Portugal’s Palmares Beach & Golf Resort is joining the war against slow play in 2019 with the launch of a new tournament which penalises time-wasting.
The management team at the five-star, 27-hole resort, which is located in the Lagos region of the Algarve, is hosting a new tournament later this month under the banner of ‘Eradicate Slow Play’.
It’s seen as the perfect opportunity to introduce the new R&A rules and recommendations, which are designed to speed up play, but it is all part of the philosophy which is aimed at adding more enjoyment to golf and reducing the frustrations of waiting around.
Aside from the new official R&A Rules, Palmares is adding a few of its own extra ‘local’ rules to speed up play, with the 9-hole Texas Scramble format event expected to be completed in just 90 minutes on January 24, when members and guests are set to put the new event through its paces.
One-shot penalties will be handed out for searching for lost balls, taking practice swings, hitting provisional balls or reading greens from both sides. But as an added incentive, Palmares will replace any lost balls with new ones to ensure no extra time is lost.
The resort’s operations director, António Pinto Coelho, said: “So many of us think that slow play is the number one enemy to an enjoyable golf experience. Slow play is killing golf so we felt obliged to do something. It’s not acceptable for a round of golf to take five hours so we need to change the mentality of some golfers. We also need to do what we can to encourage this so we wanted to do something more extreme and show that it can be a lot of fun at the same time.”
The event is expected to become a monthly fixture at Palmares, with more radical local rules set to be introduced for future tournaments.