The First Call Inbox

Pace of play tops list of golfers' pet peeves

If there is one issue that touches a nerve with The First Call readers on a golf course, it's slow play

Alstom Open de France 2013
Slow play awaits for Graeme McDowell's pairing during first-round play at the French Open.

Question of the Week [May 30-June 5]: What is your biggest pet peeve when playing golf?

Slow play,

My take on PGA Tour slow play is the caddie and player looking at the putt, walking in all directions on the green, pointing where the ball should break, then missing the putt. 

I watch it on TV and it is a waste of time. These are pros and they should know how to putt a golf ball.

Ron Anderson
Roanoke, Texas

Slow play drives me crazy.

People who plumb a 10-foot putt then proceed to three-putt. Or those who seem to have hidden strength as they wait for the group in front of them to be 300 yards away, then bounce their drive a cool 130 into the bush. Next hole same swing, same outcome.

Paul Vicary
The Villages, Florida

Being a single player, the only one would be slow play and the group ahead does not let you to play through.

Abdus Saabur 
Chicago, Illinois

Slow players!!!

Jeff Breitner
Albuquerque, New Mexico

As a senior golfer I detest going to a golf course, paying the green fee, then having the starter tell us it’s cart path only. We are paying full price for a cart we are using half the time, in addition to the extra walking some of us seniors can’t do.

Ed Randolph
Plymouth, Michigan

Slow players who don’t allow faster players to play thru. 

Reid Farrill
Toronto, Canada

People walking or moving in my peripheral line of sight. As an old pilot trained to scan the skies, I see anything that moves in my peripheral vision.

Larry Hirsh
Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

Having a golf club state that they don’t allow fivesomes and then following a fivesome around the entire 18 holes.    

Jerry Miller 
Novato, California

There’s nothing worse than being in a foursome following a slow threesome and they won’t wave you through!

Bob Gillespie
Toronto, Ontario

Poor and new golfers playing from the blue tees, then all four duffing, topping or banana-slicing their tee shots into oblivion. You know you are in for a long day! Why torture yourself, needlessly?

Brandon Youn
Seattle, Washington

RELATED: The First Call Inbox archive

Slow play is my pet peeve, followed by loud music on the course. People who are playing "drink" instead of golf also are on my list.

You've been warned!!!

Mike Reed
Jenison, Michigan

Golf, originally a game of gentleman ... now a game of ...

My pet peeve is simple, the lack of manners — from fixing divots to repairing ball marks, from slow play to driving carts where they clearly do not belong. Manners disappearing from our society have shown the great game of golf to not be an exception.

Allan Feldman
Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania

The biggest issue with so many courses is the rough height. Your ball goes a little off the fairway and is buried. After looking a few minutes and holding up others, you are lucky to advance it very far — if you can even find it, that is.

Slows up the game, and makes it more frustrating.

Bill Hartenstine
Schnecksville, Pennsylvania

I guess there are two — the first is slow play and the second is when an opponent decides in the middle of your backswing that it's the perfect time to start a conversation. But, I guess when it comes down to it, I’m playing golf and that’s a good thing.

Don Moore
Warren, Pennsylvania

Music on golf carts, golfers who do not repair ball marks and divots. and poorly dressed golfers.

Larry Guli
Waxhaw, North Carolina

My pet peeves are:

— Golfers who don't rake the bunker after playing from the sand.  (Is COVID still your excuse?)
— Golfers who don't repair ball marks on the green.  (Just fix your own, don't even consider fixing someone else's.)
— Golfers who spit those damned seeds on the green. (Can't you snack on something that doesn't create a mess for everyone behind you?)
— Golfers who flip cigarette and cigar butts around the edge of the green. (For some reason this group of a--holes doesn't use the green as their garbage can ... but 1 foot off the green is OK!)

John Abercrombie
Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Fixing my ball mark on the green if I am fortunate enough to fly one in there good enough to make one. But, unfortunately, taking the time to fix four others from golfers who did not take the time to fix theirs. 

Barry Duckworth
Knoxville, Tennessee 

Loud noises and people talking more than they’re playing golf.

Ken Wilson 
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

My biggest pet peeve is a golfer ahead of me, in the middle of a fairway, drinking a beer and holding a cell phone to their ear.

Gordon Skead
Fredericton, New Brunswick

As a person who likes to walk in the fall, winter and spring in Houston, and as a marshal, I find it extremely annoying when young men (ages 15-40), who are in relatively good shape, are the ones who drive their cart near the green and up on the sides of the tee box. Must be the extra 10 steps required to walk from the cart path that overtaxed their weak systems.

Mark Chatfield
Houston, Texas

S. L. O. W.  P. L. A. Y. 

Why won't slow players allow faster players to pass?  I don't get that at all.  

Chris Belanger
Cincinnati, Ohio

Because of all the wire-to-wire coverage of every moment of the pre-shot routines of Jason "All" Day and Jim Fuyrk, as well as the instructors who preach the benefits of them, nothing beats watching 4 ½ hours of someone going through a 45-second routine on each and every one of their 100-plus shots in the group in front of you. Keep promoting the pre-shot routine. It really benefits the game, especially when you can't hit the ball out of your shadow.

Dave Parske
Fort Myers, Florida

Because here have been so many great announcers and commentators over the years, choosing just one group would be an injustice to those who are equally good. So, here are my picks:

Group 1: Pat Summerall, Ken Venturi, Johnny Miller.
Group 2: Jim Nantz, Paul Azinger, Dottie Pepper.
Group 3: Jim McKay, Judy Rankin, David Feherty

Bob Kennedy
St. Catharines, Ontario

No commentators!! I want great graphics to keep track of scores and holes. Most important are the conversations between player and caddy.

Jeff Breitner
Albuquerque, New Mexico

I didn’t see the venerable Henry Longhurst mentioned by anyone. I am old enough to remember many years of listening to Henry on CBS doing The Masters and World Series of Golf from Firestone. He’ll always be number one in my book. 

Peter Behrle
Fernandina Beach, Florida

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