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Friday, July 12, 2013

And we thought golf was slow

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        Today’s Wall Street Journal includes an exposé of major league baseball that has nothing to do with steroids. An average baseball game, the article “Play Ball….Please” indicates, lasts 2 hours and 58 minutes, of which only about 18 minutes contains any action at all. Maybe that is an additional reason why it can be excruciating to watch a New York Mets game on television. You can read the Journal article here.

        You may have noticed that the United States Golf Association has declared war on golf’s own problem with “slow play” –- some would say “finally” -- enlisting the likes of Arnold Palmer, Annika Sorenstam and other

1/9th of a baseball game involves action; 1/39th of a game of golf involves action.

luminaries in their “While We’re Young” TV ad campaign. By the standards of inaction the Journal uses in its discussion of baseball –- for example, time between pitches, time between batters -– the pace of golf appears downright glacial. Whereas the time between batters clocks in at a total of nearly 47 minutes per game, for example, my own rough calculation is that the average time between, say, 90 shots in a four-hour round of golf is something like an aggregate 3 hours and 57 minutes. (I figured about 5 seconds per shot, hang time and the full roll of a putt included). The ratio of inaction to action in baseball is almost 9 to 1; in golf it is close to 39 to 1.

        Golfers will find that depressing, especially those “rabbits” who storm the pro shop after a 4 ½ hour round to complain about slow play. But ponder the following as you are strolling down some lush green fairway toward your tee shot a couple hundred yards away: Would you prefer to be playing golf or playing right field for some intramural team? At least when we golfers line up a 12-foot putt for par a good four or five minutes after our blast out of the bunker, having waited for our playing partners to line up their own birdie, par or bogey putts, and we eventually do strike the ball, at least we are not at a complete standstill, hand and glove on knee, waiting for a ball that may never come.

Read 2973 times Last modified on Friday, 27 September 2013 11:29
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.

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