Tackling slow play

Philip Morley, independent executive chair of the BGIA, on why all clubs and pros should embrace the principles behind Ready Golf.

Following the R&A’s announcement that it will introduce ‘Ready Golf’ at its 2017 amateur championships the BGIA are calling on all the UK golf associations to actively encourage the adoption of this solution to the problem of slow play.

One of the BGIA’s aims is to support and champion growth and participation in golf; we therefore actively encourage the implementation of all solutions that address the issue of slow play which hampers the enjoyment of golfers. We urge other associations to promote the idea that Ready Golf is just common sense, players should take a moment to evaluate, one practice swing and execute without delay when it’s their turn.

If the average round time could be reduced by even just 15 minutes, it would not only make it easier to attract new golfers to the game, it would also increase enjoyment for existing golfers, encouraging them to play more regularly. It will also help to increase capacity on busier courses.

As I write this, we’re making final preparations for the series of meetings the BGIA has booked in the diary for The Open Championship. Not least of which will be a BGIA Executive Board meeting and, of course, The Open Industry Lunch which we host in conjunction with SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. and The Golf Foundation. The lunch will be attended by over 130 senior players in the golf industry; it is a fantastic networking opportunity and all BGIA members get one free place.

The statistics are telling us that it’s been a great year for the golf trade so far. Participation and sales are up and hopefully the golf market will remain resilient in the face of an unsettled political environment (again statistics suggest that it usually does), which gives a good general indication that the year will end on a high. Fingers crossed.