Luke Donald sparks talk of slow play on PGA Tour

You may not know it, but the PGA Tour kicked off this week. Luke Donald then sparked up some conversation about slow play.

It’s not that hard, be ready when it’s your turn. Slow play is killing our sport

— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) January 9, 2012

Luke DonaldWith barely an off-season, the PGA Tour ridiculously starts the season on the first weekend in January at the Kapalua Golf Course in Hawaii. Steve Stricker won the Hyundai tournament of Champions this week by three shots, from Scot Martin Laird but there was a lot of other talk going on about slow play.

Early in the week, lots was said about the golfers who don’t turn up to play this event. All players who won on the PGA Tour last year were eligible, but with barely any time for some of these golfers to rest after a year of golf, is it really that surprising that some decided to sit the week out? Who could really blame Adam Scott for wanting to spend a few more weeks with his feet up?

It turns out there is also another reason some golfers may wish to avoid the PGA Tour. Slow play.

Despite David Toms whipping around the course on his own in 2 hours and 31 minutes, the tournament (like most of them) was plagued by slow play. The world’s number one golfer took to Twitter to air his frustrations today, despite not playing the event.

Sounds like slow play is already an issue the 1st week of the @PGATOUR season and it’s 2 somes. Sort it out please….

— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) January 9, 2012

Luke Donald then went on to offer some very simple advice we should all remember.

It’s not that hard, be ready when it’s your turn. Slow play is killing our sport

— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) January 9, 2012

Golf writer Doug Ferguson then named who most were referring to, the snail like Jonathan Byrd. It seems officials then gave Byrd and his playing partner Steve Stricker a slow play warning.

Byrd (and Stricker) put on clock. Utterly shocking.

— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) January 9, 2012

Paul Azinger then got in on the action. His tweets often have more holes in them than a week at Mission Hills but on this occasion, he let us know that dealing with slow play has been talked about for years.

@dougferguson405 slow play issue was raised at most player meetings I’ve been to since my rookie year..1982

— Paul Azinger (@PaulAzinger) January 9, 2012

Ferguson took to timing Byrd’s golf himself.

Byrd just took 1 minute, 25 seconds. He was second to hit. I don’t think my starting time was 45 seconds off.

— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) January 9, 2012

Guess we can safely say it’s going to be a long year.

— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) January 9, 2012

Donald then summed up the situation pretty well.

I could rant all day long, don’t think anything will ever change as the slow players don’t realize they are slow

— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) January 9, 2012

It’s frustrating. Tour officials are reluctant to do anything about the problem which sets a precedent of sorts. How are golf clubs supposed to penalise slow play when the professionals aren’t?

Perhaps it’s up to the players to come together on this one.

3 thoughts on “Luke Donald sparks talk of slow play on PGA Tour

  • January 10, 2012 at 21:13
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    It’s a problem with golf right around the world and unfortunately I don’t think there is any right answer. It only takes one group to strike some trouble and it effects the rest of the players throughout the field, especially if they are from an early group.

    Tough one to fix, that’s for sure!

    Reply
  • January 11, 2012 at 02:17
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    Some sports have a sportsmanship bonus added to their ladder position. We as golfers get to take off our handicap (sporting ability), maybe we should be adding/taking a sportsmanship bonus (respect for other ability)

    Reply
  • January 11, 2012 at 07:26
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    i reckon there is something to be said that some people are watching how long the pros take to play and that leads to slow play in club comps etc..

    Reply

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