Question of the Week

A price to pay

Does pace of play affect your round of golf?

Does pace of play affect your rounds of golf? If so, then how do you handle the situation?

Please email your response to editor Stuart Hall. In order to publish, please include your first and last name, along with your city and state of residence.


Pace of play has a huge impact on my enjoyment of my round, as well as my scores. I’ve suffered from severe ADHD my entire life and now, in my late 50s, if anything it’s worse.

My wife and I most often are the first group out at our club at 6:30 a.m. so that we can play in under three hours and with no one in front of us. The minute we come upon a group my mind goes elsewhere and I lose focus on what I’m doing. I’ve said it for years, “in skiing you can easily go around people, in golf you can’t.”

How do I handle the slow play? Usually not well, with the only option being to skip ahead of the group that is slowing us down and play fewer holes. I’ve long hoped that something could be invented that linked a players score and greens fee with their time on the course.

Tom Hoyt
Lebanon, N.H.

Half the rounds I play take too long.

Mike Herbert
Naperville, Ill.

The key is to always play ready golf. Focus on what club you are going to use as you are approaching your ball. Tee blocks and greens should garner the most focus and less discussion about everything but golf. Always leave clubs in a place where you do not have to back track to get them. Reduce the unnecessary steps. Do not accept that time par for your course is over 4 hours. That just gives slow players a ready-made excuse. Keep up with the group in front of you and if they are slow, then they need to be spoken to. I have never heard any one say in my 50-plus years of playing golf, “That wasn't fun. It only took three hours and 40 minutes.”

Bruno Geiser
Markham, Ontario

Pace of play definitely affects my play. Slow play and having to wait on every shot destroys rhythm and makes the whole round a waste.

Larry Johnson
Oklahoma City, Okla.

We always tee off first. Whether we're two, three or four. We love it. No marks on the greens and pristine conditions. Home by 11 a.m. or Noon. We play two to three times per week. We are all mid-60ish. You need to love coffee and be an early riser. 

Patrick Kristy
Livonia, Mich.

Yes, pace of play impacts my round. If it's really slow, you get no rhythm going. Because the constant stopping and starting and standing around does not make for an enjoyable round of golf, I typically don't play well. If pace of play is bad, I've called the pro shop to get a marshal out and find out what is causing the hold up. 

My group has periodically played games within the overall game, in an effort to distract ourselves and take up more time so that we're not standing around waiting. We have also tried waiting on the tee box longer so that we might play the entire hole without waiting at any point — but that can result in the groups behind getting angry.

Can tell you one thing, hit those big boys where it hurts — in the wallet. Pace of play on Tour will be a thing of the past. Add in a good dose of public shame and we problem might be resolved. Do something other than just talking about it, and hopefully it will have some roll-over effect to the general public when golfers see their idols not taking forever. 

Lisa Gilroy
Brampton, Ontario

I play five times a week, and slow play is the worst. No reason for it. I have a difficult time keeping focus. Even if you are a 20-plus handicap there is no reason for slow play.

Bob Galietta
Center Moriches, N.Y.

I normally play in a twosome with my brother. Because of that, we sometimes catch up to foursomes and threesomes. If it becomes obvious that the group in front of us is not going to wave us through and we see that they are not keeping up with the group in front of them, we will skip a hole. If that isn't an option, then we'll just hang back so as not to be on their backs — if we won’t, in turn, slow down anyone behind us. If neither of those options is available, we simply try not to dwell on the issue and "stop to smell the roses.” 

Because we're both retired and play during slow times during the week, we don't often run into many slow rounds. Years ago, when I did play in a foursome and the group ahead of us was painfully slow and no marshal was patrolling the course, we would call the clubhouse and they would send someone out to tell the slowpokes to speed up or make them let us play through.

James A. Smith
Virginia Beach, Va.

I’m an 11 handicap. Absolutely it effects my round. On a slow play day, I shoot 84. A round I can hit it and go, I shoot 78. A significant difference. Slow play is 4.5 hours. Fast pace is between 3.5 and 3.75 hours.

Aaron Rance
Las Vegas, Nev.

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