Slow play (see videos): Will it ever end?

Slow play is a big problem. At least that is what many people think.

Below I have found a few videos (most of them from 2019) where the players are playing veeeeeeeery slowly.

1. Bryson DeChambeau.

2 minutes and 26 seconds for a putt:

2. Kevin Na.

1 minute for a drive (herunder 6 practice swings and 10 half backswings/wiggles):

 

3. Jilian Bourdage.

1 minute and 30 seconds for a 3 foot putt:

4. J. B. Holmes.

79 seconds for a putt:

_______________

What do you think? Is it OK that they play so slow? Why should we be in such a hurry – shouldn’t we enjoy golf? Should there be any difference in pace of play for amateurs and for professional players (who play for a living)?

Feel free to leave a reply below about slow play – herunder if you have any ideas about how we could solve this problem.

/Brian

-> Tip: See this video from Oswald’s Golf Rules School (about good player conduct).

16 Comments
  1. W.J. Mills says

    Golf can be played as a “sport” or as a “game”. Its a sport if you walk (with or without a caddy), are ready immediately to play your shot, and play by the USGA rules. Typically the sport of golf should be played in less than 4 hours (that’s 13+ minutes per hole). Golf can also be played on the same venue as a “game”, whereby players ride in a cart with a cooler, a range finder, ignore the rules and piss around looking for lost balls in penalty areas. Unfortunately most golf courses will not distinguish difference playing times for those that want to play the sport of golf from those that are just interested in the game of golf. And that will continue until the sportsmen demand something better.

  2. Katherine says

    Pace of play is indeed an issue and will continue to be so until players are penalized by strokes as opposed to fines. What I don’t understand is that the LPGA has penalized players with strokes so why can’t the PGA.
    I am wondering if we take away all yardage books and greens books and let the players have yardage finders, it would eliminate the need to ponder and re-ponder over a shot. The players would actually need to use their eyes and brains!

  3. K says

    Pace of play is indeed an issue and will continue to be so until players are penalized by strokes as opposed to fines. What I don’t understand is that the LPGA has penalized players with strokes so why can’t the PGA.
    I am wondering if we take away all yardage books and greens books and let the players have yardage finders, it would eliminate the need to ponder and re-ponder over a shot. The players would actually need to use their eyes and brains!

    1. David S says

      I agree that the art of reading the greens should be integral to the game of golf, so abolishing greens books would be a great idea at all levels of the game! In my experience in the amateur game, the use of rangefinders has speeded things up in general, although that is probably not the solution for the professional game. I appreciate that professionals play for their livelihoods and often for huge amounts of money, but there is still scope for the professional tours to more strictly enforce pace of play timings – shot clock timing probably takes a lot of resources but definitely increases the pace of play – players should be allowed say two “extra” time allowances per round which they can claim when they end up in a tricky position. Stroke penalties are the only effective deterrent.

  4. Michael says

    The PGA is allowing a few who breathe the rarefied air ruin the game. Some of us do not have 6+ hours to walk around at a snails pace and then sit and wait on the next tee. I have gone from 250+ rounds of golf per year to six. I have sold all of my stock in any company the does golf. The next three generations will have none of this. You heard it here first.

  5. Paul Godfrey says

    I often wonder what the difference would be between thinking about a shot for 90 secs or going with your first instinct and walk up and hit it.

    1. Victor Scott says

      Excellent point. I’ve done it with another 15+ handicap hack and we both played better than normal. Kevin Na recently played in under 2 hours and birdied 6 holes including the last four! Take away the yardage and green books, give the player 20 seconds to hit or else their hit with penalty strokes. So what if they make their living this way? Most people who work in their respective jobs have to perform with time limits. Maybe we should get UPS to train golfers on pace of play!

  6. AJAS says

    Not nice to look them play anymore. Too slow.
    As long as they will not have a penalty stroke this will never end. And will be worse.
    The LPGA did a good thing. Monney for those men is nothing, but a stroke penalty this IS something.
    Hoping that Rory continues to moan with other players against this slow game. They must undergo. It’s not normal
    Then, Maybe the PGA USGA will do something. Because they have the same rights.
    They take their time, but behind?? They take also the time of all the other player. AND they loose spectators because this is boring looking at them. 5 to 6 hours play, you can do it on your knees.

  7. Bob Lawrence says

    Do not put rules into place if you are not prepared to back them up with penalties. Do not believe in shot clock tournaments as these tournaments are only playing to the hard card rules already laid down, a real con to which the paying public will soon realize.
    Let’s hope the major sponsors get tired of the slow professional game and withdraw their support. NOW that will speed play up !!!!!!

  8. Andy Eastham says

    Was Kevin Na’s caddie illegally standing behind him until he’d lined himself up after all of theose practice swings?

    1. Steven Noble says

      Yes, it looked like it to me too.

  9. Michael Dixon says

    In my experience, here are a few facts about slow players.
    1. Few, if any, will concede they are usually slow.
    2. They will deny they are being slow, if challenged.
    3. They will often get cross if anyone complains.
    4. They give every impression they don’t care about the effect on anyone else,
    5. They rarely play “ready golf” ( even at my club, which has incorporated that concept into our pace-of play-policy
    5. If no-one says anything, and there are no consequences for slow play, these people have no incentive to ever change

    Most tournament organisers and golf clubs are reluctant to make any real stand on the issue, with clear guidelines and expectations, with likely consequences for slow play

  10. A.Blunden says

    Only one solution.
    All slow Seniors over 50 to be Euthanised .

    1. Ken Mitchell says

      If you are very lucky you may live to be over 50 years of age.
      Then see how you feel!

  11. WING COMMANDER BINAYA BHUSAN MEHER says

    Various options available:

    – Briefing to all players playing slow must be conducted before the start of the game
    – Need some motivational capsules to expedite their slow mind set
    – Possible if done with some planning keeping in mind the bunch of people are being addressed
    – Pace of Play and spirit of the Game must be respected by all players of different age category. Thx

  12. Cynthia H-F says

    I’d be radical. When its your turn to play, no more than 30 seconds (including thinking time) to complete the stroke. No practice swings allowed during a round.

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