Friday, June 26, 2009

Pace of Play Part 2

There has been some great feedback on pace of play and as stated earlier we are working on developing a system wide program based on your input. The feedback received contained some consistent messages for example, better trained marshals and signage but it also contained varying opinions for solutions. In order to clarify some information we thought it would be easier to put some questions to a simple vote. We still have more work to do and we appreciate your continued input as we work to develop our pace of play policy.


Ricky said...

I noticed many times on a par 4, the players at the tee wait until the party in front of them are off the green. Apparently, these are inexperienced golfers and don’t realize that in no way can they every reach the green from the tee on a par 4 (thereby possibly hitting the golfers on the green).
This severely delays the play of golf and can be prevented if the starter can inform the golfers to tee off when the party in front of them are reasonably out of the way of their driving range.

golferbob37 said...

I agree with the first comment, about giving people on the tee some sense of the distance to the landing area. However, this should not just be at the first hiole, where the starter may or may not reside. It should be done on EVERY hole, except par 3's, and should be standardized, just the the Blue/White/Red distance markers to the green have become over the years. Suggest that whatever professional organization to which course managers belong develop some standard to be used across the spectrum of all courses: perhaps a Yellow pole 250 yards off the tee, or some such thing. Maybe even the USGA could step up and do something useful for average golfers for a change.
I am also a firm believer in timed play: every tee box needs a sign (or a clock) relating the "expected elapsed time" since tee off. Similarly, every GPS-equipped cart needs to have the message embedded to speed up play. One possibility, and this is perhaps more controversial, is to limit early AM play (say tee times before 0900) to those with handicaps below a certain number (perhaps 12?), ensuring that the course does not get backed up early, which ripples throughout the day. This might work, and to some extent, on many courses this has become a de facto process, with early-morning groups with standing tee times, and routinely finishing in just over three hours.

JimDC821 said...

Keith, I just played NW yesterday and I want to extend my sincere thanks for a job well done in implementing much needed changes to ensure speed of play on weekends. The starter (the jovial guy with the straw hat and the slick demanor) did an excellent job in explaining the rules and making sure everyone in our group heard the message. I was utterly surprised to be told that we would tee off about 5 minutes EARLY (especially since the parking lot was full and upon seeing that when I pulled in earlier heaved a heavy sigh of "here we go again"). During the round, players in front of us were generally keeping up with the group in front of them, and we made the turn in 2 hours 8 minutes. (BTW, I love the 5 minute snack bar rule!). the back was a little slower - things back up at NW on holes 13-16 pretty frequently, but we still managed to finish the back in 2 ours 20 minutes... so, we played NW on a packed Sunday in 4 hours 30 minutes - wonderful. Hats off to you and your crew (including the exuberant summer student crew) for helping to make a round of golf an enjoyable affair.

Marc said...

I played the inside nine at Northwest last evening. With all of the talk about yardage signs on this blog it really did strike me about how much time is spent trying to figure out the yardage. I have played NW enough where I more or less know how far everything is during the day. However I played around 8 pmand so as it was getting darker those markers were starting to come in very handy. That's when it really sunk in that looking for a marker can be a huge time killer. How about putting in place those thin plastic pole markers courses someties use when you have a blind tee shot? They are small and thin. Perhaps set them at 100,150,200 on one side where the fairway meets the rough.

btw: staff are great at NW!!

Jason said...

I recently played Northwest on a weekday with a friend. It was nice to see an informational sheet regarding pace of play where the starter is situated for everyone to see upon checking in. We actually finished the round in 4 hours but I attribute this to it being a weekday with nobody ahead of us.

However, I am a little confused but more so annoyed with what we were told upon checking in. We arrived 30mins early and thought that we might get some putting in on the practice green or might get off a little early since it was a weekday. Well, the putting green was closed. We checked in, the 1st hole was clear with nobody on the tee box. We asked to go off. We were told that we had to wait til our tee time or wait for the 3rd and 4th guy that we were being paired up with. The 3rd guy showed up a few minutes later and the 4th was at the range. We sat around for 20mins while the 1st hole remained open when the 4th finally showed and we were told we could go off.

I think this is a giant waste of time and messes with the pace of play. If we were permitted to go off when we arrived, we would have opened a twosome spot for someone else that shows up a little later. This was an inefficient use of available tee times. We've been playing Montgomery County courses for 15+ years now and had never heard of such a thing.

We generally stay away from Northwest due to it's slow play and constant lack of carts issue. But this was a weekday so we gave it a shot and without fail NW dissapointed us again.

Keith Miller, Executive Director said...

Thanks for your post and I am sorry for the delayed response but I was waiting to hear back from the golf course as to what happened and why they would make you wait. They explained that the reason you were asked to wait was because there were other foursomes which had teed off just prior to you getting there. The starter felt that you would have hit a wall after a couple of holes if you went off as a 2some. So by making you wait for the other two he was doing his best to make sure all four of you had a very enjoyable round of golf, which it seems may have worked. However, it also seems that we failed in explaining all of this to you and we should have provided you with more information and possibly even given you the choice. If you can please provide us with contact information we would like to follow up further regarding what happened. You can reach me at 301-762-9080.

Thanks again for all of your support and we look forward to speaking with you further.

Jason said...


Thanks for addressing my concern. That's a fair explanation. However, I only remember a single making the turn from playing the back when we got there. I agree, that maybe we should have been given the option of going ahead or waiting. Either way....the issue has been addressed and after experiencing a 3hr 45min 9 holes saturday (we quit after 9 because 18 would have taken too long) at course out of the area, this issue isnt that big a deal!