Five hour rounds on Tour need to be a thing of the past, here are some ways to speed up play to make golf more exciting for fans...

TAGS:

5 Ways To Speed Up Play On Tour

Golf’s pace of play has been a hot topic in 2019 so far with Dubai and Bryson DeChambeau, Pebble Beach with the Monday finish and the Genesis Open and JB Holmes.

World No.2 Brooks Koepka has also been outspoken on the issue, saying it is “kind of embarrassing” and that “nobody has the balls” to penalise players for slow play.

So, what can be done to improve the pace of play on Tour? Five hour rounds simply don’t cut it in this day-and-age.

Below, we suggest 5 ways to speed up the action…

5 Ways To Speed Up Play On Tour:

1) Fines – The PGA Tour should impose fines with shot penalties, not dollars. Players obviously do care about money and one or two stroke penalties will really turn players away from taking too long, costing them shots, world ranking points and prize money. As it stands, players will receive penalties for taking over 40 seconds per shot (50 seconds if playing first), but that is only once the group has been put on the clock. The current system of putting a group on the clock and then fining them for further slow play does sound fine, but isn’t working in reality. This needs to be refined and groups should be put on the clock sooner.

2) Set a maximum round time – Five hour rounds are doing the PGA Tour and fans absolutely no good, so the only way to get rid of them would be to set maximum round times. I would recommend 4 1/2 hours as a maximum, perhaps this could be trialled one week? If a group fails to reach the turn in 2hr 15mins, they should be warned, and anything over 4hrs 30-35mins should result in penalties for every player in the group. This timing could be increased during high winds or severe conditions but 4 1/2 hours is plenty of time to complete 18 holes.

3) Ready golf – Ready golf is now encouraged by the R&A and at club level, so professionals should also be doing the same. Perhaps some are already doing it, but to keep things moving players should be actively playing out of turn if safe to do so and when the opportunity presents itself.

4) Allow laser range finders – I have seen comments from caddies before that the introduction of laser range finders won’t actually speed up play because they’ll still be pacing out yardages for the front and back but surely lasers will help a little? Perhaps they won’t eliminate the need for a caddie to still do some pacing and other workings-out in their yardage book, but for players who are more feel-based and are perhaps feeling more aggressive, a laser rangefinder will get them their yardage instantly and they’ll be able to pull the trigger quicker.

5) Buggy shuttles – On big, hilly courses where play can be a bit slow, the PGA Tour could operate buggy shuttles from greens to tees (if the walk is long) and tees to fairways. This would save players walking 300 yards a few times a round which would surely quicken play up. Some might say it is unfair and not physically demanding enough for the golfers, but would TV viewers really care about that if it significantly sped up play?

What ways do you think golf can be sped up on Tour? Let us know on our social media channels

For all the latest golf news, check the Golf Monthly website and follow our social media channels