SCGA’s suggestions on speeding up play

The woeful exhibition of slow play Monday at the Farmers Insurance Open (3:51 for Tiger Woods and his group to play 11 holes) certainly seemed to strike a nerve with a lot of people. Perhaps because it was televised, perhaps because it was so bad it even had Woods tearing his hair out. A column I wrote on the subject for Tuesday’s Desert Sun certain has spurred lots of phone calls and e-mails on the matter.

“Please continue to hammer away at the Neanderthals who are destroying the wonderful game of golf,” one woman e-mailed.

“Ultimately, I believe the answer lies with officials consistently enforcing time limits. Meaningful penalties would hopefully not be needed, but applied if necessary,” another man wrote.

People say slow play is like the weather, that everyone talks about it, but no one ever does anything about it. The truth is only you can control you pace of play, and sometimes you are at the mercy of the group in front of you, or the group in front of them.

But the SCGA has tried to get its members to sign a pledge to change the culture of slow play and play faster. And here is what the SCGA suggests for all golfers.

  • Walk fast
  • Know where your group is in relation to the group in front of you
  • Get your yardage and be ready to play before it is your turn to play.
  • If someone isn’t quite ready to play, another player should play before them
  • When any shot heads toward rough, a water hazard or trees, all players should watch closely as to where the ball lands
  • Read your putt before it is your turn to play
  • Recognize when someone will need the flagstick attended or your ball marked.
  • Place your golf bag or park your golf cart near the next teeing ground

That’s all simple stuff, really, things we ought to be doing all the time anyway. But put in the context of speeding up play, hopefully more and more golfers will take the SCGA’s pledge.

For more information on the pledge, visit scga.org/pledge.