The Slow Play Debate Rages On at the PGA Tour!

My Twitter feed was on fire over the past few days with the constant complaining of slow play from the Genesis Open last weekend. At the forefront of everything was the play of the eventual winner: JB Holmes. He was one example of how the PGA Tour is losing the battle between showing the top players and not having to watch them for 6 hours!

Unfortunately, I have to agree with most of the complainants. I watch a fair bit of action (for the first time in a long time) on and found that the coverage was fairly good, but the action was excruciating slow. It was not just JB Holmes either.

I watched players talk about exact yardage on the 14th and 16th holes only to come up a full club short on most shots. The way that some of the players lamented about all the conditions is like they were starting from scratch with all the data as if it was the first hole. If the wind was blowing in a specific direction on the hole before, chances are it is playing in the same direction on the tee box. I mean it really was difficult to watch.

Do the new rules of golf not apply to the PGA Tour?

5.6b Prompt Pace of Play
A round of golf is meant to be played at a prompt pace. Your pace of play is likely to affect how long it will take other players to play their rounds, including both those in your group and those in following groups. You are encouraged to allow faster groups to play through.

Pace of Play Recommendations. You should play at a prompt pace
throughout the round, including the time taken to:

•• Prepare for and make each stroke,
•• Move from one place to another between strokes, and
•• Move to the next teeing area after completing a hole.

You should prepare in advance for your next stroke and be ready to play
when it is your turn. When it is your turn to play:

•• It is recommended that you make the stroke in no more than
40 seconds after you are (or should be) able to play without
interference or distraction, and

•• You should usually be able to play more quickly than that and are
encouraged to do so.

I realize this is a bit of rant, but saw a video of Holmes “plum-bobing” an 8 inch putt. That seems a bit ridiculous.

Unless the PGA Tour is going to jump in and address this issue; nothing is going to change. Actually, scratch that! Unless the fans demonstrate their displeasure to the PGA Tour by loss of viewership nothing will change. Continuing to rant on Twitter or golf blogs might have an impact, but I really doubt it. But, slow play is a hot topic of the week.

Until things change, we might see more of this:

Do you think slow play was an issue at the Genesis Open?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

9 thoughts on “The Slow Play Debate Rages On at the PGA Tour!

  1. PGA needs to further define what is “unreasonable delay” per Rule 5.6a. The prompt play references in Rule 5.6 are only suggestions and recommendations. They are not required and non compliance has no penalty attached. If PGA strictly defines slow play and then strictly assesses penalties for non compliance (even if player is in the hunt to win) this issue will start improving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • David,

      There are not set timings. It is recommended that 40 seconds is the goal, but not definite. You and I are on the same page with your last comment. PGA has to come up with a time and strictly enforce it regardless of the leaderboard.

      Cheers Jim


  2. Jim,

    I as well noticed a lot of frustration on golf Twitter over the weekend, as someone who watched the tournament it was definitely not ideal.

    However, if JB Holmes isn’t gonna get penalized for his slow play, I don’t see why he would stop…I think this is more so to do with the Tour not enforcing these penalties on players. Until they do, I won’t be surprised one bit if this were to continue throughout the year. Once they enforce it, then we may finally see improvement in pace of play.



  3. Jim, play moves faster when everyone is making birdies and there is more drama. At Genesis, the whole field was grinding and hacking on Sunday because of the wind. Definitely a problem but more magnified by the conditions.



    Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw lots of people complaining about Holmes for sure. But their group kept up so I don’t think it’s fair for him to be singled out. And I expect play to be a little slower when walking 36 holes, but 5 hour rounds are too much in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

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