Pace-of-play issue needs to be addressed

Oregon State's Diego Velasquez plays a shot into the 18th hole June 3 at the NCAA Championship.

Oregon State's Diego Velasquez plays a shot into the 18th hole June 3 at the NCAA Championship.


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OOLTEWAH, Tenn. – It’s the last tournament of the year, and it’s only fitting that I write one more blog about pace of play.

At this year’s national championship, the average length of time for 18 holes has been somewhere between five hours, 15 minutes and five hours, 30 minutes.

Now let’s think about that for a second. All year we have heard that the reason college golf takes so long is because there is a lack of rules officials or volunteers as ball spotters.

You can’t tell me that the NCAA Championship is lacking in either of those departments. So here we are, yet again, with rounds taking five-plus hours. I think it is fair to say that it doesn’t really matter if there are enough rules officials or volunteers. The fact is, a majority of these golfers take far too long to play 18 holes.

The time has come for either the NCAA or USGA to really look into how they can improve the pace of play. Enough with the excuses, enough with the weather complaints – the fact remains that several golfers just take too long.

Is doling out penalties the right way to fix the problem? That, I can safely say, is no, but something needs to be done.

It’s time for the NCAA to officially address the pace-of-play problem we have in college golf and come up with a solution.

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