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For golfers: pace of play

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by ken2v, May 14, 2013.

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  1. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I've posted a few rants on my blog relative to pace of play, or the lack thereof. It's perhaps my pet peeve numero uno about the game, or it is after the cyberblowjobs certain networks and "reporters" appear dead-set intent on administering to Tiger and Augusta National as often as possible.

    You know, it ain't rocket science. Peter Kostis has a (as usual) good opinion piece in the new issue of GOLF, lamenting the love affair with uber-hard golf courses and how it has screwed up the game, including pace of play. I agree with him across the board but do want to take a tiny bit of exception to the difficulty thing.

    I played Troon North Pinnacle in Scottsdale last week. Certainly one of the best courses in creation and if you're going yard, one of the most brutal. We got around as a foursome, with playing abilities from about 6-7 up to 15, in 3:30 minutes. I think that is pretty impressive. We had plenty of balls head over the foul lines, but with the logical desert-lateral local rule and simply paying attention, we verily raced around. We still had plenty of time for needles and jokes, enjoying the stunning scenery, but we got around. And the next day another foursome I was in played the front nine at Raven-Phoenix in 1:20. Granted Raven is pretty open, but still.

    I'm sick and tired of the lip service the so-called stewards are giving to this most critical problem while they whack all over with an absurd obsession with anchoring. (BTW, did anyone catch David Fay's comments this weekend relative to why the USGA didn't get worked up by anchoring during his tenure?) Cost is a problem, but I'd gladly pay more to play more quickly.

    It's hard for clubs to enforce this simply because they don't understand the problem. Now some operations, like American Golf Corp, care NOT at all about pace of play or how unenjoyable of a round its patrons might face. AGC is all about getting as many players off the first tee, regardless how many might actually make it through 18. Most club rely on volunteer marshals to not enforce pace rules. It needs to be monetized. Private clubs also can use peer pressure if the committee has the balls in the first place.

    Oh, and men are by far the bigger malefactors in this regard than women.

    There are guys I know with whom I now refuse to play. I like 'em, they're good Joes, but I don't want to spend 5:30 hour chunks of my life out on the course with them, or anyone.

    OK, there's my third recent rant.
     
  2. USCHawks

    USCHawks High-Roller

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    Another thing that bothers me are the people that have unrealistic visions of how far they can hit the ball. I was playing in my league two weeks ago behind a group of golfers that were terrible. I have no problem with terrible golfers on the course as long as they aren't painfully slow. About halfway through the round we come up to a par 5 and they're waiting on the tee box while the group in the fairway was about 300 yards out. One of the guys has a 5 iron in his hand and two others hav fairway woods out and they haven't even hit yet. The guy who had the driver hit it maybe 175 yards, while the other three probably were no more than 125 away from the tee after their shot.

    The other ones related to this are the people that hit it 100 yards on their tee shot and then wait for the green to clear while they're 275 yards out before they proceed to hit the second shot.
     
  3. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Yep, that bit of delusion is a beaut, too.

    Golf is a game of physics, unalterable factual science. If you hit it like most men, driver swing speed of 85 mph and all over the face, you are going to hit your drives on either side of 200 yards. Period. It simply is impossible to do more. And that means that most guys should play tees that add up to something less than 6000 yards.
     
  4. tldbucs

    tldbucs Low-Roller

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    An old golfer that I played with as a much younger man used to always say " play behind the group in front of you, not in front of the group behind you ". Too bad there are players who never heard of this gentlemen's rule of golf.
     
  5. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    I totally agree. Also, a lot of new golfers are not really getting an introduction to the rules and common courtesies associated with golf.

    I have some friends who are just learning the game, so the past couple weekends we have played at the local Executive par 62 course. They can't drive the ball straight, want to keep re-teeing the ball forever until they hit one straight, but I keep prodding them along while mentioning how it is not fair to everyone behind us if you keep taking swing after swing after swing. Drop your ball up where my ball is, and let's keep moving. Last weekend, we finished in about 3.5 hours also, which is really good for that course. (The course has a lot of first time beginners so the average round is about 5 hours for this short course).

    This is also an American Golf run course. The group in front of us had a threesome who had not only never golfed before, I don't think they had ever swung a club before, even on the practice tees. It really was a comedy skit except for what they were doing to the course. Any why is that? American golf let these clowns tee off without even a rudimentary course or tips on the rules or courtesies of golf. These guys were running through bunkers (not raking afterwards of course), driving their carts on the green, not repairing ball marks, tossing their clubs like a tomahawk back towards their carts, and then leaving deep gouges in the green, etc. And this was just in the first three holes. They did not know to offer to let us play through when we were waiting for them to finish their 50th stroke (each) on each hole. A marshall finally came by and let us move ahead, and then we still finished in 3.5 hrs. However, this then backs up the pace of play for the next hour or so. Everyone's round who teed off behind us just got longer.

    A lot of this could have been prevented if a few simple questions were asked by the starter or the pro shop. Give them a handout with the common tips - repair ball marks, don't drive the cart on the greens, what the recommended pace of play is, etc.

    I have been to courses where they have a clock at each hole, and it lets you know if you are on pace, or behind.

    I think golf would be a lot more enjoyable if it didn't turn into an all day event.

    Ok, end of my rant...........................
     
  6. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Oh, this is going to a long, long thread.:poke:
     
    Christmas
  7. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    Oh, this happens ALL the time. Par 5 275-300 out, 3 wood in hand, and they are waiting for the green to clear. Yeah, right. Unless you are low single digit handicap or better, you are not hitting a 3 wood off the turf 300 yards. Maybe once you got lucky and it hit the cart path, then a sprinkler head, and got the roll of a lifetime, but most golfers use their greatest shot ever as their guideline as to how far they can hit the ball with each club.
     
  8. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    V, I know that place. Wow, you are a trooper. lol
     
  9. Bossplayer21

    Bossplayer21 Low-Roller

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    The single biggest problem I see is people like to look for their lost golf ball for 10 minutes on each occurrence. All 4 members of the group take turns finding eachothers "lost" ball. Its 10 minutes before anyone in the group hits their second shot. If you can't keep the ball in play then don't play an expensive ball. Some act like they are trying to find their lost child in the tall grass, its a ball...take a couple minutes and drop another one and move on.

    The next is being ready to hit when the green opens up. You just had 3 minutes to sit in the fairway. You should already have the yardage calculated, club selected, taken a few practice swings and each member of your foursome should be standing close to their ball.

    One more rant,..

    Same goes for on the green. Each member of the 4 some doesn't need to stand behind each player and help give reads. Then they all take turns walking to the other balls, repeat group advice on reads , and repeat until all 4 hit a putt, repeat until all 4 are in the hole.

    It boils down to general awareness of golf etiquette and it would be nice if the course didn't wedge tee times 6-7 minutes apart and give maybe 10-12 minutes. Yeah I know its a money grab...but it makes for a miserable round when you wait at every tee box 5-10 minutes, and wait before every shot.

    rant felt good.:evillaugh
     
  10. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    Yeah, that is true about the greens. Or re-marking every putt, even though you are a foot away. This isn't the PGA tour with a couple hundred thousand riding on if you make the one footer or not. Putt out when you are that close to the cup!! Every person marking every putt, and then waiting for the furthest person away to hit their next putt:grrr:
     
  11. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    Ahh, you figured it out, lol. I did have 4 birdies, although 2 shouldn't count because the holes were only 75 yards, lol.
     
  12. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    You guys are good. Some other thoughts on the matter, some new, some echoing.

    1. My adage is, for a ball gone errant: That's why they sell 'em by the dozen.

    2. Take more club on every full shot. Try it some time. You'll hit more greens, avoid more bunkers.

    3. Forget the practice swing. For most of us the practice swing is nothing like the real deal, so you're not grooving anything, you're just procrastinating.

    4. "Read" the putt walking on to the green. If you can't tell left, right or straight w/o doing something totally worthless like plumb bobbing or blowing out a knee trying to go all Villegas you should take up bowling.

    5. The best tip I've ever heard came from Dave Stockton. It was a combo of #s 3 and 4. Walk to the ball on the green, aim left, right or straight as needed by what you see walking up, don't take a practice stroke, hit the damn putt. Watch an amateur putt, his/her practice stroke will look nothing like what's needed. I've been doing that for two years now and I've gone from the worst putter in my group to the best. Seriously, I haven't taken a practice stroke in two years. (Having a putter that fits your length, lie and stroke-style helps too. The most important implement to get fitted for is the putter.)

    6. Take a few months off from keeping score; hell, most players cheat, overtly or dumbly/innocently, so it's all bogus anyway. If you quit fixating on a number and instead key on good shots or some number of well-played holes, you will get better. Like Ty Webb said, I compare myself to other golfers by height.

    7. Tee it forward.

    8. Walk if the idiots allow. You will play better.

    9. Don't get mad. If you were good enough to get mad you wouldn't be reading this thread anyway.

    10. Don't mark your ball if not necessary, don't re-remark. (And don't do the line thing since you can't see straight and your stroke ain't square.)
     
  13. Bossplayer21

    Bossplayer21 Low-Roller

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    I agree with most of your points Ken. The biggest is don't get mad. I understand being frustrated after a bad shot but some people take it to another level. My BIL is the worst. He basiscally talks about how much he hates golf, swears after every shot, throws clubs, says he's not playing anymore, really sucks the enjoyment of the round out form me.
     
  14. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    yeah, I've played with lots of guys who think they hit the ball way farther than they do and refuse to adjust the yardages in their head even after time and time and time again they come up short with whatever club they think they should be hitting. every time they say, damn, that should have been enough club and then the next shot from the same distance they pick the same club and come up short again and say the same thing.

    don't know what everyone's obsession is about how far they hit their irons. I mean seriously, the irons these days are 4-5 degrees lower loft than they were 15 years ago. I used to play a PW that was 49 degrees and now most PWs are 44 degrees. that's what a 9-iron used to be. but who cares, the numbers are meaningless in and of themselves, they're just a number so you know which one to pick.
     
  15. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    So true. But it is marketing genius. Only problem is now folks have these huge holes at the short end of the bag. Also fuels more hybrid and fairway wood sales when a guy who once could get a 5i airborne no longer can when it's lofted like a 4i or 31. More marketing genius. Perimeter weighting and CoG notwithstanding, for slower swingers it still is all about loft, or the lack thereof.

    You know, a lot of the "trouble" on the course is indicative of what's oft lamented here in other threads, the lack of common courtesy and civility. It's the "I paid/fuck you" syndrome. And it is way bad in Vegas golfdom, when you throw in the booze and wannabe and all.
     
  16. Fafa2e

    Fafa2e Low-Roller

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    The biggest problem with the slow play is that most public courses do not provide enough time between tee times (usually 8 mins) and don't honor the tee times by squeezing in another group that shows up without a tee time.

    I recently walked off a local municipal course and got a raincheck because after two holes we came up to a par 3 with four groups waiting on the hole (one group on the green, one waiting to tee off and two groups waiting under a tree), ridiculous!
     
  17. stackinchips

    stackinchips High-Roller

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    Two of the biggest culprits when it comes to slow play are IMO:

    1. Not playing the proper tees. There are not ladies tees, men's tees, championship tees, etc. The tees are there so that golfers can play a tee that suits their playing ability. I used to be a scratch golfer about 5 years ago. Since then I don't get out as often due to schedule conflicts and I'm now up to a 4 cap. I'm also tall (6'4") and I have a clubhead speed of 115mph. In other words, I'm longer than most golfers. I try to play courses at around 6800yds give or take. Sometimes that's the Tips sometimes it's one up. However, I can't tell you how many times I see guys who can't hit a driver much more than 210 (of course they think it's about 275-290, which is the PGA tour average) who want the machismo of playing the tips. They're also the nimrods who wait for the green to clear on par 5s from 300 out when they drove the ball 220. At the end of the day they end up taking way more strokes, lose more balls, take way longer to play, all because they want to appear like they're borderline WEB.COM tour players. If they moved up and played the proper tees they would play quicker, get better at golf, not get as frustrated, and shoot better scores. If I'm not playing the Tips every time, there are very few amateurs who should be (not trying to boast, just making a point, 4 handicap puts me in about the 95th percentile of all golfers, so why do I seem to see so many groups playing from the tips? Am I just in the highest concentration of good amateur golfers around?) General rule of thumb - take what you honestly hit your 5 iron and multiply it by 36 and that's the yardage you should be playing. Pick the appropriate tee. (And that doesn't mean what you hit your 5 iron the one time you hit it perfectly, with a 25 mph wind at your back, hitting downhill).

    If everyone played appropriate tees based on what their true abilities are, many of the other issues wouldn't matter. They wouldn't be looking for as many balls, they'd be taking a lot less strokes, so even if they don't play ready golf, they're still shaving a lot of time off their round, etc.

    2. The second part of the equation is the golf courses. There are a lot of courses that schedule as many tee times as they can, especially on the weekends. I once played a course that had 4 minute tee times. The result of that is simply a complete log jam that isn't necessarily any golfers fault, it's just the logistics of the course. Also when it gets that packed, it's impossible to allow groups to play through, as there is nowhere for them to go. That's on the golf course, as they're just trying to get as many greens fees as possible, pace of play be damned. To exacerbate this problem, many courses also don't have active rangers out to enforce pace of play when there are slow groups and groups who aren't letting people play through. Many courses don't have active rangers out on the course, and a lot don't have rangers at all anymore.

    There are a lot of factors that contribute to the problem but these are the biggest two IMO. TEE IT FORWARD PEOPLE!!!
     
  18. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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  19. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    I agree with the move it forward principle. I want to be able to use every club in my bag, not have to hit a fairway wood into every long par 4.

    Shadow Creek actually poses this problem for me. Many times they only have one set of tees playing on any given day. Some times out there the course is set up for 6800 yds or so, and that is just too long for me to make it an enjoyable round. Mr. Shifter can play from back there, but I prefer 6400-6600 yd course layout.

    I don't want a 480 / 500 yd par 4:cry:
     
  20. stackinchips

    stackinchips High-Roller

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