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Tackling Golf’s Slow-Play Problem

Slow Play Conference

ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND | It is not exactly hot news, but Jordan Spieth was put on the clock in the third round of this year’s Open Championship at St Andrews. Having apparently ignored an earlier request for himself and Sergio García to catch up with those in front, this double major winner was given the “on-the-clock” treatment at the ninth.

Speaking at last week’s “Time for Golf” conference in St Andrews, Kevin Feeney, the referee concerned, added that Spieth, who is not normally slow, had promptly unfurled three birdies. And afterward proffered a polite “Thank you for giving me the kick I needed.”

Doubtless there are plenty of other such stories which never get into the public domain at the time. However, at the end of the conference, the R&A’s Martin Slumbers suggested that naming and shaming should be part of the penalty for slow play. “I think it would be better for dialogue to publish some names and numbers in both the club and professional game,” said the chief executive.

You would think that two days devoted to the slow-play theme would add up to one long yawn.


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