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19th Hole

Eliminate pacing off shots from professional golf!

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My world of Twitter is combusting with talk of Bryson DeChambeau’s pacing 70 yards on Friday at the Northern Trust playoff event. Oh, and the two minutes he took to miss a 10-foot putt. I can’t help with the latter, other than to tell rules officials to sack up, but I can with the former.

Eliminate pacing of yardage from professional golf.

Legalize range finders everywhere.

It’s simple. Pro golfers have access to the most precise, expensive range finders on the market. They carry yardage books accurate to the freckle (a common measurement somewhere) and have access to literate caddies who help them with distances.

From September 2019 on, make pacing illegal. Don’t care where, don’t care how far, don’t care who, don’t care the reason nor the defense. Automatic two-stroke penalty if you walk more than five yards with any sort of intent.

While the golfer assesses the wind, the sun, the dew point, the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, the caddie can shoot the flag, the bunker, the tree, the guy waving the QUIET sign, whatever. They are a team. Work as a team.

Get rid of pacing. Montesano out.

 

(Feature image via PGA Tour on Twitter)

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Rascal

    Aug 13, 2019 at 1:11 am

    Shock collars for all players, intensity builds when the prescribed time limit is exceeded.

  2. G

    Aug 12, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Allow range finders to speed up play. Stop the lolly gagging on the greens, no more walking around the ball to see God knows what.

  3. I like solutions

    Aug 12, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    The interesting thing about golf is that the governing bodies (R&A and USGA) have always wanted to have the rules of golf apply to all levels of golfer and courses. This meant that all of us here are essentially playing the same game, despite the fact that we all know this is not really true as most have pointed out about range finder use. Just let them carry and use these in rounds to eliminate any delay in getting the yardage or if the PGA Tour wants to really be slick you give these guys a tablet or other electronic device that is pre-loaded with ground mapped GPS and all the same information they take forever to look at in green/yardage books and it is all right there, and it’s consistent for everyone. The PGA could sponsor the electronic device or app and even provide it to the rest of us at a cost. Are you telling me people wouldn’t like to use the same tour level app for their own rounds?! Finally, with these apps/devices at the tournaments they could use technology to not only provide the much needed data the players are looking for in a much quicker fashion it could also become equipped to provide a “shot clock” or some variation for the future and in real time provide rules officials with times of every player. You can then apply the current rule as it is with warnings etc. without it being so much of a debatable topic.

  4. Johnny Manahani

    Aug 12, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Let’s take away the fact that we accept that these guys have access to tons of information about greens, course layout before playing, and practice rounds before the tournament… They’re PROS. That means they are really good. So take away all that information. Let the pros show me how good they really are. I don’t want to see a pro “dialled in” from Thursday to Sunday after playing 3 practice rounds on the same course earlier that week. I don’t want them pulling out green-reading books. Give them a caddie and that’s it. If they’re pros, they can play without prior practice (on the same course they’ll play the tournament on) and greens books.

  5. Ryan

    Aug 12, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Measuring a shot from the fairway isn’t the problem. Its spending 20 minutes on a green because someone has to check the green book 10 times to make sure they have the right break on a ten footer. Get rid of the green books. The player has three days before the tournament begins to gather information about the course, along with past history playing the course. That’s all they should get. Forget adding range finders, as that will not speed up play enough to make that big of a difference.

  6. Matt

    Aug 12, 2019 at 8:44 am

    I agree with N. These guys are professionals. They play practice rounds. Be prepared to hit when it’s your turn. You’re on the clock. I’m sure TV does like it to make more revenue, the venue likes it to sell more products. DVR is an amazing tool. I watch a full NFL game in about an hour.

  7. Donnie Tran

    Aug 12, 2019 at 1:13 am

    Hey leave DeChambeau alone! We all know he always walks fast and he was only using the time he had saved earlier from all the fast walking.

  8. Dave

    Aug 11, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    agreed 100 percent

  9. STEVE FRISHMUTH

    Aug 11, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    One thing that would help…..only allowed to mark your ball once per putt….drives me nuts to watch golfers mark and remark their ball on the green to line up the line on the ball…
    Place it once….then putt….

  10. Rich Douglas

    Aug 11, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Distance yardage is considered “public information.” For example, you cannot ask your playing competitor what club he hit, but you can ask him what yardage he has. Put the range-finders in play.

    I’m a huge fan of BDC, from his one-plane swing (which I do not emulate) to his one-length irons (which I do). But slow play is inexcusable and I find his rationalizations wanting. When it’s your turn, be ready and hit the ball. Everything else is just an excuse. That goes for everyone, not just Bryson.

  11. JThunder

    Aug 11, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    If you want to speed up play, absolutely *nothing* will make that happen except a shot clock. Slow players will always find a way to play slow.

    It amazes me that with the vast millions of dollars floating across the Tour every single week, they can’t spring for a rules official with each group. Bring some of these “bonus” payouts down to size and do what’s right.

  12. larrybud

    Aug 11, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    He would still pace it off with the laser to get a look at the green.

  13. Mike

    Aug 11, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Every putt I have, I walk from the hole to my ball. So in effect, I am ‘pacing’. I bet that adds 5 seconds to every green. So that’s 90 seconds more in a round…get real, like that matters. How about these ideas to speed up play:

    – Rangefinders 100% legal everywhere (even w/ the slope feature, don’t care)
    – 3 minutes (no, REALLY, 3 MINUTES) to find your lost ball. And if it’s lost, forget going back to your ‘original spot’ to rehit. Take the stroke & distance penalty & play on.
    – Stop trying to hit the crap out of every drive & instead, keep it in play
    – Pick a line, determine your speed & just hit the damn putt
    – And when it’s you’re turn to putt, that is NOT the time to take off your glove, clean your ball, line up your putt, etc. Should’ve done that already.

    We rarely have any rounds >3.5 hors at my course because we tend to police ourselves. Understand it’s a bit tougher on public tracks, esp when people feel that for their $80 they’ll take all the time they need.

  14. Greg V

    Aug 11, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Ban green reading books. Another simple speed of play measure.

  15. Nathan

    Aug 11, 2019 at 5:30 am

    Why can’t the scorers carry a shot clock – like basketball…
    As soon as it’s their turn the shot clock starts.

  16. Jack

    Aug 10, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    I don’t get why pga doesn’t allow range finders. In amateur tournaments it’s fully legal.

    • Funkaholic

      Aug 12, 2019 at 11:58 am

      The professional game should be based on skill with as few crutches as possible.

      • Scott

        Aug 12, 2019 at 6:57 pm

        You mean like the green reading book that shows every square inch of the green?

  17. Jamie

    Aug 10, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Just keep up. Who cares what is done in between.

    Otherwise put up 100 reflectors on each hole besides the flagstick: carries over bunkers, distances to bunkers, distances to rocks, trees, water edges etc to shoot with ones cute little Duck Hunt laser.

    Feeling the shot while pacing is part of the game.

  18. NotGianni

    Aug 10, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    I have a much simpler solution… 1) don’t be an asshole… 2) beat the fuck out of assholes… done. Fuck dechambeau and his pretentious “I need you to tolerate me in order for me to be great” attitude that you see way too often these days

  19. A. Commoner

    Aug 10, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    There is so much (to me, maybe others) junk and silliness in tournaments and their telecasts any more, I just don’t watch until the leaders are nearing completion.

  20. JP

    Aug 10, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    Let caddies wear range finders like Flav-A-Flav wears clocks! And speed up the pace of play!
    .
    But maybe networks like slow play so they can sell expensive commercials during live telecasts. Commercial time must cost more during live play and probably gets cheaper during the after show recaps?

    • Mike

      Aug 11, 2019 at 10:14 am

      As kookie as the Flav-a-Flav comment may seem…I like that!

    • Lawrence Rogan

      Aug 11, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Absolutely. A 10″ tablet attached to the bag, built into the design. GPS to the the flag.
      Ladies and Men still have to figure in wind, uphill, downhill, etc. And Finally you have to pull off the shot. Good luck with that!

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19th Hole

Brooks Koepka talks the Olympics, Kobe Bryant, and Tiger at the Masters in a SiriusXM Town Hall broadcast

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Kimberly White/Getty Images for SiriusXM

While Brooks Koepka’s comments on SiriusXM regarding Patrick Reed grabbed the headlines this week, the four-time major champion spoke about several interesting subjects in the town hall broadcast, including the Olympics, Kobe Bryant and what Tiger Woods said to him following the 2019 Masters.

On the subject of the Olympics, Koepka stated how he was currently on the fence about the event, explaining how he believes it would be “cool to be an Olympian” but that it has “thrown a kind of a wrench in the schedule.”

“Right now, to be honest with you, I’m kind of 50-50. I want to do it, yes, I think it would be awesome to do. But at the same time we have majors, WGCs, the playoffs, its all kind of… I mean, these (motions to PGA Championship trophy) take it out of me, I’ll be honest with you. You come down and I need two days just to kind of mentally recharge.

It’ll be interesting just the timing of it, where it is at. The playoffs are kind of important. I’d like $15 mil. I think that’d be nice. I’d like to be fresh for that. If anything I’m leaning more towards going. It’s an honor. You play for your country.”

On hearing of Kobe Bryant’s death, Koepka spoke about how he was blown away, how he found it difficult to believe it was real, and how despite never meeting Bryant, the loss hit him so hard that he ended up crying in his hotel room.

As Bryant was his childhood idol, Koepka said he got on the phone that night to Nike to ensure that the unfinished project of his Kobe Bryant-inspired golf shoes would be completed to honor the basketball great.

The 31-year-old lost out to Tiger Woods by one stroke at the 2019 Masters, and recounted how Woods was quick to remind him that this levelled up their affair after Koepka had seen off Woods’ challenge at the 2018 PGA Championship.

“Augusta was interesting because, coming down the stretch I rinsed one on 12. We all know what happened. We all know he won. But it was crazy walking off the green and being there to congratulate him. The first thing he said was, ‘One-and-one now.’ (laughs)”

The entire Brooks Koepka Town Hall special will be rebroadcast on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio on Wednesday, Feb. 19 (10:00 pm ET), Friday, Feb. 21 (8:00 pm ET) and Sunday, Feb. 23 (noon ET). The full special is also available now on SiriusXM On Demand.

Brooks on the Olympics

Brooks on Kobe Bryant

Brooks on Tiger at the Masters

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (2.19.20)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

No words needed!

Long neck G7 from Goodwood.

Matthew Fitzpatrick’s raw 60-degree Vokey SM8.

Miura Tour Grind Copper Damscus etched wedges from The Golf Garage.

Penn State themed Phantom X-12 from Embrace Putters.

Nice shots of Littlestone Golf Club courtesy of Cameron More.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

Peter Kostis: “I’ve seen Patrick Reed improve his lie four times”

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Following Brooks Koepka’s comments that he believes Patrick Reed cheated at the Hero World Challenge, former CBS golf analyst Peter Kostis has now weighed in on the matter – claiming he’s seen the Texan improve his lie on multiple occasions.

Speaking on the latest No Laying Up podcast, Kostis revealed that he had seen Reed improve his lie up-close and personal “four times” before recounting what he saw on one particular occasion (original quotes via Bunkered)

“He put four or five clubs behind the ball, kind of faking whether he’s going to hit this shot or hit that shot. By the time he was done, he hit a frickin’ 3-wood out of there. When I saw it, it was a sand-wedge lay-up originally.”

On the podcast, the former on-course commentator explained how he isn’t sure Reed “knows he’s doing it sometimes”. Speaking on why he never reported one of the four incidents, Kostis stated how analysts report to an unwritten TV rule to document the story and not to be the story themselves.

“We could never call a penalty on a player, but we could comment if a penalty was called on a player. That’s the difference. I couldn’t say anything. I can’t be the story. Now I’m done, I don’t really care.”

Kostis then mentioned another occasion where he saw Reed doing something similar at another event after he hit the ball over the green. Kostis unveiled by the time Reed had struck his shot, the analyst could see the logo on his ball from a once treacherous lie.

“He hit it over the green and did the same thing. He put three or four clubs behind the ball. It was really a treacherous shot. Nobody had gotten close all day long from over there. By the time he was done, I could read ‘Callaway’ on the golf ball from my tower.”

Kostis also added that there’s always been “a player or two” throughout history who “stepped on a spike-mark” or “fudged with their coin marking their ball”, but that 99.99% of guys on Tour play by the rulebook.

 

 

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