Slow play discussions are hot right now, but the topic has been on my mind for a while -- even before Morgan Pressel and Kevin Na made their way into the headlines. Since playing slowly is a stereotype blanketed over all female golfers, I’m fully aware that men think they’re in for a five-plus hour round as I walk toward the first tee.
So I couldn't wait to rummage through the more than 100 responses Golf Digest got when it asked the following question on Facebook and Twitter:
The results: 85 percent of men consider themselves fast, 1.5 percent think they’re slow and 13.5 say they’re in between. Conversely, just 45 percent of women think they’re fast, 27 percent admit they’re slow and 28 percent say they’re in between.
Can it be true? Are women really slower than men? No way. (I’m basing my assertion purely upon my own experiences, of course.) I’ve noticed that while men tend to blame others when their group starts lagging behind, women tend to blame themselves. Even though I don’t consider myself a slow player (my pre-shot routine doesn’t even include a practice swing), I always think it’s my fault when my foursome starts holding up the group behind us. So I’d bet that these women who think they’re slow likely play as fast as the men who “know” they’re fast.
Another observation: not a single woman who responded to Golf Digest say they should slow down, but several guys, like Yannick Bÿlow, told Golf Digest that they play “much too fast.”
And there’s this:
@GolfDigestMag For being 8 handicaps, me and my partner are super fast players. Finished 27 in less then 3 hours last week.— Tony Burr (@tonytoneAA) May 22, 2012
Tony, that’s less than seven minutes a hole. And there are two of you. Tone it down.
Guys, there are subtle ways of picking up the pace. If you’re playing in a threesome or a foursome, for example, start walking to the next tee as soon as you’re the first to hole out. This would move things along without insulting me or making me feel rushed.
While I dread long waits on the golf course, I also despise hurrying from shot to shot. A golf course is the prettiest playing field there is. Might as well enjoy being there.
Bill Atwood summarizes it nicely: “I like to play at a 4 to 4:30 pace, no faster. I actually want to enjoy playing golf not feel like I am in a race. Can I play fast? Sure I can, it just isn't fun.”
Amen, Bill. Amen.