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Nov 25th, 2015
R&A Creating Blueprint For Modern Golf
Words: Nicholas Kevern
There is nothing worse. You are set up to smash another one down the fairway, you’ve practiced the swing, psyched yourself up...but wait...the guys in front of you are still ambling along without a care in the world. The moment is lost. By the time you finally get to hit your shot...you duff it into the rough somewhere.
This is a common story and yet in the professional ranks it can be even worse. Now we know that there is more on the line for the pros but issue is that what is seen...is often replicated.
Recently Paul Lawrie expressed his anger at the slowness of play as he watched his son, Craig, attempt to qualify for the European Tour. He took to Twitter to have a wee rant.
Prior to this Paul Lawrie showed his disgust at slow play in an interview with Bunkered Magazine. In it he said:
“It’s a massive problem,” he says. “It’s difficult, though, because there aren’t enough officials out there to stamp it out completely. You need officials with every game but that’s something I’d like to see them try one week and I’m going to suggest it to them. I’m going back on the committee and I’m going to put it out there that, just one week, let’s invest in getting an official out there with every single game, just to observe and take notes of how long everybody’s taking because, believe me, some players don’t know how long they take.”
But Paul Lawrie is right...something needs to change. Thankfully the R&A are holding a two-day conference in St Andrews dedicated entirely to the issue of Slow play. No doubt this will be music to Lawrie’s ears.
New R&A Chief executive, Martin Slumbers, places the issue of slow play high on his agenda. A number of practical ideas are hoped to come from the conference. Slumbers told the BBC that:
"Maybe we need some marshals out on the course to help find balls," he added. "Maybe we need to play over shorter formats, nine-hole golf; playing off tees that are further forward, not cutting the rough as thick and deep as possible. But the key thing is getting people aware and recognising that playing reasonably quickly and getting a move on isn't just good for their game but fair to everybody out on the course."
Either way...it is needed...just to keep Paul Lawrie sane at least.
But for those of you who have grown tired of the seemingly endless wait to tee off, then perhaps you could give this a go. SpeedGolf.
SpeedGolf is a race against the clock. Hit the ball...run after it, hit it again. The winner is the player who scores the best round in the quickest time. Now that would be worth watching on the telly wouldn’t it. Maybe Paul Lawrie will give it a go.
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