Slow play is one of the most discussed topics in the sport of golf. It infuriates people and ignites debate amongst golf fans and golfers themselves.
Golfers on the PGA Tour are often criticised for playing too slowly and taking too much time to hit their shots. An event doesn't go by where the topic isn't brought up.
Professional golfers are playing for their livelihoods and you can understand their need to focus and concentrate. But the golfers we watch on television take significantly longer over their shots than club golfers.
In terms of club golfers, statistics have revealed that slow play leads to worse scores for all, particularly players with higher handicaps.
In a study completed by Arccos Golf, they have proven that for every extra half an hour on the course, golfers are losing between 0.4 and 0.7 strokes.
Those who take between 4.5 and 5 hours to complete their round are losing between 1.3 to 1.7 strokes, much more compared to a round that only takes between 3 and 3.5 hours.
The statistics also show that golfers with higher handicaps are strongly affected by slow play. In rounds that last between 4.5 and 5 hours, golfers with handicaps of 15 to 19.9 or losing 1.7 strokes per round.
For a round under the same duration, golfers with a handicap between 0 to 4.9 only lose 1.3 strokes. Handicappers from 5 to 9.9 lose 1.4 strokes on average with a round between 4.5 and 5 hours.
Golf is a very hard sport that is very hard to perfect, but research shows that playing a couple of seconds faster can lead to marginal gains.