‘Golf takes too long to play’

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick February 25, 2014 11:48

Two of the world’s greatest golfers and two of the most powerful people in the administration of the game have all warned that the future of golf is in jeopardy because the game can take too long to play.

The issue has got so serious that the head of England Golf has called for the average length of a round of golf to be halved to about two hours – meaning that a nine-hole format could become commonplace.

Luke Donald and Nicolas Colsaerts have both called on the game’s governing bodies to address the issue of slow golfers, while The R&A has accepted that the game ‘needs speeding up’.

Luke Donald warned that children could imitate slow golfers that they see on television.

“A lot of the juniors who are watching golf are picking up bad habits after seeing us taking our time,” said Donald.

“It’s down to the intricacies of the rules or people not being ready when it’s their turn – there are so many different factors but unfortunately it’s a reasonably big problem in the game.”

Nicolas Colsaerts added that slow play is a serious issue. “Something needs to be done. Most of the time you end up playing for over five hours and that’s not good enough,” he said.

The European Tour said 12 penalties were imposed last year on slow golfers.

Attempts to speed up golf was rated the number one trend in golf clubs last year, after a range of measures from television advertising to apps that time golfers’ rounds were brought in to tackle the issue, which has been cited as a major reason why potential golfers are put off from playing the game.

“The people we want to get to haven’t got four hours going spare and therefore we do have to have a two-hour version of the game,” said England Golf chief executive David Joy. “It would be great to have a nine-hole format that people could choose to play in.”

“It used to be that golf was a half-day activity,” added R&A chief executive Peter Dawson. “You could have breakfast with the family and be back home for lunch.

“But now it seems to have expanded into something that takes up two thirds of the day and I think it’s having a negative effect on participation – it needs speeding up.”


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick February 25, 2014 11:48
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  1. joe joe September 22, 21:40

    How to shorten play?
    Just change golf from 18 holes to 14 holes as a full round.
    That should keep it under four hours no matter who is playing.

    Reply to this comment
  2. @napone_23 March 19, 16:02

    What are strategies to speed up play? #GrowTheGame
    ‘Golf takes too long to play’ | Golf Club Mgt http://t.co/FQh82aeOzs

    Reply to this comment
  3. @RedwoodsGolf March 19, 01:10

    What are strategies to speed up play? #GrowTheGame
    ‘Golf takes too long to play’ | Golf Club Mgt http://t.co/MYakCul7l3

    Reply to this comment
  4. Jonathan Gaunt (@jonathangaunt) February 28, 14:15

    ‘Golf takes too long to play’ » Golf Club Management http://t.co/VHGZiWkGfh – England Golf have a great idea – 9 hole courses are the answer

    Reply to this comment
  5. iSpyGolf (@ispygolfpro) February 28, 13:05

    ‘Golf Takes Too Long To Play’… tell me something I don’t know… http://t.co/v1kU7QsXWZ

    Reply to this comment
  6. @mikewrexham February 26, 16:34

    Couldn’t agree more…

    Reply to this comment
  7. @BJSSales February 25, 23:03

    ‘Golf takes too long to play’ via http://t.co/NtfmPBNp2l http://t.co/LE8KLHyfHs

    Reply to this comment
  8. 19th Hole Social (@19th_holesocial) February 25, 13:03

    #Golf #Panthersocial ‘Golf takes too long to play’ – Two of the world’s greatest golfers and two o… http://t.co/uucF7nA919

    Reply to this comment
  9. Graham Sullivan February 25, 12:44

    Good on David Joy.

    One recent survey found that golfers are taking longer than they would like to complete a round of golf and that some are even put off playing the game because of it.

    Golfshake.com polled 982 professional golfers, club members and nomadic golfers and analysed data from 6,801 rounds of golf, and found that 90 per cent of golfers want to complete a round of golf in less than four hours but that 59 per cent of golfers take more than four hours to play one.

    More than a half of golfers also said they wanted to finish their rounds in less than three and a half hours, but just one in four golfers achieve that.

    More than a fifth of golfers said that slow play would deter them from playing.

    Many golfers feel slow play is a problem with 80 per cent suggesting that it is an issue.

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