What are we doing about the pace of play which is destroying our game? There is a focus on rules changes but this is not the answer. Carts have hurt the pace of play and have destroyed the caddie program which has been a very effective introduction to the game. Thoughts?
–Michael B, Sarasota
Yes, pace of play is one of the problems we face but it is not the only problem. I have been writing about solutions to the problems the game faces for over 10 years.
There is no question that the game needs to be revitalized and it will require the problems to be clearly defined and a multi-pronged solution developed rather than a piecemeal approach.
Carts have detrimentally affected the game by changing course design and, YES removed an effective avenue into the game via the caddie program. But this is hard to fight because of the revenue stream generated by carts. Let’s also recognize that carts have helped golfers who otherwise would not be able to play but in many cases are now over-used.
Michael, rules changes are necessary but we need to focus on simplicity, rather than perpetuating comprehensive complexity. Rules should be simple with the intent of the rules clearly stated wherever possible. Relying on the player’s interpretation of the intent of these rules – which worked for hundreds of years — would help get more golfers playing by the rules and possibly even speed up play.
More important, however, is to make the game less intimidating and focus on course design and setup to accomplish this. Most courses can be an appropriate challenge – which attracts us to the game — if we played from the appropriate tees. This should also help speed up play.
Michael, thanks for your concern which most of us share but let’s attack with adequate forethought and recognize what we are trying to protect and how we are going about it.
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