The European Tour has finally stepped out of the box and made the bold move that the PGA Tour should have made ten years ago-they have instituted a Shot Clock…..at least for this week.
Father time is looking over their shoulders….Embed from Getty Images
At the European Shot Clock Masters each player has 40 seconds to play his shot or it is going to cost them. Simple system….immediate results. The rounds over the first two days were close to 30 minutes faster on average. There has been only one penalty assessed so far. And the scoring average for the event has dropped significantly.
Nothing like empirical evidence. Case closed. Make it permanent!!!
We were chiming about slow play on tour since 2014 on this site in our piece “Slow Play-Throw A Flag” and I still like the drama of tossing the rag and pacing off the penalty. But let’s take what we can get.
If all the tours adopted a similar system the accumulated tedium in the broadcasts from tortoise play would be disappear overnight. The effect would flow to the recreational arena in no time. Return of the sub four hour round!! What a welcome sight that would be.
Hopefully the interest lobby for long broadcasts-the advertising community-will not continue to hold sway and the PGA Tour will put one of these experimental events in their rota. We can finally move closer to a universal acceptance that slow play is one of the real disincentives to playing the game and there is something we can do about it!!
A great idea, but unfortunately in the world of televised golf (other than The Masters), money talks and golfers stroll, think, re-think, hit a shot and then it’s time for another commercial.