When it comes to the PGA TOUR, the pace-of-play policy has been a controversial topic of discussion in the past, and for the RBC Heritage coming up on April 13, we will see a complete revamp of the policy. This announcement comes on the heels of the European Tour having a similar change to their rule within the past year. The redesign of the policy will feature an “Observation List”, or a list of the slowest players construed from weekly ShotLink data during a golf game.
The Slow List
Although golf fans would most likely like to know what players are considered slow in top golf, the list will be private and only the players who make the list will be notified. In order to get on the observation list, a player’s ShotLink data will have a 10-tournament review, which works to identify the slowest players in pro golf. The PGA TOUR will also be looking into penalties for extended periods of time taken during play. One way to gain a penalty is through getting an Excessive Shot Time, which will be given to anyone who takes more than 120 seconds to play a shot during a golf game according to this new pace-of-play policy.
Pocket Pinching Penalties
Moving slowly will not also be a scrape at the ego for players being placed on the Observation List by the TOUR, but will also be a dig in the pockets with fines for Excessive Shot Times. For the second Excessive Shot Time that a player receives, they will get a $10,000 fine and this fine can increase to $20,000 for every additional offense that a player accrues. These fines will surely light a fire and speed up pro golf players in the coming months, and it will be interesting to see just how much faster they play during a golf game through the TOUR’s changes to this pace-of-play policy.
Notoriously sloth-like on the golf course has been top golf player Bryson DeChambeau, who has been high criticized for his sluggish performance, most infamously back in August when he took a whopping two minutes to hit an 8-ft putt at The Northern Trust. Although DeChambeau has defended his slow pace in the past, the TOUR decided on these changes largely in part due to the controversy regarding his pace back in August.
This revolutionary new way of playing will take into effect for the TOUR during the RBC Heritage, but it is most likely we will see these changes happen not only for the TOUR events, but for the other pro golf events as well.