Nobody Actually Plays Golf Slowly

I decided a few months ago to marshal at my local public golf course. Sneak it in as much as I can when work allows.

Albeit I really don’t have much of an issue during my scheduled time with slow play, my golf buddy who also marshals at Balboa Park, does. She exhausts me with her recap of all she had to do to keep pace of play, and tend to the golfers.

Matty Reyes, Golf Starter/Assistant Volunteer Coordinator at Balboa Park Golf Course, sent us out this great article regarding slow play.

Here are some excerpts:

The NGF’s Pace of Play Survey asked “WHAT SLOWS PLAY?” and reported these causes (with the percentage of facilities mentioning them):

• Golfers playing tees too long for them (57%)

• Golfers looking for lost balls (56%)

• Holes that cause a bottleneck (41%)

• Golfers stopping for food and beverages (37%)

• Cart path-only policies (33%)

• Water hazards (24%)

• Inexperienced golfers/lack of golfer education (17%)

• Narrow fairways (15%)

• Bunkers/waste areas (14%)

• Blind shots (12%)

• Short tee-time intervals (9%).

The NGF Pace of Play Survey, asked its 700 responding facilities “WHAT SPEEDS UP PLAY?” and received the following responses (with percentage of facilities mentioning).

• Encouragement of Ready Golf (69%)

• Encouraging proper tees (47%)

• Ranger program (46%)

• Generous fairways (40%)

• Golfer education (37%)

• Shortened rough (35%)

• Fewer water hazards (30%)

• Longer tee-time intervals (27%)

• Limited bunkers/waste areas (22%)

• Pace of play programs/systems (12%)

• Re-positioning groups (10%).

The chance of overall pace of play improving via players becoming more skillful is slim. Both the NGF and the USGA concur that a “Core” golfer is someone who plays more than eight rounds per year, and averages about 94 strokes per round, with an average Handicap Index of 20.0. Despite these golfers’ well-intentioned and sometimes diligent efforts at improvement, these numbers have been consistent for many years.

Great article! Read more at A Pace of Play Resource


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