Slow play solution: keep out the riff-raff with golf's version of 'adult swim'
It’s golf’s inconvenient truth, because the longer rounds get, the more of a dinosaur the game becomes to newer generations who simply can’t justify five hours away from Facebook.
After reading some of your (angry) comments and knocking some putts around in my living room this morning, while also putting around solutions in my head, I thought of one that might be effective…
Remember how at the local swimming pool, there would always be a couple hours each morning for the discriminatory “adult swim"? This left the swimming lanes free of kids (which was usually my accomplice Sam and I, tugging on the lane markers, darting back and forth between lanes until a lifeguard booted us).
Here’s how golf courses can implement adult swim and can keep out the slow play riff-raff without booting them off the course mid-round: set certain times during the week where it is expected you will get around in even less time than the allocated pace of play time. This will be a privilege reserved for golf groups who routinely play the golf course in less than four hours and have a track record of proper pace of play etiquette. They keep their ball hunting to a minimum, they don’t basket weave their golf cart up every fairway and can get off the tee in a timely manor, nor do they stop off for halfway house sandwiches and get to the 10th tee 20 minutes later trying to squeeze back in.
And you MUST let faster groups play through. No exceptions.
You could set certain times (staggered throughout the week to keep it fair) for Adult Swim: Monday, 8-10 am, Wednesday 1-3 pm, Friday 11-1, Sunday, 8-10 am. It would especially make sense to get these groups off first in the day, so the entire course doesn’t get backed up like it so often can on a busy weekend.
Suddenly, playing fast makes you a “V.I.P.” so the slowpokes have a new motive to learn how to speed up.
This way, all the five-hour turtles can have their own undisturbed habitat, and we won’t have to hit warning shots into them, which isn’t good for anyone.
Like what I’m smokin’? Tell your local head professional.
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This is certainly less crazy than some of your other ideas ;).
By not advancing 4 slow players, 32 players behind them may be left with the decision to return to this 5 hour course or try somewhere else.