Slow Play #$!%$

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By Darius V

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  1. Darius V
    Barrie, ON

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    Watching the final hole at Torrey Pines on Sunday was a bit painful when it got to the 18th hole for the last group. They were already playing a 6 hour round and the last group had fallen a full hole behind. JB was in the fairway needing an eagle to perhaps tie for a spot in the playoff and he took over 4 minutes to pull the trigger. Even worse, he had already had another 2 minutes while he waited for Palmer to hit his shot not far from the same position. With all the talk about slow play I would have thought the tour officials would have put them on the clock much earlier in the round. I guess it is all just talk ! We have a couple of fellows at our course that are notorious for slow play and it is well known amongst the members. What do we do ???? I fully believe that the time it took for JB to hit that shot affected Noren on his shot into the green potentially costing him a good chance at a birdie and the win in regulation play. I doubt he will ever admit it, but.... What can they do ? I think it is time for a shot clock of some sort managed by the officials on the course. There is no excuse for what JB did. What's worse - he laid up when he needed an eagle !!!!!!

  2. Dino J
    Burnaby, BC

    0 Posts

    I watched it too ... it was a bit painful to watch and maybe that is an understatement. ;-).

    Regarding JB's deliberations, I think that it made a case for a set of rules specifically for dealing with time during competitive tournament play.

    I think that in JB's case, he was contemplating the different factors and scenarios of his next shot, including waiting for the wind to die down. Was it excessive? To many it was. To others, it was not only understandable, but the correct thing to do.

    Rather than turning to a "shot clock" similar to one used in basketball or the NFL, I would suggest that it be more along the lines of how curling is played.

    Each player in the tournament would be given a set allotment of time to complete the round. It is the player's responsibility to use his/her own time accordingly. If they run out of time before completing their round, then they should incur a penalty stroke and a further allotment of time to complete the rest of the round.

    The benefit to this is that the player takes on responsibility for managing their time and can "keep on pace" or perhaps speed up a little at the start of a round in order to take more time if and when needed coming home on the second nine. Of course, time allotment can be extended for players if adverse conditions appear such as heavy wind, rain, and other factors.

    Regarding amateur or recreational golf, well that is another proposition to consider. I am sure that I am not the first person to have a good round interrupted or side-tracked when catching up to a slow group in front and then having to wait on every single shot coming in on the back nine. Given disparate skill and fitness levels, I do think that there is a different set of options available such as requirements to use skill appropriate tees (tee boxes), on-course management & player's assistants to keep the game moving, etc.

    Thanks for initiating a good topic for discussion Darius!

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