Course designer Tom Doak says a brisk pace of play begins in the design

Course designer Tom Doak says a brisk pace of play begins in the design

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MINE FIELD: Bunker-filled courses like Whistling Straits don't help pace of play.
Whistling Straits

“Design isn’t the main cause of slow play, but it certainly
contributes,” Doak says. “For starters, modern courses are
too long. It takes golfers more strokes to cover that ground,
and they still have to cover all that ground even if they aren’t
playing from the back tees, just to get to their own tee. Plus
the very existence of those back tees convinces you and me to
play the course at 6,500 yards, where in Scotland the back tees
would be 6,500 yards and most of us would be playing from
6,000.

“Second, many modern courses have too many bunkers.
Getting in bunkers and raking your way
out takes a lot of time. And third, a lot of
modern courses have areas of long grass
bordering their fairways. That long grass
may look good in pictures, and it may be
environmentally friendly, but if it’s too
thick, people are wasting lots of time
looking for their ball in the rough.”


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