Rory Sabbatini should be a member at Grand Strand's Thistle
The slow pace of play in golf is a subject that sparks emotion and fierce debate among both pros and hacks: You either blasted Rory Sabbatini or praised him for his recent actions that spotlighted the problem yet again.
Many of you had it right: the problem would be greatly alleviated, if not wiped out altogehter, if only the greedy golf industry – mainly, the golf courses themselves – would make a few simple changes.
Ladies and gentelmen, I give you the Thistle Golf Club near Myrtle Beach. In an area that herds golfer in and out like fast food restaurant hell, The Thistle did the unthinkable by making 12-minute intervals between tee times. In golf time, that’s an eternity.
The result is a leisurely 18 holes in an area where you’re always either looking over your shoulder at incoming golf balls, or cursing the group in front of you for plodding play.
“We lose money on it, but it keeps people coming back,” said Thistle head pro Shawn Hicken.
Think of that: a golf club that actually cares about the golfers instead of their wallets. The Thistle should be held up as a national model.
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There you have it.
I believe that pace of play would be best addressed by the golf clubs strictly enforcing the choice of tee boxes by handicap. Nothing is worse than watching a 25 handicapper slog it out from the tips cause "I paid an arm and a leg to play here and by god I'm going to see the whole course".
In Europe most courses require a valid handicap card before you can even play. If USA clubs REQUIRED golfers to play the tees most suited to their game as determined by handicap, pace of play would improve accordingly. I would put a flag on the carts identifying the proper tees for each group. Blue tees = blue flag etc.
No GHIN card?? Play the forward tees!
And as an intended consequence, more people would have VALID handicaps which means less sandbagging.
I don't know why JD thinks that his system would reduce sandbagging. Most of those guys only cheat by a couple of shots on the handicap so as not to be caught. I know some guys that cheat on their handicaps (don't we all) and they only turn in their worst scores. Some of them even make up bad scores to submit. Cheaters will always figure a way to cheat.
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