The viral video of Bryson DeChambeau taking over 2 minutes to hit a putt could lead to a change in the PGA Tour's slow play policy
PGA Tour To Review Its Slow Play Policy After DeChambeau Viral Video
The PGA Tour is going to review its current slow play policy in light of a viral video of Bryson DeChambeau taking 2 minutes 20 seconds to hit a putt during the second round of the Northern Trust.
The Golfing Scientist was lambasted on Twitter for his slow play including criticism from many of his peers.
The video in question now has over 2.5 million views on Twitter -
The PGA Tour is looking into its policy and says that "ShotLink technology could provide an answer."
As it stands, the PGA Tour’s current pace-of-play policy only addresses players whose groups have fallen out of position but it is now looking at whether to look at all players, including groups that are in position.
“We know that the individual habits of players when they are preparing to hit a shot can quickly become a focal point in today’s world, and our players and fans are very passionate about this issue,” said Tyler Dennis, the PGA Tour’s Chief of Operations.
“We have leveraged our ShotLink technology to provide every player with a pace of play report that they can access which breaks down the varying parts of their game and gives feedback on the amount of time on average that the player takes to hit a particular shot.
“We are currently in the process of reviewing this aspect of pace of play and asking ourselves, ‘Is there a better way to do it?’ We think technology definitely plays a key role in all of this and we are thinking about new and innovative ways to use it to address these situations.”
“We have learned over the years that pace has a lot of factors that play into it, and it’s actually quite complicated.
“The overall time to play a round is affected by things like the number of players on the course, tee time intervals, amount of daylight, course set-up and the weather. Some of these are things we can influence, and some are not.”
DeChambeau defended himself after the criticism, calling it "complete and utter you-know-what."
“When people start talking to me about slow play and how I'm killing the game, I'm doing this and that to the game, that is complete and utter you-know-what,” DeChambeau said.
“That's not fair.”
“It was a very difficult read,” he said about the putt which he took over two minutes on.
“It was on a bit of a crown, trying to read it to the best of my ability. I couldn't figure out a way to play it four inches out because that's what the book said. That's what it looked, or that's what it said in the book, but it didn't look like that to my eyes.
"We walked around, took a little bit of time. I was ready to hit. My caddie pulled me off because he saw something different. That's just what's going to happen every once in a while.
“Is that every time? No. That's probably 1% of the time that I take over two minutes.
“You look at me, most of the time, I am doing my absolute best to get to that next shot.
"The time to hurry for me and the way I play the game -- this is not always how some people view it, but the time to hurry is in between shots.”
“I like Bryson as a person, but he’s a slow golfer,” DeChambeau's playing partner Justin Thomas said.
“I hate saying this because I don’t want Bryson to think I’m throwing him under the bus or anything like that, but it’s just unfortunate where the pace of play is in the game at the moment.”
The PGA Tour revealed that DeChambeau’s group played in 4 hours 51 minutes during that round, which was 1 minute longer than the previous day and "consistent with other groups."
Under the current pace-of-play policy, players are “on the clock” when their group falls out of position. Players are given an allotted time between 40 and 50 seconds (depending on factors such as order of play) to hit a shot.
The first bad time results in a warning, while a second bad time in the same round is a one-stroke penalty.
Players are fined for a second bad time in a season, and each bad time thereafter, and for each time they are put “on the clock” after the 10th time.
There is not currently a policy to assess penalties or fines when players’ groups are in position, but the PGA Tour says it "could consider adding one."
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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
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