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What Golfers REALLY Think About Slow Play

By: Golfshake Editor | Mon 27 Mar 2023

When you ask a group golfers to identify the things that most bother them on the course, it's fairly certain that slow play will be among the most common answers. 

It's certainly nothing new - and various measures have been encouraged to keep things moving, including initiatives like Ready Golf, but as we found by responses to the most recent Golfshake Survey, a lot of players are still getting frustrated by the time a round is taking.

However, what was most intriguing about these comments was the fact that a significant number of golfers don't think it's a genuine issue, or one that particularly upsets them. More hours spent on the golf course is perhaps viewed as a positive no matter the circumstances!

We take a closer look at what the Golfshake Community has had to stay on the subject showcasing what golfers REALLY think about slow play!

Bad Habits

So, what truly causes slow play? Most golfers seem to observe that it's a result of bad habits on the course, something that is often learned by the glacial place you regularly see on TV. 

Ultimately, it appears that no matter the reasons, it's a major frustration for a lot of golfers who want to get round in decent time without having to wait on every tee and fairway.

"Too many average golfers whose shot control is not the best, still insist on whipping out a Shot Scope or Golf Watch for distances on their home course, adding even more time to a round. No one lets quicker players through anymore, how has that happened?"

"Slow play is the worst part of golf, This year seems to have got worse with many newcomers playing, but don't know the etiquette on slow play, and even established players that have to line every putt and seem to take as long on the green as they take from tee to green. Just like some professional golfers are."

"I wish people would play more quickly. Slow golf is a curse bred by TV coverage. People see pros taking ages over a shot and think they need to also."

"Pace of play seems to be more of an issue and can be very frustrating when waiting to play on every hole."

"Slow play and golf etiquette have both got worse this year. I now spend a lot of time looking for quiet slots/tee times to avoid being held up for hours on the course. In particular, four ball groups pay little or no attention to the hold ups they cause and the backing up of following groups."

Let's see how things go in 2023 - but it seems the best solution is simply displaying a consideration for others.

Golf Ball

Golf Course Management Issues

Since golf returned following lockdown, we saw tee sheets packed and club memberships soaring, but there is a perception from some golfers that venues have attempted to maximise that demand to the detriment of the pace of play, leaving courses busy without any marshalling or effective time management.

"Golf courses should have more time between tee times, shorter tee times promote bottle necks. I know all they want is more money but if you're playing a four ball then five minutes is not enough."

"Slow play and courses taking too many bookings is killing the game, all courses should have time marshalls."

"Most courses I attend are oversubscribed and pace of play is dismal."

"Clubs taking too many members. Reduced times between tee times making rounds slower."

"Many courses are not managed very well with regard to pace of play and marshalling the course."

Consider what the tee time intervals are like at the courses you play. Could that be the determining factor behind the pace of rounds - that the popularity of the place (a nice problem to have) naturally makes things slower?

Does it Really Matter?

Despite the above complaints, many golfers simply don't see it the same way. For these players, the serenity of a day at the golf course is enough for them - and the time spent there should be consumed and enjoyed to the full.

"Chill. Relax. Enjoy the time out."

"I play golf for fun and exercise. My friends and I take about four hours for a game we don’t usually hold anyone up. Too many players seem to want to rush around the course trying to beat their personal best time not worrying about their scores or enjoying the time on the course. Do not understand."

"Too much emphasis on speed of play and insufficient emphasis on common courtesies."

"To me slow play isn't an issue. I find all the players I've played with who play slower play better. Those who charge round like idiots seem to have poor rounds."

Well, that's you quick players told!


Reflecting on the feedback submitted by the Golfshake Community, it's apparent that this is a divisive subject and that there is no ideal time for a round; everyone has their own preferences. Clubs in some cases could look at managing things better, but the crux of the topic seems to be about being respectful.

Slower players should respect those who wish to play through, while faster golfers shouldn't judge those who prefer to move a little more leisurely and breathe in their surroundings.

There should be room for everyone - with a little consideration!

Related Content

Slow Play - How to Keep Things Moving on The Golf Course

It's Time to Finally Address The Issue of Slow Play on Tour

18 Tips to Improve Pace of Play on The Golf Course

13 Things That Drive Golfers Insane

The 3 Things That Most Annoy Golfers

What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

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