An "Audience Participation" Experiment in Pace of Play
By Torleif Sorenson on 10/8/13

The signature par-3 5th hole at FarmLinks. That's a 170-foot vertical drop to the green.

FarmLinks at Pursell Farms is billed as the world's only research-and-demonstration golf course. It is a very serious enterprise; noted architects Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry designed this course, working carefully with owner and CEO David Pursell, who has established partnerships with companies like Toro, Club Car, BASF, and Agrium.

(The concept alone was enough for this writer to put FarmLinks on my "golf bucket list.")

But next month, this "R&D lab" will host a new experiment: Having all golfers playing there on Saturday, November 2 play it in 3½ hours or less:

FarmLinks Golf Club has the unique opportunity to offer feedback and insights to industry partners. We also have the opportunity to offer better programs and services to YOU, our guest! And with your assistance in this pace-of-play experiment, we can determine if some pace-of-play suggestions will help speed up play... and prove that a shorter round of golf is enjoyable and rewarding!
If any of you oobers are able (and close enough) to participate, we would love to hear a first-hand report. Here are the event details:

Date: Saturday, November 2, 2013
Site: FarmLinks at Pursell Farms
2200 Farm Links Blvd
Sylacauga AL  35151-8281
Includes: All-you-can-play golf
Non-alcoholic beverages
Unlimited use of the practice range
FarmLinks "3.5 Club" logo'd hat
Cost: $99
To book: By Phone:  256.208.7600
- OR -
By E-mail:

Slow play has been in the news alot this year, with everyone from USGA President Glen Nager speechifying, to a series of partially-funny commercials, to Colorado-based golf course superintendent Steve Southard, GCSAA trying to address the issue. Knowing that David Pursell and his staff are focused not only on their overall operations but trying to make a difference in the game, your humble correspondent is genuinely looking forward to learning the results of this experiment.


read more

Read an interesting golf article? Tip your editor!


Image via

[ comments ]
Matt McGee says:
I'd love to participate. I just need to figure out how to make the 4712-mile round trip over a weekend.
Werepuppie says:
This is a fantastic course.Conditions and service are top notch.
mustang6560 says:
Private plane, Matt McGee. DUH!

Matt McGee says:
Oh, that's right. What was I thinking?
falcon50driver says:
Can I be of service?
golfingbumunderpar64 says:
This course is about an hr from me. Absolutely beautiful. I got that same email but after looking at the date my mom and me are gonna be playing in my clubs he/she. That hole pic above is so cool. Hit a 9 iron from 172. Pay like $130 and you play all day. They provide a gourmet lunch and all snacks and drink are provided as well. For those who like to drink beer during your round. They do not allow alcohol. But the trip was cool. I wanna do it again soon.
falcon50driver says:
That is a great picture. Gatlinburg Country Club has a par three just like that. I played on a day when the greens were very soft and my tee shot buried in the green almost even with the top of the ball.
falcon50driver says:
I got to thinking about Gatlinburg after my post and decided to look at it on a website. What do you think about this course? especially #12? I've been there a number of times and can hardly wait to hit 12.It's narrow but you can hit some monster drives with the downhills.
jasonfish11 says:
Only 4 hours away. Looks like a great course. But that is the weekend of my aniversary. I'm not dumb enough to ask my wife if I can go.
[ post comment ]
    New Products
    Caption This
    World Am
    How Bizarre!
Most Popular: