Seems like every time I read something about professional golf these days, the subject of slow play comes up. I was watching the Valspar Championship a couple of weeks ago, and the commentators dragged on and on about how long it was taking the last group to finish up. At the Valero Open, several discussions ensued about one of the contenders taking 15 to 20 practice swings before each shot. Can you really blame someone playing for millions or trying to win his first tournament for wanting to be absolutely ready before taking a swing? Of course not, especially if no one is going to do anything about it. If, as I read, it is such a concern, then do something. “It’s complicated,” is often the response. “It is hard to monitor all the players in the field and they play in pairs or threesomes, and why should faster players be subject to penalties when playing with a slow player?” is often the excuse. I say nonsense. I was sitting on the 16th green at Valspar, and on the giant screen leaderboard as each player would hit, I got their location and yardage to the green. Before each putt the distance was posted and percentage the player made from that distance. They were even compared to the rest of the field. A person follows each group entering such data continuously. How hard would it be to take the technology a bit further? For example, say each golfer was told they had to play a shot within a certain time limit. The group monitor could make an entry before a player’s turn to hit and record how long it takes him to play the shot. Too many bad times and the player gets hit with a penalty. I believe it could be done. There are probably many ways to speed up play. But, as I said in the beginning, either do something about it or keep quiet!
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