Pace of Play issues are not a new phenomenon for the golfing masses. It’s hard to find a recent edition of almost any major golf publication that doesn’t include an acknowledgment of and possible solutions for slow play.
The USGA and R&A websites are replete with “helpful” guidelines, course management resources, and results of scientific studies that attempt to address or remedy a constant and consistent annoyance for amateur golfers everywhere. One can find a new rant on slow play appearing seemingly weekly within the golfing blogosphere.
Everyone is aware of the problem. But none of that seems to make any difference by about 10:30 a.m. on any given Saturday or Sunday morning on any moderately popular golf course.
Golfers that want to play “fast” or at what they consider “an appropriate pace” continue to be frustrated by golfers on the course that don’t meet or exceed their expectations. Newer, less-skilled, or tragically not self-aware golfers will continue to be perturbed by faster players pushing them, bearing down on them at every turn, and the occasional “warning shot” hint to speed up.
Once golfers are on the golf course and they realize there is a pace of play issue, there are only a few options. Especially if it’s a packed course and skipping forward a few holes around a slow group isn’t a viable option.
Grit their teeth and bear it? Pray that they soon encounter a course ranger to deliver their ire to the offending group by proxy? Take matters into their own hands? Or simply bail out on the round and live to golf another day?
What can be done about it? I have plenty of ideas, but really, I have no idea.
Which, most importantly, brings me to this month’s Blog Poll Question: Have you ever walked off the course during a round of golf because of pace of play issues? For the purposes of this question, driving off the course in a cart is walking off the course.
All stories and related anecdotes are welcomed in the comment section below.