Every so often, a PGA Tour player runs afoul of acceptable pace-of-play standards. Penalties for these players are rare, but that does not mean the competitors are totally in the clear. The wrath of Tour fans can be seen on social media.
J.B. Holmes kicked up a dust storm when he took 4 minutes and 10 seconds to hit his second shot at the 18th hole in the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open in January.
Holmes was not the only problem that day, as plenty of final rounds at a windy Torrey Pines were bordering six hours.
As the kerfuffle continued to simmer over the next week, we posed this question to our Facebook audience:
Would you be in favor of the PGA Tour having a stricter slow-play policy?
We received 169 comments, and here are the results.
Overwhelmingly, our readers want the PGA Tour to take action on slow play. Many are suggesting harsh penalties such as a penalty stroke or loss of FedEx Cup points. A simple monetary fine is often viewed as ineffective.
Those who oppose a stricter policy tend to be indifferent, citing their belief that the Tour simply needs to enforce existing policies. Others express empathy with the Tour player in a pressure situation, where one stroke can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Here is a sampling of our readers’ comments:
From Those Voting ‘YES’
“It is long past due.” – William W.
“Dock them FedEx Cup points. It might mean the difference from making the next tournament in the playoffs which would cost them more money than a single fine.” – Ryan R.
“If any sport needs a shot clock, it’s golf. Being able to assess all conditions and making a decision under stress is as much of a skill as executing the shot.” – Steve P.
“Yes because too many amateurs emulate the pros.” – Gary S.
“Absolutely! When you can prepare a meal in the time it takes for them to make two strokes; TOO much time!! Love the game, but it is getting out of hand with their analysis of every blade of grass and wisp of the 💨 wind! Be reasonable!!” – Janice O.
“Yes, Yes, and Hell Yes……6 hour rounds are crazy, and their slow play habits trickle down to all levels….” – Bill P.
“Yes more than 4.5 hours for any round is ridiculous, stroke penalties need to be imposed.” – Ken G.
“If I did that at my club no one would play with me.” – Kevin G.
“Turn sprinkler on when they take too long.” – Tony N.
From Those Voting ‘NO’
“This is for the PGA Tour to decide, we got rid of calling in infractions for issues like this. Let the players decide how to handle issues like this!” – William C.
“No. Just follow the policy and procedures in place, and publicly acknowledge violators.” – Brock K.
“What difference does it make to me, just show some other golfers on other holes. I’m not the one waiting. If they are so concerned about slow play hit the players in the pocket book. Here’s how, if a player is slow don’t give him camera time or interviews. His sponsors will drop him.” – Nick K.
Let’s give the final word to Michael B.:
“I’m in favor of a cattle prod to the back of the neck on anyone in the gallery who utters a single word before contact is made with the ball by a player. This has got to stop.” – Michael B.