The Three/45 Golf Association, a non-profit of golfers, course owners, manufacturers, and architects advocating quicker play, has just released its first advanced study of pace of play, perhaps the most comprehensive report ever. Rather than relying on surveys like past studies, the researchers utilized GPS-equipped carts to collect precise information on more than 40,000 rounds last June at 175 public and private courses. The findings:
• The average round took 4 hours and 17 minutes.
• There’s a great variation from course to course, day of the week, and time of day.
• The five fastest courses averaged 3 hours and 36 minutes and were all private.
• The five slowest courses averaged 4 hours and 50 minutes and were all public.
• Course length or difficulty had no statistical bearing on the time it took, so “Play it Forward” might not help.
• A statistically significant relationship was found, however, between how long a round took and the number of tee times. The five slowest courses had two-and-one-half times more play than the fastest, adding strong evidence to the importance of tee-time intervals.
The takeaway? Growing the game is in direct opposition to speeding up the game, at least on the weekend at crowded public courses. To read the full 31-page report, click here.
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