Very interesting news yesterday from the GCAA about the creation of a panel to address pace of play in men's college golf. A collective "it's about time" is in order. Rounds at the NCAA Championship last week were in the five hour, 20 minute range. When there was a two-hour rain delay during the second round at The Honors Course, players weren't playing fast enough to be able to finish the round before darkness. I doubt that was a last straw, but it certainly didn't help the matter. It's a bit embarrassing that at the NCAA Championship there is almost no wiggle room for weather delays because the rounds take so long.
"Over the past decade we've seen an increasing problem regarding pace of play in college golf, said GCAA president Mark Crabtree, the men's coach at Louisville, in a press release announcing the panel. "Whether it is the size of fields, the increasing use of technology, hesitancy of tournament officials to penalize players or failure by players and coaches to adhere to pace of play guidelines, slow play has gotten out of hand and we as college coaches need to find the best solutions to combat the issue."
The panel will make recommendations to be tested at select events this fall. The results of these tests will be discussed at the GCAA National Convention in December, with final recommendations to be endorsed for events in spring 2011.
The names on the panel are fairly impressive, which suggests that the group can come up with some solid recommendations at the very least. Here is the roster of coaches on board:
Mark Crabtree, Louisville
Bruce Brockbank, BYU (incoming GCAA president)
Todd Satterfield, Furman
Kyle Blaser, Oklahoma City
Devon Brouse, Purdue
Jamie Green, Duke
Mark Immelman, Columbus State
Doug Martin, Cincinnati
Casey Martin, Oregon
Tommy Snell, Mississippi Gulf Coast
Richard Sykes, N.C. State
Matt Thurmond, Washington
Fred Warren, East Tennessee State
Other officials who will serve on the panel include:
Tom Meeks, former USGA rules and competitions chief
Tyler Dennis, PGA Tour director of competitions
Donnie Wagner, NCAA assistant director of championships
Stephen Hamblin, AJGA executive director