Pace of play: your views

Our first survey report focused on ‘Pace of Play’ from a general perspective. Now some of the many golfers who have taken the survey give their view on the subject. We have asked them to rate a number of causes influencing Pace of Play and to comment on them.

Bad player habits and/or poor conduct

was considered by more than 90% of the respondents as the most important factor influencing Pace of Play.

The most common reasons being:

“Golfers have forgotten one of the basic rules of golf, ‘Avoid slow play’.”

“Attitudes to other holders on the course, some people – mostly seniors –are out for the day and don’t care about the people behind.”

“Inadequate understanding of the unhappiness this cause among many players, who are just too self-important and focused exclusively on their own enjoyment.”

“Ignorance and ‘I’m not slow’ attitude.”

“Lack of Marshalls with enough involvement and power to keep play moving.”

“Lack of clear instruction and enforcement.”

“Play READY GOLF would assist greatly in pace of play.”


  • Lacking awareness of own ability
  • Looking for balls and not having played a provisional
  • Not thinking ahead and not being ready to take their shot when it’s their turn
  • Waiting behind each other instead of walking forward on the side of the fairway, looking up when the others strike their ball
  • Poor position of clubs for faster exit of green
  • Don’t moving their feet when they have shot and taking too long over each shot and put
  • Playing from the wrong set of tees for the players abilities
  • Marking scorecards on the green instead of getting on with the game
  • Having no willingness to let faster players go through “They can just wait, we have paid too!”
  • Denying being slow. It is always someone else
  • Not commenting on bad habits & etiquette conducted be fellow players

“A combination of a lot of the bad habits above and a four ball waste 2-3 minutes per hole which becomes significant after 18.”

“Golf has become too competitive – people have lost the enjoyment of hitting balls well “just for the sake of it” – “just for exercise”. Competitive golf, like many other things, is being far too seriously. Bring back friendly competition.”

“Maybe winning means more than playing – and therefore more and more rounds becomes a professional match with all its bad habits and exceeds 5 hours”

Other important factors receiving a score around 50% are

Too many starting times per hour causing poor flow of golfers at certain holes

The most common reasons being:

 “The Club is not managing the bottlenecks on their course or even paying attention to them.”

 “Clubs are lacking statistics on length of rounds and leave it with the golfers to sort out Pace of Play.”

Roughs too long and thick, awkward pin placings and greens too quick

The most common reasons being:

“The average player cannot handle anything above 8,5 on the Stimpmeter.”

 “Hazards often placed to catch worst players i.e. bunkers, water, trees, tall rough on right etc.”

 “Too many courses set up for low handicap players.”

 “Ability of the average golfers against design and green complex design has become extreme on many new and some reconstructed older courses.”

Too much strokeplay or fourball golf. Formats in which each hole has to be completed by each player

The most common reasons being:

 “Personal management on the course, still putting out when you cannot score on a hole in Stableford.”

 “Lack of understanding of how long they are taking.”

 “Clubs don’t encourage formats of play that will bring down length of rounds.”

Our conclusion

We as golfers have to look inwards and consider how each of us can contribute to Pace of Play. Golf is a social game played with others people to have fun, enjoyment and a good time. How can each of us contribute? The concept of “Considered Golf” falls in mind. If we all the next time we are out on the course include how to assist our fellow golfers to bring down length of round, “Considered Golf” will be the new normal bringing us back to the old core values of golf.

Some might ask how?

The weekly fourball have come to the 7th hole. One of your fellow players has been in almost all bunkers until now. Again his ball finds the green bunker. The rest of you are on the green. You accompany him to the bunker, take the rake and rake the bunker, when he has finished his shot. A great help to him, his enjoyment of the game and not least the length of the round.

Let’s conclude by citing one of the respondents:

“Don’t ask what your fellow players can do for you, but ask what you can do for your fellow players to speed up the game.”

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Time for action! Jan 27, 2016
How we’ve changed! Jan 15, 2015
On course for pace Dec 10, 2014
Pace of play Oct 15, 2014
Tournament a winner! Oct 01, 2014
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