Slow players beware. The Secret Tour Pro is coming for you and he is pulling no punches!
Player - "How far have I got?"
Caddy - "161 to front, 176 to pin"
P - "What do you think?"
C - "Stock 7?"
P - "Don't you think it is going to carry to far?"
C - "Choke it, take some off?"
P - "But the breeze might affect it?"
C - "Not with the breeze today, but if you feel like the take a full 7"
P - "But if the wind doesn't hit it, I'm coming short"
Can anyone see the problem yet?
C - "Well short is better than long?"
P - "Why?"
C "That bunker will leave you no room if you go in it, you'll be playing for five, no way of an up and down out of there!"
P - "So 180 is dead?"
C - "Absolutely"
P - "What's a 7 in these conditions?"
C - "Probably 180 if you flush it!"
P - "But a full 8 might bring the front into play?"
C - "Short is better than long!"
P - "How about a cut 7?"
C - "Perfect"
Player lines up....
P - "I'm not feeling a cut 7"
(You'll be be feeling a set of dog bollocks if you don't hurry up!!)
C - "Well you've got a full eight but that will bring the front in and leave you a long putt"
P - "I'd rather that than go long"
C - "I think it's the best play!"
P - "But with this wind it's coming up short for sure!"
Can we see a problem here?
Slow play is fucking awful! I mean it's worse that hitting your first tee shot in the piss, and then realising it's a Pro-V! It's the biggest killer in golf, hundreds are quitting for this reason alone! There is a guy at my club who plays alone everyday for this reason alone, if he plays 18 in five hours he's had a good day!
Everday he's got a new idea, or swing thoughts, or yardage on his clubs! Then people tell me that watching the PGA Tour or European Tour doesn't have an affect on the amateurs who watch!
The biggest high profile culprit of slow play is Jason Day! We should call him Jason AllDay, he's that slow! Fuck me, he reminds me of that moment at the dentist when your having a root canal and any moment he will be finished and the he utters those dreadful words 'just a few more minutes then I'll be done!'
I watched him on the 17th at the BMW in November taking nine minutes over his tee shot on a Par 3!
Yes, you heard that correct, NINE FUCKING MINUTES!
Who takes nine minutes over a tee shot? I could of played the hole, read a book, took a shower, washed my hair and got dry in that time! The game has gone beyond a joke! In total his round took 5hr 45min, just think in that time I could of (nearly) flown to New York from Europe!
I like what they're doing on the European Tour this year. Trying to get guys to move quicker, it's about time something is done.
Quicker groups actually attract bigger TV audiences, as people will sit down to watch knowing guys will be done in a relative quick time! Which in turn is a good thing for viewers, which leads into sponsors wanting more action and then players with a bigger payday at the end the week, everyone is a winner!
Apparently though, my idea of getting players to play quicker by chasing them with a rifle is inhumane, couldn't imagine why!
But, there has to be a fair way of punishing the slow players, you can't punish the group itself for slow play. As Paul Lawrie told me last 'if you've got a quick player in that group why should he be punished?' Which is a very fair point.
I'm not a huge fan of the idea of a shot penalty either, as that would cause huge uproar! Just imagine if Rory took a two shot penalty for slow play at the Irish Open, then lost the tournament by a stroke! Ireland would be in uproar and Keith Pelley wouldn't be wearing his blue glasses for long!
Personally, I'd like to see a Green card, Yellow card, Red card system brought in! Four green cards make one yellow card, three yellow cards make one red card, and two red cards make you ineligible for the next two tournament you're entered in.
Whether that be a tour event, WGC or a Major. Guys would quickly get a move on if that was the punishment!
But either way this is going to be hard to police, what would you class as slow play? If a guy takes two minutes over a putt on the first hole of a major? Or is it slow play if he's got a putt to win that major?
The answer is never clear, and unlike many sports it'll be hard to judge or determine!
Either way, whatever choice is made, I hope these guys get a move on!
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.