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New manual aims to speed up golf

Get on with it: Jordan Spieth is a notoriously slow golfer (Photograph by Chris Carlson/AP)

A new manual giving guidance to golf clubs and golfers on ways of improving pace of play has been published by The Royal & Ancient.

The manual will be distributed to the club’s 152 affiliated organisations around the world. It is also available to download from The R&A website, where further information, resources and related videos can also be viewed.

The new manual provides practical guidance in the three key areas of management, course set-up and player behaviour.

“There is no doubt that pace of play is a key issue for golf today and one on which many golfers have strong views,” Martin Slumbers, the club’s chief executive officer, said.

“Through the research exercise and the conference we gained some valuable insights into the views of players, administrators and officials involved in all levels of golf.

“We fully recognise that in a sport as diverse as golf there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and so the new manual outlines approaches which have proved to be effective and offers some thoughtful solutions to day-to day pace of play challenges which can arise in golf.

“We hope the manual will prove to be a useful reference guide for clubs, competition organisers and players alike.”

The R&A carried out an extensive international survey into golfers’s views on pace of play last year which attracted more than 56,000 responses from golfers in 122 countries. One of the key findings of the research was that 60 per cent of golfers said they would enjoy the game more if they played in less time.

The findings were discussed at the Time for Golf conference last November, which was attended by professionals and administrators from throughout the world of golf, and those discussions helped shape the new manual.

Stephen Gallacher, the European Ryder Cup player, welcomed the launch of the new manual.

“I think this is an important step forward in providing some practical ways of improving pace of play,” he said. “It was fascinating to hear different perspectives on pace of play at the conference, and there was definitely a feeling that we should share some of the best approaches to dealing with the issue with a wider audience.

“The new manual gives some great examples of best practice and I would definitely recommend it to anyone involved in golf.”

• The manual can also be downloaded by clicking on the PDF link under “Related Media”