Fred Brattain of Corona, California, has been following the slow-play debate on the tours, reported on by Jaime Diaz earlier this month in Golf World. Having played a three-hour round (walking) myself this morning and then heard from a friend that he'd played a 5-hour-45-minute round (!) at the TPC at Sawgrass, slow play was on my mind, too. I like where Fred is coming from. It's killing us.
Everyone talks about slow play, but no one is willing to do anything about it. The problem stems from the PGA tour's lack of fortitude. The PGA pros are terribly slow, and everyone thinks they should imitate them. The fact is that a twosome playing a championship course for money should NEVER take more than 3.5 hours to complete a round. I have been playing this game for longer than anyone on any tour has been alive, and teaching the game for the last 30 years. As a teenager in the 60's I carried a +2 hdcp. I have never seen ANYONE who played better by slowing down. If the powers that be want to get the 4 hour round back into existence, the solution is simple. Line up the PGA pros and say, "Gentlemen, the first group off this morning will finish in 3.5 hours or less, or everyone in the group will be DQ'd. Thereafter no group will be more than one shot behind the group in front, or everyone in the group will be DQ'd. This is your only warning." Not only would scores go down, but perhaps all the wannabes on all the public and private courses throughout the US would get the message. By the Way, BRAVO to the LPGA for actually enforcing the slow play rule. >