That Didn’t Take Long

Picked up Taylor Leon for Morelia.

Looking back: During the last round of Nabisco, the final threesome was put “on the clock” on the sixteenth since they were out of position. The announcer stated that they should be given a little slack for being in the last group which is clearly an idiotic utterance. How much golf does this moron have to cover to realize the slow play rule is no different than any other? You don’t bend them for the privileged. Also, when C.K. was interviewed concerning being timed on the ninth, she couldn’t understand why since they were on the tee and the group in front was on the green. If you read the rule, they were clearly out of position. The definition is as follows.

-“Out of Position”: Each player is responsible for maintaining her group’s position on the course in relation to the field.  A group in considered “out of position” if they: 1) reach any position on the course as much as a starting interval behind the preceding group, b) have not left the tee of a par 4 before the preceding group has holed out, or c) have not reached the spot where their second shots have come to rest on a par 5 before the preceding group has holed out. Note:  A reachable par 5 may be treated as a par.-

16 Responses to That Didn’t Take Long

  1. Kim says:

    Out of Position Question…. If a group is maintaining the time interval pace based on their tee time, are they expected to play faster than the time intervals if the group(s) ahead are playing faster than prescribed by the time interval pace?

  2. Awsi Dooger says:

    Kim has the proper perspective. Sprinting goofballs ahead of you should have no bearing on whether or not your pace is acceptable.

    Newsflash: Nabisco is a privileged tournament, if that’s the stuffy word you isolate for different. There’s a reason CBS shows up there and not elsewhere. And the final group on Sunday by definition has played its way into that spot, so its hardly a random and undeserved benefit of a doubt.

    Bill Kratzert stated it well. Final group of a major, not wildly out of position, so relax and leave them alone. This is a case of the second and third tier also rans grasping for technicalities, instead of accepting they are indeed lower rung, and taking steps to change that.

  3. Alan says:

    Good pick up!

  4. Dickie says:

    I think you’ll do good with this golfer. She has the skill and a winning attitude. Main thing, have fun (win but have fun)!

  5. Carl Spackler says:

    If the LPGA wants to broaden its fan base, agree with Awsi Dooger here. (And I know his position is generally considered a heresy.)

    The question is whether a strict application of the rules should trump a more entertaining product.

    For many successful leagues, it doesn’t because the powers-that-be know the average fan (who’s not a purist) comes to see the athletes perform, not the rule book applied.

    It’s the reason NBA officials rarely call 3 seconds or traveling, and non-blatant unintentional fouls rarely influence the endgame. And the reason the superstars always get the benefit of the doubt over the interchangeably anonymous rest of the league.

    It’s arguably the most entertaining, but no one would argue it’s the purest, basketball in the world.

    Don’t see why a rule that’s situationally (is that a word?) insignificant relative to the high drama unfolding on the course wouldn’t get temporarily “forgotten” to protect the drama. (I mean, if Lincicome had rushed her second shot and as a result dunked herself out of contention, I doubt last weekend’s 18th hole would be remembered as one of the greatest finishes ever.)

    • lifeontour says:

      No Kim, they do not have to keep up. A time par sheet is provided on the first tee indicating were each group should be according to the time. If your group is within those limits, they will not be on the clock. Each group is obligated to monitor their own position and speed up accordingly if they fall behind.

      Awsi and Carl could not be more wrong. The “Pace of Playrule is just that. Not a suggestion. What other rules should be bent for them? What if no one in the final group was in contention? What if a player five groups ahead is having a hot round and is now in the lead. Should she be given some slack also? Where does it end? All the players are equal when it comes to the rules and that’s the way it should be.

      How can golf be compared to basketball? Many of the fouls are subjective due to all the contact. Did the infraction interfere with the flow of the game or not? The call has to be instantaneous. In golf, the rules are fairly straight forward. That’s why we have just a handful of officials.

      As far as rushing shots, I’ve seen many players play better when timed. They start playing golf and stop thinking about it. It does go the other way sometimes but you learn to pick up the pace by walking faster and being ready to hit when it’s your turn not by rushing your shot. It’s part of the game.

      Bill Kratzert? There’s an authority for you. Why not quote a rules official on their opinion? What does “not wildly out of position” mean anyway. You still have to set a limit don’t you?

      Second and third tier also-rans? Does that mean Tiger should have preferential treatment concerning the rules over the guy who hasn’t made a cut all year? Ludicrous!

  6. Lonnie says:

    Jeff Steffler has a funny thing he says about names…when some one has two “first names” (for example: Bill George) Your player this week has a last name first and a “man’s” name last…I smile as I think what Jeffy would say about that.

    Good Luck to you!

  7. Kim says:

    So, CK’s group was out of position by virtue of the time par sheet? That being the case (and given that their pace of play was not hindered by the group in front of them), then the rules official was absolutely correct in putting them on the clock – yes? I’ve volunteered as a walking scorer and been with groups that were warned (one or more times) that they were falling behind and to pick up the pace before they were ever put on the clock. Do you know if CK’s group had been given warnings prior to being put on the clock?

  8. Carl Spackler says:

    Larry, first, excellent blog, I really enjoy it.

    But I did want to say that you and I aren’t even having an argument, we’re talking about 2 totally different things.

    “Does that mean Tiger should have preferential treatment concerning the rules over the guy who hasn’t made a cut all year?”

    If the PGA’s goal is to apply the rules consistently and fairly across its entire field, of course not. If the goal is to maximize its fan base by delivering a better product, in certain instances yes.

    One could argue that applying the rules inconsistently would turn off the fan base. I would argue that if the rule was immaterial to the action, such as we’re talking about from last weekend, many, if not most, fans wouldn’t even notice. And you’re right, it would require good judgment (which perhaps is beyond the capability of LPGA management).

    But you’re a purist and I’m a realist. The slow play rule is (I assume) intended to prevent groups in the middle from creating unworkably long rounds, not to reduce the overall round’s time by 5-10 minutes. So it seems to me applying it to last weekend’s final group, in its final holes, was just a bad business decision. And professional leagues are just businesses, nothing more, nothing less.

    • lifeontour says:

      Every group gets a warning before being timed Kim. If they start closing the gap, they’re usually left alone.

      I doubt if putting the last group on the clock reduced the fan base one iota Carl. Nor will it increase it if the rule is not applied to the final group. You just can’t pick and choose who gets some slack and who doesn’t. The uproar from the rest of the field would be deafening and justifiably so. Most of the time, falling behind may be avoided by just being ready to play. Also, I heard the LPGA takes more time on the greens than the other tours. May be due to too much caddie intervention? It may seem insignificant but how about all the players getting lined up by their caddies. It may take only a few seconds but multiply that many times over and it contributes to the problem.

      Don’t ask don’t tell?. I have no clue what you’re referring to. The problem was that Grace marks her practice balls the same as in the tournament and Dina does not mark her practice balls at all. Only the tournament pellets. That way, it would be more difficult to hit a wrong ball. How is that unsportsmanlike? Players lose practice balls all the time. Just makes sense not to mark them. Most players do mark their practice balls as a matter of routine.

  9. Kim says:

    But… if some players are permitted to take longer to play than others, then not all players are playing under the same conditions and we know that’s a “no-no”. What you do for one, you gotta do for all or it’s just not fair to the other players.

  10. Lonnie says:

    I would like to comment on timing the last group…in regard to Carl’s comment’s about “entertainment value”

    Tournament golf is not about “entertainment value”…if it was: then the “green jackets” might have given Tiger a couple of mulligans on the back nine for the “folks at home” This is the very reason that some do not find televised golf “entertaining”. NASCAR is constantly tweaking their rules to make it’s product more entertaining. Hell might freeze over before the Tours and the USGA adopt such tactics..Thank God!!!

    I can not speak to the case in point (Dinah Shore) but I do know that the networks have a schedule they are working with. At Dinah, this includes the winner’s dip in the pond at 18. I have no direct knowledge of this, but it is entirely possible that in part the timing was trying to push the group back in place to meet the TV schedule(?) It has happened in the past.

    I remember once at Dinah, Nancy Lopez was assessed strokes for slow play on Sunday when she was kind of in contention (not last group) It was extremely controversial at the time and gave credence to the “level playing field” adage. (One of Nancy’s nickname’s was “Slow-pez)

  11. Carl Spackler says:

    I misunderstood your 5/30/08 post, so you’re correct, the second part of my post is totally irrelevant.

    Also (I wrote a longer comment on this which is not now necessary, given your followup), the part of my previous post about Dina and Grace (regardless of its relevance) just came out totally wrong (as things sometimes do on the internet), so please edit it or even delete the entire post.


  12. Carl Spackler says:


    “Tournament golf is not about “entertainment value””

    I disagree, all professional sports are entertainment businesses, and I’ll even address the straw man about giving Tiger mulligans. That would turn the PGA from a sport that tries to entertain into a semi-scripted reality show that tries to entertain.

    “NASCAR is constantly tweaking their rules to make it’s product more entertaining.”

    Golf tweaks its rules, not nearly as often, but in a way similar to NASCAR (equipment), and anyway the LPGA would be ecstatic with half the success NASCAR has achieved.

    Your point about the network scheduling is something that hadn’t occurred to me, and very relevant.

    I’m also not as much of an absolutist on this issue as I seem to be. For instance, I have no problem with the play clock in the NFL, since it adds drama to the period between plays. If the LPGA could quantify to the fans watching how close the players are to losing strokes because of their slow play, that could add drama (yea, I know, a ridiculous idea).


    If there was one rule I would institute on the LPGA, it would be to prevent caddies from lining up players. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to be far more prevalent on the LPGA than the PGA.

  13. RCH says:

    Why all the fuss? Who really watches women’s golf anyway? The LPGA is a failing business model, soon to be replaced by an Asian Ladies tour….

    Just kidding! Don’t flame me!

  14. Carl Spackler says:


    “The LPGA is a failing business model, soon to be replaced by an Asian Ladies tour… Just kidding!…”

    You’re not kidding, you’re right. Paula Creamer knows where the future of golf for ladies is, and she’s going for it. All the power to her.

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