Beginning January 1, 2016 the USGA and R&A will impose on a ban on the use of anchored putters. Bubba Watson feels that there are more pressing matters that need addressed, however. At the top of Watson’s list is figuring out a way to improve the pace of play. “Slow play is a problem on the PGA Tour, and I think that’s our biggest concern,” said Watson.
According to Reuters, Watson espoused these sentiments when speaking with organizers of the Thailand Golf Championship on the Asian Tour – an event he will participate in next year. “We are worried about putters and golf balls and all these things, but I think we should be more concerned about slow play and speeding the game up, not just for pros but for amateur golfers, as well,” he said. “Nobody wants to play a game that takes five and a half hours to play. We want everybody to be able to play and go a lot faster.”
Slow play has been a hot-button topic as of late, especially since Guan Tianlang – a 14 year-old amateur – received a penalty for not playing quickly enough during The Masters and Hideki Matsuyama was penalized for the same infraction at the British Open. It is not uncommon for players to be punished for slow play, but those two high-profile instances certainly brought the subject to the forefront of the discussion about changes that need to be made in the game.
Golf is certainly not a game that is played at a blistering pace, but I agree with Watson that it can be sped up a bit – especially for the pros. There is absolutely no reason that someone with the talent to make it to the PGA Tour should take such an ungodly amount of time to complete a round of golf. The problem lies in coming up with a viable solution.