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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

How Quickly Can We Stop Slow Play?

Both the PGA Tour and the European Tour have adopted new rules to battle slow play. The big question is how well they will work...

Shotlink sign

GC and golf.com published two articles concerning the new rule:
The ET begins enforcing some of these new rules this week while the PGA Tour will simply begin teaching players this week, with actual enforcement beginning the week after the Masters. Both tours plan to use similar guidelines, so we should begin seeing some consistent results as players move back and forth between tours.

What makes these rules so different from past attempts is twofold: A focus on individual players (rather than groups) and a new dependence on Shotlink data to eliminate any charges that officials are singling out particular players based on reputation.

One thing that stood out to me is that the 'slow play list' will use a rolling ten-week average. In other words, if you're on the list and you go ten weeks without a penalty, you'll drop off the list. (At least that's my understanding.)

The most obvious change that viewers will notice is that players will begin receiving penalty strokes after two bad times in a single tournament, and then more penalties for each successive bad time.

It will be interesting to see how things go at Abi Dhabi this week. I can't help but wonder if rounds will actually be shorter by the end of the year, or whether other causes of slow play will show themselves. I guess time will tell.

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