Date: May 06, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Clubs urged to consider pace of play


Golf Australia Magazine editor Brendan James has urged all club committee members to take on board the findings of a new pace of play survey.

The Golf Australia-commissioned report polled golf providers to sit alongside evidence from the R&A’s global survey of golfers last year and help understand the extent of the issue in Australia.

It also sought to understand the causes, degree of importance the industry attaches to the issue, what impacts slow play may be having on facility financial outcomes and whatadministrators believe are the most effective strategies to combat pace of play challenges.

It revealed that a quarter of clubs – representing one third of total club membership numbers – have a serious level of concern regarding pace of play evident in male events, yet only 16 per cent share that view within female events.

“If you go on the report, there’d be some club administrators that would have you believe that it’s not the overwhelming problem it’s made out to be,” James said.

“But I suspect club administrators probably have a differing view to individual golfers as to causes and cures of slow play.

“Some have a genuine belief and concern that it’s impacting on their club, not only in terms of membership, but also financially. That extends to member numbers declining and not being able to set aside enough times for public access which is a revenue stream for some clubs and a potential source of new membership.

“While it’s not mandatory reading, I’d urge every committee member of every club to read the report.”

Interestingly, almost all administrators believe the promotion of `ready golf’ within club membership to be important. Of the clubs who have actively promoted the concept, 94 per cent of clubs have enjoyed some degree of success.

For administrators with a high concern for pace of play, the main actions undertaken to improve pace of play include the promotion of ‘ready golf’ (84%), thinning rough (73%), penalising slow play offenders (76%), clearing areas adjacent to playing areas to prevent five-minute ball searches (62%) and using friendlier hole locations (64%).

Visit  to read more of James’ take on the report.

Visit to read more on the R&A’s report.