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..