Have you ever played a 6 hour round of golf?

By: Tenna Merchent on December 20th, 2012

Or a 7 hour round? It is exhausting.

The 1st time we played Pebble Beach it took over 6 hours. We were walking, and we waited on every single hole.

On another occasion, we were playing golf with a friend, who insisted on hitting a driver he couldn’t control, every time into the tall grass, and then spent 10 minutes looking for his ball on every shot. That round took over 7 hours. It was horrible.

Pebble Beach has now successfully gotten their rounds down to 4 1/2 hours. That is amazing, especially given that if you take a cart, it is cart path only. Last time we were there, we still waited on many holes, but the round was shortened by over 1 1/2 hours. That is a huge accomplishment.

I’ve also been on the other end of the stick. In junior golf tournaments, if your group isn’t playing quickly enough, you get a red card, and if you still have a red card at the end of the tournament, your player will receive a penalty stroke. This is incredibly stressful. They are working hard to control pace of play and have a whole series on it, you can read about it at http://www.ajga.org/Media_Center/CoverStories/Stories.asp?UID=562.

I’ve seen players take 3 practice strokes, then back away from the tee to check their alignment! I seriously want to scream. What on earth? While I detest government regulation, I would totally support a federal law that limits a player to 1 practice swing 😉

There are many things that contribute to pace of play, and we intend to cover them all over the next few weeks, because it is our lofty goal to follow in the footsteps of Pebble Beach and consistently keep our rounds at 4 1/2 hours starting this year. It can be done, but it will take constant diligence on our part. It will also require that we do an excellent job of educating both our staff, and our guests in the matter.

Is there an aspect of pace of play that you would like to see us address next?


2 Responses

  1. Jeffery Passage says:

    While it may be nice to play from the tips (which macho men insist on), there is no disgrace for playing a particular course at less then maximum length. 5,500 to 6,000 yards should be a sufficient length of course for any recreational golfer. That should eliminate at least 1 stroke per hole, and maybe more. If you save 5 minutes per hole by elminating needless strokes, that’s 90 minutes shaved off a round.

    I have also advocated that courses toy with chalking circles on the greens, for 1-putt, 2-putt, and 3-putt zones. Whichever zone your ball lands on the green, it’s a 1, 2, or 3 putt. Pick up your ball and move on.

  2. Tenna Merchent says:

    Thank you Jeffery. You are right, 90 minutes is huge, and playing from proper tees also makes an incredible difference.