Masters 2019: Bryson DeChambeau explains the real issue causing slow play on tour

April 9, 2019
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - MARCH 07: Bryson DeChambeau of the United States walks with his caddie up the second hole during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard at the Bay Hill Club on March 07, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Slow play is probably the biggest headache for golf fans, and it’s a problem facing the entire golf industry. The constant fumbling around and dilly-dallying between shots, especially during high-pressure events like the 2019 Masters this week, can often make the telecast downright unwatchable.

A lot of the solutions to the problem usually involves the amount of time players spend during the shot, but in doing so, they’re overlooking the primary issue that results in slow play. At least according to Bryson DeChambeau, who says it’s the time spent walking in between shots that is the primary cause.

Here’s what he said about the issue ahead of the Masters:

“I think we do a fantastic job of taking all the information we can in the allotted amount of time. Now the one piece of information that a lot of people miss is the walk to the ball. There’s a three‑minute walk that people don’t take into account. You can gain a lot more time by walking 15 seconds quicker to the ball than you can by five seconds over a shot. So people don’t take that into account when we talk about slow play. I may be a guy that hits it up there farther than someone, and they are taking their merry time getting to their golf ball and it’s behind me and I’m already up there and I can’t get any of my numbers because I’m right in their line of sight. Once they do their whole process that takes maybe 25 seconds compared to my 35‑second to 40‑second preparation to hit the shot, by the time we walk back over and get the number, do all that, you can view me as a slow player. In the end I look at it from another standpoint saying there’s a whole other piece to this puzzle that we are not looking at yet.”

It’s an interesting point of view that seems to have some merit. It doesn’t account for all of it, but it does stand to reason that walking a minute faster between shots (which, in theory, would save 18 minutes per round) is more beneficial than shedding a few seconds over a shot here and there. Food for thought, from one of the most interesting voices in the game.

To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.