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Golfshake Slow Play Survey: The Findings

By: Sarah Ramowski | Wed 14 Nov 2012 | Comments

Earlier this year we ran a number of features focused around slow play in golf and in particular the effects on the amateur game. Following this we then conducted a survey of Golfshake members including club officials, golf pros plus both club and non-club golfers.

We analysed the round data from almost 7,000 rounds of golf and the feedback from near 1,000 golfers who completed the survey, of which 63% played at least once a week, and the findings may not come as a complete surprise that golfers on the whole are unhappy with pace of play on European courses.

Kwik GolfThe results raise an issue for golf course operators and owners to tackle with the vast majority of golfers taking longer than they would like to complete a round of golf and many being actively put off from playing because of slow play. Key findings concluded that:

  • 59% take longer than 4 hours to complete a weekend round
  • 90% of golfers want to complete a round in less than 4 hours
  • Over 20% of golfers suggest slow play would deter them from playing
  • Only 25% of rounds played took 3 ½ hours or less

When asked what the ideal length of a round of golf was, it was found that 90.79% of golfers would like to complete a round of golf in less than 4 hours. Many golfers would like to play even faster with over 53% saying they would like to complete a round in less than 3 ½ hours. 

These figures are in sharp contrast to the reality that exists on Europe’s fairways. Of the golfers questioned 43.29% took over 4 hours to complete their most recent round of golf and this figure jumps to 58.96% for those playing at a weekend. Over 16% of golfers took 4 ½ hours or longer to finish a round at the weekend with a further 1 in 20 taking 5 hours or longer to complete their round of golf.

The speed of play on a weekday was found to be considerably faster than at a weekend with 83.2% of those questioned taking fewer than 4 hours to complete a round. Just fewer than 50% took 3 ½ hours or less to complete their round of golf.

Many golfers feel slow play is a problem with 79.74% suggesting that it is an issue. Some however did feel the subject of slow play is overhyped. In total 18.64% of those surveyed felt that too much is being made of slow play in golf.

Asked if slow play would deter them from playing, 20.69% confirmed this would be the case. The results seem to also indicate that golf club managers and operators are not doing enough to confront the issue with 59.6% of golfers discussing the issue of slow play with friends. This is in contrast to only 14.6% of those questioned saying the issue had been raised by their golf club.

We are all empowered to do something about this and help eradicate slow play.  Make sure you check out our tips on stopping slow play.


Photo Credit: Kwik Golf - played over three or six holes, teams of two play against the clock.




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