Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Golfer's Number One MELTDOWN

Let me spit it out right now. S-L-O-W play is the number one reason golfers go ballistic and meltdown on the course. At least, according to a discussion group I initiated and moderated on LinkedIn last fall. Hundreds of golfers worldwide opined on the reasons and remedies.

Here are the top four reasons this nasty behavior manifests on some of the most beautiful places on the planet:

1) Slow play       2) Cheating         3) Lack of etiquette          4) Getting hit into

Slow play accounted for 51% of all votes. The other three pulled about equal respones, each accounting for another 15-18% of the responses. Clearly, slow play was the biggest winner, or should I say biggest looser. I will comment further on the last 3 in future posts. But for now, here are some of the offered remedies from the study:
 Understand how to play ready golf. Each player needs to be responsible for getting to their ball and ready to execute their shot, even if it's not their turn. If you are ready to hit your ball, go ahead. As long as no one is in front of you, grip it and rip it.

Pick up you ball when your score on any hole is becoming embarrassing. It is good for clearing your mind and provides you with a fresh start.

In match play, when you are hopelessly out of the hole, take the high road and concede the hole.

Give up the "Pro Golfer" approach to reading putts by looking at it from five angles.

Add your score on the NEXT TEE, not the green just finished.

Upon reaching the green, position your cart or golf bag in the walk off area toward the next tee. Never go backwards to get your cart or bag.

Here is one I contributed: When playing with your little and inexperienced youngsters, have them tee off from 50 -100 yards off the green, instead of the tee. This way you do not hold up players behind you waiting for your youngster to chase their ball down the fairway. The kids like this too and they do not have to compete with your tee shot.

A sage course marshal told me the first 6 holes of every course set the tone for pace of play for the remaining 12 holes. If the course is clogged on these holes, it is going to be a very long day. Be ready to play at a good pace on your first 6 holes to keep it all moving.

 I am sure you also have some valuable advice on how to ameliorate slow play. Please offer your remedies for slow play by adding your comments to this post.

Thanks for playing your round in no more than 4:10.


Vince Spence said...

Bill, hate to break it to you, buddy, but slow play cannot be fixed. The smartest people on the planet have grappled with this problem in private clubs, on public courses and, yes, Elizabeth, the effin' PGA Tour.

The only solution is a severe penalties, like non-refundable greens fees, posting slow players on private club bulletin boards and assessing strokes on tour. Nobody has the gonads for any of the above, so slow play is here to stay.

I did a post on this ( http://tiny.cc/slow455 ) a few months ago. What a negative guy I must be.

Bill Sferro said...

Bet you are fast player. Me, I am John Wooden's shinning example of, "Be quick, but don't hurry." During the week I play 18 in less than 3 hours. On the weekend, another story. More like 4:45 to 5:15. Just brutal. You may be right this issue can not be fixed.

Heather said...

We've always played the kids up further: Par 5's @ 175 yards from pin, Par 4's @ 150 yards, and Par 3's @ red tees. And my kids can play.

Now they are big enough to play from red tees. So Hubbie says I need to back up a set of tees.

Funny, I have a post for tomorrow with a video of some guys who thought my golfing gal pals and Iwere playing too slow at 1:45 for 9 on a weekend.

Slow play stinks, but so do butt-heads who think all women are slower than they are.

Anonymous said...

You know, for new players, I think the idea of teaching etiquette before teaching all the rules is a good start. Explain to them about "ready golf" before you teach them they have to walk back to re-tee if they hit one OB. If they end up liking golf, they will learn the other rules on their own, but first and foremost should be etiquette. Of course, the teachers may be slow pokes themselves, in which case you're screwed.

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