Thoughts to Improve the Game: Slo-Play

“Hi fans – Gorilla here…. In this post, you’ll be reading GG Guru, a really good golfer but one heck of a curmudgeon. I don’t agree with half of what he says, but he does liven up a party…. Please let me know your thoughts.”

Golf is a wonderful sport – challenging mentally and physically – and those of us hooked on the game can’t conceive of a better way to spend an afternoon. That is, unless we get behind slow players. It’s not that I’m against hackers (That’s good!).

Everyone miss-hits the ball from time to time with stray shots peppering adjacent fairways. And indeed sometimes even good golfers are also amongst the slowest (ever play in a tournament behind a “pro”?). No the problem is one of attitude or education with these jerks being either oblivious to other golfers or too arrogant to care: you know them all, the slow, ambling, walkers, or the incessant talkers who won’t be rushed, or those golfers who can’t seem to figure out how to prepare for their shot while another member of the foursome is playing, or worst of all, the plumb-bobber putters, who follow an interminable routine on each of their three, or four putts per green. Get behind these folks and you can soon have a good walk spoiled. You get frustrated, and angry and soon enough your score deteriorates.

The Zen masters of golf tell us to take a deep breath and be patient, but that never seems to work – So what to do?
GG Guru suggests:

  • Let faster golfers play through (blah, blah, blah…);
  • Marshall course and play to speed things along;
  • Increase signage on courses to remind golfers about slow play – including time checks;
  • Teach players to use the wait-time when opponents are putting to study the green;
  • Encourage golfers to pick-up when a hole is lost or when still playing for that quadruple bogey.

How about the use of carts? Well GG Guru is opposed to cart use except for very senior players and others with medical requirements – and I am anyway not at all convinced that golf carts really speed up play (six-packs are pretty heavy…). Could be that they help in some locations, but carts tend to encourage a lazy approach to the game making all shot making slow. They also cause considerable course maintenance problems, not to mention increased energy consumption. And when the cart paths only and the 90-degree rule is in play it is hard to see how any time is saved. Carry your clubs – what does it mean? You’ll carry only the gear you really need. You’ll walk the shortest distance to your ball .- a straight line, even straight across the green.

Until improvements are applied at your course, it is important to not let the slowpokes in front of you spoil your round. Consider :

  1. Politely asking if you can play through. Surprisingly this usually works (methinks the Guru is a wee bit delusional…) if the there is only one slow group in front of you; or
  2. If your course is so configured, consider skipping a hole or two to get in front of the slow group (especially useful if you can make up the holes later); or finally
  3. If there is no daylight (I think he means “if it isn’t clear ahead” of the people who’s self-image you’re trying to destroy) decide to make the best of a bad thing by using the down time on the tee to practice chipping, using a variety of clubs in competition with your partners.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

GG Guru

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SwissBliss February 9, 2010

Get rid of the snail, sending a really bad “lack” of animal respect message… all abit horrifying to see the snail where it is positioned and what’s next to it…. ouch !


thegr8jules February 10, 2010

Thanks GG Guru for the enjoyable read!

I am new at this sport and sometimes feel like a snail myself and the added pressure mounts when you have about 4 guys behind you waiting for you to hit that darn ball!

I hope this season I’ll move up from being a snail to a turtle!

Loved the photo montage!


beachcomber February 10, 2010

Dear Swiss Bliss – Thank you for your comment. We want to reassure you that no harm was done to any creature in the making of the photomontage. Additionally, if you look at the IGOLF link on the homepage, you will see that we are very dedicated to environmental and social responsibility for golf course development.
We understand completely your misgivings but the picture was made (perhaps unthoughtfully) in good fun in relation to GG Guru’s posting.


beachcomber February 10, 2010

Dear the gr8jules,
Thank you for your kind comments. Hope you find the same passion as us in the great game of golf.


beachcomber February 14, 2010

Hi Gr8. Good question!
The Guru reports:
For our Swiss reader: Where are you located? Do you want instruction in English?The teaching pros at Domaine Imperiale in Gland at the Maison Blanche in Echevenex are able to give lessons to non-members. Equally there are several golf courses in the Migros Golf program where you can have a series of lesson including Signal de Bougy.
Jo Triceps suggests: The Golf of Pra Roman has a teaching pro a driving range and 3 golf holes. It should open as soon as the weather allows. And there is the Golf of Lavaux near Chexbres.
Until the snow melts, you can go to the golf training center in Etagnières. They have simulators, putting chipping and pitching areas. They also offer video analysis.
And I suggest to look at the MyGolf on this website events on June 5 and June 11 where there will be great opportunities to participate in a golf clinic and meet other folks new to golf.


SwissBliss February 14, 2010

if you look at the IGOLF link on the homepage, you will see that we are very dedicated to environmental and social responsibility for golf course development.

Precisely, this was my point of reference. And even without it, the picture of the snail (and the contradiction in the message it sends ) is in complete contrast to the IGolf message. Even without that environmental reference, one would hope “naturally” the environment and her other critters are respected ? Is that message accurately portrayed here ?


beachcomber February 17, 2010

Hello SwissBliss,
We absolutely respect your point of view and re-iterate that we are totally pro-protection of wildlife on golf courses and everywhere else.
I will review your comment(s) with our editorial board and issue you a more complete response as soon as possible. If we determine that the picture in question is encouraging bad behavior, we will deal with it. What did you think about the message of the posting?
Have you read the posting called Aiming for the Green?
Be back shortly.


SwissBliss February 17, 2010

This is my last comment.
The picture says it all. No amount of what you write or promote after that makes a scrap of difference, the damage is done with the image.
I briefed a 10yr old on this and asked is he/she believed these people cared about the environment: answer: NO, it’s nasty, there should be a ball there, not a snail !

So while “perhaps unthoughtfully” “in good fun in relation to…..
the picture sends all the wrong messages, and has to be canned ! How can anyone believe another word you say with a picture like this ?