Tour Pro's & "Slow" Play

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By Dino J

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  • 7 Replies
  1. Dino J

    Dino J
    Burnaby, BC

    I know that this topic has been kicked around plenty over the years on TT, but I thought that it might be interesting and relevant to see what TT members' thoughts are regarding the recent discussion about it.

    Obviously Brooks Koepka has been quite vociferous in his thoughts, but he did make some thoughtful comments about preparation.

    To paraphrase, his thought was that rather than wait for a playing partner to play their shot before starting your own "preparations", it was better to start your preparations as soon as you reached your ball and while your playing partner is playing their shot.

    My thought is that I try to do this regularly as it speeds my game up, however, the drawback is that often times I do not see where my playing partner's shot goes. Many times, while playing, I get paired up with players that are not as skilled or have a tendency for a strong slice, etc. and then they "lose" their ball. Even if the search time is now 2 - minutes, it still creates a long round when it happens at least several times per 9 holes. I just find it quicker to keep watch for the other player's shots so that we can try and keep up. I can give them a general indication of the area that the ball landed in, hoping to minimize search times.

    Nonetheless, it does create delays regardless. Thoughts?

  2. Frank P

    Frank P
    Sebastian, FL

    The trials and travails of the average golfer is not what slows down the round, it's what to do in the aftermath that's the problem. If you think that your ball is buried in the woods, then hit a provisional. If your in the water, take you proper drop and let's go ( And don't go fishing for the 8 other balls that you see in the water ). Play ready golf and be ready to go. We've all skulled a wedge across the green, left a ball in the bunker and chilli-dipped a chip around the green. No biggie, just gather yourself and play the next shot. You don't have to be a scratch player to play fast. I have a double digit handicap and usually play in about 3 1/2 hours and 3 if there is a constant hole open in front of us.
  3. Dino J

    Dino J
    Burnaby, BC

    Frank P said:

    The trials and travails of the average golfer is not what slows down the round, it's what to do in the aftermath that's the problem. If you think that your ball is buried in the woods, then hit a provisional. If your in the water, take you proper drop and let's go ( And don't go fishing for the 8 other balls that you see in the water ). Play ready golf and be ready to go. We've all skulled a wedge across the green, left a ball in the bunker and chilli-dipped a chip around the green. No biggie, just gather yourself and play the next shot. You don't have to be a scratch player to play fast. I have a double digit handicap and usually play in about 3 1/2 hours and 3 if there is a constant hole open in front of us.

    The challenge with the "provisional" ball is that many of the less skilled or on occasion, the less fortunate, often do not think that they need to hit a provisional ball. It's not until they arrive at the approximate landing area that they discover it is lost, OB, etc.

    I can only suggest to them that they play a provisional off of the tee, or fairway, but I cannot make them do that.

    Of course, with the new rules permitting local rules of dropping a ball in the vicinity can help, but of course, I have rarely seen someone do that without a lengthy search first.

    Tell me Frank, what's your routine when playing? Do you do all of your preparation during the other player's shots?

    As a single digit handicap player, I do, and my point is that even doing that, I get bogged down helping others find their ball, etc. It gets to the point that I stop helping and just keep on walking to my ball.
  4. JAYW3

    JAYW3
    HOUSTON, TX

    I like to get to my ball, walk off my yardage, check wind, pull club I wish to use, then look to see where my partners ball may go. Once I see its general location, I begin pre shot routine. Sometimes, as I'm walking to my ball, I'm also paying attention to where my partners balls may land. Once to my ball, I'm totally focused on my shot. I'm a rhythm player. I focus better when I'm in a nice constant flow of movement. When I'm held up by slow play. I struggle with focus, my mind starts to drift.
  5. Lance P

    Lance P
    Hillsborough, NC

    When one is playing golf for his/her profession the time spent on actually hitting a shot is quite important. Their game cannot be compared to what we week-end warriors can do on a daily basis. Should they play faster? Yes. Can they play faster? Yes. Will they play faster? Penalize them strokes and let's see!
  6. Eric H

    Eric H
    Ridgway, PA

    On tour there are countless people around, so watching each others ball on every shot isn't going to speed up play of a tour evert. I do agree that would speed play up on a Saturday morning though! Ready golf needs to be taught an it needs to be a skill that we pass down to the next generations. As far as slow play on tour, hard golf courses, fast greens, millions of dollars and too many people in the field are a recipe for a snails pace. Until they start to take away real money from these guys, they will continue to be slow, unfortunately.
  7. Rick D

    Rick D
    Weston, WI

    I can still work on shot prep and keep an eye on where my playing partners shots go. Playing on our home course, where we have played a lot, there should be fewer questions about what your next shot will be. Heck, some of the old timers at our place know the yardages without using any devices, pacing from marked sprinkler heads, etc.. Sometimes it's pretty easy, like with a middle green location and you're standing within feet of the 100 yard marker, etc..

    My wife is a 32 handicap and we get around nine in 1-1/2 hours without playing speed golf. She's learned to look at her garmin, pull the club, a practice swing or two and go.

    One problem with a lot of higher handicap golfers is they don't watch their ball all the way to the ground and stopped. I don't like playing with those people, as then I have to be extra vigilant to assist and keep things moving.
  8. Darryl M

    Darryl M
    Wichita, KS

    The only thing I have to assess once I get to my ball is lie, pin location & wind direction (in Kansas that's pretty easy at 20 mph) I don't have much of a routine as I check yardage know my club distances and I don't waggle or practice swing any of my clubs. I like a nice rhythm when I play so I can stay in the moment & focused. Guys i play with will go look for 1 guys ball then go to their ball after he hits. that slows play down drastically. I will give them direction to their ball (as they usually ride in carts & I walk) then walk to my ball. As for provisional balls I do play with several who use that option and glad for it. I have played in some leagues that have you take stroke & distance to speed up play for OB or lost balls which helps too. I have found most players that have played golf for awhile are usually not the issue as much as ones learning or were never taught the rules of the game no matter their ability.

    As for professional players I would think with some knowledge of the course & books and green books & more books they would have a slight idea of the shot they have before they get there. But just like a professional bowler or baseball player they have a system before each shot or at bat or throwing a strike that seems to take a bit longer than most people. Can't stop them from their routine or superstitions before each movement.

    DM

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