Editors' BlogApril 16, 2009

Don't take slow play sitting down.

I love this letter from reader Joe Stoessel in Marietta, Georgia. For those of you who have tried everything to stop slow play or at least get slow players to see the error of their ways, you'll enjoy it, too.

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Dear Editor, >

My Saturday morning foursome has a standing tee time at 8:08 A.M. at a beautiful course in North Georgia. We drive an hour each way and always play behind the same guys, who have had the first tee time for many years. We engage in the usual small talk on the practice range, including an occasional mention that they might consider playing a little faster! Even if we wait until they are on the first green before teeing off, we usually catch up with them by the third hole. They all live locally and the clubhouse staff cuts them a lot of slack regarding pace of play (the marshall usually rides by just to say hi).

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Finally, one Saturday, while my buddies and I were pacing around in the fairway waiting to hit our approach shots, I got an idea for how we might get our point across one more time about slow play. They liked the idea so, the following week, two of us managed to sneak folding chairs onto our golf cart, hiding them behind our bags. We also brought along the morning newspaper.

On the sixth hole, we had the perfect opportunity to execute our plan. They were on the putting green going through their usual time consuming rituals and could see us clearly back in the fairway waiting to hit. Out came the folding chairs in the middle of the fairway. We sat down, unfurled the newspaper and were cracking up, waiting to see their response. All of a sudden we could hear a roar of laughter from the green and they were all pointing back at us. Fortunately, they weren't offended and actually managed to speed up some the rest of that day!

By chance, "Big Ed", the friendly marshall, happened to be in the vicinity to witness our little stunt and he appreciated the humor as well. He even told the pro shop staff about it and they congratulated us after our round when we went in for lunch. Over the years, the staff has had to endure a fair amount of complaining from the local boys and were glad to see them get a little dose of their own medicine.

One positive result has been that, on occasion, they now let us take the first tee time if we are short a player or if they are in a particularly good mood! We figure this saves us at least 25-30 minutes a round. But, overall, old habits die hard and we still find ourselves standing around in the fairway thinking about new ways to get even.

Joe Stoessel

Marietta, GA

I've put a folding chair in the back of my car with golf clubs. Thanks, Joe.

--Bob Carney

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