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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.

26 Comments

26 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.

    • O

      Aug 12, 2019 at 1:34 pm

      Well, that’s the problem. They are reading the notes that they wrote down, in addition to the green guides.

  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. 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….

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. larrybud

    Aug 11, 2019 at 12:35 pm

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

  12. 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.

  13. Greg V

    Aug 11, 2019 at 8:52 am

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

  14. 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.

  15. N

    Aug 11, 2019 at 2:47 am

    No. Add more yardage markers on sprinkler heads, and more markers just to have those stones to dial in yardage. NEVER introduce range finders. How dare you. It should be as simple as, if you can’t hit a good shot because you don’t have it measured, then hit the poor shot and live with it. If you take too long, and you hold everybody up, it should be 2 strokes per every hole that you are warned. There are enough officials and marshals, and in fact, it’s an honors game, so the player himself should call the penalty on himself, and the playing partner should concur. The playing partners should have the power to speak up, and if you’re spoken to more than once, then you’re penalized. It’s as simple as that.

  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

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (8.21.19)

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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.

New additions on the way from UST Mamiya Golf Shafts.

How do you like this creation from Cushman Custom Golf, WRXers?

Cheetah Fur covers from Swag.

Slick looking new additions from Haywood Golf.

Great shot of the par-3 seventh hole at Stonewall Golf Club from Will.

Max Homa giving Eddie Pepperell a run for his money with his social media witticisms!

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Haha we salute you ???? ????

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The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (8.20.19)

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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.

Torched blue Coronado Two flat-stick from Embrace Putters.

Stunning looking restoration job on this Allendale flat-stick from Tyson Lamb.

Great shots of Manufacturers Golf & Country Club in Pennsylvania courtesy of Andy Kerestesy.

Sweet looking Avengers flat-stick from Olson Putter Co.

Skull putter neck from Kraken Golf, what do you say WRXers?

American Flatsticks showcasing their new putter covers which will be dropping this Wednesday.

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Just in time for the final leg of the @fedex cup we are introducing our first Mallet Headcover. Both the Blade and Mallet will be available Wednesday at 8am PT / 11am ET @americanflatsticks. . . . Don’t forget, each cover purchased during the three weeks of the playoffs gives you an entry into our custom Headcover Giveaway. As a reminder, we will randomly draw one order at the end of the playoffs and the winner will have the opportunity to design a cover and get 5 of them to share with friends. . . . #chickfila #golfswag #titleist #golftips #atlanta #putter #picoftheday #pga #golf #fedexcup #instagolf #PGATOUR #LPGATOUR #cow #americanflatsticks #eastlakegolfclub #golfwrx #Handmade #tigerwoods #eatmorechicken #funny #golfchannel #gibbonshandmade #tigerwoods #golfstagram

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19th Hole

Hot & Cold: Where strokes were won and lost at the BMW Championship

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In “Hot & Cold,” we’ll be focusing each week on what specific areas of the game players excelled and disappointed in throughout the previous tournament. On Sunday, Justin Thomas returned to the winner’s circle, and here’s a look at where some of the most notable players gained and lost strokes over the four days of action at the BMW Championship.

Hot

Justin Thomas broke through for the first time this year, and while it was a typically great week tee to green for the 26-year-old ( where he gained 11.7 strokes over the field), Thomas’ putting looks to have made the difference. For just the second time since February Thomas gained strokes with the flat-stick – gaining over five strokes on the greens at Medinah CC. Check out the clubs Thomas used on his way to victory in our WITB piece here.

Tony Finau is still awaiting the second PGA Tour title of his career, and if it wasn’t for a balky putter, then he may have achieved the feat last week. However, Finau led the field in strokes gained tee to green in Illinois, gaining 13.6 strokes over the field in this area which bodes well for the Tour finale.

Patrick Cantlay continues to impress, and he rode a red hot putter to a runner-up finish at last week’s BMW Championship. Cantlay gained six strokes over the field on the greens at Medinah, which is his joint best performance of his career in this area.

Cold

There is no sign of Dustin Johnson breaking out of his slump, and at last week’s BMW Championship the American suffered a horror show with his iron play. Johnson dropped 6.6 strokes to the field in this area – the worst performance of his career with his irons.

Jason Day’s split with Steve Williams didn’t have an immediate impact, as the Australian suffered a dismal week at Medinah. The Australian dropped 11.7 strokes to the field tee to green over the four days of action which is comfortably the worst performance of his career in this department.

Bryson DeChambeau’s game appears to be suffering from the pace of play controversy he has found himself embroiled in recently. DeChambeau lost strokes in every significant strokes gained category bar one at last week’s BMW Championship on his way to a T48 finish.

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