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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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Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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Canada: Home of the lefty?

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Golf has become a more prominent sport in Canada, and I believe that Mike Weir has a lot to do with that, since his triumph at the Masters only 16 short years ago. I am not saying it is going to replace hockey as our sport of choice as that kind of talk may get me committed.

We have, since that time, significantly grown our presence on not only the PGA Tour but all professional tours. It does make us exceedingly proud to sport one of the premier LPGA players in Brooke Henderson.

Harkening back to Mike Weir, at this time I also feel, shows a more accurate representation of the current state of golf in Canada. If you spend some time looking at the players at our courses, especially those that have taken up the game since his triumph, I think you may be surprised at what you see.

Welcome to Canada – home of the lefty

It seems to be a revelation of sorts here north of the border. One that, I will be honest, I do not belong to the group, but am intrigued as to what triggered it. We, as a country, have one of the highest per capita numbers of both golfers and courses. The state of the business of golf in Canada is a totally different topic.

Did Mike Weir make it acceptable? At a time when everyone wanted to be like Tiger, a short lefty from Canada wins the Masters and it was instantly cool in Canada to play left-handed? As a dedicated club ho walking through the used section of golf shops here does not reveal the multitude of deals for lefties that it previously did.

In Canada, approximately 30 percent of golfers are now left-handed, which is a staggering number anyway that it is looked at. We are not that far removed from a time when just writing with your left hand was seen as a faux pas!

If we look at the other sports played here I think that we can garner a better perspective of how this number came to be.

The national sport of Canada is lacrosse. However, if you asked most people, I would bet they would answer hockey. Nearly two out of every three people who play hockey in Canada play the sport left-handed. Hockey is a game of hand-eye coordination and transfer of power. Stickhandling, catching a pass or shooting all require good hand-eye to make you successful. But the transfer of power into a slap shot, or even a wrist shot for that matter, is where the correlation to the golf swing can begin.

Looking at the similarities, both involve a plant foot, a long backswing, hip rotation, downswing, acceleration and a follow through to generate power and results. Just as in golf, if any of these components aren’t present, the puck will go nowhere and on the ice, and you may just fall down.

More people play hockey than golf in Canada, and if you already play one left-handed it can be a somewhat natural transition to the other, as the basics for the swing are already ingrained in your mind.

Baseball is also another popular sport in Canada. Many of our successful hitting MLB players have been left, handed hitters. I feel that most will admit to the fact the swing was an easy transition over from hockey. They may field and throw right but the mechanics of the swing are easier to replicate by doing it left-handed.

Whatever the reason for this revelation of the left-handed golfer in Canada, I feel that it is a good thing for the sport. Whatever gets more people on the course is a good thing and if playing that way helps them to achieve personal success at the game faster then we can’t ask for anything more.

Who knows what the future of the left-handed golfer in Canada will hold. Just remember, if you are a lefty golfing north of the border, don’t expect to find the deals in clubs that are extended to our our left-handed friends south of the border!

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