Slow Play on the Tour?

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:39 pm

I'm of the opinion that slow play (however one defines it) will not speed up until professionals are given meaningful penalties. Strokes added on the spot, etc.

But then I wonder just who this slow play really bothers? Other professionals (I'm sure some, and some lots more than others). I've never heard of a pro skipping an event or quitting the sport because of this.

The TV folk? The sponsors? The paying fans at the event or those watching on TV? I must admit I've never turned off a telecast or left an event because of a JB Holmes or Jason Day pace of play.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 10:39 pm

Slippery slope though, Sr. When will enough be enough?

I've never left an event because of slow play, but have certainly moved on from groups who don't seem to care about the time they're taking.

But I'd give the guys a pass on Sunday given the weather that the later groups were putting up with.

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Post by pedro on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 10:40 pm

Sr, you have a point, but I assume the rule is there for a reason.

I think we should stick to the rule (and enforce it) for the following reasons:

1) Out of respect for your playing partner(s) (and ev those behind you)
2) Ensure a certain flow of play, adhering to what I believe is in the original spirit of the game
3) Ensure golfs attractiveness as a spectator and TV sport
4) Ensure golfs attractiveness for kids considering to take up the game

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Post by Shotrock on Tue 19 Feb 2019, 4:31 pm

Kwin/Pedro - Good points. I do suppose it will hit a breaking point. When and how is anyone's guess.

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Post by ralphjohn69 on Tue 19 Feb 2019, 7:57 pm

I played 16 holes in a 4-ball on Sunday at my home course in less time than it took the last group to play the front 9, slow play is a massive turn-off and will eventually kill pro golf, the time some of these guys take is horrendous.

They should have a referee with each group who times every shot, each time they go over 60 seconds it's a 2 shot penalty.  BUT here's the good bit, they don't get told until they finish the round and they then have to add on the shots before the score is confirmed.  That would definitely make them get a move on, although Bryson & JB would never break 120....

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Post by GPB on Tue 19 Feb 2019, 9:38 pm

this JB Holmes had wringing is over the top.

Sunday at Riviera, they had 76 players on a relatively small course. With reachable par 5's and a drive-able par 4. So several pinch points and bottlenecks. Old school golf course with short walks between greens and the next tee.

If Holmes did play quicker, what would that have done? They couldn't go anywhere. It was a traffic jam. They simply would have waited for the group in front of them to play.

Playing fast does not help anything when there are 12 groups in front of you. Players that are waiting for rules officials, looking for golf balls, taking relief, etc.

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Post by ralphjohn69 on Tue 19 Feb 2019, 11:00 pm

On this occasion yes, the whole field were slow, 5 1/2 hours for any round is a joke.  Admittedly JB couldn't have done much about it on his own this time but he's still painful to watch.

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Post by super_realist on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 7:46 am

It would be good to see the tour group quick players together and get them out early. Then any group who takes longer than 4.5 hours is disqualified like a marathon runner who is too slow.

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 9:49 am

GPB wrote:this JB Holmes had wringing is over the top.

Sunday at Riviera, they had 76 players on a relatively small course.  With reachable par 5's and a drive-able par 4.  So several pinch points and bottlenecks.  Old school golf course with short walks between greens and the next tee.

If Holmes did play quicker, what would that have done?  They couldn't go anywhere.  It was a traffic jam.  They simply would have waited for the group in front of them to play.

Playing fast does not help anything when there are 12 groups in front of you.  Players that are waiting for rules officials, looking for golf balls, taking relief, etc.

Valid points, but in that supposed log jam of everyone everywhere being slow, they apparently still lost a hole and didn't make it back.

Relatively small course - so quicker to get round?

Reachable 5 and driveable 4 - so spread the groups a bit more, you've got all day?.

Waiting, looking - let someone through (I don't particularly care about keeping playing order)?

Relief - In the time I re-read the above line, and added (I don't particularly care about keeping playing order) I could have had a drop, played my shot and be 40 yards towards my next one.

They are excuses - it doesn't take anyone 2 minutes for a putt and then plumb bumming [sic] a 1 footer is an exercise in futility, whatever that method purportedly shows up (and I'm not convinced by it at the best of times). Maybe the witch hunt of Holmes the individual is a tad over the top this week and it should be a wider net in the interests of fairness (although he is pretty notorious from comments by fellow pros).

How's about an in play shot clock countdown, and once the time hits zero either the cash amount or the percentages of purse for your prize drops, visibly, so a bit like the national debt counter, but in reverse.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 12:06 pm

The circumstances WERE a bit different on Sunday, Roller.

They didn't have "all day", the tee-times were a little compressed and the Holmes/Thomas/Scott group reportedly waited on every shot until Holmes needed a lengthy ruling on #7 and then, you're right, they never caught up. But they were also all struggling and spending a lot of time on the greens. Plus the wind was gusting and rain showers were squalling.

Holmes is slow, but so were the others.

The Tours know how long pros are taking, they keep that data.

I'd modify super's solution and group the slowest guys all at the back of the field for Rounds 1 & 2. Imagine if Holmes & BDeC, Day & Spieth were in the final tee-times every week, they'd soon hear about it from their sponsors.

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Post by McLaren on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 12:17 pm

super_realist wrote:It would be good to see the tour group quick players together and get them out early. Then any group who takes longer than 4.5 hours is disqualified like a marathon runner who is too slow.

I have a better idea. Always put Tiger out first so that his round is quick and his fans get a better viewing experience. Lets face it anyone watching the rest of golf is a sad individual that can probably afford to have more of their time wasted. Whistle
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Post by pedro on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 12:36 pm

Don't think Tiger or the fans like waking up early.

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Post by JAS on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 12:42 pm

McLaren wrote:
super_realist wrote:It would be good to see the tour group quick players together and get them out early. Then any group who takes longer than 4.5 hours is disqualified like a marathon runner who is too slow.

I have a better idea.  Always put Tiger out first so that his round is quick and his fans get a better viewing experience.  Lets face it anyone watching the rest of golf is a sad individual that can probably afford to have more of their time wasted. Whistle

If they’re not going to punish them with shot penalties then yes the next obvious thing is to start putting all the key offenders out at the back of the field...not sure how that would work Sat/Sun though but doing it Thurs Fri would be a start.

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Post by GPB on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 3:52 pm

Roller_Coaster

Relatively small course, means there is not room on the course. 76 players with split tees makes for 26 groupings on 18 holes. There is no room to go. Hurry up and wait. Its like a traffic jam where the road opens up for 400 yds so you can speed up to 50 mph and then come to a screeching halt.

How are you going to spread the groups out? They were split tees! If you spread out tee times to 3 hours on each tee, what good does it do to play the first nine in two hours? You are going to have to wait an hour for the other side to tee off.

Tour Pros are scared to take relief these days and they need hand holding from a tour official. All of them.

Kwini: Noticed no Euros were on your slow play list. No Paddy, No Stenson, No Poulter?

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Post by Shotrock on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 4:59 pm

I strongly suspect nothing will happen until the powers on the tour believe (and not just give lip service to) revenues (gate, TV, corporate tents, etc.) are declining due to slow play.

On the spot added strokes would be the way to go, IMO. That would get some reactions!

(I heard Matt Every planted himself on a lawn chair in the middle of the fairway on a web.com event when the group ahead of him was slow.)

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