On Saturday, September 23rd, Cleveland Metroparks Golf hosted its annual Big Met Fall 2-Player Scramble.
34 teams competed in the event, under the second-fastest format of play in team golf (alternate shot being first).
Big Met pro John Dorsey gave players the grand courtesy of leaving three open starting times in front of the field, so that teams wouldn’t have to wait for potentially slow public play in front of them.
But instead of taking advantage of John’s gesture, a handful of self-absorbed players in the field took over 5 hours to complete their round.
The final three groups’ rounds took 5 hours and 15 minutes. They stood and waited on shot after shot from start to finish.
Big Met is a straight-forward golf course to play: the rough isn’t deep and there aren’t many places to lose a ball.
A 2-man scramble is a fast format under which to play — pick the best shot, hit two more, move on.
Launch your ball into the woods? Give it a quick look then grab another one out of your bag.
It is up to the players in any tournament to keep up with the group in front of them. No one wants to hear reasons or excuses; just keep up.
Be ready to play when it’s your turn.
Stop telling stories when it’s your turn to hit.
Get your rear end out of the cart and go find your ball.
Leave that ball as lost after a minute or two if you can’t find it.
Grab a quick bite at the turn and keep moving.
Read the shot or putt then pull the trigger without taking six looks and holding four conversations.
If you fail to do these simple things, and you are a selfish ass of a player.
And it’s not only the fault of the selfish slow player, either. The fellow competitors of a slow player have a responsibility to the field to tell the snail — pointedly and directly — that the pace needs to quicken.
Again, it’s easy:
“Hey, we are a half-hole behind. We need to catch and keep up with the group in front of us.”
This needs to be repeated on a loop, as often as necessary, to get the slowpoke moving. Say it every 10 minutes if necessary until your group is back in position. And keep repeating it if your group doesn’t stay in position.
Given the open space in front of a field of competent competitive players yesterday, the Big Met 2-Man Scramble should have taken LESS THAN FOUR HOURS to finish.
Instead, it took 5 hours and 15 minutes.
That is a slap in the face to the Big Met pro who set up the perfect situation for the event, and to the sensible players in the field who play at a reasonable pace.
It should be personally embarrassing for each of the slowpoke guys who think they can play competitive golf.
But we’ll see if any of those players actually self-identify…