Oct 23rd, 2017
The 2018 Shot Clock Masters in Austria
European Tour attempts to crack down on slow play
The 2018 Shot Clock Masters in Austria will be the first ever tournament in pro golf to use a shot clock on every single shot as part of the European Tour’s attempt to combat slow play.
The European Tour experimented with a shot clock on one hole at their inaugural GolfSixes, and the concept will now be used for the first time at a European Tour event at the Diamond Country Club, from June 7-10, 2018.
This tournament will use the Tour’s official timing policy over 72 holes, with an intention being to showcase a European Tour event played at a more exciting pace.
Each player in the 120-man field will have 50 seconds for the first player in a group to play any given shot, and 40 seconds for subsequent players. Players will incur a one-shot penalty for each bad time incurred and these will be shown as a red card against their name on the leaderboard.
Each player will have the right to call two ‘time-outs’ during a round which will permit them twice the usually allotted time to play the shot.
The European Tour introducing a new pace of play policy last year, which included monitoring penalties, handing referees additional powers to target slow players. This policy had an immediate effect, leading to a visible reduction in round times.
It is hoped the new move will cut round times by around 45 minutes, reducing three-ball timings to approximately four hours, and two-balls to around three hours 15 minutes.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “The 2018 Shot Clock Masters will be a fascinating addition to our schedule next year. Not only will it help us combat slow play and reduce round times, it is also further evidence of our desire to embrace innovation.”
Leading Austrian player Bernd Wiesberger said: “With this change, there will be much more attention from the international sports media during the tournament. The new Shot Clock format is an ideal way to focus on the issue of pace of play. The game of golf should definitely be faster and therefore this is a step in the right direction."