Players, fans hold keys to slow-play problem
If golf is a game in which integrity demands that players call rules infractions on themselves, why aren't players calling time infractions on themselves as they would for any number of other rules transgressions? (“Holmes’ dawdling brings pace to slow boil,” Feb. 20); (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 21).
Of course, as soon as one player plays slowly, the rest start to back up. I agree that allowing rangefinders in addition to encouraging self-policing would help tremendously. There are a bevy of volunteers at a tournament whose job it is to scout landmarks and hold some sort of gizmos to accurately gauge distances. Instead, they could be deputized to be timekeepers if relived of those duties.
Here are two other possible solutions to the slow-play problem:
1. Playing partners can call time-rule infractions on one another;
2. And, much more fun and very possible, encourage the increasingly rowdy galleries to start chanting, “Hit that ball! Hit that ball!" after two minutes of arriving at the ball, and don't stop until the ball is hit.
A fan revolution might be just what this sport needs.
Caddies left holding the bag on slow play
The real culprit on the PGA Tour and other tours when it comes to slow play is the increased involvement of the caddie (“Holmes’ dawdling brings pace to slow boil,” Feb. 20); (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 21). I think this all started when networks started mic’ing conversations between Phil Mickelson and Jim “Bones” Mackay, and it has gotten out of hand.
Do professionals really need the caddie to tell them where to aim?
Restrictions on caddie involvement on the pre-shot routine and the elimination of green books would do wonders.
You’re the pro, so make your own decisions.
It’s time to cut the baloney and get moving
I am on the board of the Southern California Golf Association, one of the largest regional golf associations in the country. Our major championship, the Southern California Golf Association Championship, is held each year with an extremely strict and well-managed pace-of-play policy. The SCGA Championship is not for millions of dollars and FedEx points, but top amateur players compete in this tournament.
Playing some of the most demanding courses in Southern California, the players know the rule and still are able to shoot low scores. The Northern California Golf Association employs a similar pace-of-play policy, as does the State Amateur, which is administered by the SCGA and the NCGA. I officiate, and we hear zero complaints. Referees with each group record scores and times.
I have heard it said that the PGA Tour does not have enough manpower to staff and time appropriately. Baloney! We can get enough volunteers at our level, so don’t tell me that it is impossible to get enough volunteers to perform a timing function for a professional tournament.
Clocks are on every hole, and expected timing is on the scorecards. There is zero question about where the players stand with respect to time.
W. Charles Davison
Newport Beach, Calif.
(Davison is the chief executive officer/chief financial officer and a co-founder of Todd Eckenrode Origins Golf Design in Irvine, Calif.)
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