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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

‘I don’t trust Shipnuck’ – Former PGA champ hits out at author of new Mickelson biography



He may not be teeing it up at Southern Hills this week to defend his title, but Phil Mickelson is still creating plenty of buzz ahead of the second major of the year.

This week, the 2002 PGA Champion Rich Beem has revealed that he wants nothing to do with Alan Shipnuck, author of the just-released unauthorised biography of Phil Mickelson.

In an interview with BoyleSports Golf Betting and GolfMagic, the now Sky Sports analyst revealed he had “enough of the sensationalism” of how the writer approached his work on the 2021 book, ‘Bud, Sweat & Tees’, a publication featuring ‘Rich Beem’s Walk on the Wild Side of the PGA Tour’.

In the book, Shipnuck covered Beem’s rookie year alongside caddie Steve Duplantis, but the 51-year-old says that, “Even though he wrote that book, just so you know, you and I got paid the same amount for that book. After he wrote the book, we remained fairly friendly and then it got to the point where I’d had enough of the sensationalism of how he wrote it.”

Explaining why he is “not a fan,” of the author, Beem said, “I don’t trust him and if I don’t trust you, then I don’t really want to have anything to do with you. I think the one thing I base my friendships on and on who I want to talk to is ‘do I trust them?’ I don’t trust Alan. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t trust what he writes.”

“I think that he tries to sensationalist everything, but that’s just my personal opinion. Some folks love what he has to say, so it’s all good.”

In previously released excerpts from Shipnuck’s latest publication, ‘Phil. The Rip-roaring (unauthorized) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar’, the 2021 PGA winner created huge controversy as he revealed his thoughts on Saudi Arabia, the planned golf league and the effect on the PGA Tour. Since then, Mickelson has been in exile, entering this week’s PGA Championship at Southern Hills, before pulling out just a few days ago.

In the interview, Beem expressed his surprise that Mickelson took so long to withdraw from the second major of the year and hopes that he doesn’t commit to the first LIV event at the Centurion Club in two weeks’ time.

“I was surprised he (Mickelson) was even on the list. I was surprised it got as close as it did. If you look at everything surrounding Phil, and especially with that book coming out, I think that’s a pretty damning book and I think that anybody wouldn’t want to be around.” Beem said.

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19th Hole

The list of most trolled golfers on Tour features some surprising names



Bookmakers’ directory,, has recently revealed a list of the most trolled professional golfers on social media – with some surprising results.

With the PiP having encouraged even more social media interaction, it’s of little surprise that some of the biggest names have been victims of online abuse, with the site calculating the amount of positive versus negative posts received.

Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, all within the world’s top-10 ranked players, are quoted as receiving large amounts of trolling, but after a year of online spats (particularly with Bryson DeChambeau) Brooks Koepka is reported to have received around 77,500 positive comments and 18,000 negative remarks.

Those figures, however, put the four-time major champion in second place behind current world number two, Jon Rahm, who is said to be ‘the most-trolled player, with almost 20,000 negative posts compared to just over 30,000 positive ones.’

On a happier note, world number 20 and two-time PGA Tour winner Sungjae Im is said to have a ratio of around 15:1, his 3000 positive comments received far outweighing the 200 negative.

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19th Hole

Major champ shares wild Phil Mickelson gambling story from Presidents Cup



A few weeks ago, an excerpt from Alan Shipnuck’s new book titled: “PHIL: The Rip-Roaring (Unauthorized) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar” was released.

Many were shocked to learn that Mickelson reportedly lost $40 million from gambling throughout the prime years of his career, according to Shipnuck.

Ahead of next week’s release of the book, the author has released an excerpt to  The Times of London which discusses how gambling affected Lefty during the course of his career.

The article shockingly states that Mickelson “more concerned” with checking the box scores and “covering the spread” while he was playing in tournaments.

Steve Flesch, who was paired with Mickelson on a Sunday during the Hyundai Team Matches, told Shipnuck that every hole Mickelson “was checking like a beeper or something.”

“He could not have cared any less about what we were doing on the golf course. He was definitely more concerned about who was winning the football games and who was covering the spread.”

Tom Lehman also had a similar story for the book. He told Shipnuck that Mickelson was checking scores football during the Presidents Cup in 2000.

The United States won the Presidents Cup handedly that year, but Mickelson had little to do with it.

Lehman was paired with Phil and their opponents were Mike Weir and Steve Elkington.

The 63-year-old told Shipnuck: “Phil is hitting it everywhere — he’s barely finished a hole through the first eight holes. He keeps saying, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll show up eventually.’

“On the ninth hole he buries it in the front bunker and is out of the hole again. He walks way back into the trees and is sitting on a stump with his back to everybody and his head down.

“I think he’s giving himself a pep talk, so I go over there to try to make him feel better and he’s got his phone out and he’s checking the football scores.”

Mickelson’s downward spiral since he made comments about the PGA Tour’s “obnoxious greed” has been fast and furious. His withdrawal from this week’s PGA Championship is more evidence that all of the bad publicity is having a severe impact on the 51-year-old.

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