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A 40-second shot clock is coming to the European Tour

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The European Tour will test a 40-second shot clock next June at the 2018 Austrian Open, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Practically speaking, there won’t be a play clock behind the green ala basketball or football (or the GolfSixes event earlier this year). Instead, a referee will with a stopwatch will follow each group.

A player won’t be penalized for a first offense. Instead, he’ll get…you can guess? A yellow card! Each additional offense will cost a stroke.

“What a brilliant idea, and long overdue,” Lee Westwood Said.

It seems the 40-second limit will only apply to “traditional” shots and won’t be ticking while a player is considering how to play from the edge of a water hazard or some such. It’s also unclear when exactly the clock starts ticking.

Andy Sullivan said, “It underlines how long 40 seconds is to play a shot and how ridiculous it is that rounds take so long.”

The European Tour first unveiled the shot clock concept (with a literal shot clock) at the GolfSixes competition in May. Paul Peterson ran over his allotted time and was hit with a one-stroke penalty at that event.

The PGA Tour, which last year handed out its first slow-penalty penalty since 1995, hasn’t disclosed any similar plans.

Seemingly all professional golfers not named Jason Day want to speed up play. However, one would expect plenty of blowback if this constraint is widely adopted.

One thing’s for sure, the Austrian Open, perhaps for the first time ever, becomes must-watch golf.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. leo vincent

    Oct 11, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    This is absurd. Golf is not a game based on speed

  2. Travis

    Oct 10, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    There are many ways to speed up play besides this…

    (1) Let everyone use rangefinders. This would significantly speed up play, especially when people are off the fairway in awkward spots.

    (2) If a player is on the green, outside of 5ft, and putts their ball to within 5ft of the hole, make them putt out and finish the hole. Do you know how long it takes for them to walk up, mark the ball, walk away, the other person then putts to 3ft, marks, walks away. The 1st person comes up, places their ball, reads the putt, takes his time, makes it, walks off. Then the 2nd guy comes in and does the same. It’s probably several extra minutes on the green that could be avoided if you just make people finish out the dang hole.

    However, in the end, let’s not forget that it just plain takes a long time to WALK everywhere. When I watch PGA Tour, or any professional event, in person. They really do not take all that long over each shot or putt. Most of them are pretty quick about it. It just takes a heck of a long time for everyone to WALK everywhere. Especially if people get their ball offline…

  3. Jk

    Oct 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    A five hour round, you’re going to penalize people for taking 41 seconds to hit a golf shot that could cost or make them thousands of dollars. I don’t get it

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19th Hole

ATV-riding vandals wrecked a golf course; county offers reward for information leading to arrest

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Vandals on a pair of ATVs began tearing up Putnam County Golf Course December 30, damaging both fairways and greens. Per a lowhud.com report, the clowns have returned to the New York course at least three times this month.

As you may have guessed from its name, Putnam County Golf Course is a municipal track, so taxpayers are stuck with the bill for course repairs.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell told lohud.com, “The Putnam County Golf Course has been a premier destination in the Hudson Valley with its lush greens at public prices. We cannot allow individuals to misuse the golf course at the expense of the taxpayers.”

As such, the county is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of these idiots.

Anyone with information can call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 845-225-4300 and the Carmel police at 845-628-1300.

Hudson Valley GolfWRX members, let’s bring these ATV-riding a-holes to justice.

(h/t Kevin Cunningham, Golf.com)

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Curtis Strange didn’t like Jon Rahm’s behavior during CareerBuilder playoff. Is he right?

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Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry filled their plates at the birdie buffet CareerBuilder Challenge to each finish at 22 under par. The pair battled in a four-hole playoff, with Rahm emerging victorious.

Good stuff if you like watching pros pencil circles on their scorecards, right? Not for Curtis Strange. The two-time U.S. Open winner didn’t like the pair’s chumminess between shots during the playoff, and he did what angry people do in the year 2018: He tweeted about it.

Hat tip to Alex Myers at Golf Digest for spotting this (as one Twitter user commented) “get off my lawn take” from Mr. Strange.

Here’s Strange’s dad tweets, curious punctuation and all, as well as a sampling of some of the replies.

So, what say you, GolfWRX members of all generations?

Plenty have maligned the friendliness of the current crop of young talent. Rahm, for his part, has been characterized as more of a volcano than a gentle breeze on the course in general, but this specific bit of chatter is doubtless bothersome to the old-school hardline set.

Clearly, Rahm wasn’t adversely affected by the dialogue. Was Landry? Was your enjoyment of the telecast affected? Let us know.

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Is this the worst “my clubs were stolen” story ever?

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Tom Owen. Remember the name, because this unfortunate gentleman may have the worst tale of club theft in recent memory.

Now, the experience of having one’s bag pilfered, never to be seen again, is awful. Your clubs are simply gone, and you have no idea who took them and where they went. Tom Owen had the first part of that experience, however, he knows exactly where his clubs are…and he can’t (legally) do anything about it.

Therese Henkin New Zealand’s Howick & Pakuranga Times originally reported the story.

Mr. Owen’s bag, with its thousands of dollars of equipment and his cell phone, was lifted December 15th from Howick Golf Course at Musick Point, New Zealand.

“They took everything, all my clubs, my bag, trundle, golf balls and my mobile phone which was tucked away inside the bag,” he told the paper.

However, as this is the 21st century, Owen was able to track his phone (which was in his golf bag) to a nearby residential address on Pigeon Mountain Road.

Presumably overjoyed, he called the police to report the theft and the location of his stolen property. One can only imagine his despair when he was told the authorities would be unable to lawfully search the premises and thus could not recover his clubs.

After reporting the incident, Owen was surprised to learn that police were not able to search the premises for the goods.

A police spokesperson explained.

“While we understand people may think police can use the tracking system people use on their phones and then send a patrol car to retrieve the property, under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012, police officers do not have the authority to enter a premise based off a locater app on a missing phone. If police resources are available and the technology can pin-point a specific address such as a household, Police are able to knock on the door and make enquiries, but not enter.”

Obviously, Owen isn’t a fan of the law, and he thinks it puts victims in a bad position. He’s right: Knowing the authorities can’t do anything, but knowing where your stolen phone, etc, is, do you risk your life taking the law into your own hands?

“It’s very frustrating to know where your stolen items are and not have anyone do anything about it. If police really can’t act on the information you give them, then something needs to change.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Does this make any sense? Do you join Owen in calling for a rewriting of the law?

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