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Bruce Katona

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2023, 01:18:19 PM »
For my $0.02, I believe it may be best to separate this discussion into a few parts:
1. Professional golfers (PGA card carrying members), collegiate golfers & amateurs who qualify to play in elite amateur events.
2. Club members of all handicap
3. The average Joe (all handicap) who plays at a public venue.

Professionals, collegiate golfers and elite amateurs are highly skilled players and are competing for something so time spent reading putts is longer than it should be.  Yes - the pace should be picked up but they do have to hole everything out.

Club members can dictate pace of play at their venue as they're "the owners" of the facility. The employees (golf professional, super, GM, etc.) report to the Owners.  Fast greens - yep; 3:45 pace of play - yep - slower players tee off later in the day. Many of these facilities have caddies or forecaddies, which can assist in quickly locating errant shots; which assists with pace of play.

The average Joe plays anywhere he can that will take his money. Playing conditions vary from facility to facility based on revenue, topography, existing site conditions (soggy ground, change in elevation, tree canopy, site weather micro-conditions, etc.) and maintenance staffing. 

We used to spend a great amount of time looking at pace of play, where bottlenecks on site would be and how to minimize back-ups since a tee time not booked (even late in the day) is revenue lost which can never be made up and that tee time on that day is gone forever.  At public venues, the thing which used to hold up play most for us was looking for/lost golf balls.  The customer didn't mind paying top dollar for a well conditioned (tees and greens in good shape with grass, fairways with no bare spots, no water in bunkers), fun golf course, but he/she was going to try very hard not to lose his/her $5 Pro V - just human nature. Reasonable tee time intervals at public courses are critical, since the skill set of the customer varies more than at a country club or with players at the highest levels who will hit less wayward shots.

Having staff out on site at a public venue to help move thing along does work; the staff just needs to do this sensibly and gently.  We worked hard to minimize areas of higher grass at daily fee so the customer didn't have to waste time looking for balls in the rough or taller grass. 

This public customer was/is looking for a course that looks difficult to the eye, but plays fairly or easier than what it appears to be.  The customer wants to be able to brag to hi/her mates " I had a great day yesterday, shot XX (3 shots below my handicap) at XYZ Golf club."

Finally on green speed for this public player - its important but maybe not quite as much as time lost looking for lost balls.  This customer is ok with hitting a tee ball, finding & hitting an approach shot to the green and either chipping & 2 putting, 2 putting, or 3 putting for bogey.  3 putts don't bother them as much - mashing the ball and hitting it as far and straight as possible are a bit more satisfying.

Just my take. Your mileage and opinion may vary.     

Erik J. Barzeski

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #51 on: September 08, 2023, 09:07:46 PM »
Also ask any golfer who can’t putt what is the most important aspect of golf and see what they tell you.
Since you like antiquated ways of thinking: two things don't last very long: dogs who chase cars and pros who putt for pars.

Which club is used the most (probably at least twice as much if not much more) during a round of golf?
Again, 12-15% of a pro's shots are tap-ins. Does that mean that tap-ins are super important? No. There's zero Separation Value® in tap-ins. And there's very little in 30-footers, etc.

Be sure to reach out to Mark Broadie and tell him that he's entirely wrong about how important putting is. And… feel free to answer my question about the All-Putting Tour.

If the site had a spoiler tag, I'd have hidden all of this in that, but alas…
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, Instructor/Coach, and Lifetime Student of the Game.

I generally ignore Rob, Tim, and Garland.


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