Blog: An end to slow play on the greens?

Players taking an enternity to take putts, resulting in seriously slow play, could be stopped with a rule change.

Jim Furyk
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Flicking through May's edition of Golf Monthly, I came across Bill Elliot's article, a test of patience, in which Bill bemoaned the amount of time it took players to take their putts during the Accenture Matchplay Championship in February.

Putting is often the most important part of the game; a hot putter is often the difference between winning and losing, especially in matchplay events.

Jim Furyk and Jason Day were the two players whom Bill unleashed his fury on, especially for studying the yardage books whilst on the green.

In terms of television, slow play is very similar to Celebrity Love Island; nobody wants to watch it.

So how do we go about countering this? How about allowing spectators to begin taking photographs if players take longer than 30 seconds to take a putt?

I'm sure Phil Mickelson would be a big fan.

Or maybe making the player in question play the next hole without a putter?

These ideas may make great television, but could quickly see the sport transcend into an Americanized version of Twenty20 cricket. I'd rather watch five minutes of yardage books on each green than a full round of players being forced to chase after their ball like on a Tiger Woods video game.

Well how about something that would affect the scores? For matchplay events the rule could simply be, if a player takes longer than 30 seconds to make a putt, they concede the hole to their opponent.

Players play enough rounds and do enough practice holes to be able to read a green and take a putt within 30 seconds.

That way the likes of Furyk and Day would never step foot onto a green with a yardage book again.

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