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How Do You Talk To Friends About Pace of Play?


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“Hey dumbass, hurry up, we don’t have all day!”  

I've had success with this:   "Hey Man, i have to talk to you about something pretty serious" "Oh sh*t, what's up?" "I slept with your wife" "Whaattttttt????, you son of a...A

The guys I play with have no issue with a lot of trash talking and a little in your face candor.  Simply a "come on let's go, there are people pushing us and we are falling behind" might be a little m

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On 3/1/2021 at 5:05 PM, dlygrisse said:

Years ago a friend of mine wanted to learn to play golf, I took him under my wing, got him set up with some clubs and took him to the range a few times.  He never became a great player, rarely breaking 100, but I told him the first time we went to play golf.  "Look you suck, no one cares if you suck, just play quickly and no one will care how bad you suck"  He took it to heart, and a couple of times I almost had to slow him down as he may have been hitting his 5th shot out of turn, but he learned to just walk up the the ball and whack it, and move forward without fiddling around.  

I never played until after college.  I had NO idea what I was doing, where to stand  etc.  My buddies (we're still friends after 40 years) said, "we don't care what you do (throw the ball, drop, skip a hole, kick it out of the woods) but we play in 4 hours."   Ever since that day, I have always tried to play in 4 hours (or less).

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Any advice for dealing with a long waggler?  That's the worst for me, that player who stands over the ball forever and we all have to remain quiet/stand still.  Excruciating.  Sometimes the waggle is kind of a mental thing so I don't want to be a jerk.  Would appreciate anything that's worked.

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33 minutes ago, From_Parts_Unknown said:

Get your own cart and play at your speed.  Eventually the slow players will be a couple of holes behind you and they'll get the picture.  It's not being rude, it's sending a message.  


People keep saying stuff like this... "ready golf" etc... but there's *no way* i'm walking up the fairway to prepare and hit a shot when random strangers are _behind me_ and I've no idea when they'll hit or where it will go when they do.

 

Am I the only one on public courses fearing for my life? "Ready golf" seems so _civilized_.
 

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I play with a player that is just fine as a 2-some. We fly around. Add a 3rd, he’s way slower. Add a 4th, you’re looking at 4.5 most days. 
 

He’s a slow player, but when only I have to wait on him, it’s not that big a deal. We get around in 2.5 or 3 walking. But once 2 people have to wait, and then 3 people, time stands still. 
 

He also likes to gab. He can only say so much when it’s just us. But add a 3rd or a 4th and it’s a gabfest. It’s like he’s a dog at a dogpark. 
 

I’ve told him directly he’s slow. Not jokingly. Angrily really. He got mad, says he’s not slow, and hasn’t changed his ways. 

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This is always a touchy subject and its something I have gone through recently with a group. A high school friend of mine who I play with has to be one of the slowest guys I have ever seen and usually with folks like this, they are the first to complain about slow play. The guy would wait until everyone putts to make his read, stands over the ball for what seems like an eternity and it just overall slow as can be. Yet, this same player is super rattled whenever someone is right behind us and I always laugh it off because I have been telling him hes slow for the longest time. Its just like a bandaid, just rip it off quickly. Just mention they are slow and it goes one of two ways: thanks, I had no idea or a barrage of excuses. When I brought up this guys slow play, I was essentially uninvited to golf with him for a few months and it was pretty funny. More and more people in our group started to call him out and I think he finally realized hes part of the problem. I am of the mindset, go up to your ball, grip it and rip it. Rarely do i sit around taking practice swings or analyzing the 1mph wind.

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If you play on a busy course, I would use the "we need to stay behind the group in front of us" perspective.

 

You could even say "the marshall told me we need to stay right behind the group in front of us".

 

As long as they don't keep you from doing that, their slow play is maybe just an annoyance.

 

BUT, if you're lucky enough to play an empty course, I would probably just find 2-3 different guys that you can zip around in 3 hours with!

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I remind my group that we don't like slow play, so we better pick it up as we are falling behind. It generally works for the group - less so when an individual player is the lone offender.

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OP, I’m in the exact same boat as you. We made the slow guys in our group take the last tee times of the group. And they started to realize playing 5+ hour rounds is not acceptable.  
 

They changed their tunes real quick after finally realizing it. And we also threaten to kick them out of the Sunday golf group. 

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If you have someone who can't keep pace, explain to them either need to start or find another group to play with.

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On 3/7/2021 at 9:37 AM, straightshot7 said:

If you play on a busy course, I would use the "we need to stay behind the group in front of us" perspective.

 

You could even say "the marshall told me we need to stay right behind the group in front of us".

 

As long as they don't keep you from doing that, their slow play is maybe just an annoyance.

 

 

I've used that a few times. My regular group gabs a little bit much. 

 

If we're falling behind, I'll call it out--"hey guys we need to speed it up, we're falling behind and the group behind us is waiting." None of them are *trying* to be slow... They're just not also trying to be particularly fast. 

 

On 3/15/2021 at 6:59 PM, FreeWilly613 said:

Any tips for letting the wives know they are holding us up?  Lol if you think your buddy gets offended.

 

If I get the wife out on a course with me, she can take as much time as she needs 😉

 

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I play with my father in law a lot. His pace of play can be... excruciating. But he thinks he's a fast player. He's just a generally slow moving human being, and he doesn't realize that he's actually quite slow.

 

Probably his most obviously "slow player" habit that he doesn't realize is a slow player habit is that he'll stand and watch every ball until it has come to rest. This might sound weird, but if you hit a ball that's bouncing right down the middle of the fairway, you don't need to stand stationary and wait for it to stop before you head back to the cart. He'll stand there and describe its course like he's a play by play announcer. "That's down the right side of the fairway, bouncing... still bouncing... aaaaand it's a little short of the 150 marker, still in the fairway." Meanwhile I'm sitting in the cart, next club in hand, ready to go. Sure, if your ball is headed somewhere that'll be hard to find, keep an eye on it! But otherwise, hurry it up.

 

His vision is also terrible, which not only probably accounts for this weird habit.

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More to the point of this thread... I highly doubt that anyone thinks of themselves as a slow golfer. It's like driving: everyone thinks they're the best driver on the road, right? If you tell someone they're a slow golfer, they're probably apt to do one of two things: (1) take your comments to heart and pick up the pace of play, or (2) dig in, consider YOU to be the one in the wrong, and never want to golf with you again.

 

If you don't care about golfing with your group, then the risk of the second happening doesn't matter, I suppose. Personally, I don't play at a club and have very few golfing buddies. I have to tread lightly when calling out anyone.

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If it has to reach that boiling point. It’s really time to go separate ways on the course. And hope that it doesn’t deteriorate the friendship outside the course. 

 

I thought a few of my very slow friends in our group was making progress. They did a complete turnaround back to there usual 5+ hour round over the weekend. Especially being the first groups out. 5+ hour round is not acceptable. And to them that’s acceptable. Cause hey “F the other people on the course”. Even the head pro shop guy had to come out and tell us that our pace is unacceptable. We all looked over to them and pointed. They clearly didn’t care. Cause they have zero respect for others. We all had to tell them. Again, they show zero respect. 

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A more friendly approach you could try:

 

On the first tee, let the group know you've got to be done and heading out by (right at 4 hours). If they're good guys they'll hopefully pick up the pace to help you out. Once they play that "fast", it might stick?

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On 3/4/2021 at 9:51 AM, CortezTheKiller said:


People keep saying stuff like this... "ready golf" etc... but there's *no way* i'm walking up the fairway to prepare and hit a shot when random strangers are _behind me_ and I've no idea when they'll hit or where it will go when they do.

 

Am I the only one on public courses fearing for my life? "Ready golf" seems so _civilized_.
 

 

This! I play w my dad and brother a lot, who I have no problem walking ahead of to get ready myself. 

 

Problem is that doesn't translate well to the single days w the "only the good lord knows where this is going" folks. 

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Today was One Of Those Days. It's Monday, so it should have been dead out there. But they punched the greens on the sister course today, so everybody was on Blue. And it was a simply gorgeous Spring day in Portland, and we're all "working from home", so yeah... pace of play...

 

But that was just one thing, and though it was *shocking*, it didn't frustrate me as much as the constant chatter between these two pals, oblivious of anybody else on the course, or in the middle of someone's backswing perhaps... 🤦‍♂️

Let me help you guys with your constant scoring argument. The one of you who only lost TWO balls on the hole probably won the skin; and neither of you carded a 6.

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Did you know?

 

* The most common response to average round times was 4.0 to 4.5 hours, except in GB&I where it dropped to 3.5 to 4.0 hours.

* Golfers worldwide reported no noticeable difference in round times from when they first started playing till now.

Worldwide, only 8.8% of rounds played take 4.5 hours or more, with nearly 75% taking between 3.5 and 4.5 hours.

The mean round time in GB&I is 3 hours 44 minutes now – exactly the same mean time as when respondents first started playing!

The mean number of golfers in a group globally is 3.55, so could this tendency for fourball golf be a major contributing factor to pace of play?

* Playing in fours is standard practice throughout the world, other than in GB&I where it drops to 50% and Continental Europe where it drops to 39.9%. Elsewhere, people play in fourballs between 80% and 90% of the time.

Australasians are the most competitive golfers, with nearly 81% of their rounds played in club competitions or similar rather than for fun. In North America, that figure dips to just 16.9%.

 

 

From  the R&A pace of play survey, which ran for over six months from September 2014 to March 2015, attracted over 56,000 responses from 122 countries around the world.

Its aims were to investigate issues in golf that are impacting on participation figures, and to get a better understanding as to what extent pace of play might be a factor influencing participation.

The results, perhaps surprisingly, showed that 70% of golfers are largely happy with how long it takes to play, although 60% said they felt they would enjoy it more if it didn’t take so long.

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On 4/11/2021 at 3:32 AM, Newby said:

 

 

* The most common response to average round times was 4.0 to 4.5 hours, except in GB&I where it dropped to 3.5 to 4.0 hours.

* Golfers worldwide reported no noticeable difference in round times from when they first started playing till now.

Worldwide, only 8.8% of rounds played take 4.5 hours or more, with nearly 75% taking between 3.5 and 4.5 hours.

The mean round time in GB&I is 3 hours 44 minutes now – exactly the same mean time as when respondents first started playing!

The mean number of golfers in a group globally is 3.55, so could this tendency for fourball golf be a major contributing factor to pace of play?

* Playing in fours is standard practice throughout the world, other than in GB&I where it drops to 50% and Continental Europe where it drops to 39.9%. Elsewhere, people play in fourballs between 80% and 90% of the time.

Australasians are the most competitive golfers, with nearly 81% of their rounds played in club competitions or similar rather than for fun. In North America, that figure dips to just 16.9%.

 


I'm all about a good pace. But the problem, and I've said it a million times, is that you CANNOT have an absolute universal time to what is acceptable. In the US, the courses are different. Most aren't walkable, and the drive time between holes (and sometimes even getting back to your cart) adds 30 minutes to a round, JUST FOR THAT.

That's why it's called "pace of play" and not "time of play".  Every course is different. This is why the USGA has a "pace of play rating". A good pace at my local muni might be < 4 hours, and the course down the road might be 4:40.

While there are sloooow golfers, there is also bad course design and management. Tee times spaced at 6-8 minutes apart, starter "squeezing in" a group. etc. If pace is slow, and there are no gaps, that's nobody's fault but the course's.

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3 hours ago, larrybud said:


1) That's why it's called "pace of play" and not "time of play".  Every course is different. This is why the USGA has a "pace of play rating". A good pace at my local muni might be < 4 hours, and the course down the road might be 4:40.

2) While there are sloooow golfers, there is also bad course design and management. Tee times spaced at 6-8 minutes apart, starter "squeezing in" a group. etc. If pace is slow, and there are no gaps, that's nobody's fault but the course's.

1) That's something I've never seen mentioned before. Do all courses publish it? Sounds like a good idea.

2) Course design and management are major contributors. Two short par 4s followed by a long par 3 will always form a queue. Trees and rough management, too slick greens add time.

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3 hours ago, Newby said:

1) That's something I've never seen mentioned before. Do all courses publish it? Sounds like a good idea.

2) Course design and management are major contributors. Two short par 4s followed by a long par 3 will always form a queue. Trees and rough management, too slick greens add time.

 

Here's what my club wants to happen (and when the course is not wet, does):

 

PLAY IN 4:00 

 

The clock starts when the first player in your group hits their tee shot on hole #1. 

 

    CHECKPOINTS

    At hole  #4,  flagstick replaced at actual start time plus 0:50
    At hole  #9,  flagstick replaced at actual start time plus 1:55
    At hole #13, flagstick replaced at actual start time plus 2:50
    At hole #18, flagstick replaced at actual start time plus 4:00

 

            1) Keep up with the group ahead.
            2) In stroke play, play “ready golf”.
            3) Hit your shot in 40 seconds or less.
 

Knowledge of the Rules is part of the applied skill set which a player must use to play a round of competitive golf.

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