I could easily start this post with the cliché of there is nothing new under the sun, but I will not do that. I think, Troon was the first golf club management company that came up with a possible solution in 2013 to manage the pace of play. Earlier, this year USGA launched its Flagstick Monitoring Tool for the very same purpose. Most recently, a leading golf group in the UK, the Glendale Golf has launched a new program to tackle with the pace of play on its golf courses.
Similar to Troon Golf‘s “Troon Values Your Time” program, widespread signage featuring the “Get Ready Golf” slogan is now being displayed at all Glendale Golf centers (in such prominent places like pro shops, reception desks, all first tees), giving customers 6 friendly tips on time-efficient golf.
In addition to the above-mentioned posters and leaflets, Glendale Golf has also sent emails to more than 50,000 golfers on its database, encouraging them to take personal steps to respond to the request.
Furthermore, Glendale Golf has embraced the 9-hole golf concept. Based on that, they are modifying their tee sheet booking system to allow for more 9-hole tee times on weekdays, with a more flexible approach to 9-hole golf now implemented group-wide.
The group has also announced a new Glendale 9-Hole Summer League at all venues. The summer-long tournament requires no official handicap or membership and offers golfers an informally-competitive stepping stone into the sport. The overall Summer League winner from each venue will win a year’s membership.
Recommendations not just for Glendale Golf to improve pace of play:
The further recommendations are in addition to the R&A recommendations.
- Increase the starting interval between tee times. 20 minutes instead of 10-9 minutes.
- Help the slower golfers to play from the right set of tee.
- On a busy day, we should avoid twosomes or single players.
- Beverage carts can be a source of slow play.
- Pay more attention to golfers who are known for “pace of play” problems.
- High-handicappers should get a tee-time in a less busy time of the day and the week.
- Train your team on the importance of pace of play (e.g. how to communicate the issue with members).
- Use technology solutions that can help you (e.g. Tagmarshal, Club Car‘s Visage GPS Solution etc.).
- Use pace of play clocks.