SATURATION POINT

Golf World (UK) - - Your Views -

I have al­ways re­garded Justin Rose as one of the most sen­si­ble, like­able and elo­quent play­ers in the game and his re­cent com­ments in his monthly col­umn about slow play con­firms this.

Justin talked about the the­ory that ban­ning green books would not speed up play in the pro­fes­sional game be­cause the prob­lem is due to the sheer num­ber of com­peti­tors that the tour­na­ment needs to move around the course. This strikes me as the ob­vi­ous rea­son why the pace of play is so slow on any lo­cal course – the cour­ses try to pack as many peo­ple onto the course as pos­si­ble be­cause they want to make as much money as pos­si­ble. The prob­lem is not per­haps as en­demic on pri­vate cour­ses but on mu­nic­i­pal cour­ses, which strikes me as a ma­jor prob­lem.

I watched the starter on a pub­lic course near me send each four­ball off as soon as the fair­way was clear re­cently, de­spite the fact that he could see that an­other four­ball was on the green and an­other was wait­ing on the sec­ond tee.

Fur­ther­more, I played with my son at the turn of the year. On a nine-hole course, as we walked down the 7th fair­way, we looked across to the 8th fair­way and saw a four­ball on the green, a four­ball in the fair­way, a four­ball on the tee and an­other wait­ing next to the tee. Faced with tak­ing an­other hour to play two holes, we de­cided to fin­ish early.

In essence, it seems to me that if clubs re­stricted the num­ber of play­ers that they send out on the course, slow play will im­prove. How­ever, the vogue ap­pears to be to have 25 groups on the course at any one time, which doesn’t make any sense when there are only 18 holes out there! Si­mon Noakes, Shen­field

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