No need for Rory Sabbatini to apologize at U.S. Open
Rory Sabbatini felt the need to apologize and issue a statement at the U.S. Open regarding an incident at last week’s Booz Allen tournament.
Sabbatini was playing with Ben Crane, a notoriously slow player on tour. Sabbatini stood near the 17th green while Crane was still preparing to hit his approach. When Crane’s shot landed on the green, Sabbatini putted out of turn and then huffed off the hole. He’s getting pilloried for his “rude” play.
I say hogwash to all the stuffed shirts in golf who criticize him. How many times have you been so frustrated on the course with slow play you wanted to hurl a 9-iron at the fat guy ahead of you who spends 10 minutes trying to stuff his big fat clubs in his fat bag? Meanwhile, you’ve been standing in the fairway broiling in the sun.
Slow play is the biggest bugaboo in golf today. Anything that speeds it up – or at least brings it to attention – is OK in my book. Crane is the one who should apologize. At least he took the blame afterward, like a man.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
is only exceptable when it includes a few cold Budweisers on the 4th nine.
is only exceptable when it includes a few cold Budweisers on the 4th nine.
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.
"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...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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