Forecaddie: LPGA calls out slow players, but is it working?

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Forecaddie: LPGA calls out slow players, but is it working?

Forecaddie

Forecaddie: LPGA calls out slow players, but is it working?

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Slow players on the LPGA are singled out each week on a sheet that’s posted in the locker room. The list includes those who have had plus times that have resulted in both fines and two-stroke penalties.

Does it help?

Depends on whom you ask. The Forecaddie wasn’t surprised to learn that some players didn’t even know about the public shaming. (It’s hard to get people to read.)

Others like that the list is up but don’t believe it makes that much of a difference.

“The slow people don’t care it’s posted,” Brittany Lang said.

On the LPGA, where the average pace of play for threesomes is around 4 hours and 50 minutes, there have been five fines and one two-stroke penalty as of late August. Last year there were six fines and four two-stroke penalties.

Compare that to the PGA Tour, which in 2017 gave out its first slow-play penalty in more than two decades.

In 2016 the LPGA really ratcheted up the fines, doling out 34. Most players, however, don’t think the money makes a difference.

More target timing, without warning, is something several veteran players told the Forecaddie they’d like to see.

That means only one player in the group, the slow one, would be timed without advance notice.

LPGA tour operations officer Heather Daly-Donofrio said slow players have actually come to officials on their own and asked if they’d watch their routine to see where they’re losing time, a refreshing concept.

Nancy Lopez, who said she was called “Slopez” in her playing days for the extra time she’d take on the greens, told the Forecaddie she was always ready to hit.

But as a casual golfer, her husband, Ed Russell, has helped her to learn how to pick up the pace.

When they first started dating, Lopez said, she’d want to clean her club after hitting a shot before putting it back in the bag. Ed told her she needed to speed up.

“I looked at him and said, I am the professional, don’t tell me what to do!” Lopez recalled. “But he was right. … You’ll pick up four or five minutes if you just clean the club when you’re moving.”

If only every player in the game had an Ed.

There is new technology on the way for the LPGA, a system that tracks where players are on the course and calculates where they stand in relation to time par.

Can we put that information on TV for the viewers too?

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