With slow play being a massive issue in golf, the R&A appears to be stepping up.
As the Scotsman reports, R&A Chief executive Martin Slumbers announced this week that the stroke-play portion of this year’s British Amateur will feature “ready golf.”
This expression refers to an encouragement of players to hit a shot when they feel they’re ready rather than having the player furthest from the hole strictly play first as Rule 10-1b dictates.
The idea of ready golf is common on the recreational level but isn’t generally practiced at a high tournament level.
The R&A recommended ready golf in a manual published last May and the idea was given a trial run in tournament play, to much success, by the Golfing Union of Ireland at last year’s Irish Close Championship.
Implementing ready golf in stroke play at the British Amateur is yet a further step in the R&A’s crusade against slow play.
“Pace of play is something that we’ve been talking about extensively in the last 12 months,” Slumbers said, via the Scotsman. “The more evidence that I’ve seen this year, the more I’m going to continue talking about it because I think it is increasingly important to the development of the game.”
Slumbers added on that the professionals influence the next generation, so stopping them from continuing the trend of slow play is essential.
“When you get to the professional level, there’s no doubt in my mind that the professionals are role models, and they are fantastic role models for young people. They’re healthy, they’re fit, they’re strong and they’ve got unbelievable skill.
“But part of that role model is pace of play, and there is no doubt that younger generations take a steer from them. So I think I would just encourage the Tour pros to realize that pace of play is part of them being that role model, and it’s not helpful to growing the amateur game when the youngsters are slowing down.”
The British Amateur will be played June 19-24 at…