Ohioan Tom Howenstine has had it with five-hour rounds and he blames the pros. I'm sure he had a fit yesterday watching Phil Mickelson take two and a half minutes to pull the trigger on one of the Stadium's par 3s:
Slow play by the pros have done more to ruin the game than anything else. Of course it provides the networks with really cheap air time at no added expense. Think about it. Imagine yourself playing in a twosome with two caddies and galleries to find any errant ball, and it takes 5 hours to play a round. Put a time limit from when a player starts and when he can finish. Penalize him a stroke for every 10 minutes over his time limit. A time limit would also add another dimension to the sport that it needs. These measures would speed up play not only at the pro level but also for us amateurs. Everyone says people won't play golf now because of the time involved. Now a round of golf on a weekend ruins the whole day due to slow play, where it should take no longer than half a day.
Thanks, Tom. Good item on slow play and player Matthew Goggin's comments about it on [Geoff Shackelford's blog.
Your comment on people leaving the game because of the time reminds me of something a friend who belongs to a nine-hole family club in Connecticut told me the other day. He said that having only nine holes used to be a disadvantage in recruiting new members. "Now it's an advantage," he says.