Question of the Week

Organic cures for golf's pace of play issue

How do you handle golf's slow-play offenders?

We have all encountered slow golfers, and such instances can be frustrating. How do you react when a seemingly quick round turns into a marathon?

Please send your response to, and add your first and last name, along with your city and state of residence.

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To speed up play, players must play the proper tees — especially the harder the course.

I also see an inordinate amount of time spent looking for lost balls. The rule is now 3 minutes [for locating a ball], but no one follows it except in tournaments. However, maybe at $5 a rock they have to spend more time looking.

Eric Houser
Holly Springs, N.C.

Those golfers who need to get through 18 holes in less than 4 hours should find tee times and facilities that are likely to make that possible. But it is unrealistic to expect less than 4 hours on busy public courses, especially on weekends and busy times of the day.

Marshals can make a difference if they courteously remind golfers to keep up a reasonable pace. Also remember that large numbers of golfers are retired on many public courses and are likely to need a bit more time on each hole.

Mark Widoff
Austin, Texas

After putting, carry your putter to next hole (even when riding) and put it away at the next tee box when you grab your driver.

Sharon Ellis
Fairfield Glade, Tenn.

On the first, and maybe the 10th, tee have a huge sign recommending the appropriate tees to be played based on the player's average score, ability and/or handicap. Many golfers don't have a handicap and if they see their average score they may will play the appropriate tees. I would have the starters affirm the correct tees to be played as well.

Mark Whritner
San Diego, Calif.

Just came back from Florida where I played four rounds. One of the rounds took five hours to play. The worse part, there was no one ahead of my group. I was totally frustrated since I normally play a round in New Jersey, in the early mornings, on an average of 3 hours, 30 minutes.

Manny Ramalho
Colonia, N.J.

A couple of simple, obvious things. Before the round establish “play when ready” and don’t mark your ball on the green if it's not in the way.

Neil J. Brazitis Sr.
Bryn Mawr, Pa.

The first way to improve pace of play is for the USGA to discontinue setting such low expectations. One should be able to easily play in 4 hours and 20 minutes when walking. If riding 3 1/2 hrs is ample time and the majority of golf is now played riding. Give tee-time preferences to faster players. Put everyone on the clock and those who can’t keep up with the first group out won’t have access to early times. Golf isn’t a democracy, it’s a meritocracy.

Tom Williams
Georgetown, Texas