Lee Westwood supports shot clocks to speed up slow play

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire October 19, 2017 11:34

The former world number one golfer, Lee Westwood, has said he wants to see shot clocks introduced for major golf tournaments.

Slow play has been cited as a cause in the decline of golf participation in the UK, which has impacted on the financial performance of a number of clubs, and it has been linked to how long the leading players take to play their rounds during televised tournaments.

The proposal that Westwood supports would involve a referee walking with every group and timing every stroke. Players will be allowed 40 seconds for each shot and they will receive the equivalent of a yellow card for a first offence. Every breach thereafter will see them docked a penalty stroke each time.

The initiative will be trialled at next year’s Austrian Open, with one official estimating it will speed up rounds by 45 minutes.

It was also introduced at the GolfSixes event this year – with positive feedback from players and spectators.

“What a brilliant idea, and long overdue,” Lee Westwood is quoted as saying.

Westwood attended a meeting featuring several top players where they discussed the proposal, and it is thought that there was unanimous support for it.

Westwood’s Ryder Cup teammate Andy Sullivan said: “It underlines how long 40 seconds is to play a shot and how ridiculous it is that rounds take so long. The sooner it’s introduced on tour, the better,” he said.

Two years ago Westwood said that golf needed an overhaul in order to attract more women and beginners to the game, including increasing the size of hole cups.

“Golf is not doing enough and it needs to be promoted better,” he said in 2015.

“The R&A, the PGA and the European Tour need to do more to encourage women to take up the game. In Britain it’s a very poor percentage of women who play the game.

“Golf needs to be faster and cheaper. It’s very expensive to join a golf club and there needs to be a shorter format of the game. Five hours on a Saturday or Sunday to be out the house is too long; there needs to be a two-hour format of the game. The holes need to be made bigger – the game is to difficult and that makes it less fun.

Lee Westwood: Golf needs larger holes, a two-hour format and an image overhaul

“Golf also needs to have the stigma that it’s for old men – toffs – taken away from it. I’m from a working class background and started playing on a municipal golf course – there needs to be more municipal courses.”

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire October 19, 2017 11:34
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1 Comment

  1. scott October 19, 16:28

    If caddies could use measuring devices surely this could also help the Pros speed up??

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