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Pace of Play Experiment in Alabama

    • 2776 points
    • Posts: 711
     

    There are two things I see all the time that cause slow play that can easily be eliminated :

    1] People  playing from  the back tees when they should be playing from the Whites

    2] People spending 10 minutes looking for a lost ball

    I think ego comes into play when guys tee off thinking they need to use the black or gold tees, they then take 7 or 8 strokes to finish the hole when teeing it forward may take a 1/2 hour and 10 strokes off their round.

    • 1596 points
    • Posts: 110
     

    OK, I have read the posts and I have to chime in.. playing a round under 3 or 4 is not a difficult task. I have watched a twosome play under 45 min... I was driving one of the carts. So even 2 hours looks like a slow round.

    Now I must ask what do you do at any normal course that may have a 4:20 pace of play?

    I can say because I have seen and I run the Marshal/ Starter program on one of the best courses in Texas. Our Starters let the p[layers know the pace of play, for them, is 1/2 hole behind the group in front of them. No closer because we have found for a crowded course to maintain a good pace of play "position" is key. Our course Marhals will maintain speed of play. Meaning if there is a slow group he will encourage them to pick up their pace.. Rarely is there a problem that can not be resolved keeping "everyone" happy.

    OK, how about the 3:30 or 3:45 pace of play for those that are comfortable playing at that pace. Simple our course Marshal will speak to them about maintaining a 1/2 hole behind the group in front of them. No closer because it does not do anyone any good for a group to overtake the group in front of them with no where to go.. If the faster group crowds the forward groups the end up slowing the course to a 5/6 hour round very quickly. How?

    Think about it if a fast group runs up on the group in front of them.. then the fast group is "forced" to wait. Each group behind them is only.. say 8 min behind them.. probably within 2 to 3 hole they too are waiting on the fast group, and then the next group,  Shortly you have 3 groups on one tee box. That alone takes 24 mins to get three groups pff the box.... easily the pace is 5/6 hours because one group wants to play faster than the course pace.

    Then the fast group isn't happy, the slow groups are not happy.. aint nobody happy. Needless to say our Marshals keep an eye out for "fast" groups. We encourage the groups that like to play a faster pace come out early where we can send them out without anyone in front of them.. it works out well,, we have about 4/5 groups that love to play under 4hours.. no problem we want them to also have a good time. Today I wen to the course to make sure everything was operating correctly, and I passed the lead group on number 11.. the were into their round 1 1/2 hours. You can do the math..  our later and slower groups were "all" either side of 4 hours... on a full day not bad.

    Sorry to be so long with the story, but pace of play is something I deal with daily// I have had other courses ask if I would offer help to their Marshal/ Starter team..

    OK, one more story (example).. I know a course that the pace was so bad 14 players quit their round and ask for rain checks., I visited with the Marshals and I was quickly shut down being told I had no clue how difficult it was to handle a full course., Not to argue but to prove the point I Marshaled 3 days of their most crowded days. The pace was mostly under 4:15.

    The game of golf is the greatest gamed ever played and the player"s focus needs to be on having a good time let the course handle the pace of play. If a course does not offer a good pace mention it to the "head" pro, and ask him to call when they have addressed their pace of play. That is about all you can do.. in the mean time find a course that cares about the pace.

    Now time to get back to watching the Cowboys beat the Redskins.. beer me..

    • 4934 points
    • Posts: 1334
     

    golfchick
    Take a look at this story from PGA.com about a great course in Alabama that's hosting an experimental day of golf -- encouraging everyone to play in 3.5 hours. They are using several strategies and will measure to see which ones actually affect the time of a round, including ready golf, limiting lost ball searches, etc. It will be interesting to see the results - and great to see them implemented. 

    www.pga.com/.../pace-play-farmlinks-golf-club-host-experimental-day-golf

    Chris has there been any follow up on this article?

    • 1716 points
    • Posts: 428
     

    Due to injury I had to leave the game for a few years an since coming back I have noticed the following things. People leave their cart, walk to their ball, shoot their yardage, ponder over their club selection, sometimes recheck yardage and seldom get things right. Others, when leaving the green they record their scores there and sometimes want to visit, which should be done at the next tee. I have tried the different tee theory and the time is negligible Our groups average 2.5 to three hours when unimpeded regardless of which tees we play.

    We play what we call ready golf.

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    MarkWDallasTx
    golfchickTake a look at this story from PGA.com about a great course in Alabama that's hosting an experimental day of golf -- encouraging everyone to play in 3.5 hours. They are using several strategies and will measure to see which ones actually affect the time of a round, including ready golf, limiting lost ball searches, etc. It will be interesting to see the results - and great to see them implemented. 

    www.pga.com/.../pace-play-farmlinks-golf-club-host-experimental-day-golf

    Chris has there been any follow up on this article?

    The experiment hasn't happened yet, it's scheduled for Nov. 2

    • 4934 points
    • Posts: 1334
     

    golfchick
    MarkWDallasTxgolfchickTake a look at this story from PGA.com about a great course in Alabama that's hosting an experimental day of golf -- encouraging everyone to play in 3.5 hours. They are using several strategies and will measure to see which ones actually affect the time of a round, including ready golf, limiting lost ball searches, etc. It will be interesting to see the results - and great to see them implemented. 

    www.pga.com/.../pace-play-farmlinks-golf-club-host-experimental-day-golf

    Chris has there been any follow up on this article? The experiment hasn't happened yet, it's scheduled for Nov. 2

    Thanks for the time line update.