Author Patrick Mateer is taking aim at the global problem of slow play in his new book The Return of the Four Hour Round. Alongside the book, Mateer has launched the Four Under Golf campaign and its associated website.
Mateer, a former pro golfer whose company, Championship Golf, operates tournaments for TaylorMade, Adidas and others, says he wearied of the common complaint from fellow players that the game takes too long to play. He decided to spearhead a movement to stop the global slowing and urge players to learn and pass on the habits that will allow them to play a round of golf in four hours or less. “Over the past 50 years the game of golf has gone from a steady flow to a stop-and-go activity,” he said. “We can complain about slow play, and see how much farther along that gets us. We can stop playing the game we love. Or, we can join what I call the ‘movement about movement’ and open up that bottleneck on the golf course with a comprehensive solution to this growing problem: Educate players to move around the golf course more efficiently.”
“It’s fair to say that pace-of-play issues have had a profound influence on my life,” said Mateer. Personally, he’s chosen to play less golf and especially less tournament golf. And as a tournament organiser, he has changed formats and reduced fields to deal with the slowing.
“In one yearly event, we had 104 teams participate ten years ago,” Mateer said. “Today we limit the field to 80 teams so that everyone has enough daylight to finish. And one of the worst side effects to long rounds that I have noticed is the increase in people leaving the game. The bottom line is that there is no upside to the slowing of the game of golf.”
Mateer’s book is available from his website and costs US$14.95.