RIP: Four-Hour Round of Golf

Does anyone remember the days when you could play a round of competition golf in under four hours?

Not just once in a while, but every week?I can, but it feels like a long time ago. As a junior me and the other aspiring professional golfers did it all the time. Occasionally, we’d even play in under four hours including downing a pie and a coke halfway round. I’d eat an Aero Bar as I walked down the 10th.

Like the persimmon wood the four-hour round is now a thing of the past. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve finished 18 holes only to hear my playing partners say, “Four and a half hours, not too bad at all”.

It’s no wonder clubhouses are now resembling furniture warehouses. Who has the time to play five hours of golf and then stick around for an hour or two waiting for competition presentations?

I’m hoping the new Australian golf handicapping changes will allow handicap contributing rounds to be played outside of competition times. I might then get a 3 hour round in – with a pie and coke thrown in.

7 thoughts on “RIP: Four-Hour Round of Golf

  • May 19, 2009 at 00:04
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    The onus is on Course Management. Properly managed, with a full field at 10 minute intervals, a four hour round on most courses is achieveable. Even with a pie and coke going down the 10th.

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  • May 22, 2009 at 15:27
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    Starts with getting people on the right tee! most of us don’t have the length and accuracy to play a modern course from the back tees in under 6 hours. .. When you let people self-select tee boxes using something a few feet lower than their brains, we will never have 3 hour rounds.

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  • May 24, 2009 at 11:35
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    I believe that the start of these lengthy rounds began with Jack Nicklaus on the greens. Unfortunately for 99% of us, no matter how long we stare at the line, walk around the green and get behind and stare some more…it still ain’t going in. Jack could do that because he could stay in the short grass, again, unlike most of us. Now we watch Tiger endlessly throwing up grass and staring at the trees judging the zephyrs…it’s not going to help you, average golfer.

    Like anonymous points out, 18 and higher handicaps wanting to play from the tips just like “they do on TV!” Just because you buy the clubs that “the pros use” doesn’t mean you’re going to hit it 300 yards (275 meters).

    Add to that golf courses allowing rough to grow, high grass around ponds and courses jamming groups all to maximize profits. Understandable, but detrimental to time of play.

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  • May 25, 2009 at 00:26
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    You’re right. Professional golf can be somewhat to blame. Maybe we should introduce shot clocks. The better you get, the longer you can have before you play the next shot.

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  • June 25, 2009 at 10:34
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    1. If you think your ball has any chance of being lost hit a provisional ball.
    2. Strict adherence to the 5 minute search period.
    3.When you start to putt, put out where possible.
    4. If each player in a 4-ball savs 15 seconds on the green th group will save 18 minutes on the round

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  • June 30, 2009 at 03:22
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    We played a competition on Good Friday in Melbourne at a popular open to the public golf course. There were many beginners so it took us 3 hours to play nine holes. We had planned on 18 holes but stopped early. One of our players had a handicap of 8 so he was very annoyed. There was no ‘policing’ of moving people through. I hadn’t played in 20 years but felt I was better than some amateurs playing. It was a fundraiser but should have been better planned.

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  • June 30, 2009 at 17:41
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    Congrats on getting back into the game Ann but seemsit wasn’t a great start. Long rounds can be avoided but its up to both the golfers and the clubs. Course marshalls are a simple and easy part if the solution and on public holidays its amazing that they aren’t around.

    Hope this long crazy round hasn’t put you off the game for another 20 years!

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