Most golf courses in America define slow play as a round lasting more than four hours and twenty minutes. Due to slow play, facilities suffer from lost revenue based purely on the ability to get their customers around eighteen holes in a reasonable time. This is a culture problem that needs both a long term and a short term response by the golf industry.
In the short term, golf courses can make incremental changes. This includes putting a clock on the tee box every four holes. This constant reminder allows golfers to understand how long they are taking as they move around the golf course. Another way to encourage faster play is make the golf course itself a fun and friendly environment. Ensuring that the tee boxes have a recommended handicap associated with them allows folks to choose their tee boxes correctly. This allows the customers to play an appropriate yardage and have more fun.
However, most pace of play issues are caused by inexperience and golfers not understanding etiquette. Facilities can institute policy ensuring that everyone who goes out on a golf course for their first time has played with one of their professionals. Blocking off tee sheets for beginners also can catch problems more “up-stream”, rather than dealing with the results. However, this takes time and staff to ensure culture change at a facility. The pace-of-play issue has to be a brand, not an issue. Golf courses should promote and be proud of their ability y to get folks around the golf course in a reasonable time.
Lastly, good instructors can use playing lessons to help their golfers get around the golf course in a more expedient fashion. Get your golf lesson today by downloading our Swing Essentials Golf App. Good luck and have fun on the golf course.