Slow play – Is your club to blame?

The blame for slow play at your golf club may well be due to poor club management rather than the players themselevs according to Mike Orloff of Golf Industry Central.

“This is a management issue much more than a player issue. If your staff were behaving in an inappropriate way, you would do something about it. If your players (especially members) are not behaving to your expectation you must also do something about it.”
“Yes, players do need to be educated on pace of play and etiquette best practices, like the need to keep up with the group ahead of them and not ahead of the group behind them, but at the end of the day it is up to management to ensure that everyone has a respectable pace during their golf round.”
I have always questioned why the weekend course setup needs to be the most difficult for the week. Medal days and important events are an exception but to ensure a faster weekend round, the pins do not need to be tucked behind bunkers nor tees placed back in snake territory.
Mike goes on to highlight several steps that golf clubs should adhere to when designing and managing golf courses:
  • Par 5’s -Extend the length to as long as possible, so most people are not waiting for the green to clear and to try and reach in two shots.
  • Par 4’s – Set to 330-350 metres maximum, so most players can reach or get close in two shots.
  • Par 3’s – Keep at a maximum length of 150-160 metres, so the majority of players can reach the green in one hit.
  • Green speed – keep at 9-10 on the Stimpmeter, so players are not regularly 3 and 4 putting or generally spending to much time on the green.
  • Rough – lower height, so the majority of players can fully advance the ball if hitting from the rough.
  • Pin positions – put in the easiest green position on busy days.
  • Competitions – Set up the course to accommodate the format of the day. i.e. Don’t have the course play the longest and toughest if your conducting a stroke play club championship.
Read the full article here over at Golf Industry Central.

3 thoughts on “Slow play – Is your club to blame?

  • When I lived in Florida, slow play was almost always the fault of the course. In their effort to maximize round, courses overbook tee times. You know you are in trouble when the first tee looks like the holding pattern at LAX airport

  • Has anyone ever considered having the tee times re-allocated, based on players ability, or desire, to play at a certain speed? Lets take a Saturday as an example – The early times are for fast golfers – the middle of the day for, you guessed it, 3h50 or so golfers, and the later times for the slower, or players who do not want to rush about. Surely everone will be happier?

  • I agree Gene. It is almost always the fault of the course.

    The problem with the second proposal is that even slow players don’t consider themselves slow players. It’s hard to distinguish them, or tell them! I slow player who has played at 7am all his life will not be happy teeing off at midday.


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