Slow Play Sound Off


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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