Fairways Magazine Explores Bill Yates' Pioneering Pace of Play Work

Fairways Magazine Explores Bill Yates' Pioneering Pace of Play Work

"For years everybody has been blaming slow play on the players. New studies and technology show it's not that simple."  --Fairways Magazine author, writer, editor and broadcaster John Gordon, in his article "Pace of Play," featured in the Early Summer 2015 issue.

Gordon met with pace of play guru Bill Yates to explore the origins of his game-changing findings on the real causes of slow play, and how he is sharing his insights with the industry he loves.

[Excerpt] "Years ago Yates approached one of golf’s most insidious problems with a fresh perspective, based on his experience as a process engineer working with a variety of industries.


'My job was to improve efficiencies in how they produced their product, whatever that might be,' Yates explained. 'In most cases 90% of the responsibility was on management to improve how they did business. If  employees weren't performing, it generally wasn’t their fault. Did they need more training? Did they have the right tools? Were the production methods the right ones?'

When it came to golf, he saw the same scenario.

'Make no mistake about it: Golf produces a product,' says Yates. The product? 'It’s the players' experience when they are at a course. So I started out with the theory that slow play isn's the players' fault.'"   --Author John Gordon

In the past three decades Yates has become recognized as the worldwide expert on pace of play, solving slow play problems for hundreds of leading public and private courses, assisting at major championships, and advising the premiere golf associations such as the R & A and the PGA on how to approach the problem.

In 2013 Yates was invited to bring his singular expertise to the USGA, which had plans to roll out an aggressive pace of play initiative. He worked with the 2013 and 2014 US Open and US Women’s Open Championships, educating USGA leadership on the shift in thinking necessary to understand and eliminate the root causes of slow play in both championship and recreational golf.

Photo above right: Yates confers with the USGA's Jeff Hall, Managing Director, Rules and Competition, at the 2013 US Women's Open Championship.

In this article author Gordon also interviews USGA officials, who speak freely about how they have used this new understanding and put Yates' techniques to work in their attack on slow play. “Echoing Yates’ counterintuitive theories, their research findings put much of the onus on golf course operators," writes Gordon.

Click here to read the full article, which begins on page 25.







  • "Bill Yates unquestionably provides the most enlightening analysis of pace of play I have ever seen."

    Terry Florence, Director of Golf

    Wild Dunes Golf Resort, South Carolina
  • "ss"

  • "We have now put 3:57 on all our range balls."

    Alan McGregor, General Manager

    St Andrews, Scotland

Client Courses

  • Predator Ridge Resort

    Vernon, BC, Canada

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