One of the most consistent annoyances shared by both professionals and club goers is the amount of time it takes to play a round.
European Tour player Edoardo Molinari recently highlighted this problem once again after taking to Twitter to name and shame those players who have been given a slow play warning after one of his rounds at the Trophy Hassan II event took five-and-a-half hours.
That is even a long time for me and I spend a lot of my time duffing my way around, certainly not shooting under par like a majority of the pros.
Slow play is killing the game with fewer taking it up and courses closing down as people cannot find the time to commit to golf especially in the instant age we live in today.
So, what can be done to speed the game up?
We have come up with a few radical ideas golfs governing bodies should consider, but won’t.
Fewer clubs in the bag
According to the USGA, a golfer may carry 14-clubs at a time.
To me, that seems a little excessive.
With technology giving us every advantage in striking the ball further and with more accuracy, surely the time has come to see how good players really are and give them fewer options.
One of the problems with golf is deciding which club to hit with hybrids, long irons, driving irons, woods and drivers all kinda doing the same thing.
The same can be said about wedges with various loft degrees etc etc, how much help do we actually need?
There should be five clubs – A driver for tee shots, two irons (maybe a 4 and 7) a wedge and a putter.
That pretty much covers the whole spectrum and will make it pretty obvious what club to hit and when.
Then it is up to how good you are.
On the face of it, the concept of golf is pretty simple.
Hit a ball into a hole in the fewest number of shots.
Only it isn’t because of the vast number of rules in the game that leaves even the professionals on Tour confused half the time.
Yeah, I know the USGA and R&A updated the rules of golf at the beginning of 2019 with the aim of speeding up the game, but there are still so many rules that hinder a player’s progress.
Here is our proposed new rule book.
- No practice swings just get on with it
- Wherever your ball lands you have to play it from – even if its plugged (you can drop it though for a one-shot penalty)
- If it goes out of bounds or is lost, you can play it roughly from where it was lost or went OOB for a two-shot penalty
- If you take over 5-hours for a round you are made to wear a clown’s costume in the clubhouse.
Penalty for slow play
In 1982, Steve Scott completed an 18-hole round of golf in 29 minutes and 33 seconds.
Now we don’t expect you to do that, but if you struggle to break the five-hour mark for a round then we have a problem.
The solution is simple, if your round hits the five-hour mark, you have a shot added to your score and for every ten minutes after that another shot is added.
If you are delayed because a four-ball in front refused to let you through, then that group all have to buy you a drink in the clubhouse or face expulsion from the club as part of the etiquette of golf.
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