's biggest @$$holes. There are avenues to handle grievances .... but he's too big of a spoiled brat to handle it like a man .... like Crane did. We don't need rude behavior from the players. It's bad enough coming from the few drunken idiots in the gallery.
06/14/05 @ 15:47
Comment from: Mark Johannsen [Visitor]
Mr. McDonald... Spoken by a person who probably hasn't played a round of golf his entire life. What Sabbatini did was ridiculous and he should be fined. There are rules in golf. He broke a couple of them. Slow or not...deal with it. Crane should be given an award for playing 18 holes with Sabbatini.
06/14/05 @ 16:47
Comment from: Nick [Visitor]
What Sabbatini did goes completely against the integrity of this great game. His behaviour was totally unacceptable. Ben Crane's post match interview showed what a gentleman he really is. He explained how it was totally his own fault and did not criticise Sabbatini at all. The fact of the matter is that Sabbatini was well out of line and handled the situation of slow play in a terrible matter. I now believe that Crane is a true gentleman and true sportsman and an asset to both the PGA Tour and the game of golf, while Sabbatini is a disgrace and should face a hefty fine for his actions.
06/14/05 @ 17:49
Comment from: Dormy [Visitor]
Are you guys serious?

Slow play is the number one problem with golf today - too many people quit or don't take up the sport due to time constraints.

I've played to a single digit cap for many years and fully agree with the large sign on the starter's booth at North Berwick which proclaims "A ROUND OF GOLF SHOULD NOT TAKE MORE THAN THREE AND ONE HALF HOURS".

Slow tour players are imitated by amateurs with little or no ability which jams up golf courses everywhere. Almost every good player I know enjoys playing in less than 4 hours.

I'm fortunate to belong to two excellent clubs where slow play is against the rules; they actually mandate that your round must be completed within four hours and repeat violators have their playing privileges restricted.

I'd like to see the Tour take steps to encourage faster play, such a move would be a great boon to the sport of golf.
06/14/05 @ 18:46
Comment from: Derrek Jones [Visitor]
Have it on good faith from a reliable source that McDonald couldn't break wind on course, much less 110. So how his 110 shots aren't holding up play, we'll never know.
06/14/05 @ 19:38
Comment from: AA [Visitor]
If slow play bothers you so much, join an exclusive country club that meets your requirements.

Golf is popular, and will continue to grow. That means there will always be newbies "clogging up" the course.

Slow play annoying? It's about the same as the arrogant uptight @$$holes with their dour faces whenever you are running a bit behind.
06/14/05 @ 21:20
Comment from: Andre [Visitor]
It is amazing that slow players never get frustrated by fast players, but fast players can be greatly affected by people who play so slow. I think it is a little selfish of the slower players not to try and at least pick it up a little. How Rory reacted was unfortunate, however, playing so slowly almost definitely cost Rory a few shots as well therefore some prize money.
06/15/05 @ 10:18
Comment from: Glen Erickson [Visitor]
Not surprisingly, the draggers-of-ass seem to band together to take shots at Sabbatini.
Slow play is a scourge...it affects participation and of course, revenue. Mind you, who'd of thunk golf is a business?
Cheers to Sabbatini for taking a stand on a public stage...and for taking the bullets after the fact.
I'm sure the PGA Tour will keep any fines private.
Unfortunately, the Ben Crane's of the world will continue to influence the masses with their form of paralysis by analysis.
06/15/05 @ 10:26
Comment from: Ryan [Visitor]
I'm a fast player. But anyone who defends a guy walking off a hole, in competition, while his playing partner is still playing the hole is an idiot. Ever heard of the word marker?

And congrats to XM Radio's coverage which allowed plenty of people around 18 green to know about Rory's actions and congrats to those fans for booing him.
06/15/05 @ 10:30
Comment from: Michael [Visitor]
Why should the actions of one player be the down fall of another?

The two had been put on the clock a few holes before the 17th and Ben Crane made no attempt to speed up his play.
Sabbatini’s actions on the 17th where a direct result of Crane’s slow play (nobody has mentioned that).
I ask this question “if you where going to be fined or penalize for the slow play of others wouldn’t you do the same” think about it.
06/15/05 @ 11:27
Comment from: David [Visitor]
I agree with most posters here that slow play is very annoying. But we cannot compare the slow play of weekend warriors to that of tour players. Tour players are playing for lots of money. Weekend players are playing for pennies, if that. I can understand a PGA pro looking from 4-6 different angles before putting, but a weekend player shouldn't. Most of us can't read a green if our lives depended on it.
06/15/05 @ 12:08
Comment from: Tom [Visitor]
I don't like Sabbatini. Everything I've ever read about him points to him being a punk. I also hate slow play. His actions brought needed attention to the problem. Yes David, tour players are slow, but Ben Crane is one of the slowest of the slow. I can't watch his pre-shot acton, just like I never liked Sergio's. He is a bad example, and he is the one who should be fined.
06/15/05 @ 14:04
Comment from: Kevin Wynne [Visitor]
I think it's high time this issue of slow play comes to a head. What Sabbitini did was wrong but I still have sympathy for him. Yes they are all playing for money including Ben Crane. Did Ben Crane ever think of Rory Sabbatini losing money because of his slow play. I don't think so! If all you out there were playing for that much money and this guy is holding you up you just might flip out as well. Sure Ben was very diplomatic in his post interview but he should have been. I heard someone say something that it was bad etiquette by Sabbatini but isn't slow play considered bad etiquette????? Don't make Ben out to be the only victim. It takes two to tango. I just hope these guys don't get paired up again anytime soon.
06/15/05 @ 16:09
Comment from: Glen Erickson [Visitor]
Etiquette aside, is it fair to suggest that what we watch on the professional tours influences what we do as players at our level of play?
Inexperienced players are likely to think Sabbatini's a dunce and Crane is victim.
Which player's actions are likely to be emulated?
If the inexperienced player emulates Crane because Sabbatini's actions are being vilified, how does that help me enjoy six hours of grief at the "muni" on Saturday mornings?
06/15/05 @ 22:41
Comment from: J Michael Kenyon [Visitor]
As a 62-year-old who plays golf alone -- perhaps for a reason -- and regularly completes rounds in 85-90 minutes (with cart) and two hours (walking), when not impeded by snails, it's interesting to, at last, hear the thoughts of the people who've ruined, probably, a thousand rounds of golf for me over the past decade by sleepwalking through 4, 4 1/2 and 5-hour rounds. So I should stick to the "putt-putt track" if I want it "down and dirty" or, the suggestion is, that I cannot "actually play" or "respect" the game if I take more than a minute or two for each shot? I sense my thoughts are not important to the glacial golfers, but I would address course owners with the notion that I would play 36 holes a day, five or six days a week, if I could finish a round even in 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Instead, I manage to get in four or five 18-hole rounds a week, if I'm lucky. Let the course owners do the math and see how much business they're losing. And recall that, in 1964, on the first day of the Masters at Augusta GA, Fred McLeod, age 81 and Jock Hutchison, age 79, were the honorary twosome whose drives launched the tournament. They completed their round in two hours and 35 minutes. I would suspect their ability to play the game and their respect for it were seldom, if ever, doubted. A pox on slow play and its adherents. It is the bane -- and, likely, judging by most of the previous comments, the ruination of the most beautiful of games. Rory Sabbatini, you are henceforth my hero.
06/16/05 @ 10:12
Comment from: Matt O'Neill [Visitor]
On the one hand I think Rory should have handled the Crane situation differently but I am glad to see some light shed on slow play. There are two types of slow players...the anal retentive who believe their score will be lower on a five hour pace and the stupid-slow player who is never ready to hit. The anal golfer needs to be tolerated or avoided whereas the stupid-golfer ought tee off after the sun goes down. And while I'm on the subject, ball retrievers ought to be banned from the course...hit a provisional and move on. Bottom line...a six hour round
is only exceptable when it includes a few cold Budweisers on the 4th nine.

Play on...


06/16/05 @ 11:57
Comment from: Matt O'Neill [Visitor]
On the one hand I think Rory should have handled the Crane situation differently but I am glad to see some light shed on slow play. There are two types of slow players...the anal retentive who believe their score will be lower on a five hour pace and the stupid-slow player who is never ready to hit. The anal golfer needs to be tolerated or avoided whereas the stupid-golfer ought tee off after the sun goes down. And while I'm on the subject, ball retrievers ought to be banned from the course...hit a provisional and move on. Bottom line...a six hour round
is only exceptable when it includes a few cold Budweisers on the 4th nine.

Play on...


06/16/05 @ 12:00
Comment from: visitor [Visitor]
Why should Sabbatini have to wait. What etiquette? Are you saying its good etiquette to play real slow causing another player to get a penalty? If thats etiquette - I say to hell with it. And why should Sabbatini have to play at Crane's pace. Why doesn't Crane play at Sabbatini's pace? Where does it say in the rule book that slow play takes precedence over fast play? Good golf etiquette would be that if two players are paired together - they would both make an attempt to be more accomadating - Rory playing a little slower and Crane playing faster. But that only makes sense - the stuffed shirts who can't play in the first place won't agree.
06/16/05 @ 13:11
Comment from: Bob A. [Visitor]
Obviously all the slow players in the world have gotten together against Sabbatini. Bad etiquette to play ahead of your partner? Well, it's time for the partner to pick it up. Sabbatini played his shot before Crane, walked to the green, dropped from the hazard all in the time it took Crane to play 1 shot. Ridiculous.

Slow play is the bane of the golf industry. I applaud Sabbatini, but I won't hold my breath for the USGA or the PGA to do anything about it. Until they start handing out individual player penalties instead of penalizing the group, slow play will be with us both in the pro ranks, and for the weekend warrior.

What can the amateur do? Patronize courses that take slow play seriously. At a local course in Rochester Michigan, rangers constantly are on slow group which fall behind by a hole, and will kick people off the course who consistently back things up.

You don't need to be a low handicapper to play at a reasonable pace. As someone who has played for 27 years, starting at age 9, I've seen slow and faster players of all abilities. It's just a matter of paying attention to what you're doing, hit when you are ready (not when your fellow hacker has finally reach your ball after 5 shots), and get your ass moving.

06/17/05 @ 13:20
Comment from: Ricker [Visitor]
Slow play is a disease that USGA rules should adddress by not penalizing all players in the group, only the ones taking more than 90 seconds over a shot which causes the whole group to go on the clock. BUT, the rules also have the playing partner as a marker and scorer for the playing companion. Rory BROKE a rule and should be penalized. Also playing out of turn, while not illegal in stroke play, is a serious breach of good manners.
06/18/05 @ 11:33
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]
Im a member at the same club as Rory and he is probably one of the nicest people ive met. Arogant? Cocky? yes but still a nice guy. I also work at the same club where Ben Crane is a member who is also a nice guy but a touch more quiet. If u dont know either of these two tour professionals or u werent there than stop bashing them. Rory shook Cranes hand after the round and apologized and Crane never blamed him for it. Crane knows hes a slow player and he even has 20K set aside in a bank account if and when he gets fined for slow play. Arnold Palmer even agrees that Rory did nothing wrong....who can argue with Palmer?
06/21/05 @ 02:37
Comment from: Matt [Visitor]
I agree that Rory could have handled the situation better. That said, it has been proven that the average strokes per round for an everyday player have not gone down in twenty years, so what is the advantage of spending an extra 1 1/2 hours on the course. It is a waste of valuable time. Send Ben Crane over to play the public courses in the British Isles and see how long he would last. They would send him packing. I recently played a round in Florida with an 82 year old woman from Scotland. She walked the course, shot a 104 for 18 holes and we finished the round in 3:45 and we still chatted and visited the entire round. Thats the way it should and could be.
06/21/05 @ 07:51
Comment from: Matt [Visitor]
A quick comment to the e-mail about people being arrogant a-holes because they expect to play a round in four hours. He is the same guy who is driving 55 mph in the passing lane of every highway in America with 75 cars backed up behind him. He is not breaking any rules and has every right to patronize the passing lane. The hell to everyone else.
06/21/05 @ 08:02
Comment from: Nick Gilmore [Visitor]
The problem out at courses isn't the pace of play, it is that they are not marshalled appropriately and many people refuse to pace themselves appropriately. I don't play fast or slow, I try to follow that suggestion I have seen on many #1 teeboxes all over the world.

"Keep pace with the group ahead." If you can't do that and your holding another group up, let them through. There is probably room ahead of you. If the group behind them catches you...you are probably playing slow. Take a look behind you when you walk off the green, if there is a group in the fairway and two groups on the tee, you are probably playing slow.

The other issue that has been explored by many of you is who the good guy and the bad guy was in this incident. Could it be they are just two different people, with different values that happened to be in conflict with one another. Each one of you has demonstrated what side of the fence you are on and have embraced the tour player whose values regarding the pace of play resemble yours and admonished the other one. Didn't they take care of the conflict between themselves already? So what the hell are we talking about? One of the has to be right and one of them has to be wrong.

Quit being sheep...
06/21/05 @ 18:12
Comment from: Leon T Megaw [Visitor]
Rory Sabbatini definitely owes appologies, not only to Ben Crane, but to all of us who play this great game. Sure, we've all been upset by a slow group in front or a playing partner who just can't keep up, but we shouldn't allow this to force ourselves into the type of major ettiquette breach that this over payed prima donna displayed at the Booz Allen. On the other hand, Ben Crane also deserves a rocket to speed up his game, which has been a worry on tour for some time.
06/26/05 @ 06:51
Comment from: Tim [Visitor]
AA says: "It's about the same as the arrogant uptight @$$holes with their dour faces whenever you are running a bit behind."

This attitude is so interesting because I've seen and heard it so many times in the 45 years I've played the game. Let's summarize: you get to enjoy your preference (and force me to subsidize your preference) while denying me mine and that makes ME arrogant. The "me generation" is easy to recognize, AA.

We can snipe at each other endlessly or we can lay the blame where it belongs - at the feet of the golf industry. Simply put, the golf industry is the dumbassest industry there ever was.

Walk through any supermarket and look down any aisle and you'll see the various brands falling all over themselves to differentiate their products from essentially identical ones. If any other industry saw a market segment as large, as conspicuous and as utterly underserved as the fast player market, hundreds and hundreds of courses would do every thing they could to capture that market (the same can be said for other largely ignored markets such as women golfers).

Not only would they capture a market all to themselves but consider the simple formula XY where X is the number of customers and Y is how much you charge each one. This is your green fees revenue formula. Simple. Increase either without decreasing the other and you make more money. The faster people play the more customers you can put on the course so X goes up. Simple. Does that mean that Y goes down? Well, when you provide people with a product or service that better meets their needs, they're willing to pay more. So both X and Y go up. Boom bada boom.

This would be so simple. Set up a 3-1/2 golf course and DON'T LET ANYONE who doesn't play at that pace play the course. Period!

I can have my 3-1/2 hour course and pay $40 and you, AA, can have a similar-quality 5-hour course and pay $60. We can both enjoy our preferences, you won't have to think of me as an "arrogant uptight @$$holes" and you can enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling that comes when you have the integrity to pay your share.


06/29/05 @ 23:03
Comment from: Lee [Visitor]
Rory Sabbitina - Villian, Ben Crane - Hero? Somehow I don't think that it is so black and white. Rory may have acted poorly but still within the rules so why is he a villian. Ben apologized for his slow play and didn't accuse Rory so he is a Hero? What about the groups behind Sabbitini and Crane, do they have to suffer for Ben's slow play. Where is Ben's villifaction for his hendering the play of the groups behind them? Or is Rory the only one who suffered? I bet the ones waiting on the tee box and in the fairway were secretly giddy over Rory's actions.

Every golfer should know about rythmn. That it is more than just swing tempo, it is your pace of play also. Ben's slow play seriously hindered Rory's tempo and effected his tempo and probably his score. Earlier in a comment a writer noted that Ben scored better than Rory. That doesn't surprise me considering that Rory was the only one who had to adjust his pace of play and tempo.

I have played golf for many years and I have never seen much correlation between the amount of time spent over a ball and the quality of the shot. Many times it is just the opposite because the more time you spend over a ball the more distracting thoughts that can enter into your execution.

I have always believed that the "etiquette" of waiting for the person away to play was an outdated "rule" and should go the way of the gutta percha ball, the persimmon driver and the sand "tee". Even the pros should play ready golf. If you are ready, hit the ball. What is gained by the outdated etiquette?

By the way, I was always taught the keeping others waiting was poor etiquette!
07/06/05 @ 19:28
Comment from: craig [Visitor]
I just heard of this particular instance between Sabbatini and Crane. For some reason, Rory's actions do not suprise me. I watched him play in Jackson, MS 2 years ago. He made a horrible tee shot on a par three, then made a tremendous 2nd shot and tapped in for an impressive par, considering his 1st shot. I said "nice three Rory" and he began yelling at me because he did not make a birdie. So if he has to wait on Ben from now on, I suggest a pacifier or a bottle to keep him quiet. GROW UP !!!!!
07/21/05 @ 18:10
Comment from: Cindy S. [Visitor]
Crane's the one who violated the rules and was rude to his partner first - he provoked the reaction. A slow pace of play affects the rhythm of everyone on the course, but especially your playing partner. He does not have to play that slow, a lot of it is just dawdling. He isn't just slow over the ball, he is slow getting ready, he doesn't get set up for his shots, he's just not ready when he should be. Those who have to share the course with him are being affected adversely, totally undeservedly. Imagine being "put on the clock" just because you're stuck with that guy. THAT IS NOT FAIR!

If I was playing with someone like Crane I'd leave them, too...a lot sooner than the 17th hole. The first lesson I ever got on a golf course was "you can be bad, but you can't be slow." That is a fundamental issue in playing the game.

I hope Ben Crane gets fined thousands of dollars and gets more public humiliation, he deserves it. He is totally disrespectful to his fellow players. He seems sincere about improving, but if he hasn't done it by this time in his career I'm not sure he ever will.
07/24/05 @ 18:41
Comment from: Mark E. [Visitor]
The inability to achieve any type of decent pace (vital to a good score-card)is promoted by that shaved headed red-neck Ben Crane....geez, how many excuses can this moron come up with?

Most the anti-Sabbatini comments above obviously come from idiotic hacks that wouldn't know good pace from pecante' sauce, and their game wouldn't suffer either way. Slow or fast, a hack is a hack.

Pace, flow, momentum, etc are ALL critical elements to a higher (beyond HACK)level of golf. But, then a hack wouldn't be able to comprehend that concept.

Ben Crane is a moron and a dolt. Someone should just move him aside to a more apt profession (USPS worker would be ideal?)

Period. End of story.

07/26/05 @ 10:23
Comment from: Chuck Pope [Visitor]
I enjoy playing slow. I like to walk slowly and take a lot of time reading my putts. I like to enjoy my time on the course and I don't understand what the big rush is. What is the big deal about a 5 hour round? There are a lot of worse places you could be for 5 hours on a sunny afternoon. If you don't like playing behind slow players, then wake up earlier and tee off before them. Ben Crane is my hero.
08/28/06 @ 23:13
Comment from: Tim McDonald [Member] Email
Chuck, the world of golf would be much better off with more people like you. Unfortunately, people have things to do. I'm betting you're retired or otherwise non-engaged...
08/29/06 @ 09:41

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