SI Vault
 
SLOW BURN
DOTTIE PEPPER
May 28, 2012
Finally! Morgan Pressel (below) was hit with a slow-play, loss-of-hole penalty at the Sybase. Nothing against Morgan, but like a lot of former smokers who can't tolerate cigarette smoke, I'm a reformed slow player who now can't stand slow play. A week after the Kevin Na controversy at the Players, it's clear pace of play is an issue. I had my ah-ha moment in 1999, when I spent the winter at my home club playing weekends on a full course in foursomes, walking and sharing two caddies. A round never took more than four hours. Then I went back on tour and guess what? Three of the world's best players and three caddies couldn't beat a pace of five hours and 15 minutes. Are you kidding me?
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
May 28, 2012

Slow Burn

View CoverRead All Articles

Finally! Morgan Pressel (below) was hit with a slow-play, loss-of-hole penalty at the Sybase. Nothing against Morgan, but like a lot of former smokers who can't tolerate cigarette smoke, I'm a reformed slow player who now can't stand slow play. A week after the Kevin Na controversy at the Players, it's clear pace of play is an issue. I had my ah-ha moment in 1999, when I spent the winter at my home club playing weekends on a full course in foursomes, walking and sharing two caddies. A round never took more than four hours. Then I went back on tour and guess what? Three of the world's best players and three caddies couldn't beat a pace of five hours and 15 minutes. Are you kidding me?

How would I solve the problem? Hit the players on their scorecards and in their wallets with penalties and stiff fines. Post the slow times in the locker rooms. Outlaw players being lined up by their caddies. I was guilty of doing that at times, but it's bad for pace and horrible for TV. And caddies should get to the ball before the players, and they should never walk back to the ball for yardage—get it on the way to the ball. Process the information while others are playing, not when it is your turn. And players must self-police. In 2004, I got so frustrated with one player that I told her point blank, "You are slow." We were off the clock in a hurry, and she started playing better. Watch guys like Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy. If you're going to miss it, miss it fast and save our game.

Dottie Pepper is a 17-year LPGA veteran and NBC analyst.

1