The issue came up yesterday during a teleconference to promote the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. The opening matches begin today.
Inevitably, things will grind to a halt at some point, as several players continue to make a mockery of the concept, see ball, hit ball. Slow play makes for bad everything, including bad TV.
Here’s Johnny’s take:
I was watching the guys pretty carefully about the slow play and I counted several times, guys taking four or five, six, practice swings, and that’s prior to the start of pre‑shot routine, that’s unbelievable.
Another thing, these guys can’t even take a drop by themselves near a gallery stand or sprinkler head or burrowing animal; they have to call for an official to wipe their nose. You have guys calling for these stupid rules that everybody should know at junior golf level. I’ll bet you in my whole career, this is no exaggeration, 20‑something years, I didn’t call in ten rulings. In other words, I knew the rules and made the drop and didn’t take much drop to do it.
There should be a stat that calls out guys for the most rulings and that should be something that’s posted in the locker room and with the public, just to see these guys, they cannot make a decision and that’s what really slows things down.
(And it isn’t just the players’ fault; Miller also went after the caddies)
The caddies are getting so involved that they are taking twice as long to make a decision with the player, and they throw out a question after the guy already knows what he wants to hit and the guy has to go through the question in his mind, well, the caddie, is he right; I thought I had it right myself. The caddies are slowing things down big time, too, it’s not just the players.
I just think that the TOUR does so many wonderful things, World Golf Federation, the Hall of Fame, 20/20, all of the initiatives that the TOUR does, they do so many great things. And it’s a marvelous organization, but I do think they are missing the boat on the pace of play.
I think they could be more vigorous in their pursuit in players that are violating the pace of play rules and they should higher more rules officials, almost like a fitness instructor who whips you into shape in the first week and slaps you out of your stupor. It’s like we are not going to take anybody going over the allotted time, you play each hole in an average of 12 minutes, get out there and get it done and if you don’t, there’s going to be penalties and there’s going to be warnings on every hole. Within a month, I think guys would speed up and it would be noticeable on television.
Amen, Johnny and Brandel. You would think the PGA Tour would do something at some point. You would think the networks would complain and force the PGA Tour to do something at some point.
You would think…
So why hasn’t it happened yet?