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Opinion & Analysis

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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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: Is lighter always longer?

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One of the continuing trends in golf clubs – particularly drivers – is the pursuit of increasingly lighter shafts; this obsessive goal has given us the premise that the lighter the club, the faster you can swing it. And that idea is driven by the relentless pursuit of distance at all levels, and for all golfers.

But as long as he is, for example, Dustin Johnson ran away with the Masters because he was exactly that – a “master” at ball control and precision. DJ outperformed almost everyone in the field in terms of fairways and greens. That gave him more birdie putts, better looks because of his precise approach shots, and many fewer tough par saves.

But my topic today is to pose the question: “Is lighter really the key to being longer for all of us “recreational” golfers?”
Let me begin by saying that “recreational” doesn’t mean any lack of seriousness or dedication to the game. Hitting better shots and shooting lower scores is the goal for all of us who care about our golf games, right? What I mean is that we do not make our living playing the game. We do not practice incessantly. We do not spend hours at the gym every day specifically preparing our bodies to optimize our golf skills.

Today I’m going to put on my “contrarian” cap and challenge this assumption of “lighter is longer” on a couple of bases.
First, if you watch every accomplished player, you will see that the body core rotation is fast enough to “beat” the hands and clubhead to the ball. All instructors agree that the big muscles of the legs and body core are the key to power and repeatability in the golf swing. The faster you can rotate your body through impact, the more power you generate, which flows down the arms, through the hands and shaft and to the clubhead. This is a basic law of “golf swing physics”.

The simple fact is, the speed at which you can fire these big muscles is not going to be measurably impacted by removing another half ounce or less of weight from your driver. But what that removal of weight can do is to possibly allow for your hands to be faster, which would aggravate the problem I see in most mid- to high-handicap players. That problem is that their body core is not leading the swing, but rather it is following the arms and hands through impact.

Secondly, speed without precision is essentially worthless to you, and likely even counter-productive to your goal of playing better golf. Even with the big 460cc drivers, a miss of the sweet spot by just a half inch can cost you 8-12% of your optimum distance. You could never remove enough weight from the driver to increase your club speed by that amount. So, the key to consistently longer drives is to figure out how to make consistently more precise impact with the ball.

No golf adage is always true, but my experience and observation of thousands of golfers indicates to me that the fastest route to better driver distance is to get more precise with your impact and swing path, and not necessarily increasing your clubhead speed. And that may well be served by moving to a slightly heavier driver, not a lighter one.

I’ll end this by offering that this is not an experiment to conduct in a hitting bay with a launch monitor, but rather by playing a few rounds with a driver that is heavier than your current “gamer”.

Continuing with my “contrarian” outlook on many aspects of golf equipment, the typical driver “fitting” is built around an intense session on a launch monitor, where you might hit 30-40 or more drives in an hour or so. But the reality of golf is that your typical round of golf involves only 12-13 drives hit over a four-hour period, each one affected by a number of outside influences. But that’s an article for another time.

For this week, think about pulling an older, heavier driver from your closet or garage and giving it a go for a round or two and see what happens.

I would like to end today’s post by wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. It’s been a helluva year for all of us, so let’s take some time this week to count our individual and collective blessings.

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Podcasts

TG2: Reviewing the first major OEM (Cobra) 3D-printed putter!

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The first major OEM with a 3D printed putter is Cobra Golf! I took the new Limited Edition King Supersport-35 putter out on the course and found it to be a great performer. Cobra partnered with HP and SIK Putters to create a 3D printed body mated to an aluminum face that features SIK’s Descending Loft technology.

 

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Opinion & Analysis

You went to play, now you want to stay: Homes near Cabot Links & Cliffs

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At some point, we’ve all had that moment during a vacation where we look around and think to ourselves, “Instead of visiting, why don’t we just move here?” It always sounds a little crazy in the moment, but really, what’s stopping you?

Like many, I have done this myself, and it leads me down a rabbit hole of golf destination real estate to places all over North America where you get world-class golf minutes from home.

So whether you’re a big spender or looking to downsize and find a cozy hideaway, these homes near Cabot Links & Cliffs have it all.

Homes near Cabot Links & Cliffs

Inverness, Nova Scotia

Steps away

$1,495,000 – 12 Mine Road Inverness MLS Number: 202011562

Location, location, location!

This is currently the most expensive house in Inverness NS, and for good reason. It’s steps away from Cabot Links and overlooks the resort. It’s over 2,600 square feet of beautiful open concept living, and with a local address, you get a discount on tee times at the course, although with its growing popularity, you aren’t guaranteed times like if you stay on the actual property.

Who wouldn’t want to wake up to this view every day? Listing: 12 Mine Road – Realtor

Just up the road

$980,000 – 30 Broad Cove Road Inverness, MLS Number: 202010717

If the first one seems a bit crazy, this next one might be right up your alley.

This 4,000 square foot home, is only minutes from Cabot Link and Cliffs and has amazing views that overlook the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It has everything you could want including a large chef’s kitchen and enough room to host friends and family.

Listing: 30 Broad Cove Road – Realtor

Just you and the ocean

$394,000 – 6 Bayberry Road, Port Hood, MLS Number: 202015994

If you like golf but want a little more separation from the Cabot golf resort, less than 20 miles down the road is Port Hood, another quiet seaside town filled with quaint shops and endless views of the ocean.

You can wake up every morning to the sounds of the ocean and the smell of sea air, and when you want to play golf at a top 50 course in the world, you just need to make a relaxing drive along the water to get there—heck, if you are so inclined, and happen to have a boat, you can go almost door to door that way too!

Listing: 6 Bayberry Road – Realtor

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