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Slow play rant. What do you say when it's your group?


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Today I had a break in my schedule to squeeze in a round at my home course. I get partnered with some very nice guys who are only playing 9. As we waited on the #1 tee box I commented my preround disclaimers that "I see a log jam on hole three but hey.... we're off work and having a good time so I guess it's ok. I am walking to save time anyway. Let's play ready golf. Sound good? Also I don't spend time looking for balls. If I spray one, it's gone and I'm dropping another one"

 

Round starts. Not only were these guys wild off the tee, they were not good ball spotters. A common conversation went like this: 

Them: " Looks like I'm just left of the fairway"

Me: "I don't know. It was turning pretty hard and Im pretty sure i heard it hit a tree."

 

So I am working on iron striking today so I'm playing 6 irons off every tee and they end up in the fairway or just off the side in the thick stuff (not trying to sound perfect but it's a 6 and will only be so far off line)...... And they take off from the tee box EVERY time to  help ME look for MY ball when it was in plain sight. Then they turn back 30 yards to go find THEIR ball in the rough or woods... And they can't find it so I turn back and find it for them. They were all looking for everyone's ball...every time...and we had our own carts.

 

I'm on the green with my putter. They are still 60 yards out in the fairway pitching up. I tapped in every time and cheered them on. Three times I acted like I left something in the cart and went to sit in the cart because it was ridiculous. No one was behind us but two groups played through us. My group rolled eyes and said "these guys are rushing". I commented that "we are a few holes behind schedule but since you don't play often it's ok for the faster groups to play through.  I walked up to the next tee and apologized to the group that had to skip a hole and play through.

 

When the damage was done, 2 hours and 40 minutes had passed and I played 9 holes. On a slow day, I walk 18 here in 2h30m. I have never had that happen. I can be a people-pleaser on the course so I will tolerate and get mad later but today I think I may have experienced a paradigm shift in my approach to slow play.

 

Any key phrases or tips from those that have considerably more rounds under their belt? And I don't mean the anonymous, big bad, internet guy that says "I tell them **** *** and they deal with it". I mean real life scenarios when you are an established professional in your community and it's people that live in your community and you may end up seeing them at Target or Kroger or go to school with your kids or you may interview them for a job. 

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People who are absolute beginners need to learn from someone at some point that when on the course, you're expected to show consideration to those around you. That includes just moving on to the next

I don't think there is a lot you can teach guys you may not see again.    These days many don't want to listen and some don't care.      You can make them aware about either keeping up or lettin

In this instance I would have moved on. Hey guys nice to meet you but I I do not have much time.  I am going to jump ahead and play on my own.   

41 minutes ago, Moonlightgrm said:

If I were in your shoes, I’d grin  and bare it, then find a solution so that I wouldn’t need to experience this again.

 

Join a private country club or an upscale semi-private club. I did this 24-years ago, problem solved. 
 

 

I agree.  When he wrote "home course" I assumed that meant a private course.  

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2 hours ago, LeoLeo99 said:

If you're trying to squeeze in 9, you need to jump around if you can.  I mean, just because you're not looking for your ball doesn't mean that no one else in the group can.  They sound like nice guys.  Nice slow guys are better than fast jerks.  

True. You have to find your ball. I hope I didn't imply that looking for a ball was off limits. I usually eat any penalty and choose to not look for mine when it's a lost cause but always gladly help others and did. But they definitely were nice enough that it didn't suck as bad as it could have. 

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2 hours ago, Moonlightgrm said:

If I were in your shoes, I’d grin  and bare it, then find a solution so that I wouldn’t need to experience this again.

 

 

Very bad advice - he could be arrested for that. :classic_laugh:

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I don't think there is a lot you can teach guys you may not see again.   
These days many don't want to listen and some don't care.   
 
You can make them aware about either keeping up or letting others 
go through.  
 
If the course is open ahead or somewhere, leave them.  Otherwise playing is 
better than quiting.  

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23 hours ago, ArtMBgolf said:

I don't think there is a lot you can teach guys you may not see again.   
These days many don't want to listen and some don't care.   
 
You can make them aware about either keeping up or letting others 
go through.  
 
If the course is open ahead or somewhere, leave them.  Otherwise playing is 
better than quiting.  

 

"Playing is better than quitting". 

 

Absolutely.  Thank you.

 

 

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What I do when I see my group is falling behind I tell the others that we need to pick up speed. In most cases it does not really help as the vast majority of slow players are incapable of increasing their speed when needed. I try to encourage them not to look for a ball too long and start walking faster myself. I guess that is more or less all you can do.

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I play several public golf courses and run into all types of players and playing situations.  The speed conversation cracks me up.  

 

First off, if you can walk 18 holes in 150 minutes, that's insane.  Must be an empty course, which sounds amazing.  For anyone playing a public course (especially during covid this year), you have to expect a lot of beginners and slow paced golfers who don't know golf courtesy very much.  

 

In my opinion that's okay.  I want the game to grow and love seeing parents with their kids or adults coming out to play for the first time in years.  It's a wonderful game and it should be shared by all who want to play it.

 

I always make it a point that it's ready golf, hit when you are ready.  Secondly, emphasize if someone has hit 10+ shots, picking it up is okay.

 

That being said for non-beginners, most all of us are going to have at least 1 drive go in the tall grass a round.  If you are competitive and have a decent score going, you definitely would prefer to find it rather than play your 4th from the fairway and likely take a double or triple.  Let them look for their ball for 3 minutes without getting all worked up.

 

Sure, we all have extreme examples of slow play and they stink but the focus needs to be more on "teaching" rather than "complaining" as a whole in the golf society.  

 

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52 minutes ago, cval said:

In this instance I would have moved on. Hey guys nice to meet you but I I do not have much time.  I am going to jump ahead and play on my own. 

 

This.....and I have done it. Not proud of it. Everytime I have done it, its relaxing and time well spent.

 

slow players always think it some other guy.

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Nothing you will say will make sense to somebody who never had a clue that they are suppose to play in 4 hours or better. I remember checking in at Harding Park on a recent trip there and the guy at check in told every player including myself what the expectation was in terms of pace of play an how long to finish the round. This needs to be started if not included when players check in. That way you dont seem like the donk who want to play fast. I get playing fast but when people walk to there ball and just fire away and put out just to get to the next hole as if they are being timed or something. Now that is just as irritating. A four hour round is just as good as a 3 and a half hour if you are enjoying the company. Usually the players who are rushing just want to get in 18 holes and thats it. Enjoy the moment. 

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It is what it is. Everybody has to start somewhere and they sound like they were trying. When I’m paired with randoms that are clearly beginner level, I try to be loose and help them spot their balls and find it if possible.

 

Nothing feels worse then playing with someone better than you and you feel rushed every hole looking for your ball, etc, while they are waiting so no point in me doing the same to newbies.

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People who are absolute beginners need to learn from someone at some point that when on the course, you're expected to show consideration to those around you. That includes just moving on to the next hole when you reach a certain point, or at least picking up and finishing the hole from near the green. If I get stuck with slower players who are obviously new, I try to pass along tips for improving pace of play, how to play ready golf, etc., along with tips about etiquette and rules when the opportunity arises, never being confrontational about it. If they don't want to hear it, I don't push it, but I feel like it's the responsibility of more experienced golfers to help pass along info to less experienced golfers about what's expected on the course. 

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I think the couple comments you used are about all you could do other than moving on alone like already suggested. As painful as it can be ( I am pretty fast as well), just rd to  time. As poorly as so many drive, many people don’t pay attention to anything or care. Sad but only getting worse. Private about only way to minimize as will never be eliminated as much as we want it too.

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On 10/1/2020 at 3:18 PM, cval said:

In this instance I would have moved on. Hey guys nice to meet you but I I do not have much time.  I am going to jump ahead and play on my own. 

 

 

FYI this is what I do now. Sadly it never

crossed my mind to do but now I do it all the time on slow days. 

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Since I usually play as a single with strangers, I prefer to let the marshal be the one to explain it to the others. At most, I'll mention it once if a marshal neglects to let the whole group know. That's it. Otherwise I'll grin and bear it if there's no room in front to escape to.

 

Like most, I love when I get in a fast group and we have a clear course ahead. I walk 95% of my rounds and can clear 18 quite briskly (3hrs is no challenge if the conditions allow.) That said, since I play public/muni golf and get paired with strangers, I just expect 4:30 rounds as just the norm. It doesn't bother me as there is zero I can do to control it. Sure, when rounds balloon over 5hrs, that's a bit annoying, but honestly, that's pretty rare.

 

 

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I say "hey guys like speed it up a little bit, the group behind us is catching up". I said it a couple days ago playing with my buddy and a couple of guys we were partnered up with. If you know you are not in the wrong, speak up and speed up your group. If you are with true golfers, they will know what you are trying to do.

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