Lets do a little golf math, with this 15″ hole debate as the subject. The 15″ hole debate comes from the “Hack Golf” initiative to somehow grow the game in order to help with sagging participation levels and sagging revenues across the industry.
One “benefit” of the 15″ hole is to speed up play. Hack Golf says the 15″ hole sped up play by 45 minutes. Presumably shorter rounds means more fun, and more paying customers for the golf course. If speeding up play is the way to nirvana, why not just put the hole by the tee? I digress.
Back to the time shaving concept…
Lets SHRINK our pre-shot routines and see what we come up with. Assume we have a foursome of 18 handicappers, basic average amteur golfers. Each golfer will take 90 swings, thus 90 pre-shot routines. 90 x 4 players is 360 total pre-shot routines in the group.
Now we are going to ask each player to not take five practice swings or do whatever he can to shave only TEN seconds off his routine.
360 times 10 is 3600. 3600 seconds equals 60 minutes. So by shaving those 10 seconds off the pre-shot routine, this foursome, without a 15″ hole, just shortened their round by ONE HOUR.
Think about it. #shrinkgolf
Why is everyone trying to speed up golf? I played a round at Rutgers University a few years back and the starters stated this is a 4 hour 10 min course. Every few holes there was a marshal checking times. Made the round way to stressful, even if we finished in under the stated time. Its not the time, its the pace. In other words, its less enjoyable to have to wait on every hole or every shot for the players to clear. I don’t care if its 4 hours or 5 hours, so long as I am moving and not waiting around. The issue is golf courses (particularly public) try to book as many rounds as possible on a weekend that they over stuff the course. That makes it less enjoyable.
Speeding it up is in reference to the 4.5, 5 and even 6 hour rounds. People these days are so busy they do not have that kind of time to spend. Yes, many courses do jam their tee times too close together, and many like my home course try to squeeze in 9-hole players on the 10th tee between re-rounds. The dollar is king unfortunately.