Global Edition

Slow, Slow, So So Slow

10.23am 23rd November 2012 - Management Topics has conducted a survey into slow play in Europe analysing round data from over 6,000 rounds and surveying over 900 golfers from a range of golfing backgrounds including professional, club and non-club golfers. The results raise an issue for golf course operators and owners to tackle with the vast majority of golfers taking longer than they would like to complete a round of golf and many being actively put off from playing because of slow play.

When asked what the ideal length of a round of golf was, it was found that 90.79% of golfers would like to complete a round of golf in less than 4 hours. Many golfers would like to play even faster with over 53% saying they would like to complete a round in less than 3 ½ hours.

These figures are in sharp contrast to the reality that exists onEurope’s fairways. Of the golfers questioned 43.29% took over 4 hours to complete their most recent round of golf and this figure jumps to 58.96% for those playing at a weekend. Over 16% of golfers took 4 ½ hours or longer to finish a round at the weekend with a further 6.01% taking 5 hours or longer to complete their round of golf.

The speed of play on a weekday was found to be considerably faster than at a weekend with 83.2% of those questioned taking fewer than 4 hours to complete a round. Just fewer than 50% took 3 ½ hours or less to complete their round of golf.
Many golfers feel slow play is a problem with 79.74% suggesting that it is an issue. Some however did feel the subject of slow play is overhyped. In total 18.64% of those surveyed felt that too much is being made of slow play in golf.

Asked if slow play would deter them from playing, 20.69% confirmed this would be the case. The results seem to also indicate that golf club managers and operators are not doing enough to confront the issue with 59.6% of golfers discussing the issue of slow play with friends. This is in contrast to only 14.6% of those questioned saying the issue had been raised by their golf club.

In summary:

  • 59% take longer than 4 hours to complete a weekend round
  • 90% of golfers want to complete a round in less than 4 hours
  • Over 20% of golfers suggest slow play would deter them from playing
  • Only 25% of rounds played took 3 ½ hours or less
  • 63% of surveyed golfers played golf at least once a week in the peak season
  • 982 golfers surveyed and analysis of 6801 rounds of golf



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