Fix it BUT Also Find the Cause
This is in answer to many e-mails and comments regarding last week’s Q&A about the PGA Tour/USGA Anchoring issue and the suggestion that we had bigger problems to attend to.
There are many golfers – myself included — that believe that slow play is one of the biggest problems golf now faces. It is the source of many issues which together are eating away at the attraction and the addictive powers our game has offered for at least 500 years.
We have had some interesting and considered comments — which I am sure you have read – to last weeks Q&A.
Yes, I believe we do have bigger problems than anchoring.
If we, and especially the guardians, are serious about addressing the problems facing the game, we must find out what has caused the change as well as trying to fix the problem – which only temporarily alleviates it while we anxiously await for it to resurface.
Some suggested fixes are that we should roll back the distance the modern ball goes. Others believe that we need to play the more forward tees– which is negating the fix if we roll the ball back. I personally do not believe that equipment is to blame for slow play.
Some other suggestions are:
• Ready golf
• Putt it out (continuous putting)
• Course pace ratings
• Fewer clubs (fewer decisions)
• Distance measuring devices
• Easier courses with less rough
• Slower greens (some greens are too fast)
• A free drink for a round completed in under 3 ½ hours
• Strategic tee locations for less skilled golfers
• 12 to 15 minutes between tee times
• Specific times for juniors and beginners
• Stricter and more Slow- Play rangers
• Getting rid of golf carts around which many un-walkable courses are designed
• Change in the Handicap system by collecting and recording only medal play (tournament) scores.
The list goes on and in many cases these are reasonable fixes, and include even some root causes but without concomitantly finding out what causes the problem and only looking at fixes we are doomed to state of policing, monitoring and enforcing something which should be self enforced which can only lead to a healthier game.
How about a concerted effort to educate golfers at an early age and even some refresher programs for adults, regarding consideration of others and an understanding of the etiquette upon which our game and social living is built, all in conjunction with some real fixes?
If the guardians of our game focused their attention on Slow Play with the same vigor shown in proposing the ban on anchoring, then we would be better off, knowing that the governors and the rest of us are in sync and the game is moving in the right direction with full sails and the wind at our backs.
P.S. Please let us know how you feel we need to address the Slow Play problem by sharing your comments below.