How Slow Is Too Slow?
A week on from The Masters, and we can all agree this year didn't disappoint (does Augusta National ever disappoint?!). However, there is one big talking point that seems to have gripped everyone, including us here at Bunker HQ, and that is the hugely frustrating thing that is the pace of play.
As we all know, golf should be enjoyed, not endured. But at what point do the powers that be ensure that people don't lose their entire day (and their minds) playing 18 holes of golf?
Its being reported that Masters Champion Jon Rahm went for 7 different toilet breaks during the final round on Sunday, and himself and Brooks Koepka spent around a quarter of their mammoth 5 hour round just sat waiting on tee boxes. They have to actually be admired for staying out there, because a lot of club golfers would have probably walked in after 9 at that pace of play.
The pace of play (or lack of it) in the professional game has been mentioned several times in the past, and although there are meant to be rules and regulations in place, they either don't seem to be enforced, or aren't a strong enough deterant to the players in question. Yes, we can all end up searching for a ball or having a bad hole, but even bad play shouldn't mean slow play.
The worst thing of all, when people sit there watching it on TV, they then think that this is normal, and the slowness filters its way down through the amateur game as well. It doesn't matter how many times Charlie from your local club reads that 50 foot putt, the chances of them making it are about the same as if they just walked up to it straight away and gave it go.
Obviously, the guys and girls you see on television are playing for a little bit more than just who buys the first round of drinks in the 19th, but surely taking as long as they do isn't productive for anyone.
Start docking people money, penalising people heavily with shots, or even handing out disqualifications has to be the way forward so that this great game doesn't fall by the wayside.