As a result of the United States Golf Association’s Pace and Innovation Symposium held Feb. 3 at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena, Calif., the USGA offered these recommendations to improve pace of play:
• Set an aggressive pace for the lead group.
• For non-lead groups, control the cycle times (gap between groups).
• Balance starting intervals with cycle times (gap between groups).
• The USGA Flagstick Tool will allow facilities to measure and track pace of play in real time, allowing them to identify bottlenecks and prevent delays.
• On average, golfers would pay 9.1 percent more in green fees for a significant (15-30-minute) improvement in pace of play. Golfers under age 40 would pay 14.2 percent more; golfers between 40 and 49 would pay 11.5 percent more.
• A large proportion of golfers ages 25-44 expressed a desire to spend 1-1.5 hours less playing golf, indicating a market for shorter rounds (three- and six-hole loops, for instance).
The symposium marked the third time that the USGA has brought together experts and leaders from throughout the industry to discuss the issues that often serve as barriers to participation and enjoyment of the game.
Representatives from The R&A, the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, The PGA of America, the Southern California Golf Association and several community golf facilities joined with the USGA to present research, ideas and case studies.