Busy times at the Royal & Ancient who have now published their findings on the growing discussions centered around pace of play. To begin their evaluation they conducted a worldwide survey of some 56,000 golfers across 122 countries back in September 2014 and have now concluded with a report.
Main highlights of the report indicate that 65.7% of GB&I golfers are themselves mainly happy with the length of time it takes them to play, with 30% feeling that only sometimes are their round times acceptable. Globally the most satisfying round lasts between 3.5 – 4 hours with 72% of respondents indicating this. 25% of golfers in GB&I said that a reduction in round time of between 21-39 minutes would encourage them to play more and increase their enjoyment of the game. It is interesting to also note that 75% of those taking part preferred midday or earlier tee times
Although it was found that 25 – 44-year-old play considerably fewer rounds than the older age brackets, with 65 to 75-year-old amassing on average 93 rounds per year, globally there is little difference in opinion between age groups. There were however significant differences between regions views on round time. The vast majority of global respondents considered 4 hours more than acceptable for a round of golf, however 50% of GB&I respondents disagreed with this. A possibility is that round times Worldwide may be significantly higher due to the fact that only 7% of GB&I golfers stop at and embrace a halfway house against the 74% who do in Africa and larger % elsewhere. Globally rounds last between 4 – 4.5 hours whereas GB&I see rounds lasting between 3.5 – 4 hours.
On the back of these findings the R&A have now produced a best practice guidance manual for clubs and players centered around pace of play. We will be looking into the guide shortly and seeing what we can do at Helsby to make everyone’s Golf that little more fun.
The full report can be accessed Here