Slow Play Must Be Challenged
Scourge of slow play on display in golf again Larry Bohannan for The Desert Sun
Mr. Bohannan commenting on last weekend's playoff on the LPGA tour:
It was the latest in a series of events in pro golf tournament(s) that highlight just how slow the pros are playing these days. Sure, they are playing with hundreds of thousands of dollars potentially riding on each stroke. But if suspensions from darkness are threatened with each round, maybe the pros are taking all this visualization and pre-shot routine a bit far.
Mr. Bohannan goes on to concede that the hole design, conditions, and pressure were surely factors in the slow play on display.
This and several other articles on the subject are bringing into focus one of the biggest issue facing golf right now: The amount of time needed to invest into playing a round of golf has become a deterrent to the recovery of the game.
The style of golf seen each weekend on television has a big influence on how recreational golfers approach their game. If they watch Jason Day or Cristie Kerr go through an extended pre-shot routine the message is that is how you approach the game if you take it seriously. Unfortunately, there will be some recreational players that will try to mimic what they see even though they will card upwards of 30 or more strokes in a round than their role models.
Logically we can see that allowing the professionals to grind a bit when their livelihood is on the line isn't unreasonable. But, if slow play is a problem that must be solved for the overall good of the game it must be challenged at all levels of the game including at the professional level.