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Sunday, October 12, 2014

The PGA Tour's New Experiment to Speed Up Play

There's a new article at about the PGA Tour's latest attempt to speed up play. You can read it at this link but here's the gist of it:
  • The first player to the tee now has 50 seconds to tee off, down from 60 seconds before. (The remaining players still have 40 seconds.)
  • On a par-5, a group will be considered out of position unless all three players have teed off before the group ahead of them clears the green. (In the past, only one player had to have teed off.)
Slugger White noted that they don't really have pace-of-play problems at the events with 120 players or less, and he's not sure they can do much to speed up the big fields of 144 or 156. But at least it's a start.

Slugger White

In addition, perhaps before year end, the Tour plans "a rollout of a new ShotLink-based tool for tournament officials." According to the article, it's supposed to help officials keep track of every group's pace of play but it won't be used to penalize players. (Bear in mind that it's the penalties that have helped the LPGA speed things up.)

Player Advisory Council member Stewart Cink expects some problems -- dealing with ruling delays and such -- but believes the effort will at least give them some data to work with.

Whatever happens going forward, the two steps I mentioned at the top of this post have already been put into action this week at the Open. I'll be interested to see if it ultimately results in any improvement... or just more griping.

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