Slowest & Fastest Players on PGA Tour
By mustang6560 on 6/6/11
When you think about the slowest player on the PGA Tour, I bet the name Kevin Na comes to mind. But would it surprise you if I told you that based on Mike Walker's research, Kevin Na isn't actually the slowest player on Tour?

Walker and a few other guys at spent the entire day during Friday's round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational timing 45 players and here are the results:
**NOTE** They didn't start the clock until the player arrived at his ball and it was his turn to hit.

The Five Slowest Players

Nick O'Hearn - Average Time Per Shot: 55 seconds

J.B. Holmes - Average Time Per Shot: 52 seconds

John Senden - Average Time Per Shot: 51 seconds

Kevin Na - Average Time Per Shot: 50 seconds

Charlie Wi - Average Time Per Shot: 50 seconds

The Five Fastest Players

Rickie Fowler - Average Time Per Shot: 16 seconds

Jhonny Vegas - Average Time Per Shot: 21 seconds

Brian Davis - Average Time Per Shot: 22 seconds

Chris Kirk - Average Time Per Shot: 23 seconds

Cameron Beckman - Average Time Per Shot: 25 seconds
Walker and co. spent over 12 hours on Friday following the players and they recorded nearly 1500 shots to try and capture an accurate sample size that would fairly represent the pace of play on Tour.

I thought this was interesting. If you averaged the time it takes Nick O'Hearn to hit every shot (and assume he shoots par 72), there is only an hour and six minutes of action during a typical four to five hour round. For Rickie Fowler, there is less than 20 minutes of action. I find this fascinating because this is further evidence of why having a strong mental game is so important. You are going to spend the majority of your time thinking about your shot instead of hitting it.

I thought it would be interesting to see how well the "slow" players compared to the "fast" players during round 2 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational so I did a little research myself. Here is how the slow players compared to the fast players:
Round 2 Slow Players

Nick O'Hearn - 72

J.B. Holmes - 72

John Senden - 70

Kevin Na - DNS

Charlie Wi - 72

Round 2 Fast Players

Rickie Fowler - 73

Jhonny Vegas - 68

Brian Davis - 71

Chris Kirk - 77

Cameron Beckman - DNS
Statistically, my research doesn't add much to the conversation because of the small sample size, but it is interesting to see that the five "slow" player performed nearly one-stroke better (71.5 vs 72.25) than the five "fast" players.

I had this discussion with Andrew today that I thought if he "slowed" his pace of play down a little he'd score better. I'm not advocating slow play, but I do think (as least in Andrew's case) some players could benefit from taking a few breathes before hitting the ball.

Full Story


[ comments ]
guzzlingil says:
I hate slow players......
Envythepea says:
I don't like slow play either, but 55 seconds isn't very much time in and of itself. I know it seems a lot longer than that when you're waiting for someone to hit. But to say to someone, "hey, take a minute figuring out what shot you're going to hit" doesn't sound unreasonable to me.
billbadaz says:
I need to slow down, but I hate slow players, I can't talk myself into doing it. When I try to play slow, I overthink everything and I suck. When I just walk up, take a peek, and swing, I hit it well.... This game is so mental
gpickin says:
I think time at the ball is one thing, but just being ready when its your turn is another piece of the game all together.
Funny thought though.
Rickie fowler, the fastest, had 24 birdies this weekend. He finished at 4 under, so he had a lot of bogeys or worse too... but interesting how thinking before you approach the ball can help you make some great shots, and maybe some terrible ones too.
Kurt the Knife says:
I can put 'em into the trees slowly or quickly.
Versatility is my middle name.
ponderous says:
Fast or slow, play ready golf. If that alone were consistently observed (including proper teamwork with golf carts), rounds in excess of 4 hours would be a rarity (for us weekend schlubs, that is).
bkuehn1952 says:
I think the telling fact is:

**NOTE** They didn't start the clock until the player arrived at his ball and it was his turn to hit.

Unless you are the first to hit or your ball is well in front of the other players, it should take much less time to pull the trigger. While player a is tossing grass in the air and discussing the shot, the 2nd and 3rd players can also be doing the same thing. Same when on the green.

One of the MANY problems that creates slow play is the player who stands around picking his nose until it is his turn and only then does he begin the decision process.
legitimatebeef says:
Yup, for the average amateur golfer, I suspect that slow play is more attributable to ignorance of "ready golf" than anything else. I hate slow play but I won't begrudge someone for giving a shot his full attention. That said, a lot of amateurs waste time before the shot and take too many full rehearsal swings. You know the kind where they stand frozen over an imaginary ball, poised like they are going to hit the perfect imaginary shot, swing thoughts swirling through the brain, and finally taking a big swing with full follow through and pose finish. Repeating this 2-3 times before every swing tends to add a lot of time to a round. It also results in a lot of unfilled divots.
mmontisano says:
bkuehn nailed it. just be ready!

i can't stand it when take about 10 practice swings before each shot also. i don't think they realize just how much energy that wastes....
birdieXris says:
I think that's interesting that they didn't start the clock until the players reached the ball and "it was their turn to play". 55 seconds after it's their turn? Question is, what are they doing when it's not their turn and they're at the ball? I realize that not everyone is able to get right to the ball because of distance and position issues, but 55 seconds seems excessive when you look at it. I mean, count to 55 and see how long it really is. What are you possibly talking about? I thought i was slow at 32 seconds.
TeT says:
Wonder where Ben Crane would fit into those stats....
dsferris says:
I found one thing last time that contributed to a slow round, mind you only minimally. The cart girl!!! (or cart person) Twice she came by and the guys in my group were out in the fairway. They stopped what they were doing went to their cart to get there wallet, walked 20-30 yards to her, got there stuff paid, walked back to thier cart, put their wallets away, took a sip of their beers, and then resumed what they were doing. Now if my group did that, I am betting groups in front and behind us are doing the same. I understand that is part of the experience, but I also stock up before my round and at the turn so I can just play. Also, if you read the article in Golf Magazine this month, it said that the majority of amature golfers hate slow play, but only like 1% admit to being slow players. Hmmmmmmmm reminds me of the poker expression if you are sitting at the table and cannot identify the fish, it is because you are the fish.
falcon50driver says:
Used to play with a guy who would take his stance, place the club behind the ball and just stare at the ball, frozen in place. I finally timed him and it averaged 15 seconds. It doesn't sound that long but if you don't think that's maddening, try it on someone. Key phrase "used to play"
Trav says:
Very interestng stats thanks.

@ bkuehn +1. You can get as much time as you need to make decisions without holding people up if you're efficient like this. Sometimes you have to "educate" your partners early in the round so they don't think you're being rude.
larrynjr says:
So this was from the time they actually set up at the ball until they hit? They had most likely already been standing around waiting for their turn and chosen their club? I've been called a slow player because I like to make several practice swings but once I've chosen my club and set up on the ball, even with practice swings I'd be surprised if I was 30 seconds till I actually made my swing. I try to do my practice swings while I'm waiting for my turn.
[ post comment ]
    New Products
    Caption This
    World Am
    How Bizarre!
Most Popular: