Slow Play Sound Off

By Michael CollinsMay 16, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: Michael Collins has been a stand-up comedian for 15 years and has more than seven years experience as a professional caddie. He currently covers the PGA TOUR as a correspondent with XM Satellite Radio and takes his turn on The Turn Mondays on GOLF CHANNEL.
 
Yes, were slow; do you work for a chance at 9 million bucks a week? No? Then shut up.
 
If I hear one more person complain about slow play Im going to punch em in the nose and look at their face as they try to figure out how, and what just happened.
 
Last week at THE PLAYERS Im on the fifth hole waiting by the green for Tom Lehman and Greg Kraft to putt out so I can call the shots of Phil Mickelson and Bernhard Langer when this Goober in a NASCAR hat, dirty t-shirt, and 13 teeth says to me, These guys are too damned slow. Look at this Bill Shaft guy (he meant Greg Kraft), hes backed off this putt twice already and its only 4 feet.
I patiently waited for Greg to drain his putt (nice par save); he did back off four times, before I turned back to Goober and said, Yeah, I bet youd be much faster than these guys out there if you were playing.
 
Hey man, theyre professionals! He said back getting extremely defensive and for good reason, Im a scary looking dudeor not.
 
Exactly, I explained. So if it takes the best players in the world five-and-a-half hours to play a course with 35 mph winds and greens you couldnt hit, more or less putt, maybe you should respect the fact that for 9.5 million theyre here giving it their all while youre in THAT hat and t-shirt drinking a beer complaining. What do you do for a living?
 
He promptly walked away from me telling his wife what a jerk I was, and how he was going to change from XM to Sirius (too bad he doesnt know were merging!).
Dont get me wrong, golf has gotten slower. So what? You ever watch the last two minutes of an NBA game? How about the two-minute warning in an NFL game thats close? Id have time to prepare a full Thanksgiving turkey in both counts!
 
We all know the problems...
 
The TOUR says, Well, there are too many players on the course! Because 156 divided by 3 is 52 threesomes, no math can make that work on the course. (Here, Here! gruff, gruff, mumble, mumble in the background.)
 
The players say, The courses are too hard! The rough is SO thick and the greens are so hard.... we cant just walk up and hit a shot. (Yeah! Screams the mob in the back.)
 
TV says, Do something!!! Were getting killed by the local TV stations that never get to broadcast their six oclock news on the weekends, and '60 Minutes' and 'Dateline' directors are on the phones now threatening us! (ATM machines firing out money sounds in the background.)
 
But here are the problems (and questions) youre not hearing about. It takes longer to play golf now than it did 10 years ago at the same courses in carts. Why? The same people who complain about the course being too easy for the pros are the same idiots who complain about it taking too long. Is there a real solution to the problem?
 
I have the answer!!!!!
 
First, a shot clock, visible to all. There are already marshals on every hole and on every tee box. Their job from now on is to monitor the shot clock which will be started by the playing competitor who is keeping the scorecard of said golfer. Forty-five seconds for each shot. If said golfer goes over the 45 seconds, 1 shot penalty, then start the clock again; 45 more seconds, one more shot. You want to think it over for two minutes, awesome you just lost three shots. Rules officials are no longer to blame because its self policed by the players who are complaining. The TOUR loves it because they dont have to levee fines that dont affect rich guys. TV loves it because now they have a shot clock and replay to prove a guy took too long hitting a shot.
 
The second solution is snipers, my favorite. Strategically place snipers around the course camouflaged in trees. The rules officials radio which golfers get a bad time, as they walk to their ball a warning shot is fired, just to let them know, Hey, were watching. Now if they get a second bad time.... As they slowly settle in over their shot a tranquilizer dart is fired into the fatty tissue that makes up the backside of said golfer. Then as the golfer gently glides into slumber he is loaded onto a golf cart and driven back to the clubhouse where after being ear tagged, weighed, and measured he is allowed to awaken to soft music being played in his courtesy car with a note saying:
 
It was a pleasure having you at our event, unfortunately in an effort to thin our herd your pace of play has dictated that we remove you from the playing arena so as we can finish in a timely manner. As your removal occurred on a Thursday/Friday you are not eligible for last-place prize money. We look forward to your entry in the next tournament and hope that in the future your herd instincts will prove a valuable asset. Please note the electronic ear tag that is not to be removed until your retirement from competitive golf as we feel it necessary to know where you are on the course at all times. If you try to remove this tag at anytime between now and your retirement, a small explosive will render you unable to play golf in the future, and unable to eat, walk, or read the funny pages. We thank you for your continued support of golf, and wish you speed in the future.
 
Now thats TV worth watching!!
 
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


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    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

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    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''