The United States Golf Association took a small, measured and much needed step over the political correctness line in its attempt to speed up the pace of play in golf.
Rounds that expand into five and six hours are the scourge of the sport. You know it is a big problem when the conservative USGA rolled out golf’s biggest names – Arnie, Annika, Tiger, Jack – in an effort to mildly scold those professional and recreational players responsible for bottlenecking courses.
The USGA dictates that an 18-hole round should be played in four hours. Personally, I think that is 30 to 60 minutes too long, but nobody asked.
In an effort to quell this epidemic, the USGA rolled out commercials with the catchphrase: “While We’re Young.” That meaning that not even Methuselah should stay patient waiting on golfers whose rounds last longer than a reading of the Old Testament.
Based on personal observation, the USGA’s marketing efforts have done little. Granted, they don’t want to go too far and risk alienating their constituency, but perhaps they should have been less subtle in their slow play messaging.
In honor of David Letterman’s impending retirement, and as an unsolicited service to the USGA, I have provided a Top 10 list of More Strongly Worded Slow Play Phrases that delayed golfers should consider voicing.
10. Get Your Snedeker On – PGA Tour player Brandt Snedeker plays like a caffeine-addicted cardiologist trying to get in nine holes before morning transplant surgery. Snedeker, perhaps the Tour’s fastest player, did not need to take his sweet time to land a $10 million payday by winning the FedEx Cup and Tour Championship in 2012. Sneds gives it a quick look, steps up and hits it. So why do you, amateur golfer, need to check your 4-foot putt from every angle and take five practice swings with a $10 Nassau, beer or nothing on the line? You don’t. Get Your Snedeker On.
9. You The McPokey Foursome? – We have McHad it McWaiting on your group 10 McMinutes on every McFreaking hole.
8. Round, Round, Get Around – Just Get Around! – Our foursome is going to serenade your foursome with our angrier version of the Beach Boys 1964 classic if we meet up with you on one more tee box.
7. Got Lead In Those Knickers? – You look sharp in those Plus-Fours, but are they lined with lead? Or maybe it’s that claret jug replica belt buckle you’re wearing that has you dawdling.
6. The Ice Age Returneth – Playing behind your group, the 18th green is going to be covered with a mile-thick glacier by the time we arrive.
5. Molasses Creek Needs New Members – Take your unmoving game to a golf course with a name better suited to your pace. Logjam Links is also running daily specials.
4. You Putting Or Fracking? – There are no oil reserves under the course. Roughnecks could erect a derrick and drill a mile deep quicker than your group moved on that green.
3. Hibernation Season Starts Next Week – Your internal timing is off. Your lingering body functions are not supposed to decelerate to a crawl for several more days.
2. Got Drano? – You are completely clogging up the course and we are more than willing to provide some corrosive liquid to clear the way.
1. This Is A Lunesta-Free Course – Apparently your lumbering foursome is sleep-walking. It’s dangerous to confuse that shared bottle of ibuprofen in your bag with your Lunesta prescription. Or was it Ambient?
If you recognize yourself as one of the slow-play plodders, or know someone who is, PGA/LPGA professional Kim Kleinle has offered some exceptionally productive, and less confrontational, tips to speed up place of play. It is in the game’s best interests. Read Kim’s Pick Up the Pace…Please!