Slow Play on the Golf Course: What is Causing It?

If you have played golf for more than a year you probably have had a round of golf where the group in front of you is waiting on the group in front of them who is waiting on the group in front of them who is watching a group that is playing REAL slow.

What is causing it? Well, If I knew exactly what was the one thing that was causing it I probably would not be writing this blog…I would be having someone write it for me since I would be playing golf someplace where there is not slow play.

But I do have some suggestions for a solution that would be fair for all.

The fact of the matter is, Slow Play is caused by a lot of things. What I think is at the bottom of it is ‘lack of discipline’. Either no one has advised the person, or persons, who are taking too much time between golf shots that they are not keeping with the pace of play, or they don’t care.

Yes these are the two extremes of causes of slow play. There are a large percentage of people who began learning golf and were never told during their lessons the etiquettes to follow when playing.

There are also those who are beginning who, like in their personal life, are close to being mentally instable and don’t care they are slow and rationalize being new to the game as reason enough for the group waiting on them after each shot to realize they will just have to wait.

Then you have on the other end the golfers who have watch way too much golf on TV and feel that if the professionals can take 5 minutes on each shot they should too.

What grows from these two dichotomies of ignorance is both are based on lack of discipline. The new golfer needs to be introduced from the very beginning what they are getting into and the seasoned golfer, and beginners, need to stop taking the attitude that ‘I paid my green fee, I’ll take all of the time I am allowed’.

What is not realized in both of these camps of causes for slow play is if either the beginner or the seasoned player could hit the ball as far, and as accurate, as the best golfers, then taking more time on each shot would be moot, since they would setting the pace for those behind them.

The fact is, 90% of golfers can’t hit the ball as far, or as accurate, as needed to play some of the courses that are being created these days, and with them hitting short drives and into the rough, or worst, it is going to cause more time to be taken by each player to play their next shot..

Solution here is discipline… Either the golf course needs to mandate the tee box each player should play from based on their skill level, or the players are going to have to realize they are not tour players and adjust their game to the skill level they are able to play. So far neither of these actions is being taken.

What will enable course management to manage slow play? Well a player certification program would be the answer and if golf is going to grow these types of solutions need to be adopted or Slow Play, Fairway Rage and people with T-Shirts with Cut-offs are going to place golf into an early grave.

I’ll have to tell you later what ‘Cart Path Only’ does to Slow Play…

Scot Duke is President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC and author of How To Play Business Golf. Mr Duke uses his 30 years of business management experience to help business owners and executives develop their business to be more successful and mentor business people on how powerful of a business tool Business Golf can be towards solving many business challenges. More information on Mr Duke and Business Golf can is available at the Innovative Business Golf Solutions web-site.


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