A Letter from the Editor
by Rick Price, PGA – Editor of Golf Arizona Magazine
This article is dedicated to discussing and making aware of the different aspects of pace of play, reasons why we play the pace we do, myths associated with slow play and how to improve our pace, if indeed we do need to improve.
Many aspects contribute to a player or groups being fast or slow. Hear are just some of the factors that come into play: fitness, course condition, weather, yardage, playing ability and more. The interesting thing is players that may take more time to hit their shot are not necessarily the slowest players. As a general reference, it should not take more than 30 seconds to hit a shot once it is your turn to play and you have chosen a club. What is your pace of play and why?
Who really determines who is slow or what is an acceptable time to play a round of golf and why? The answer to that for the most part would be the Golf Club policy and/or a Tournament Committee for competition. The challenge is that there is such a variety of skills of golfers on any given day playing the golf course, whether it is public, resort, or private. Think about it from an operator’s perspective, what a nightmare! You have your groups that want to race around the golf course in 3 hours, you have new golfers introduced to playing the game, resort guests, members, tournaments, high handicappers, and low handicappers, so how do you possibly make them all happy and expect them to play in the same amount of time?
Golf Courses and Clubs are in the business to be profitable and need to maximize their starting time sheets to create a profit that will allow for an enjoyable pace of play. The balancing act of making the profit center “The starting time sheet” run as-effectively as possible while putting as many golfers on the course, is the challenge. Oh! but wait, there are other determining factors that contribute to what is an acceptable pace of play for each golf course. What type of golf course is it? Is it a desert course, or is it tree lined, does it have long carries off the tee, is it flat or hilly. How about the number of bunkers, what’s the distance between greens and tees, are the greens fast or slow, are the fairways narrow or wide, what about how many water hazards and bunkers are on the course, can you walk or do you have to ride?
Determining what an acceptable time for a round of golf is… well, it just depends. Consider all these factors before rushing to a judgement on if a player or group is playing too slow. The Golf Club operators are there to make sure you have an enjoyable experience and to provide the best possible product for you the consumer. Support your local Golf Club and make sure you do your part to make the pace of play enjoyable for all that play the game.
For more information about the pace of play, check out our previous article: “Four Hours… Really?”
Thank you for supporting Golf Arizona Magazine and GoGolfArizona.com. We value your input and thank you for your support in assisting us in promoting the game of golf.
Rick Price, PGA