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19th Hole

Data shows that slow play leads to higher scores across all handicap ranges



The ongoing debate whether slow play actually negatively impact your scores appears to be settled.

According to the study conducted by Arccos Golf,  for every half hour extra on the course, golfers are losing in the region of 0.4-0.7 strokes, while those who take 4.5-5 hours to complete 18 holes are losing between 1.3-1.7 strokes compared to a round that was completed 90 minutes quicker.

Interestingly, the data indicates that the golfers who are most impacted are higher handicaps, with 15-19.9 handicappers taking an extra 1.7 strokes when out on the course for 4.5-5 hours.

This is 0.4 strokes more than handicappers lower than five, which are impacted by just 1.3 strokes when playing a slow round. Handicappers from 5-9.9 are impacted by 1.4 strokes and 10-14.9 handicappers play 1.5 more shots in the longer rounds.

The worst possible scenario for a high handicapper (15-19.9) is a round that 4.5+ hours or longer. These golfers take 0.7 more strokes when playing a 4.5+ hour round compared to 4-4.5 hours.


There is a lesson to be learned here for golfers of all handicaps: Play faster!

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  1. 8thehardway

    Jan 24, 2022 at 11:13 am

    First you got gamblers, geezers and girls (avg h/c for women is 27). You got beginners, ball hawkers, binge drinkers, high handicappers, friendly cart girls and even the top talent can’t manage better than a five-hour round despite caddies, green-reading books and ample warmup.

    The only line on that chart that matters is the last one because the difference between shooting 91 and 93 is zero to any golfer in that category and if he’s in front of you you’re toast. It’s a dark, one lane road we venture down, and it’s the slowest car that sets the pace.

  2. Livininparadise

    Jan 22, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    I can not believe the comments with people thinking 4 hours is fast. Very few, if any, courses should take longer than 4 hours to play. I have played in 3 somes walking that finished in less than 3 hours. No, your 4.5 hour plus round is not acceptable.

  3. Bruce

    Jan 22, 2022 at 9:58 am

    Flawed results. Think about accomplishing any task: hurrying NEVER helps and often results in wasted time. I agree with comments above: don’t waste time but NEVER rush your swing.

  4. Mike

    Jan 22, 2022 at 9:06 am

    They needed a study for this??? For my group, the disruption / boredom factor really comes into play when you’re. Waiting. On. Every. Single. Shot. But even if you’re not good you can still keep the pace. You’ll have to swallow your ego & pick up your ball at times & this is difficult for most men to do (esp younger ones who ‘think’ they can play a bit). And hell, play the proper tees. I cringe when I see guys that can’t break 100 heading to the back tees.

  5. ericsokp

    Jan 21, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    The one topic that never gets addressed in any of these slow-play articles is regarding the course itself; specifically how far apart the tee times are spaced. If you look at most public courses, they’re trying to push groups out every 7 or 8 minutes, which is barely enough time for everyone to actually tee off before the next group is supposed to hit. I understand that courses are trying to maximize their revenue, but if an acceptable pace of play is 4 hours, that means you get approximately 13 minutes to complete each hole … does anyone actually accomplish that? I’ve seen foursomes take 20+ minutes to finish a difficult par 5! Perhaps the courses need to start spacing their tee times further apart, like at least in 10 minute increments.

  6. Alan Grim

    Jan 21, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    Wow, what a poorly thought out result. This is an example of confirmation bias run wild. It’s should be obvious that more shots results in longer playing time, not the converse. Playing faster will only result in more errors, more shots, ending with longer playing times. Be time conscious between shots while taking your time when actually hitting will result in overall quicker playing times. Pretty poor analysis by Arccos.

  7. ChipNRun

    Jan 21, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    Play faster?

    Often this involves risk of lawsuits from hitting into slower groups that are backed up in front of my foursome.

    All it takes is a superchop group at 10 AM and nature-watchers/ball hunters at 10:32, and thr course is tied up all day.

    Solution: course rangers with authority who can force a group skip a hole to regain pace on course.

  8. joe

    Jan 21, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    Was beer factored in?

    • james

      Jan 21, 2022 at 3:26 pm

      Perhaps it took longer because they hit more shots.

    • James Kendzior

      Jan 21, 2022 at 10:59 pm

      Doesn’t take very long to drink a beer.

  9. Pingback: Rory McIlroy says amateurs can lower their scores by 10 strokes if they follow this tip – GolfWRX

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19th Hole

LPGA star blocks fan account that follows her every shot on the course



Social media in golf has changed the game in many ways.

For instance, “tracker” accounts on twitter typically follow a player and provide real time shot tracking for fans so they can keep an eye on what their favorite players are doing. The biggest example of this is “Tiger Tracker” (@GCTigerTracker) who has about 414,000 followers. Many have tried to duplicate these types of accounts with other players to varying degrees of success.

A recent example of one of these accounts is one dedicated to tracking LPGA star, Leona Maguire. In an odd turn of events, Maguire blocked the “Leona Maguire tracker” account for reasons unknown.

The tracker stated they were “hurt and confused” by the blocking.

It seems as if the block was caused by negative reporting on the shots Leona was hitting on the course. One Twitter user brought that to the attention of the tracker, who vowed to do better in the future.

At the end of the day, these “tracker” accounts are just a player’s fan accounts. Therefore, it can’t be a major shock if the player doesn’t appreciate the negative comments when they don’t have their best stuff.

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19th Hole

College golfer suffers gruesome on-course injury during NCAA Championship



Over the weekend, a scary injury took place at the NCAA National Championship at Greyhawk Country Club.

According to Golfweek, a sophomore from Oregon, Greg Solhaug stepped on a tee during the event. The tee went all the way through his shoe and his foot, forcing him to withdraw.

After Solhaug withdrew, Oregon only had four players remaining to compete. The Ducks head coach, Casey Martin, told he’s never seen that type of injury before.

“I’ve been in golf nearly 50 years and have never seen anything like that. He was in a lot of pain.”

The NCAA’s Associate Director Rick Nixon released a statement on the incident.

“Oregon student-athlete, Gregory Solhaug, suffered a foot injury during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships and was forced to withdraw from competition. Oregon, which completed Saturday’s second round with four players, will have the option to substitute another player into their team lineup for subsequent competition rounds, as they deem appropriate.”

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson reveals why he won’t accept Brandel Chamblee’s offer to debate with him on Golf Channel



A couple of weeks ago, Phil Mickelson admitted he had been a “bit chippy” on Twitter recently. That hasn’t stopped him though, and last week he escalated the war of words between confirmed anti-LIV analyst Brandel Chamblee and himself, with support led by Brooks Koepka’s coach.

2022 saw much of LIV derided for having players now incapable of competing in major championships. Now, after many placings at Augusta, and Koepka’s win at the PGA Championship, the tide is beginning to turn, summed up by Lefty’s comment on his favourite social media site:

Soon after the victory, Koepka’s coach Claude Harmon gave his view of the ‘pay-to-play’ model, saying, “I want LIV to succeed and I want LIV to work because I am pro-professional athlete,” confirming his belief that the top golfers should be paid whatever the result.

He then took a swipe at Golf Channel’s Chamblee and golf journalist Eamon Lynch for their constant jabbing at the source of income for the rebel tour.

“Brandel is a paid actor by NBC and Golf Channel. All he’s trying to do is get his lines and shows for the Golf Channel. He’s just trying to get lines for Brandel … And I mean, I love him, I think Eamon is a fantastic writer, but for Eamon Lynch and Brandel Chamblee, who worked for NBC Golf Channel to utter the words ‘sports washing’ when the company they work for televised the last two Winter Olympics in Russia and China with the same leaders that they’ve had. It’s not like they were good leaders back then. It’s not like Putin was a good guy, right?”

Where Chamblee was happy to argue on television about the LIV/Ryder Cup debate, he is as happy as Mickelson to state his case on-line, most notably concentrating again in ‘sports-washing, ‘ denying he is a “proxy for the opinion of my employer, ” amidst a 500-plus word post that included a swipe at Harmon.

“Especially, as in the case of the person who called me a paid actor, if they can somehow profit from the evil. This is where the debate crashes headfirst into the nexus of politics, sports and narcissistic greed. Where those who want to escape it most often cloy at whataboutisms, to stop the discussion with a pejorative accusation because they don’t want their motives to be discovered.”

“So while Brooks Koepka’s win at the PGA Championship was impressive, it should not distract us from the simple fact that LIV players are being used for the benefit of some very bad people and to the detriment of a great many more good people. That LIV Golf, with its inability to develop stars and seeking to buy them like high performance cars, is undermining the dignity intrinsic in golf.”

That’s when Mickelson steps in and, after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, starts the fire by posting,

“Poor Brandel. He can rip apart me and countless others, but as soon as someone shows his ignorance, he can’t handle it. He’s softer now than he was as a player.”

That was enough (again) for Chamblee, who got even more personal, highlighting the imminent release of the book by convicted insider trader Billy Walters, and his relationship with the six-time major champion. 


As NUCLR Golf tried to sum up the entire episode, Mickelson then revealed another twist – his fierce rival had blocked him!

On Saturday, midway through LIV Golf DC, Phil was back, seemingly notifying all that he would be even more vocal in future.

Asked if he would go on-screen to debate, Mickelson was clear that he wouldn’t be going to Chamblee’s ‘house’:

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