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The Loop

Weekend Starter: Why can’t we all play golf faster?

April 22, 2016

We’re fully into golf season now -- even in our Northeast neck of the woods -- and that’s a beautiful thing. But inevitably, we will also have times on the course this year that are marred by slow play. And whether we like to admit it or not, we will all be part of the problem.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Just look at the pros! In the past week, we’ve seen the European Tour and Bubba Watson release videos in which they try to play a hole as fast as they can. And other than Sergio Garcia hitting a rushed shot into the water (That might have happened anyway), everyone involved still played good golf.

Watson, his caddie and his manager combined to make an eagle in 23(!) seconds. Of course, all these pros went back to playing at a much more deliberate pace when money was on the line, but these are still reminders that you don’t need to take seven practice swings before every shot. If everyone at your course remembers that this weekend, you’ll have an even better time. And while you try to play at a quicker pace, here are five other things to talk about:

1. Tiger Woods: For someone who is still out of action, he’s certainly given us a lot to talk about this week. First, the report that he’s stepped up his practice schedule. Then he showed up at a junior clinic and started cranking 300-yard drives. And of course, there was the epic ESPN feature on him by Wright Thompson that was published on Thursday. Oh yeah, it looks like he might return to the PGA Tour in less than two weeks. Forget about the Big 3, no one moves the needle like this guy.

2. Valero Texas Open: This week's PGA Tour event doesn't feature Tiger Woods, but it does have Phil Mickelson and a host of others. And while it also doesn’t feature a jacket for the winner like the past two events, the champ will get a pair of boots.