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Home Some things never change in golf and likely never will

It’s widely known that golf is plagued by three specific challenges. Make no bones about it; it is a difficult game, even for the very best on days. The cost associated is also another barrier to entry and the third one is the time that it takes to play. The last point has always been rather bothersome, since it would seem on the surface the easiest of the three to overcome. Yet it hasn’t been and may never. “Look, this issue has been around probably ever since the game of golf has been invented,” said Greg Norman, once ranked #1 in the world for 331 weeks in the 80s and 90s. “You can drive down any freeway and one slow driver can slow up every car on the road. Same with golf. One slow player can slow down everybody.”

Brandt Snedeker believes the PGA TOUR acts a role model for aspiring players and it’s setting the wrong example. “As people look to how the game of golf should be played, they look at PGA TOUR players. For us to play five-hour rounds I think is unacceptable,” he said, while acknowledging fields are large and courses are always difficult. “I just feel like golf should be played in under five hours. Could be played in four and a half hours without a problem. Under four hours in twosomes,” the FedEx champ added. “I know for 35 years that I've played that we've tried to get the slow players to speed up,” Norman said. “I don't know what the answer it is. It's tough on the players who like to play fast because it gets them completely out of rhythm.” 

Davis Love III added his two cents on the matter. “You know when you get your pairing whether you're supposed to walk slow or walk fast,” the Ryder Cup captain said. “Playing football you have to adjust your game to the other team, but in golf you shouldn't have to adjust to your pairing. Shouldn't have to slow down because you're playing with a slow player.” Snedeker said he has had to adjust, begrudgingly, his game due to it. “I've had to become a slow player on the PGA TOUR for me to be comfortable, otherwise I'm sitting around waiting on somebody else and I get frustrated. I intentionally don't get my number until it's my turn. I intentionally do stuff to slow down, because otherwise I play in 15 seconds, I'm done, and I'm sitting there waiting on somebody else and I get frustrated. There is stuff I've learned to do to help me slow down. It's not rocket science. I wish the guys would do the opposite when it's their turn. Be ready to play. That's another big issue. Guys just aren't ready to play when it's their turn. It's very simple.”

The Shark believes the chronic problem has manifested into something even more. “The etiquette is gone because the respect and all you're just worrying about is yourself and not the game of golf, No. 1, and not the rest of the players on the field. It's basically infested itself in our game, in the professional and amateur game, because the amateurs watch what the pros do. I've played the AT&T where it's taken over six hours to play.”