The Slow Play Myths

First let’s get our terms right. It’s not about “slow play;” it’s about waiting on every hole.  And waiting is caused by everything from soup to nuts on a golf course, including….occasionally.…slow players. So instead of just blaming the foursome ahead for "playing slowly," let’s explode three myths that are dead, dead wrong.


Myth #1: It’s All the Players’ Fault

When we work with a course, we look at my Five Major Factors™ that impact the pace of play. Player behavior is only one of those factors. Is it really the player's fault, for example, if there is bumper-to-bumper traffic on the golf course and groups waiting on every hole? Usually not.


Management decisions about course loading and maintenance practices also have a huge impact on the pace and flow of play. For example, a properly loaded course helps play flow smoothly. It reveals who the real slow players are. It shaves time off rounds - sometimes as much as 40 or 50 minutes. It creates more “high value” starting times, and it leads to more replay, more customer loyalty, and more revenue.


Myth #2:  Rounds Should Take Four Hours

When courses were more compact and built for walking, golf could usually be played in four hours or less. On many modern courses that have long green to tee distances, or that wind through residential streets, up and down hilly terrain, and around environmental areas…well, you do the math. The USGA Pace Rating System tells how long a round “should take” on a course so that managers and players can have realistic expectations rather than overcrowding their courses to meet financial projections.  Some courses simply take longer to play, and always will. The trick is to manage the course properly so that its unique Pace Rating is achievable. Again…whatever the course’s Pace Rating, players will be happy if play is smooth and they don’t have to wait on every hole! And managers will be happy because every tee time during the day is a good one.


Myth #3: Improving Pace of Play Will Hurt the Bottom Line

Absolutely not! On the contrary, by taking control of what happens on the course, we are able to achieve a consistent, smooth flowing pace that you can count on to increase revenue and decrease operating costs. Click here to see how.


Finally: it's these myths that keep courses from finding the right solutions. Thinking differently is a pre-requisite to solving your course's "slow play" problem. Our programs teach you how to do that.

Click here to take that first step, or for more information.  


Visit our Pace of Play Resource Center.


  • "The pace of play in this championship was better than it has ever been."

    David Pepper, R&A Championship Comm. Chair

    The Open Championship, Muirfield, Scotland
  • "Your program was not an expense; it was a sound investment."

    Terry Boldt, Golf Division Manager

    City of Calgary Municipal Courses, Canada
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Client Courses

  • City of Sac. Municipal Courses

    Sacramento, California

More than 150 courses around the world use Pace Manager Systems. view all...


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