The Loop

Slow Play Again

Majors bring out the annoyance in you, gentle readers. And your leading pet peeve is slow play, your comments propulsed by the recent Golf World story on the topic. Below a couple of your letters, but first this: At the U.S. Open, the final twosome on Sunday took 4 hours, 24 minutes to play the round; The U.S. Women's Open final group took 4 hours, 28 minutes to play Sunday's round. For twosomes, not exactly speedy.


John Posthumus of Denver finds it intolerable.


Virtually every sport has a time component. Football, soccer, basketball, hockey, for example all have time restrictions Golf should be no different. The ability of a golfer to make shots under the duress of a time restriction should be a part of the game. It is arrogant for players like JB Holmes to essentially say that they will take as much time as they like because a lot of money is involved. Using this reasoning, LaBron James, with the game on the line, should be allowed to take as much time as he wants (e.g., 5 minutes) to shoot a free throw. Boring!>


Reader Marshall Stewart of Fort Worth comes with solutions, at least for we amateurs.


Reader Jim Huber is right on with his comments on slow play. You won't have space to publish all of this, but here are some ideas and suggestions to ease slow play from someone who has played the game for over 50 years. I am a former caddy (Hinsdale G.C. in Illinois), high school and college player, and an observer of mankind playing this great game:>


Very good, Marshall. But the best cure for slow play ever offered, in my humble opinion, came from our colleague in London, Golf Digest International Editor John Barton. John's idea is simple: Every swing counts. Good swings, bad swings, half swings, practice swings--they all add to your score. (John points out that there are no practice swings in hockey or baseball, for example). So try that for a round. Practice swings end on the range. From the first tee on, every single swing counts.

You'll wonder what's been taking us all so long.

--Bob Carney

(Illustration by T.J. Morrow)