Golfer Pacific

Slow play needs a quick fix

Posted in Australian Golf,Golf,Golfer Pacific,Slow Play by golferpacific on March 26, 2009

OK, so what constitutes slow play in golf these days and where do we draw the line?

Admittedly, the problem isn’t nearly as bad as it is made out to be in competition golf.

But for those having a social bash, like I did at the weekend, this problem is becoming increasingly worse and course marshalls need to do their job.

Groups of four or more, slow walkers, intoxicated hoons, people scoring cards on the greens – not the next tees – and those who feel the need for a few practice putts after they have already holed out…aarrrhhh! It does my head in.

Like most of you, I have had some bad experiences playing socially.

But on the weekend I encountered by far the worst of these.

I got stuck behind a group of nine….YES…. NINE!

This extended family of friends felt the need to all pair up in a nonet (that’s a group of nine by the way).

Throw in six motorised carts, 123 air swings and a dash of no idea and you have the recipe for possibly the most ridiculous tee grouping of the year.

I sat with my playing partner on the tee for nearly 20 minutes while this group of morons tried to locate their balls, strolling ever so casually across the fairways, back-and-forth to grab clubs.

Truth is – they could have used toothpicks – it wouldn’t have mattered.

One bloke had five air swings then backed that up with a shank onto the next fairway.

The result?

A few laughs and an extended conversation about how he accomplished such a feat, without moving in a forward direction.

Throughout this marathon these pillocks were constantly looking back to see us and a growing trail of golfers banked up behind…but no….no need to panic or even wave to let us play through.

Instead, they were more than happy to continue their motorcade to the 19th.  

After seven unsuccessful phone calls to the clubhouse at 4.30pm to try and get an official to get off his high horse and push these guys along, we surrendered and tried another tee.

It appeared it was an early knock-off day for the pro shop, but not for me and my playing partner.

As it was, we walked off the course in pitch black darkness after completing just 13 holes.

I’m willing to give the club the benefit of the doubt – they simply wouldn’t have been stupid enought to allow a group of nine tee-off together.

But they should have monitored the situation to ensure they didn’t slow down what was a busy afternoon of bookings.

As for the green fees I paid…thanks for nothing.

I won’t be back for a while.

  • What’s the worst case of slow play you have experienced?

2 Responses to 'Slow play needs a quick fix'

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  1. Daniel said,

    A group of 9 would have to be the worst I have heard of.
    The worst case of slow play I have encounted was a group of 6 social golfers. 4 in carts and 2 walking. Luckily for my playing partner and I we were only held up for 2 holes. But there was 3 groups between the 6 and us, who wouldn’t have been so lucky.
    They were letting through a group every hole but the fact is the issue wouldn’t have occured if they split into 2 groups of 3.
    I did read (possibly in Golfer Pacific) a suggestion to give players a set time to finish their round and once the time is up then they must finish playing no matter what hole you are on. But I can see how that would require exceptions.

  2. Raymond Gilmurray said,

    My worst scenario of slow play was in Ulsan, South Korea, a country where it is very difficult to get a game of golf at weekends because of a “closed shop…members only” situation. My wife and I had to stay at a certain hotel to ensure a game and even then they would not let a 2 ball play together (minimum 3 ball) nor would they join us up with another party, which we were willing to do, so I had to invite a friend on the Saturday and another on the Sunday. Eventually we teed off at 11.30 am as a 3 ball and noticed a 5 ball in front of us! I thought not a problem as we will soon get through them. How mistaken I was! The course had an underground electrified buggy system, controlled by the caddies, which meant it was impossible to pass the group in front! Some 5 hours later we came to the 17th par 5 hole where all the buggys were lined up at the tee and I could not believe my eyes when I counted 27 people waiting and playing the same hole!
    An incredible 6 hours later we finished our round and made a decision never ever to even try to play in South Korea again. I had to work there for 2 years but flew to Australia, Thailand and Malaysia to play golf where we were welcomed with open arms.

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