The golf industry is exploring many options to ewncourage golfers to pick up the pace of play. Troon, which manages dozens of courses around the globe, has launched one of the most ambitious efforts yet with its “Troon Values Your Time” program.
“With time being such a precious commodity today, slow play on the golf course remains one of the industry’s major impediments of growth,” said Ryan Walls, senior vice president, operations, sales & marketing. “This is why we are implementing standards at Troon-managed facilities that define pace-of-play expectations to ultimately remove a barrier that exists in the game and improve the experience of our guests and members.”
As part of the program, Troon communicates a pace-of-play standard to all its golfers before they get out on the course. And because no two courses are the same, Troon can tailor its pace-of-play expectations for each facility it manages.
There are three main elements to the program:
Time Par: Each Troon facility has calculated its own Time Par – the appropriate length of time a golfer should comfortably play and enjoy the course – and informs its golfers before they tee off. Troon informs its golfers about the Time Par when they book their tee time over the phone or online and puts it in their tee-time confirmation email; on displays in the golf shop; on scorecards, yardage books and signage throughout the property; and even on staff uniforms.
Pacesetter Times: Troon facilities are implementing Pacesetter Times, which are designated morning tee times reserved for players committed to playing quickly in at least 20 minutes under the facility’s Time Par. This creates options for those looking to play in less time and also helps create a steady pace-of-play for tee times throughout the day.
Pacesetter Tips: Troon has come up with a series of suggestions to help golfers manage their own pace of play. They include:
–Play Your Tees: Choose a set of tees with a rating of 142 minus your handicap index. Or Tee It Forward.
–Play Ready Golf: When a player is at his ball or on the tee box and ready to play, he should go ahead. No one should take more than 45 seconds to hit a shot.
–Be Cart Smart: The cart driver should drop off his partner and drive to his own ball. The golfer leaving the cart first should take three clubs, not one. Also, the driver should park behind the green.
–Use Rules with Discretion: Take no more than three minutes to look for balls and take relief.
–See It, Read It, Hole It: While others are putting, each golfer should prepare for his putt. Once each golfer putts out, he should go to the next tee.
–Be Accountable: Recognize that slow play isn’t just the fault of other players.
By John Holmes