USGA moves to deal with pace of slow-go players
Less than a week after Tiger Woods complained about slow pace of play disrupting his game on the way to a title, the US Golf Association announced moves on Saturday to deal with the issue.
Glen Nager, president of the American golf governing body, said its programme to solve pace of play issues will include player education programmes, developing a pace-of-play model, improving the pace rating system, assistance to course managers with pace-of-play issues and analysis of the pace-influencing factors.
"The cry that pace of play has become one of the most significant threats to the game's health has become only louder over the last year," Nager said.
"Industry research clearly shows that slow play and the amount of time it takes to play a round of golf detract from the overall experience and threaten to drive players away from the game."
And, Nager warned, it's not just the superstars like Woods and his fellow PGA players who have trouble with some issues.
"This problem touches every golfer, from the professional to the elite amateur to the collegiate player to the millions of recreational golfers at both public and private facilities," he said.
Nager said the USGA will look to partnerships with golf industry leaders, course managers and related organisations to address the problem.
Among the events where pace of play can often become an issue are the USGA's own events, notably the US Open, where fast-rolling greens and dense rough can cause even the sport's most elite talent to take extra time deciding strategy.
"It is appropriate for the USGA to examine pace of play issues in part because we experience them at our own championships," USGA executive director Mike Davis said.
"Six-hour rounds are just not good for the players, our championships or the game. Slow play is also incompatible with our modern society, in which our personal time for recreation is compressed. This is an issue that demands our complete attention."