Fight Slow Play

Let’s Dare to Act…

The players who are the most obstinate become the first defenders of rhythm of play. A golf course remains a place where teaching is already a lesson in life, especially for children, with its values being applied on a daily basis. That is the spirit of the work we have undertaken for the last nine years.

The number of licensees is growing slowly but remains less than the number of places available. The Federation would like to have 700,000 members as soon as possible and is counting of the effect of the Ryder Cup. This is correct, but the effect Ryder Cup must first come from local clubs, to encourage members to join, but also to attract people who have come from far and wide to sample welcoming and well structured golf. The Spanish were able to profit from the era of “Post Ryder Cup Ballesteros” because they had done an enormous amount of work beforehand.

Green fees are a second type of player to manage. More than 500 clubs in France must be ready to welcome these outside guests. The economic effect and the satisfaction of golfers when they go home are not to be neglected. Add to that, the surprise and pleasure of seeing structures that work perfectly in a country where golf lags behind many other sports.

The work ahead is huge and immensely interesting, to go from a “leisure sport” to a “sport” and to reach the 700,000 members, equating to 1,08% of the population (we are actually at 0,65%). The United Kingdom is at 8,2%. France welcomes 80 million visitors each year – there must be a few golfers hidden amongst them.

We must exploit our assets (French culture, gastronomy, the beauty of our countryside, etc…) and add to this already well adorned basket, the welcome we can offer on a general basis and well organised golf on courses designed so that all levels of players can enjoy the game. We are a country of the future for golf and certain important deadlines are awaiting us. Don’t let us miss them : one never has a second chance to make a good first impression !

Don’t let us forget that :

  • The football World Cup lasts 30 days
  • The Tour de France 23 days
  • The Olympic Games 18 days
  • The Ryder Cup 3 days

These worldwide events take place in countries that have a long sporting and cultural tradition.

The Ryder Cup lasts 3 days – three days to put French golf on the map – it is frightening and magnificent.

French golf has only three days to play for its future and for its place in the sporting world.

What can we do to improve things ? Improve things ? Just simply improve !

  • Differentiate between the coaching part and the educational part for young/(new) players.
  • Clubs should do an audit of the rhythm and timing of their course in order to make a faster course.
  • Talk about rhythm rather than speed of play, speed of play being only a consequence of rhythm.
  • Players must realise that rhythm is the protection of a scorecard, on a good or a bad day.
  • Clubs should prompt players during each competitionby putting them in a position where they cannot delay the competition.
  • Find the people necessary to get to grips with this problem – these people are the Marshals and they are very efficient. Give them the opportunity to organise play on the course : at the start, a competition is no more than _____ people sent out on to a golf course and the rest is managed until the last person returns to the clubhouse.

This task, the fruit of nine years of experience put into practice every week, concerns the amateur golfer, weekend golf, holiday golf, golf which does you good and makes Monday mornings different, golf for everyone, the golf that we love because a super drive or a putt from 3m that drops in the hole makes us as happy as the exploits of a champion.

The growth of golf begins with the classification of clubs.

A classification already exists,as I have done it, in terms of length of the course (more than 6500m, 6000m, 5500m, 5000m) but within each of these categories there are clubs with varying degrees of difficulty.

Slow Play is not a fatality : uncomplicated things, uncomplicated people, the will be find an uncomplicated solution and everything will work simply. Slow Play is not a fatality and it is no longer utopian to wish to eradicate it.

The work begins now.

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