BACK IN 1994 on the USPGA tour rookie Glen Day soon got a nickname. He became known as ‘All’ Day as that is how long it generally took him to complete a round. These days he plays mostly on the Web.com tour although has managed to hang on to his sobriquet.
Day is, sadly, not an exception. Bernhard Langer has possibly inspired a whole generation of Germans to adopt his snail’s pace about the course, whilst Jim Furyk makes Kevin Na appear positively brisk in comparison. Even greats such as Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus were in no hurry to get a move on.
The trouble arrives when amateur players are happy to take as long as the pros in the mistaken belief that more time spent over a shot will improve their game. Things reached a nadir when a handful of amateurs, especially youngsters, started lying down on the green in an imitation of Colombian pro, Camilo Villegas’s, method of lining up a putt.
Ironically slow play is one of the key factors often cited why so many young people are turning their backs on golf as a sport. The Golf Club Managers Association, the organization for Club Secretaries, has asked all its members, as guardians of the game to adhere wherever possible to the following:
- Keep up with the game in front not ahead of the game behind.
- Be ready to play your shot as soon as you are ready.
- If there is any doubt that you might not find your ball always play a provisional. Once you can no longer score a Stableford point put your ball in your pocket.
- Keep up a good walking pace.
- Make sure you line up your putt whilst your fellow competitors are putting. Continuous putting and holing out is encouraged.
- Feel free to encourage slow playing partners to play more quickly.
- Please remember to replace divots and where necessary repair two pitch marks before leaving the green.
- Mark the card on the next tee, not on the green and at all time be considerate to your fellow competitors.
- Ensure that your glove is on.
Slow play is also exercising those at the R&A, sufficiently so to send out a questionnaire to club secretaries and has asked that all club members complete and return the following: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PaceofPlayTest
Please do take take the time to complete the form and return it and also make sure that, wherever possible, you and your playing partners enjoy good, ready golf.