The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - 15

THE LAST WORD

Slow play no cause for no play

T

he reasons for the decline in golf
participation, at least the on-course
variety, are myriad, and becoming
more myriad now that we've factored in
the likes and dislikes of the so far relatively golf-averse Millennial crowd. From
the old time, money and difficulty trilogy
of reasons not to play or to play less golf
to the seemingly endless number of ways
golf doesn't match the entertainment or
recreational preferences of Millennials,
it becomes a pick-em proposition as to
which reasons are the biggest culprits in
golf 's participation falloff. One that I'm
pretty sure has very little if anything to do
with that decline is the oft-maligned "slow
play," an irritation that seems to pop up
more and more often in golf publications,
blogs and talking head conversations on
radio and television.
Slow play, defined as anything over 3, 4
or 5 hours for an 18-hole round, depending upon the geography, the time of day,
the type of facility and in some cases the
degree of golf snobbery involved, crawled
into the spotlight after a couple of recent
PGA Tour events. When J.B. Holmes
and his caddie stood in the 18th fairway
on Sunday at the Farmers Insurance tourney at Torrey Pines two weeks ago mulling which shot to hit into the par-5 for
almost 5 minutes, they very nearly took
root, while Alex Noren silently fumed before going for the green in 2 after Holmes
eventually laid up. Some of the rounds at
the AT&T Pro-Am event last week made
Holmes & company's elapsed time look
like an Indy 500 lap, although admittedly many of them involved amateurs
or timeouts to watch Bill Murray or Ray
Romano entertain the crowd. All of a sudden, golf snobs around the country took
to their smart phones or, in several cases,
penned their outrage to golf pubs like The
Morning Read. Several correspondents of
the latter claimed to be current or former
low handicappers and avid golfers who
have since quit the game due to ... slow
play and in one case, the failure of other
golfers to follow golf etiquette protocols.
To those correspondents, I say baloney, or
some other b-word that starts with bull.
No scratch or low handicap player I

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know would quit the game merely because
their regular rounds were taking him or
her a few more minutes than they'd like. If
need be, they'd either do their best to have
the club or course speed up play, or find
somewhere else where they could play at
their desired pace. If a golfer like that quits
the game, it's because they can no longer
afford it, their health is declining, they no
longer have the time to play, or some other
reason ... but it's not because of slow play.
When people list "time" as the reason they
don't play golf, or don't play more, they're
talking about the 5 hours or so it takes to
get to and from the course and play 18

I've certainly spent my
share of time fuming
at the slow play of
the group ahead, but
generally speaking,
as long as the play
moves along more or
less steadily, I never
measure my enjoyment
of the outing by the
clock face.

holes, not the time it takes to complete
a round. I've certainly spent my share of
time fuming at the slow play of the group
ahead, but generally speaking, as long as
the play moves along more or less steadily,
I never measure my enjoyment of the outing by the clock face. I suspect most golfers are the same way.

Global warming and
Tiger time
For those seeking additional evidence of global warming, I offer last
week's AT&T Pro-Am on the traditionally stormy February shores of Monterrey.
Short-sleeve shirts and sun block were
the order of the day for most of the 4-day

tournament, with sweaters and jackets
mostly remaining in the players' golf bags
until Sunday, when a little nip in the air
reminded players and fans that it was February, after all.
The weather wasn't the only anomaly.
After several years of frustration, a lefthander won the tournament, and by 3
strokes at that. No, not that Lefty - Phil
did, in fact, finish T2, but it was another
left-hander, Ted Potter, Jr., who capped
a 3-year comeback from a broken ankle
and a fractured golf swing to take home
the hardware and the check, more than
doubling his career earnings on Tour and
making it look easy while the likes of
World #1 Dustin Johnson and former #1
Jason Day struggled down the stretch.
Now comes Riviera and either 2 or
4 days of Tiger watch, depending upon
whether or not he makes the cut, which
will have a great deal to do with the mood
of the Tour's ad reps come Friday night.
Tiger-fueled TV ratings mean even more
cash in the Tour's treasury and these days,
his merely making the cut has basically the
same impact as his being in the hunt for
the win on Sunday used to have. Speaking
of Riviera and Tiger's presence there this
year, I always thought it was humorous
when Tiger's camp would float the word
that he didn't play the Crosby/AT&T
event because he didn't want to throw
off his putting stroke on the poa annua
greens. Funny, that didn't seem to bother
him at Torrey Pines, whose events have
practically been an annuity for him, and
Riviera will be blooming in the best poa
style in the afternoons if the weather remains sunny, although in fairness he hasn't
been a regular at Riviera for some time,
and his foundation is benefitting from this
year's event. So what could be the reason
he shuns Pebble Beach when it's hosting
anything but the U.S. Open? Oh, right,
4 days of sharing the greens with, gasp,
amateurs! Kind of hard to imagine Tiger
yucking it up as Bill Murray pulls some
elderly lady into a sand trap or gallivants
around the green while Tiger is grinding
over a 10-footer. That said, I'm glad to see
him back and competing, and wish him
well on course.
-Jim Dunlap
The Pellucid PersPecTive

15


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018

TOC
Is TopGolf going to save us II? Virtual golf becoming a reality
Can you spell API?
January golf weather impact: Brutal, Dude!
Chicago operators still need broad shoulders...and better marketing
Technically speaking, it’s show time
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - Is TopGolf going to save us II? Virtual golf becoming a reality
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - 5
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - Can you spell API?
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - January golf weather impact: Brutal, Dude!
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - 12
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - Chicago operators still need broad shoulders...and better marketing
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - 14
The Pellucid Perspective - February 2018 - Technically speaking, it’s show time
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