R&A Introduces New Pace of Play Manual to Speed Up Slow Golf

May 17, 2016

Golf’s oldest governing body is taking steps to make sure the ancient game doesn’t take, well, forever.

The R&A published a new manual for clubs and their golfers on Tuesday offering guidance on how to improve pace of play.

After research showed that 60% of golfers, particularly younger participants, would enjoy the game more if it wasn’t so slow, the R&A began to look at ways to make the game faster, and they identified three key issues: management, course setup and player behavior.

Good news, folks: the R&A places most of the blame for endless stop-and-start rounds at the feet of the people who run golf courses, not the players themselves.

“Individual players can, of course, have a negative effect on pace of play, but that effect may be relatively insignificant when compared to the impact that course management practices and ill considered course set up can have.”

They suggest that crowded scheduling and difficult setups are largely responsible for slowing down play. The manual aims to help alleviate these and other issues.

Of course, better course management isn’t the only way to slash playing time. The R&A’s new nine-hole championship competition, which will take place ahead of the Open in July, represents another, simpler solution: just cut the course in half.