Skip to main content

After Further Review: When is slow play too slow?

Getty Images

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on the fairness of slow-play officiating on the PGA Tour, the "weak" (in the judgment of the King himself) 16th hole at Bay Hill, and the South Korean rookies making noise on the LPGA tour.

While most observers will dismiss Henrik Stenson’s complaints over being put on the clock during Sunday’s final round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he needed six putts to play the next two holes and went from leading by one to trailing eventual champion Matt Every by one shot, and there is something to be said for the Swede’s concerns.

Although no one wants to see slow play continue to fester in the game, at the highest level on Sunday afternoon there seems to be too much ambiguity when it comes to applying the rules. Anyone who watched Padraig Harrington’s languid final round last month at the Honda Classic can vouch for the PGA Tour’s selective enforcement efforts when it comes to slow play. - Rex Hoggard

The “aesthetically weak” greens got the most attention this week at Bay Hill, but it sounds like Arnold Palmer has more in mind for his golf course than merely installing some TifEagle.

The King revealed on Wednesday during a pre-tournament news conference that he “may change [No.] 16. That’s one hole that’s really the weak spot of the golf course right now. As you all know, it’s a very weak par 5 and I will lengthen it a little and maybe change the green a little.”

Asked in the 18th tower by Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller on Sunday what exactly he has planned, Palmer simply said he’ll make the hole “different.”

Sure, the par-5 16th hole was the easiest on the golf course this week, playing to a scoring average of 4.3, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The reachable par 5 creates an exciting finish at Bay Hill – with eagles, birdies and worse should someone find the water - and provides a perfect complement to Nos. 17 and 18.

It’s a hole on which Zach Johnson made an albatross Sunday and Henrik Stenson and Matt Every only made par.

It may prove wise to move the fairway a little left and bring the water a little more into play, but the important thing to remember in an age when golf courses keep getting longer is this - an easy hole isn’t always a bad hole. - Nick Menta

We all thought Inbee Park was being pushed to greater heights by Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko in this “Big Three” competition. Of course, she is, but now we’re seeing there’s another giant motivational influence pushing Park – a remarkably good crop of South Korean rookies.

Hyo Joo Kim is the second South Korean rookie to win this year. She’ll go to No. 4 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings this week. Sei Young Kim won the second LPGA event of the year. She’s No. 22 in the world.

We might already have three South Korean rookie winners if Ha Na Jang’s putt had fallen to force a playoff at the end of the season-opening Coates Golf Championship. Jang is No. 21 in the world.

There’s yet a fourth South Korean rookie in this mix just waiting to make her mark. That’s Q Baek. She’s No. 12 in the world.

“I’ve played with most of them,” Park told us a day before this new season began. “We can almost not call them rookies. I think this is probably one of the strongest rookie classes the LPGA is going to have.”

These rookies seem intent on breaking up this Big Three talk. They’re pushing each other as much as they’re pushing Park. – Randall Mell