Slow play is killing the game of golf

2011-06-02 00:00

I HAVE been asked to make an appeal through this column to golfers who play the game slowly.

The slow players should know who they are. Presumably they have been told on numerous occasions. The slow players should look at the analogy of traffic on a narrow road with an 80 km/h speed limit and no overtaking. A slow coach is doing 50 kms per hour and the cars in front are miles ahead. The result is a build-up of traffic and some very frustrated people following behind. The problem with most slow players is that they are in denial, they refuse to accept that they are slow and as the years roll on. They rarely manage to speed up or change their dawdling ways.

The rules of golf state that it is in the interest of all players to play without delay and keep up with the players ahead.

Slow play really upsets some golfers and sometimes they threaten to drive a ball into the group ahead. That action will solve nothing at all, but it did happen some time ago when a frustrated player drove his tee shot into the players in front. One of the forward golfers was so incensed that he hit the ball back towards the tee. There was much unpleasantness over this, but the player who hit the ball back was the loser, he incurred a two- shot penalty. The frustrated player, who wrongly drove into the group ahead, merely dropped his ball with no penalty.

It’s usually during those big sponsored days when the field is full that we have slow rounds. Some years ago one would see signs around clubhouses stating “slow play is killing golf”.

Methods of speeding up play can be taught, but how to teach golfers not to become frustrated with the slow players in front is more difficult.Last weekend’s results:

Victoria Country Club held the Old Mutual International Pairs on Saturday. The winners on 45 points were Sir R. Don-Wauchope and S. Rees. In second place were J. Gopaul and P. Govender with 44 points. Third were D. Schaup and M. Swanepoel on 43 points.

Maritzburg Golf Club combined a four-ball bonus bogey with the Family Cup on Saturday.

The winners were N. Xaba and T. Govender on plus 10. In second place on a count-out were C. Severn and K. Roberts on plus 8. Third spot went to H. Horsley and D. Zeelie.

B. Pridmore beat A. Ghareeb 4/3 to win the Strapp Cup.From the 19th hole:

A South African tourist was playing golf at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland in December and he was finding the weather rather chilly.

He said to his caddie: “It’s very cold today.”

“Oh, it’s not too bad,” answered the caddie. “But it can get very cold in the middle of winter.”

“So what happens when it snows? I suppose you paint the balls red.”

“No, sir,” said the caddie. “I usually wear two pairs of trousers.”

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