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Slow Play Solution

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  • Slow Play Solution

    One of the many things that I like about indoor golf is the fact that I never have to deal with slow groups in front of me. I play at my own pace, whatever that turns out to be on that day. This is the wonderful side effect of the usual method of charging by time rather than by holes. You rent an hour and can do whatever you want in the time. You can practise, play 9. play 18, play 22 or whatever combination you want, When the time is up you are done. It is similar the the way public bowling works nowadays.
    I have worked in an indoor center for a decade and have observed that regular customers adapt to this method fairly quickly. Foursomes who started out renting 4 hours are now down to 3 because they know that is all it will take them. Lots of twosome still rent 2 hours but play 27 holes. Others will play 18 then use whatever time is left to work on the range.
    Another benefit of this billing method is that you always start on time, make a reservation for 2 and you can be confident that you will start at 2.
    I wonder if it would help slow(er) play outdoors if people knew that they could play 18 holes or for 4 hours whichever came first. I am sure that there would be some operational details to work out but if we could change the mindset about consequences of slow play before a round it could help.
    Let the naysaying begin!
    Aim at nothing and you will hit it every time.

  • #2
    If some groups are still slow for whatever reason (they don't give a **** about finishing the course, just taking their time), they will slow down the groups behind them who now have to suffer for reasons out of their control. That seems very unfair.

    and people might be less inclined to let the next group through (as it eats up their time).

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    • #3
      How about the POP is set at 4:00..... If the Green Fee is $100, charge $120 and all groups must pay with a CC. If done in 3:40 they are reimbursed the $20, if <3:30 they get a $10 credit in the restaurant/patio. Groups stuck behind slow group get their money back, until there is a break and group's fall out of position (so on and so forth) Thinking of logistics, but 90% would maintain POP for a financial incentive......

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      • #4
        A course is only as fast as it's slowest group(s)
        What happens if the group purchases 4.5 or 5 hours .
        When people are dropping 100-150 on golf and cart , $10 bucks a beer and $8 a hot dog They dont care about a few dollars to save 15 minutes. They care about enjoying the day with their buddies.

        There are many causes of slower play , however people not playing ready golf is quite likely the biggest impediment that I see. I would estimate that only 20% -30% do.
        I recommend and educate people in this every day when marshalling.

        self monitoring for time ( based on the courses expected time par) is important as is trying to maintain pace with the group in front. When you exceed the time or fall out of position get back asap.

        situation is compounded by the fact that some people simply dont care about any of that and will play at whatever pace they like.

        also a factor this season is a huge number of new to the game golfers including families and kids out on the courses. This is fantastic for the game , not so much for pace. Thankfully, most seem to be coming out after 5 pm.
        "Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened "

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mrcltuch31 View Post
          If some groups are still slow for whatever reason (they don't give a **** about finishing the course, just taking their time), they will slow down the groups behind them who now have to suffer for reasons out of their control. That seems very unfair.

          and people might be less inclined to let the next group through (as it eats up their time).
          Yes, those are some issues that may arise. It may be necessary to have some active monitoring for the first few holes by a good marshal. Think of the courses that have time clocks out on the course that tell your intermediate targets. Miss those and the marshal sets you aside and lets groups through until a spot opens up for you to fit back in.
          Aim at nothing and you will hit it every time.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's never as simple as it seems.

            In your first scenario:

            So.... I pay my $100, book a tee time for 8AM, play quickly and get around in 3 hours.

            Who's got priority on the 1st tee when I get there at 11:00AM? The 11AM group or me? Who tees off at 11:10? The 11:00AM group, the 11:10 group, or me? Who's happy about being bumped for $100?

            In your second scenario:

            Does the course just hand me back $20?
            All the guys after a slow group get money back too?

            That's gonna be a tough sell to the course owners. Would you put that in place if you owned a course?

            As a customer I want a little more certainty in pricing. If I'm putting down $120 on my CC, I could end up paying $100, $110, $120 - and in part that depends on groups in front of me? Nah.

            Also as a customer, I just pictured having the best round of your life going, and being told your 4 hours are up when you're playing the 16th. Slow groups in front mean you can't finish your 18. Too bad for you!
            Last edited by Ignatius Reilly; Aug 17, 2020, 03:28 PM.
            "Confusion" will be my epitaph
            ...Iggy

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            • #7
              As Weirfan said, there are some who just dont care about the 4hr clock nor the whatever incentive you throw at them to play faster.

              Throw in beginners and the like and 4hr clock is just unrealistic. Golfers pay for 18th hole round, not a 4hr time slot to play golf when on a course.

              Especially on the weekend, most are ok with a 4:30 hr, and most dont complain unless its beyond 5 hrs.
              A good marshal to keep things moving is still the best way to keep a round at a respectable pace.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Golftime View Post

                Think of the courses that have time clocks out on the course that tell your intermediate targets. Miss those and the marshal sets you aside and lets groups through until a spot opens up for you to fit back in.
                This solution would not work nor fly.
                1 reason being that on a busy course there is going to be a full course behind (every 10 min tee time is typically booked 6am to after 6pm at my course) so there is not going to ever be a spot they fit in. And even if there is one say 5 groups behind, no way you can hold a group for an hour sitting on a tee box.

                In reality on a busy course, having a slow group let a group through does very little other than allows the group behind in front and that creates an even bigger delay for the groups behind as they now have to wait for 2 groups to tee off on that hole. It does nothing fix the problem, that being getting slow group moving faster. That said I had a family out early evening Saturday, 4 beginners and and they took 53 minutes to get through 3.5 holes. There were 3/groups behind that teed Off behind them the first 20 mins after. I asked them to let the 3 groups through as they came up and they were happy to, win win.

                the two things that work for chronic slow groups unable to keep pace are to pick up their ball and advance and or play a best ball vs individual. Sometimes that is the last resort when all other attempts fail.

                you will know a group is slow by the 2nd hole, intervene then or it can go south quickly
                "Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened "

                Comment


                • #9
                  Have had this discussion and one interesting topic that has come up (in a perfect world) is having a marshall on every hole. They would stand halfway up fairway off to the side on the par 4/5 or close to the green on the par 3( maybe not even needed here at all). They would essentially have two jobs; 1: to ensure people are not looking for balls or taking multiple shots while rolling a ball down the fairway. They would ensure groups are not slowing others down and kindly walk up to them and ask them to either pick up their ball or get on with the game. 2: on the flip side they could also act as a spotter for tee shots and point people in the right direction to balls, again to cut back on looking time

                  Thought it was kind of a neat ideal which could actually have a legitimate impact if done correctly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Again I don't think anyone has really taken pop seriously. Sure 4:30, but that is slow..... I say you penalize the offending group $100 & they'll pick up the pace. Add an extra Marshall too and ask golfers to call the shop on offending foursomes and one warning and then kick them off.

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                    • #11
                      Friend of mine played a course in Cincinnati a couple years back, semi private, apparently first 2 hours every morning are designated for members and sub 10 handicap golfers, for the sole purpose of not slowing down the pace for the day.

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                      • #12
                        It’s interesting to read ideas about improving pace, but we’re on a golf forum. Where and how do we educate non-golf nuts the idea of ready-golf? There is no “pace of play” school other than experience.

                        Sure, a Starter can say “pace today is 4 hours,” but that’s meaningless for the 3x a year golfer. Educating new golfers sounds nice, but how? And experienced players are ignorant or entitled. No winning here.

                        Not saying we give up, but we need to figure out the “medium” in which to educate and address POP with those that are not as crazed as us.
                        Greg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by luvtapar88 View Post
                          Friend of mine played a course in Cincinnati a couple years back, semi private, apparently first 2 hours every morning are designated for members and sub 10 handicap golfers, for the sole purpose of not slowing down the pace for the day.
                          Elitist rule and pure bullshlt. My group are all mid-high caps but can play in less than 4 hours.
                          Greg

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by synergy View Post

                            Elitist rule and pure bullshlt. My group are all mid-high caps but can play in less than 4 hours.
                            Agreed! My group literally range from 7 to maybe a 25 HC. With no one in front of us, we are 3:45-4:00 range

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Could we enforce something like no more than one practice swing per shot. If more than one, it counts as a stroke. If making it a rule is too much, accept it as a new etiquette to never practice swing more than once. Personally, I rarely take practice swings except for short chips and putts...

                              Comment

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