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The #1 problem in golf is ... slow play

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by ken2v, Feb 2, 2015.

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  1. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Aaaaaargh.

    Drives me nuts.

    We played Saturday in 4:15, and the noted glacier in our group was touting that when we hit the 19th, adding that we were within the club's recommended window of time. But we were 2+holes behind the group ahead of us, and that in any measure of time means we were slow.

    On one hole Jim and I stopped to get some swing oil, and sent the other cart ahead to hit. Jim had that round so I grabbed my driver, walked 50 yards to our tee and proceeded to hit ... before the other two guys. One guy -- my goodness, he's my dearest friend -- would lose out to a snail. It's horrid. One hole we'd all hit our drives and he was standing there buffing two of his irons when his turn came. And of course he's the type who has those little slip on covers for every iron, and every club HAS to go back in exactly the right spot in the back, with the blades falling in perfect echelon. And he doesn't think he's slow. I love you, man, but heaven help us in another 10 years!!!!! And don't get me going on my father-in-law ...

    Aaaaaargh.
     
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    One of the reasons I have come to hate golf.
    If I can't do a weekday round in 3 hours, you are pissing me off!!

    Hey Ken, you walked 50 yards. You hanging in there? :evillaugh
     
    Christmas
  3. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    No shit, Joe!

    Actually, when a course is walkable and they allow it, I walk.
     
  4. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I agree, it's agonizing to be behind slow players.

    I usually play one course (makalena) at least 2 or more times a month. I usually try to be one of the first groups out and we usually finish in 3:20 if not faster. The problem lately is that there are a couple of groups (6 somes) of samoans who started coming out early to try to be one of the first groups out. Because they gamble they don't play very fast, everyone campfiring around the hole to watch everyone putt out. Whenever I end up behind these guys it's agonizing, we end up playing the round in 4:25 or longer (same course). Lots of times I play in front of them, usually they are at least 4 holes behind when I finish my round (I can put my clubs away, go to the bathroom and when I drive out of the lot I still don't see them). I complained to the super about it, when they go out early they slow down play the rest of the day for everyone else. They have been warned many times but still continue to play slow. Nobody else is going to confront them, not when a couple of them look like they can play pro football.

    But if you play in the first (non samoan) groups there isn't much light yet, they go out probably 10 - 15 mins before the sun comes up. I went out with them once, I couldn't see my ball and didn't know where my drive went (I guess these were old timers who were more straight hitters). After hitting provisional balls I didn't see my ball flight until I got to the 2nd hole (maybe I should use those glow balls on the 1st hole, lol).
     
  5. parallax

    parallax Low-Roller

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    I have a friend who I play golf with and he has the longest swing routines I have ever seen. It is painful to watch and when we play with him is adds about 30 minutes to our round. I wouldn't mind it if he was a decent golfer but seeing it 90 times a round, it can drive you crazy.
     
  6. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    I am in the school that says when you get to double par or a 9 on a par 5, just pick up and move the game along.

    When someone says that's a gimmee, pick the frickin' ball up. Please.

    And my special favorite: Chili dipping the ball from one side of the green to the other more than once. I've seen people do it 4 or 5 times, including finding the sand trap and walking all the way back to cart on the other side of the green to get their sand wedge, as if that will somehow be the magic answer, then puring the sand wedge about 50 yards off the green. This is the point where I lose it and say "Get your ass in the cart. We are going to the next tee and leaving you here".

    Oh, yeah, the people who just can't grasp the concept of being dropped off within 50 feet of the green, choosing what weapons including the putter you need, and letting you drive the cart around to the side of the green closest to the next tee.
     
  7. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    #1 reason I don't play more golf is the time.

    it takes long enough to play 18 holes as is,

    I don't need people adding another hour or more.
     
  8. TheCooler

    TheCooler Professional Gambler and the Best Football Handica

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    Yep, this is why I mostly play in the early morning. I can knock out 18 solo in under two hours if I take a cart. I usually just to a quick 9 in the mornings though.

    I do get incredibly frustrated when I get behind a slow group and they don't off the courtesy of letting me play through.
     
  9. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    The industry is spending gobs of time and money trying to find out what ails the game and how to fix it. It's silly. The answer is not footgolf or cups the size of manholes. It is difficult, it is costly, it is time-consuming. It never will be easy, and since time is money time is public enemy #1; the economy certainly right-sized many an outsized (ego-driven) green fee, anyway.

    Makiki hit on a real problem -- operators too afraid to operate their facility. (And let me put in a black mark here for American Golf Corporation, likely the worst big operator in the game.)
     
  10. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    I think you are spot on with "time is money" and slow play being the biggest detriment in the game today. I personally think that a vast majority of this comes from 2 sources without both of them emanating out of the PGA tour.

    First, I'll be damned if I see more than 10-20% of people playing the right set of tees. I know the governing bodies have tried "Tee it Forward" but I don't think it has resonated with the average golfer. Further, too many of average golfers see the PGA Tour playing at 7100 plus week in and week out so they feel they need to be on pace for that. Good luck getting most average scoring, 30-year old men to play the white tees when the blues, blacks and above are available. I know the freedom of choice has a lot to say here but when a course tells you a set of tees is for a certain level you should try to abide by it. I wish there was a realistic remedy to keep the 20 handicapper off the blue tees and even the 10 handicapper off the blacks. Not to mention, the game would be much more enjoyable on top of faster.

    Second, is much less of a problem but still nonetheless a problem. The average golfer watching Tour players fidget, and readjust and reset constantly leads to them doing the same whether consciously or not. I'm a very good player but unless I'm playing in a cash game for serious money or a tournament there is not a shot important enough that I need to back off because a bird chirped or the wind shifted or picked up, maybe to change clubs if I really feel I pulled the wrong one but that is about it. I do have a routine that is identical for every shot but I've had it timed before and it's consistently between 28-30 seconds a shot from pulling a club to pulling the trigger. But again, seeing a Keegan Bradley fidget away or Tiger change clubs and talk with Joe LaCava for 2-3 minutes about the shifting wind leads to many average players thinking they can and should do the same thing. Again many would be better served to think less and just get up and hit it.

    The problem lies in how do we remedy the emulation of Tour players and also how to get players to accept the right tees for the overall betterment of the game??
     
  11. bswim

    bswim High-Roller

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    I've got a friend that is a die hard golfer and helps run the Boeing classic every year. He takes his golf very seriously. He was not amused when I told him that golf was slow and boring but if it were more like Happy Gilmore I'd watch it every weekend. :poke::thumbsup:
     
  12. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    You're preaching to the choir, my friend!!

    When I'm Golf Tsar ball-marking on the green will be outlawed unless you truly are in the way, otherwise, don't freakin' touch it. Oh, and continuous putting is mandated.

    Golf is too self-policing, and lacking the rules and peer pressure of a private club, there's really not a hell of a lot courses will or can do. I talk often with players, operators as to how to positively monetize speed.

    If a player can't hit a shot w/i 10 seconds of arriving at the ball, he/she shouldn't be playing golf. Period. Between cart systems, watch systems and phone systems, who doesn't have GPS? (Actually, give everyone a Garmin "watch" to use.) Walk or drive up. Get the number to the middle, add one more club than you think you need, step in, hit. Shouldn't even take ten seconds but we'll err on the side of lethargy. If the player or the club is a Luddite, it won't matter. If between the white stick and the blue stick, you ain't getting home from there anyway so quit walking all over, guesstimate, add one more club and hit the damn rock. Whether 80 yards or 40, it doesn't matter because few have any distance wired so just grab something short and have a swing at it; at least you won't chili dip.

    I've taken to playing music on my phone when I play with the gang (and of course alone). Just put it in the back-left pocket and away you go. I can trundle along with my bag and a nice diversion if it is locking up.

    Happy Gilmore was a boorish idiot, but damn you are right about slow, and I don't fault boring in those who feel that way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  13. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    IMHO I don't think playing from the right tees is a major factor for slow play. I usually play at local munis and see a number of seniors who can only hit a drive 175 yards or less keeping up with the groups in front of them, some of them playing so fast that it is hard to keep up with their 6 somes. I usually walk when I play and no matter which tee I use I usually keep up with the group in front of me.

    When I first took up the game the guy that "taught" me said that the #1 priority is to keep up with the group in front of you. You can be a shanker, a duffer or whatever, as long as you are keeping up with the group in front of you, nobody can grumble about your "slow" play. To me ready golf is the problem, people who converse and aren't ready to hit their shot, or aren't ready on the tee box, or people whose 6 some camps out on the green to watch everyone hole out. You have people riding carts who don't drop off their cartmate, instead waiting for the guy to hit before you go to your ball. Many of these people don't think much of it but a few minutes here and there means a longer round and a longer round for the people behind them. :grrr:


    The other thing is people who don't really know how to golf. We learned that you don't graduate to the big courses until you can master the short game and the par 3 courses, if you can't break 90 consistently on a par 3 course (double bogey golf) you shouldn't be playing on the big course IMHO. But we continue to see people hacking away on the big course slowing it down for the rest of us.

    Sorry for the rant but last week I followed a 4some. I played as a single but every time I got close to them they sped up, only to slow down in the middle of the fairway or on the green, only to speed up on tee shots to get away from me. I never had the chance to go ahead of them but they were slow enough that I had to wait for them on every shot. I spoke with one of them in the parking lot, told them that it might have been better for them to let the single golfer in back of them go ahead so he wasn't on their butt the whole round. The guy just shrugged his shoulders (what a jerk!).
     
  14. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Course type makes a big difference. Many courses don't have significant tee differentials front/back, but a big ticket show piece in Scottsdale or St. Augustine could be 4800 off the front and 7400 off the back, with carries galore. I don't care how straight someone hits it, that is a recipe for molasses if some get too far back.

    It sounds like you had a golf mentor. And that is the best way for people to get in the game and to "get" the lessons that are most important.
     
  15. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    You classified the type of golfer that the yardage may not be an issue, the senior that hits the ball piercingly straight and 175 yards is not much more common than myself who is a 27 year-old, scratch player. What about the other 99% that can hit the ball 3 miles, 2 miles forward and 1 mile left or right? They count for at least 20-30% then the person that hits the ball 3 feet once, 100 yards next, 50 yard shank after that who is probably the other 68-78% of players. You move all of those aforementioned 98% of people up one set of tees, you shorten the clubs in their hands, you minimize misses, you make the game simpler and you speed the game up.

    The "Tee it Forward" movement is as much about how FAR you hit it as how STRAIGHT you hit it. It's really simple physics as shorter clubs with more loft are easier to control and hit straight. If grandpa can hit it 175 and straight over and over and he chooses to play the blacks and take that punishment good for him, he's not the one we are worried about, we are worried about the 98-99% of people who can't get the ball airborne every time, or can't keep it on the planet insisting to play from 7000 yards.

    Even as a scratch player I still rarely play the tips unless it's for $$$, a tournament or preparation for a tournament. So if that's the case why should anyone thats say an 8 or above really (probably less) even considering the tips? Hell my favorite rounds are when I play with my dad and brother who are a 12 and 18 in their own rights but refuse to play more than the blues and often play the whites. Not to mention golf is a fickle game, it's just as hard from 6200 yards as 7400, trust me. I have an 8-under 64 from 7200 yards and I have some 82s from that far, my lowest from 6200 is a 6-under 66 but I have a nice 88 I shot from 6100.

    Simply swallow the pride and tee it forward, you'll play faster, LIKELY score better and everyone around including yourself will have a better time. :beer: :peace: :nworthy:
     
  16. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    That may be the worst, when you see someone playing the tips and can't carry hazards and sit and reload then get into Tin Cup mode and are gonna be damned if they don't carry it. If they would've just swallowed their pride on the first hole and played the whites or blues they would've save a few bucks on golf balls and some pride of not making a 10. :rolleyes2:
     
  17. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    As you suggested in your previous post, a 10 can happen from 7100 or 5800!

    So many "white" tees are too far back for the average recreational male golfer and his 190-yard drive that he swears over beer goes "oh, a good 270, 300 when I really get it." Best thing for a course operator to do is just simply move every block of colors a "block" down the road, unless it is club championship day. You're average Macho American Man will simply see blue and play 'em even if it tallies 6000.
     
  18. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    That's true but at least the 10 happened without dumping a couple $4 Pro-V1s in the lake because he "only plays the best."

    And hey I only hit it about 275 and I still tell people I hit it 290-300 over beers because I know when they only hit it 200 they'll still believe mine went 290 :ssst:
     
  19. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Brilliant marketing campaign by Titleist, the only ball manufacturer that says its tour ball is suitable for all players.
     
  20. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Klawrey, I played from the tips and I'm a hacker but I still can keep up with the groups in front. As a hacker it didn't matter whether I played from the whites or the blue/golds, etc. I made it a point to keep up, even picking up if I felt I was falling behind. I haven't picked up in years although I'm more of a 20 handicap player. I play munis and resort, military and private courses, yet I usually keep up with the groups in front of me. BTW, the seniors didn't hit it straight either, they just played quickly (from the blue tees too) and kept up with the groups in front. They knew how far they hit and so didn't spend time waiting for the groups to clear the fairway or greens.

    Many times on the resort/private courses I play from the back tees because the groups in front aren't playing any faster and I don't end up waiting for them on every hole.

    As ken mentioned, a 10 can be made at any length course. And many of these "hackers" you mentioned will still be playing slow on any tee because they don't know how to keep up with the group in front. I agree that some will benefit from the play it forward but for many courses the forward tees (other than playing the "women's" tees) are still too long for many golfers. If we follow your play it forward theme then many golfers should only be playing par 3 courses. But that's JMHO.
     
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