Forget slow play, for some people fast play is a bigger issue

Three golfer recently made a complaint about players behind them playing too fast

Is slow play the issue or are people playing too fast? Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Imagine if this were to happen, where a three-ball of long-standing club golfers - one in his 80s, one in his 70s and a young chap in his mid-50s – find themselves behind some big-hitting young guns as they set off on their social round of golf.

Imagine their surprise as they negotiate the early stretch of fairways, only to be left waiting over playing their shots; and waiting, as if for Godot.

And on it goes.

Imagine if the waiting game becomes, well, part of the game.


The man in his 80s and the man in his 70s and the young chap in his 50s wonder what on earth is unfolding in front of them, as the single-digit players hold them up on every shot as they use their range finders and appraise shots and finally hit them, admittedly with an assuredness that only elite players can manage.

But, still, the trio made up the octogenarian, the septuagenarian and the quinquagenarian are left waiting to play shot, after shot, after shot . . . . after shot; to the point where a request is politely made to those ahead about the possibility of playing through.

And, with a degree of reluctance, the three older men are finally waved through.

And so the three-ball moves clear and with their (more than) 80-year-old legs and (more than) 70-year-old legs and (more than) 50-year-old legs play to a pace that soon leaves the younger men in their wake.

You expect that to be the end of the story.

Except, it isn’t.

Imagine if the young men decide to take the matter further. Imagine that they write a letter outlining their grievances. To the club committee. In the letter, they complain about the pace of play of those behind them . . . . that those long-standing club men behind were playing too fast.

Don’t imagine any more, this is not just bull! It happened, and the messaging is an interesting one: it would suggest those veterans come with a mindset and ready to play approach to the game, one nurtured through the years but quite different from that which has become all too common among a younger generation who can often take an age.

So, this is a twist on the bane of golf that is slow play; one which shows that, for some, fast play is an issue too.

Anyway, let’s just say that the man in the 80s and the man in his 70s and the young chap in his 50s haven’t changed their ways and won’t be slowing down any time soon for anyone.