Experts will convene to address pace of play

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The epidemic of slow play in college golf has brought the game’s decision makers to a slow burn.

The Golf Coaches Association of America wants to do something about it. A panel of experts throughout the game will convene this summer and suggest ways to speed up a pace of play that drags well past five hours, often approaching six.

“Over the past decade we’ve seen an increasing problem regarding pace of play in college golf,” Mark Crabtree, men’s coach at Louisville and president of the Golf Coaches Association of America, said in a news release. “Whether it is the size of fields, the increasing use of technology, hesitancy of tournament officials to penalize players or failure by players and coaches to adhere to pace of play guidelines, slow play has gotten out of hand and we as college coaches need to find the best solutions to combat this issue.”

The GCAA will seek input from its coaches, plus members of the U.S. Golf Association, PGA Tour, NCAA and the American Junior Golf Association to comprise the panel and make recommendations. Bushnell will provide data from previous studies and host a panel meeting at its national headquarters in August.

Recommendations will be test implemented at select events in the fall. Those results will be discussed at the GCAA’s national convention in December, with final recommendations to be endorsed for spring 2011 play.

Crabtree and incoming GCAA president Bruce Brockbank will co-chair the committee. Todd Satterfield, who coaches Furman and is on the Rules of Golf Committee, will join coaches Kyle Blaser (Oklahoma City), Devon Brouse (Purdue), Jamie Green (Duke), Mark Immelman (Columbus State), Doug Martin (Cincinnati), Casey Martin (Oregon), Tommy Snell (Mississippi Gulf Coast), Richard Sykes (N.C. State), Matt Thurmond (Washington) and Fred Warren (East Tennessee State). Other members: Tom Meeks, a former USGA senior director of rules and competitions; Tyler Dennis, PGA Tour director of competitions; Donnie Wagner, NCAA assistant director of championships; and Stephen Hamblin, the AJGA’s executive director.

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