The upside of slow play (yes, really)
John Hawkins’ article on slow play points out that the preparation for the next shot by the pros only starts when the opponent has hit his or her shot (“Golf’s stealth weapon causes slow burn,” March 22). Maybe setting a good example of “ready golf” is not a priority to them.
My pet peeves on examples of slow play are too many to list. However, there is a benefit to slow play.
Here in Florida, there is time for the conscientious among us to fill multiple divots while waiting. Also, we can rake bunkers left undone while the players on the next tee finish their dialogue on whatever has their attention.
Or, while we are waiting in the fairway, we are able to discuss the latest topic du jour in Morning Read.
What's the old adage? When served lemons, make lemonade.
St. Johns, Fla.
Ditch the dillydallying
I watched reruns on Golf Channel from the final round of the Valspar Championship last year, and in particular, eventual winner Paul Casey, who was just agonizing to watch on the tee.
Casey and his caddie would go on and on for five minutes about distance. Professional golf needs to have a timer on the tee. I would say one minute and 20 seconds on the tee. That's it. Assess a one-stroke penalty for every 30 seconds over that. Same in the fairway. For a first stroke on the green, 1:10, and 35 seconds to line up the second shot.
Start playing under these rules, and you will see four-hour rounds or less coming from the pros. Sponsors likely would enjoy having to pay for less TV time.
All of these time restrictions start when it is their turn to play. They always seem to wait until it is their turn to play to start the conversation. They should have a pretty good idea about what club to use while awaiting their turn.
I lose interest after a couple of holes of watching this on TV. If I played my local course, taking all that time like the pros, they would ask me to leave. Golf had better wake up. Ready golf.
Score two for the new rules
It has been too cold or wet in western Oregon for my taste this year, so I played for the first time under the new rules a few days ago. I was with a friend and a third guy whom the course put in our group. I found out two things.
I putted first on the first green and asked that the pin stay in the hole. From that point, no one mentioned it again, the pin never left the hole, and we all got finished putting really fast. Another plus side: I made lots of putts from 6 to 12 feet because I had something positive at which to aim.
Once, I hit into a spot where I had to take an unplayable lie. I marked off my drop, leaned over, lowered my hand to knee height, and let go of the ball. Can some touring pro (Rickie Fowler? Justin Thomas?) tell me again why that is so hard to do or remember to do?
I like both of those rule changes.
In America, it is a double eagle (“Keeping score,” March 22).
I don’t care what the foreigners call it. I don’t like albatross. It has nothing to do with golf, and to me it has a negative connotation.
Have you ever seen a picture of an albatross?
The bird is so ugly. In golf, a double eagle is such a beautiful thing.
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