Want to know the quickest way to get a professional golfer to go from calm to enraged? Ask him for his opinion on slow play.
Without a doubt, slow play is the biggest hot button issue in golf at the moment. With players vying for record purses each week, it makes sense that one would take extreme care with every approach shot and putt during a round.
A missed shot here or there could be the difference between taking home a seven-figure check and finishing in the middle of the pack. But in recent years, guys have been taking too much time over shots.
National golf publications have released lists each year, ranking the worst slow play offenders on tour. Yet even the shame of being branded a slowpoke hasn't deterred some guys from continuing to take over a minute to hit a shot.
While the tour continues to turn a blind eye to the slow play epidemic currently plaguing the PGA Tour, current No. 1 ranked player in the world, Luke Donald, decided give his slow play opinions on Twitter, after Steve Stricker and Jonathan Byrd were put on the clock during the final round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
I can understand a foursome having one or two guys slowing up play. But a twosome? There's no excuse to be two holes behind the second-to-last group in a limited field event.
Donald agreed, even offering up a suggestion to fix the problem on the putting green. But at the end of the day he realized, like most professional golfer already have, that fighting a battle against slow play is a lost cause at the moment.
It's hard to disagree with Donald. One of the main reasons the golfing population has dwindled in recent years is due in part to the amount of time it takes to play a round of golf.
Professional golfers are supposed to be the example for amateur golfer, but if they refuse to follow the pace of play rules, casual golfers will start to consider slow play to be the norm -- and we all know that's the worst possible scenario for the sport.
If the slow play at the Hyundai taught us anything, it's that the PGA Tour needs to start enforcing severe punishments for repeat offenders -- taking away strokes or clubs would do it -- something they've failed to do in the past. Doing so might just turn this problem around.
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