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.