Common misconceptions about women and slow play

By Bailey MosierJune 28, 2013, 2:30 pm

OK, guys. On this I will concede: there are some things in life that women take more time doing than men. The obvious ones include dating (let’s just take things slowly), getting ready (I’ll be down in five minutes, I swear!) and telling a story (get to the point already, would ya?).

But when it comes to slow play on the golf course, this isn’t a matter of female vs. male. Slow players come in all shapes, sizes and sexes. Once we’re on the first tee, it matters not whether you’re in a skort or a pair of shorts, but rather, if you understand universal pace-of-play principles. With that being said, allow me to debunk a few commonly held misconceptions about females and slow play in golf.

1. Girls get their gab – not their golf – on

There’s the perception that women get on the golf course and become chatty Cathys, paying little to no attention to the actual task at hand or the speed at which they’re moving. And because women are talking too much, they’re taking too long in-between shots, inevitably becoming the source of slow play.

Hate to break it to you, boys, but it’s not exactly sullenness and serenity when you get together on the course, either. Drinking beers and yucking it up with your buddies – does that sound familiar? Or how about all the business meetings and client entertaining that takes place on the golf course? There are just as many instances of men telling stories, socializing and schmoozing on the course as there are of women. But that’s the point – golf is about sharing time with good company in beautiful surroundings. It’s OK – encouraged, even – to share stories and enjoy the day, but it’s important that women and men understand when to chat vs. when to chip.


2. Women are worse golfers than men

Yes, there are some not-so-great females who play golf. But there are also a lot of not-so-great males who tee it up. Point being that if a woman hits it sideways five times, takes three tries to get out of the bunker and then three-putts, she’s no worse – or slower – than the man who’s doing the same thing.

Besides, we all know that person – male or female – who shoots 110 but never holds up the group. And we also know that person who shoots 70 but takes five and a half hours to do it.


3. Women don’t hit it as far, so they have to hit more shots

For the overwhelming majority of females, this is factual – women don’t hit it as far as men do. But that’s why there are forward tees. And unlike men, women have no qualms – and no ego – about hitting from the forward tees. We know our limitations and we know it’s more enjoyable to hit driver, 8-iron into a green as opposed to driver, 3-wood, wedge. And even if the woman you’re playing with doesn’t hit it very far, she likely doesn’t hit it very crooked either. So what does another shot a hole from the fairway or just off it really matter when women are finding their ball quickly and not searching for it 40 yards left in the adjacent fairway? Women might not hit it as far, but they’re also not as likely to get into as much trouble as men often find themselves in.


4. Women are too slow to play through

It's common courtesy to let groups through who are playing faster than you. If there's no one in front of you, the universal code is to let the faster-paced group behind you play through, no hard feelings. 

But if and when the group behind you includes women, men are quick to assume that the women behind them can't possibly be faster than they are and thus, won't let the women behind them play through. 

Not only is this poor etiquette and poor reasoning, but it creates traffic behind you. If ladies are hot on your tail for a few holes and clearly keeping up, let them pass. You'll enjoy your round more because of it and the rest of the field behind you will thank you, as well.


5. Women don’t know the rules or etiquette of golf

It's often believed that women don't know the rules or etiquette of golf, so men may have to spend time and energy explaining the step-by-step process of when to hit, which club to hit and what to do if they lose their ball. Having to tell a woman when to hit and what club to hit shouldn't happen unless the female is a beginner. But save for etiquette on the green – i.e. not walking in someone's line – a woman's ignorance (and indifference) about the rules can be bliss.

Say the woman you're playing with – your wife or girlfriend, perhaps – hits a drive that goes straight but short. It's not at all unusual for a woman to scoop her ball up and go drop it up next to the man's and play the hole in from there, thus making the whole process advance smoother and quicker. Or if she hits it sideways into some bushes, she'll probably just drop another ball or wait and chip and putt when you get up to the green. Women aren't sticklers for the rules, but instead focus on the enjoyment of being outdoors, the company they're with and the exercise they're getting. So while women may not know all of the rules of golf, it's likely this can work to everyone's benefit.


Slow play affects women and men, equally, and we should work together to combat pace-of-play issues for everyone. This isn't a battle of the sexes, but it is a fight to get to the finish line more quickly.

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Murray fixes swing flaw, recovers momentum

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 2:24 am

SAN ANTONIO - Grayson Murray fixed a flaw in his swing and hit the ball well enough that blustery conditions weren't an issue for him Thursday in the Valero Texas Open.

Coming off a missed cut at Hilton Head last week, Murray made seven birdies for a 5-under 67 and a one-shot lead. His only mistake was a double bogey from a greenside bunker on the par-3 seventh hole.

''Just the fact I did give myself enough opportunities today for birdie, it took a lot of pressure off,'' Murray said.

Of the five players at 68, only Chesson Hadley played in the morning side of the draw, and he called it among his best rounds of the year because of gusts. The wind died in the afternoon and scoring improved slightly on the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio. Keegan Bradley, Ryan Moore, Billy Horschel and Matt Atkins each posted 68. Horschel and Moore played bogey-free.

''Struck the ball really well, something that we've been working hard on,'' Horschel said. ''Could have been better, yeah. I didn't really make anything out there today. But I'm happy with it.''

Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the course, played the Texas Open for the first time since 2010 and shot a 74. Adam Scott failed to make a birdie in his round of 75. Scott is at No. 59 in the world and needs to stay in the top 60 by May 21 to be exempt for the U.S. Open.

Harris English was in the group at 69, while two-time Texas Open champion Zach Johnson, Nick Watney and Brandt Snedeker were among those at 70. Johnson saved his round by going 5 under over his final five holes, starting with a 12-foot eagle putt on the par-5 14th hole. He birdied the last three.


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


Murray was coming off a pair of top 15s at Bay Hill and the Houston Open when his game got away from him last week in the RBC Heritage, and he shot 74-70 to miss the cut. He got that sorted out in the five days between teeing it up in San Antonio.

He said he was coming down too steep, which meant he would flip his hands and hit a sharp draw or pull out of it and hit it short and right.

''I was hitting each club 10 yards shorter than I normally do, and you can't play like that because your caddie is trying to give you a number and a club, and you keep hitting these bad shots or keep coming up short,'' Murray said. ''I got back to the basics with the setup and the takeaway, got my club in a better position at the top, which kind of frees my downswing. Then I can start going at it.''

Even so, Murray thought he wasted his good start - three birdies in his first six holes - when his bunker shot at No. 7 came out with no spin and rolled off the green into a deep swale. He hit his third short to about 7 feet, but missed the putt and took double bogey.

''I would have loved to limit that to a bogey because bogeys don't really kill you - doubles are the ones that now you've got to have an eagle or two birdies to come back with, and out here it's kind of tough to make birdies,'' Murray said. ''But I kept my head. My caddie keeps me very positive out there, that's why I think we could finish 4 under the last nine holes.''

Only 34 players in the 156-man field managed to break par.

Horschel missed four birdie chances inside 18 feet on the back nine. What pleased him the most was the way he struck the ball, particularly after his tie for fifth last week at the RBC Heritage. Horschel was one shot behind going into the last round and closed with a 72.

But he's all about momentum, and he can only hope this is the start of one of his runs. Horschel won the FedEx Cup in 2014 when he finished second and won the final two playoff events.

''I'm a big momentum player. I've got to get the train moving forward,'' he said. ''I've always been a guy who gets on a little roll, get that train moving and jump in that winner's circle.''

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LPGA back in L.A.: Inbee Park leads by 1

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 1:53 am

LOS ANGELES - Inbee Park's flirtation with retirement is in the rear-view mirror.

Backed by a large contingent of South Korean fans, Park shot a 5-under 66 for a one-shot lead Thursday in the opening round of the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open in the LPGA's return to Los Angeles after a 13-year absence.

Showers ended shortly before Park's threesome, including second-ranked Lexi Thompson, teed off at windy Wilshire Country Club just south of Hollywood.

Using a new putter, Park birdied four consecutive holes on the back nine before a bogey on the par-4 17th. She quickly recovered and rolled in birdie putts on the second and fifth holes to finish off her round.

''I never played a tournament outside Korea having this much Korean supporters out,'' Park said. ''I almost feel like I'm playing back home. It's almost like a little Korea.''

That applies to the food, too, with nearby Koreatown's restaurants beckoning.

''Too many,'' Park said.

The third-ranked Park banished the blade-style putter she used in her Founders Cup victory last month in Phoenix, a playoff loss in the ANA Inspiration and a tie for third last week in Hawaii. She went back to one that feels more comfortable and has brought her success in the past.

''Last week was just an awkward week where I missed a lot of short ones and I just wasn't really comfortable with the putter,'' Park said, ''so I just wanted to have a different look.''

The 29-year-old Hall of Famer recently said she was 50-50 about retiring before returning to the tour in early March after a six-month break. Momentum has been going her way ever since.

Marina Alex was second. Thompson was one of seven players at 68 in partly sunny and unseasonable temperatures in the low 60s.


Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open


Alex tied Park with a birdie on No. 11. The American dropped a stroke with a bogey on the par-5 13th before rallying with a birdie on No. 14 to share the lead.

Alex found trouble on the par-4 17th. Her ball crossed over a winding creek, bounced and then rolled into the water, leaving Alex looking for it. Eventually, she salvaged a bogey to drop a shot behind Park. After a bad tee shot on 18, Alex managed a par to close at 67.

''I made a lot of the putts that I shouldn't, I wouldn't have expected to make,'' she said. ''I made two great saves on 17 and 18. Kind of got away with some not-so-solid golf shots in the beginning, and I capitalized on some great putts.''

Thompson returned from a two-week break after finishing tied for 20th at the ANA Inspiration, the year's first major.

She bogeyed her second hole, the par-4, 401-yard 11th, before settling down and birdieing four of the next eight holes, including the 14th, 15th and 16th.

''I changed a little thing that slipped my mind that I was working on earlier in the year,'' said Thompson, declining to share the change in her putting technique. ''I don't want to jinx it.''

ANA winner Pernilla Lundberg was among those in the logjam after a 68.

Natalie Gulbis was among five players tied for 10th at 69. Playing sparingly the last two years, Gulbis put together a round that included four birdies and two bogeys.

Top-ranked Shanshan Feng struggled to a 74 with five bogeys and two birdies.

The venerable course with views of the Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory wasn't any kinder to eighth-ranked Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie.

Both had up-and-down rounds that included three bogeys and a double-bogey on No. 10 for Kerr and five bogeys, including three in a row, for Wie. Wie, ranked 14th, had a few putts that lipped out.

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Horschel (68) builds on momentum at Valero

By Will GrayApril 20, 2018, 12:32 am

Billy Horschel only ever needs to see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

While some players require a slow ascent from missed cuts to contending on the weekend, Horschel's switches between the two can often be drastic. Last year he missed three straight cuts before defeating Jason Day in a playoff to win the AT&T Byron Nelson, a turnaround that Horschel said "still shocks me to this day."

The veteran is at it again, having missed five of six cuts prior to last week's RBC Heritage. But a few tweaks quickly produced results, as Horschel tied for fifth at Harbour Town. He wasted no time in building on that momentum with a bogey-free, 4-under 68 to open the Valero Texas Open that left him one shot behind Grayson Murray.

"I'm a big momentum player. I've got to get the train moving forward," Horschel told reporters Thursday. "I've always been a guy who gets on a little roll, get that train moving and jump into the winner's circle. So yeah, it would have been great to win last week, but it was just nice to play four really good rounds of golf."


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


Many big names tend to skip this week's stop at TPC San Antonio, but Horschel has managed to thrive on the difficult layout in recent years. He finished third in both 2013 and 2015, and tied for fourth in 2016.

With a return next week to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans where he notched his first career win in 2013 and a title defense in Dallas on the horizon, Horschel believes he's turning things around at just the right time.

"Gets the momentum going, carry it into this week, next week, which I've had a lot of success at," Horschel said. "Really the rest of the year, from here on in I have a lot of really good events I've played well in."

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Three years later, PXG launches new iron

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 19, 2018, 11:22 pm

Three years is a long time between launches of club lines, but Bob Parsons, founder and CEO of PXG, says his company had a very good reason for waiting that long to introduce its second-generation irons.

“Three years ago, when we introduced our first generation 0311 iron, we made a commitment that we would not release a product unless it was significantly better than our existing product,” Parsons said. “:Our GEN2 irons are better than our GEN1 irons in every respect. We believe it’s the best iron ever made, and the second-best iron ever made is our GEN1 iron.”

PXG’s 0311 GEN2 irons, which officially went on sale today, feature what the company says is the world’s thinnest clubface. They have a forged 8620 soft carbon steel body and PXG’s signature weighting technology. The hollow clubheads are filled with a new polymer material that PXG says not only dampens vibration, but also produces higher ball speeds and thus more distance.

The irons come in four “collections” – Tour Performance, Players, Xtreme Forgiveness and Super Game Improvement.

Cost is $400 per iron, or $500 for PXG’s “Extreme Dark” finish. Price includes custom fitting. For more information, visit www.pxg.com.