LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA | How fast is fast, anyway?
Golf professional J.D. Ebersberger, director of golf at The Palms Golf Club, has become famous as an advocate of fast play. Show him a golf course – any course with reasonable distances between the greens and tees – and he’ll start strategizing for a round of two hours or less.
OK, sometimes it takes a little longer (with an emphasis on little). Playing in twosomes in The Palms club championship, Tim O’Neal won the senior division with a closing 68 that he completed in 2 hours and 10 minutes.
The longest round of the entire club championship was 2:58.
How can that be?
Several reasons: At The Palms, there is an enviable culture of fast play. Ebersberger, working closely with architect Brian Curley when the course was built 20 years ago, located the greens and tees relatively close together. There are no long walks to find the next tee. Ready golf is the rule, every day.
Let's examine ready golf, one of the game’s most appropriate names. All players should be ready to play at all times. Forget the old question of “Who’s away?” It’s irrelevant.
Speaking of irrelevant, Ebersberger looked at his watch and said flatly, “Four hours (golf’s accepted standard) is not fast.”
For decades, Ebersberger has campaigned for faster play. He has started golf education programs for beginners and neophytes. He has invented systems that allow golfers to monitor their pace of play. He is a member of the Southern California P...
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