Slow Play Solutions

The considered responses to last week’s Slow Play article are indicative of the extent of the problem and how passionate golfers are about this issue and want to help resolve it. We appreciate these shared comments most of which were carefully considered and substantive.

 We need to recognize that for maximum enjoyment of the game, “The overriding principle is that consideration should be shown to others on the course at all times” (ref. Rules of Golf Section 1 Etiquette)

If we have not lost our real understanding of social etiquette, let us allow golf to remind us what it is all about yet and how important it is in our everyday lives. After all, we call ourselves on infractions so why can we not allow this trust and makeup of our personal integrity encompass our social behavior and consideration for others, as it has for hundreds of years.

Above all else we need to find a practical and simple solution to this problem and should rely on the ingenuity of golfers to find the solution. Giving golfers this responsibility, makes them part of finding the solution and thus it is more likely to be embraced rather than rejected as a comprehensive dictate, no matter how well researched it may be.

A simple notice – which should go without saying — printed on my medal competition score card reminded me of how to exhibit due consideration for other golfers and stated, “Please remember that your position on the course is directly behind the group in front of you, not directly in front of the group behind you”. This made me aware of what we expect from golfers.

To be realistic in today’s fast-moving world – except on most golf courses – we may need some additional persuasion.

If we expect golfers to help resolve the problem, we need to give them an incentive to do so and also provide a set of guide-lines for those who are less innovative but seek to be part of the solution.

I am quite sure that there are many tangible incentives such as a free beer for a four-ball playing in under four hours and preferred tee times for faster players etc., which can be implemented and would quite likely result in added income to the facility and happier – returning — golfers.

There are some other obvious solutions which may not be intuitive such as:

  • Strictly adhere to a minimum of 12-minutes between tee times

  • Strongly encourage– and incentivize– golfers to play from the appropriate tees

  • Course set up, and course design to minimize the intimidation factor and time spent to find balls

  • Helpful guidelines to help make cart-golf more efficient

  • Simplification of the Rules and promote The Rules in Brief for 98% of the golfing population

However, to maximize our enjoyment of the game, we must strengthen our social behavioral patterns and exhibit consideration for others which is truly a social instinct, this is what we expect from golf and what golf expects from us.

To all our Frankly Friends, your sincere concern for our wonderful game is appreciated and we welcome your comments.



7 thoughts on “Slow Play Solutions

  1. “Strictly adhere to a minimum of 12-minutes between tee times.”

    Love that!

    What kind of reaction are you getting from course operators when you suggest it?

    I have seen American Golf muni facilities alternate 8 and 7 minute intervals, I kid you not.

  2. I would love where these courses with 12 minute tee times are. I have not seen any in central Florida or eastern Kentucky.

  3. Frank,
    Except in tournament play, at my local courses all OB areas are treated as lateral water hazards. Go to the spot where the ball left the course, drop within 2 club lengths, and proceed with a one stroke penalty. It’s a simple local rule that any course can implement to speed up play.
    John Stroman

  4. Hi Frank,

    So, at the end of a round what should we remember?
    Big Drives.
    Amazing putts.

    So, unless one is grinding out a score for a tournament how about just remembering the good stuff and then moving on? Last week I played ??? golf. I kept track of big drives, great putts, Birdies and pars. I was one under through seven good holes.
    I felt great. If I was out of a hole per my criteria I just picked up. For instance, I had one bad shot that ended up on the cart path. The ball kept trickling down the path until it was almost back to the tee box at which point it left the cart path and jumped into a muddy puddle. What could one do but laugh and move on. The good news was that it was right next to the ball washer!

    I wish others would play with abandon and move on quickly.


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