By John Strege
ORLANDO -- Slow play, as has been noted in the past, is like the weather. Everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it.
Well, there is one man, at least, attempting to do something about it. Entrepreneur Steve Aronson (4HeadWear, hats designed for bald men) has introduced at the PGA Merchandise Show a pace-of-play education program called Play 240 Golf. The 240 represents 240 minutes, or four hours, the target time for a round of golf.
"What 240 Golf is is an education program that courses can use to initiate conversation about the issue of slow play," said Aronson's partner, Scott Owens. "Unless you address the problem, nothing is going to happen. What we use are some very basic etiquette rules that remind folks of what they need to do that's going to improve their pace of play. The premise of 240 is to be ready when it's their turn."
Aronson said his research showed that 73 percent of players say they play with or know someone they consider a slow player.
"The golf course gets a kit of merchandising materials -- placemats, posters, cart stickers," Aronson said. "The fundamental idea of being ready when it's your turn is good golf etiquette. Everything's positioned around golf etiquette. The first rule is to be ready to play when it's your turn.
"We're also creating a series of 10 one-minute videos that we will provide to the golf course that they can post to their website or email to their customer list and it's all about good pace of play etiquette. Over time they get it."
Golfers tend to be reluctant to confront slow-playing friends or golf partners, Aronson said. His product is a way around that. "We're telling golfers to ask their golf pro or golf course to bring this program up and talk about it," he said.
The cost of the kits range from $69 to $240, "whatever makes sense for their golf course," Aronson said.