April Tip for Players and Managers: Solving the Slow Play Mysteries: Discovery 1

April Tip for Players and Managers: Solving the Slow Play Mysteries: Discovery 1

Over the past several decades, I've visited hundreds of courses, observed thousands of golfers, and clicked my stopwatches on and off hundreds of thousands of times! And for what?

For the sole purpose of uncovering the mysteries behind what we all despise and call "slow play."

In this quest for the truth, I've made some real Ah-ha! discoveries, and I'm going to share them with you over the next few months. Continue to watch the Tip of the Month to take this journey with me.

Discovery 1: For almost all of today's courses, the "4-hour round" is a myth. Yes, it really is. How long it should take to play a course is largely determined by course design. When courses were more compact and built for walking, golf could usually be played in four hours or less. On many modern courses that have long green to tee distances, or that wind through residential streets, up and down hilly terrain, and around environmental areas…well, you do the math.  The USGA Pace Rating System tells how long a round “should take” on a course so that managers and players can have realistic expectations rather than overcrowding their courses to meet financial projections. Some courses simply take longer to play and always will. The trick is to manage the course properly so that its unique Pace Rating is achievable, or even beatable. Again…whatever the course’s Pace Rating, players will be happy if play is smooth and they don’t have to wait on every hole! And managers will be happy because every tee time during the day is a good one.


Tip by Bill Yates, Pace Manager Systems








  • "We cut more than 30 minutes off our average 18-hole round."

    Dane Bohrer, PGA, General Manager

  • "Our pace of play is much better and our members love it."

    Alice Plain, PGA, Director of Golf

    Vail Golf Club, Colorado
  • "Bill Yates is the Guru of pace of play."

    Paul Spengler, Executive VP

    Pebble Beach Golf Links, California
  • "Bill Yates unquestionably provides the most enlightening analysis of pace of play I have ever seen."

    Terry Florence, Director of Golf

    Wild Dunes Golf Resort, South Carolina
  • "What Bill did for us was fantastic. Every golf course should adopt his approach."

    Rod Cochrane, General Manager

    Predator Ridge Resort, British Columbia
  • "I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for us."

    Shawn Smith, Director of Golf

    Pebble Beach Resort, California
  • "It’s the best money I’ve ever spent. It’s like you’ve given me an additional course to use."

    Perry Cooper, Golf Manager

    Jasper Park Lodge, Canada
  • "We have now put 3:57 on all our range balls."

    Alan McGregor, General Manager

    St Andrews, Scotland
  • "Your training sharpened our focus on quality."

    Nathan Stith, Director of Golf

    Doral Golf Resort and Spa, Florida
  • "Thanks to Pace Manager, we can now communicate with each other and our guests with facts."

    Brian Shaw, Head Golf Professional

    Doonbeg Golf Club, Ireland
  • "Our members and guests couldn’t be more pleased!"

    Cary Corbitt, Director of Sports & Operations

    Harbour Town Golf Links, South Carolina
  • "Your program was not an expense; it was a sound investment."

    Terry Boldt, Golf Division Manager

    City of Calgary Municipal Courses, Canada
  • "Magnifique!"

    Alexis Davet, General Manager

    Golf de la Grande Bastide, Provence
  • "You’ve made a great difference. I always recommend you to other courses."

    Frank Jemsek, Owner

    Cog Hill Country Club, Illinois
  • "Thanks to you, we have experienced two magical years of smooth flowing golf and exceptional pace"

    Steve Harker, Mgr. Performance Excellence

    Osprey Ridge at Disney World, Florida
  • "We continue to see marked improvement and exceptional quality."

    Gregg Lindquist, General Manager

    Desert Willow Golf Resort, California
  • "Thanks to you, the pace of play was better than it’s been in years, even during the Thursday and Friday rounds."

    Dawn Coe-Jones, LPGA Tour Player

    U.S. Women's Open Championship, Pumpkin Ridge, Oregon
  • "The pace of play in this championship was better than it has ever been."

    David Pepper, R&A Championship Comm. Chair

    The Open Championship, Muirfield, Scotland

Client Courses

  • Poppy Ridge Golf Course

    Livermore, California

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