The experience of the player, the size of the group or even the quality of the golf ball are all said to be to blame for slow play on the golf course. Whatever the reason slow play is a drag when it comes to playing a round of golf on your favourite course.
Whilst it may be acceptable for Tiger Woods to spend an age lining up his putts, people copying their golfing heroes can have an impact on the pace of the game at your local club. Slow play affects players of all levels, and the knock on effect can be tough for clubs, loosing space and time for valuable bookings, not to mention covering the overheads of waiting for slow pokes to finish up the last games of the day. How this translates into fees and memberships ought to be the biggest incentive for players to speed up their play, but the issue still mars even the best of clubs.
The R&A are trying to tackle the problem and recently made pace of play a “big agenda item” at their last International Conference at St Andrews. But how do the R&A’s guidelines for pace of pay etiquette effect club play in reality? All too often clubs acknowledge slow play is a problem, but do little to ensure good pace is enforced, despite the danger of frustrated players leaving the club for another club.
So what should clubs be doing to ensure that slow play is minimised? The R&A suggest a number of techniques for managing play including allowing at least eight minutes between groups and in three or four balls, at least 10 minutes. But how can golf clubs make sure this is the right approach? Is the responsibility down to the individual player? If players took their speed into account when considering the progress of the game it could make for a better experience for everyone.
What are your experiences? How do you think clubs should deal with this potentially devastating issue? Comment below to let us know.
Find out more about how Golf Rivals are stamping out slow play here