Norman expects fast rounds of golf

Greg Norman sat down in the commentary booth during the first round of the Dubai World Championship last week. Norman was there to provide some thoughts on the course the European tour professionals were playing, the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates – a course he designed.

After reading the “Sign of the Times” article in Australian Golf Digest recently I wonder just how much “design” famous golfers are actually doing other than adding their name to the golf course. However, Norman did have a few interesting things to say about the course (which has had its fair share of criticism) but it was his comments on the speed of play got my attention.

Slow play is the bane of golf. Like bad driving, no one likes it but no one admits to doing it. I wrote an article recently lamenting the death of the four hour round of golf and the drop in standards. Many golfers consider four an a half hour rounds good going. A tragedy.

Norman mentioned he had to do some redesigns to his original “resort course” plan in order to hold a European Tour tournament. But he did not want to do them at the expense of the club members and residents who play on it for 51 weeks of the year.

“I didn’t want them to be playing six hour rounds of golf. I wanted them to still play the course in three hours fifty, three hours forty-five.”

Whoa! Did everyone hear that?! Listen up modern golfer, the Great White Shark expects three hour forty-five minute rounds of golf!

What a pleasure it was to hear. Greg Norman has a lot to say on a lot of things but this is one of the first great things he has said in a long time. We just need Tiger Woods to repeat it and the golf world may be a better and quicker place.

Could we pay him to say it?

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