Colin Montgomerie thinks he has the solution to the oft-discussed slow play epidemic that is taking professional golf by storm. He proposes taking a page from the basketball rule book and instituting a shot clock. It’s an option that has been talked about it relatively hushed tones for some time, but has never really gained any traction. Monty is hoping to change that.
“There are 52 referees out there at major championships and they should all have a clock to be able to put them on the clock on the first tee to ensure they all get around in time,” Montgomerie said. “It has been mentioned about a shot clock, and that is interesting. There should be an allotted time to play the game, like chess, where you have a certain time to play.”
I don’t think it’s that off the wall to consider instituting a shot clock in professional golf. Players already get “put on the clock” when they have been deemed to be playing slowly in a tournament. How much different is it to start that clock on the first tee instead of implementing it after the players have already fallen behind the pace.
Slow play on the golf course doesn’t just impact the golfers in that group or the ones immediately following them. It affects everyone behind that group as groups begin to bunch up while they’re waiting for the players in front of them, who are waiting for the group in front of them and so on and so on.
While it might make sense to consider implementing a shot clock in golf the idea will never come to fruition. There are simply too many variables that must be taken into consideration during a round of golf for a shot clock to be feasible.