Keeping Score

From the Morning Read inbox

Holmes’ fairway nap draws a Yawn

On the final hole Sunday at the Farmers Insurance Open, J.B. Holmes actually took longer than four minutes and 10 seconds (“Keeping score,” Jan. 29,

You have to remember that Ryan Palmer hit before Holmes. I went back and put a stopwatch on Palmer on the 18th hole before he hit his second shot. When the blimp first showed Palmer, he was standing over his ball, assessing the situation with his caddie. From the time the blimp first showed Palmer to when he actually hit the ball, one minute and 33 seconds elapsed, give or take a second. Why couldn't Holmes start thinking about his shot while Palmer was trying to figure out his play?

So in actuality, it took Holmes five minutes and 43 seconds to play his shot. Ridiculous.

After playing with Holmes, Alex Noren may decide to play the European Tour more often. 

Layne Yawn
Jonesboro, Ark.


Unwatchable, except on Sundays

That's too bad that it took J.B. Holmes that long to make a decision. What's really ridiculous is that it took six hours to play.

I understand that they are pros, but really, is it that they want to be on TV longer so they are more visual to the people watching?

Golf is slow enough. That’s why I watch only on Sundays, unless it’s a major championship.

Alfred Millon
Harlingen, Texas


Put pros on the clock

Bravo, regarding your article on pace of play (“Tour could take lesson from Indiana kids,” Jan. 30,

I am blessed that the little country club where I play has a great pace of play.

Even with my screwed-up back (I am avoiding a double fusion at age 65), I can walk nine and ride nine in less than 3½ hours.

The leaders of the Farmers Insurance Open took nearly six hours to play Torrey Pines on Sunday. That is bunk. Everyone should have been on the clock.

David Nars
Morris, Ill.


AJGA emphasis on pace works

We host a number of AJGA tourneys at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, N.J., and I am amazed at how fast the juniors play. I have been a hole timer for several events. 

Each hole has an “expected time to complete.” We measure how long it takes from the time the flagstick is placed in the hole until the next group places it in the hole. If there is a gap at the tee, that indicates a group is behind. They had better make it up, or they will be penalized.

The first golfer to putt out hustles to the next tee, tees up and hits as soon as possible, then waits for the next two golfers. The last golfer on the green replaces the flagstick and hustles to the tee. 

Play is completed in less than four hours and 20 minutes. 

As a group finishes a hole where there is a hole timer near the green, players are told how many minutes ahead or behind they are. When they are ahead or right on time, we always congratulate them and encourage them to keep it up.

When they are behind – against the total 18-hole time and also for the hole just completed – they get a warning, which is called in to the next timer. If they don’t make up the time, they lose a stroke.

I encourage my weekday warriors of retirees to use these kids as models for faster play. It can be done.

Paul Rust
Warren, N.J.


The mark of a pro

One thing that really irks me: When a player putts and misses by 2 feet or so, he marks it, squats down and looks it over from all sides. This is a prime example of why golf is so slow.

I know the money on the PGA Tour is huge and important, but these guys are pros. Do they really need to remark all the time?

Bob Zalewski
Fairport, N.Y.


Don’t neglect role of course setup

Nice work on taking the initiative toward tackling slow play. It is needed. 

In addition to what you have done, we also need to focus on course setup. It would help in speeding up play.  

Mark Anderson
Alexandria, Va.

(Anderson is a PGA of America member.)


Video could use quicker pace, too

Good for the Indiana High School Athletic Association to set guidelines for pace of play.

But making kids watch a 20-minute video on pace of play? Yikes! What a snooze-fest. Such a video should be able to explain how to play quickly in five minutes, tops.

Allen Freeman
Brecksville, Ohio


Tuned out with Tiger

Admittedly, Tiger Woods is the leading golfer over the past 20 years, but that doesn’t warrant four hours of intense Tiger viewing when many of us have other favorites.

Woods’ personal life and self-absorbing personality have turned many golf fans away.

George Hargrove
Charlotte, N.C.


Woods and Ruth knew how to score

What a hoot, comparing Tiger Woods to Babe Ruth. All they had in common were being admitted philanderers. It’s past time for the Tiger disciples, including most of the media, to move on to the reality of the post-Woods era. 

Ted Comstock
Lancaster, N.H.


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