The real cause
Max Adler headlines his post, "The real cause of slow play isn't what you think" and mentions, "The second annual Pace of Play Symposium was held at the USGA headquarters in Far Hills, N.J."
A pace of play symposium sounds like a good place to have a snooze. Not very exciting however when I read what they'd uncovered through rigorous data collection. I got kind of excited that just maybe there's a way to speed up the game - Please email this link to your golf club manager/director.
Stating the obvious
"The average round of golf in America takes 4 hours, 17 minutes, according to Lucius Riccio, Ph.D., who analyzed 40,460 rounds. The average time of dewsweepers, or the first group out, is 3:46."
Every golfer I've ever known is aware of how the dewsweepers get it done so much faster but not much thought has been given to finding a fix for later players.
The analogy of, "Golfers move like cars on the interstate. Rush hour is bad. Make too many merges too quickly, and gridlock ensues," is the closet we can get to understanding the dewsweeper dynamic.
Now (to me) that's surprising
"The length and Slope Rating of a golf course has almost no correlation with pace."
Since my home club is one of the toughest club courses in New Zealand I've been inclined to think length and slope is part of the slow play problem. But not so according to the data.
I've also been inclined to think that there should be an increase in tee-time intervals. Given that if we give the "gridlock" factor in golf any credibility it has to be a good place to start.
Max writes, "So the most effective change course owners can make is to increase tee-time intervals."
I'll write it again, "So the most effective change course owners can make is to increase tee-time intervals," and if you've not already committed to sending a link to this post to your general manager/golf director please do so.
And here's what you'll get
Hopefully by sending the link and giving rise to some thoughtful suggestions the reply, if you do in fact get acknowledgement to your contribution. Chances are it will go something like this.
"Many public facilities operate at eight-minute intervals. On the surface, moving to 10-minute intervals costs a course roughly 15 percent in revenue because fewer golfers can be accommodated on the tee sheet."
Given the dwindling number of golfers I'd say it's now less of a financial risk to increase the interval of tee-times
Never though of that
"During busy weekends, he’s (Pete Rouillard, senior VP of golf operations for SunBelt Golf Corporation)," had success pushing the tees back on par 5s and reachable par 4s, to deter longer hitters from waiting to have a go at the green, and also moving the tees forward on par 3s to result in more greens in regulation for everybody. The idea is “to make every hole transition to a short par 3 at some point to improve the flow of a round.”
The perennial problem on my home course is that the first par 3 is also the longest par 3 and it is most apparent that whenever a forward tee is used there's a five-minute reduction in the time it takes for a foursome to play the hole.
Enough said since our club's General Manger may read this and think he's being got at.
Here's the link to Max Adler
Quote of the Day
"In the 2014 LPGA Tour season, the average round time was reduced 14 minutes by switching from 10- to 11-minute intervals." - Max Adler