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How big of a deal is slow play in professional golf?

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Over the last couple of weeks, there has been plenty of talk of slow play regarding some of the players on tour. Discussions reached a fevered pitch Sunday at the Genesis Open. On the back nine, J.B. Holmes added to his reputation for slow play after taking a minute and a half to hit a putt.

This incident comes a few weeks after Brooks Koepka stated that he goes to the bathroom so his group gets put on the clock to combat slow players, which has faced some slight backlash from players like Bryson Dechambeau. However, this recent instance has proven that there is possibly something to be observed in Koepka’s remarks.

Even Peter Kostis made comments during the broadcast that “he [Holmes] could have been going through most of his routine while his playing competitors were putting.” Holmes would take 1:20 to hit a putt that he eventually missed, and then continued by plumbobbing his 1 foot tap in.

I’m not saying that this is the reason for his win over Justin Thomas, because JT clearly lost his mojo during that final round. Though there is something to be said regarding the etiquette of the game when you deliberately slow the group to a crawl when there is no need for it.

Golf already takes the longest time of any sport to play, which hurts its popularity and television viewership because no one has six hours to watch a round of golf. And remember, a slow player in one group effects the group behind him/her, and so on.

I feel like slow play should be held in the same regards of yelling in someone’s backswing in that it is one player affecting the play of others. It’s rude and inconsiderate to your playing partners, on top of making it a bore to watch for the many on course patrons and those viewing around the world.

What do you think, GolfWRX Members?

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Todd is an assistant golf professional in Knoxville, Tennessee. As an ex-division 1 golfer at Tennessee State University, he uses his skills and knowledge to grow the game through giving lessons and his writing. He is the sole owner of The Daily Golfer, a website that covers news, instruction, and product reviews for everything in the world of golf.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Tartan Golf Travel

    Feb 20, 2019 at 8:22 am

    The only problem is that some amateurs try to emulate the pros and 5+ hour rounds will kill the game.

  2. Op

    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Nobody has 6 hours to watch a round of golf???
    What do you say about the guy who watches the NFL ALL DAY on Sunday from the first game until the last game while he watches the other games in PIP???
    What a stupid comment

  3. Lll

    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Not that big a deal.
    Time Outs in other sports like the NFL NBA is way more annoying

  4. P

    Feb 19, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Not as big a deal as the idiotic game of putting a ball into a cherry baske placed high on a pole being considered a professional sport

  5. D

    Feb 19, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Not as big a deal as the Patriots-Rams debacle game of boredom

  6. Scoot

    Feb 19, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Until a shot clock is put in place and financial penalties are assessed, nothing will change.

  7. Graham

    Feb 19, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    The crowd should get to start yelling and taunting players after 1 minute passes.

  8. Jesus

    Feb 19, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    HIT THE FING BALL

  9. Greg V

    Feb 19, 2019 at 11:05 am

    When a player doesn’t start to read a green until the other players have putted, that is taking far too long, and should be penalized.

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