At PXG, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve the game of golf and to create an environment where anyone can pick up a club and play. With that in mind, we asked PXG Ambassador Gary Player to share what he believes all golfers should pay attention to during their round to further advance their experience.
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What are the menaces of golf? When I play in Pro-Ams, things that are unnecessary, that irritate not only the pros. I try and never get irritable because we cannot do without the amateurs, and I accept it. But there’s certain things that they should learn, and it does upset the pros, is slow play. Now, for example, a guy gets up there. He takes that grass. Okay? He takes the grass like the wind’s blowing this. I see this all the time. The wind’s blowing. He throws the grass up in the air, he doesn’t even look at it.
I said to this one amateur the one time, “Why are you throwing that grass up in the air?” He says, “Well, all the good players do so I did it.” See. There’s a waste of time. Then you get a guy gets up and he’s got a seven iron to the green, and he has four practice swings, four practice swings, four practice swings, and he’s teed the ball up and he’s getting ready to hit. Oh, suddenly, the ball’s not in a certain line. Now he gets down and he re-tees it up. What the hang does it matter how you tee the ball up? It’s round, hit the damn thing, man.
Avoid the slow play. Don’t look at your putt from all different angles and walk back there and walk here and put the… I see even pros. I watched it in the Ryder Cup. They place the ball down, ready to putt, they place it, then they go up there and they come back a little and they replace it again. Even the best in the world. When you place that ball you should be able to place it once. That saves time. These are things that save time in the game. We’ve got to get people to speed up the game. For a start, if people played ready golf, not waiting for honors. That’s the worst thing that was ever invented for the weekend golfer, “It’s your honor.” Man, if you’re ready, hit it. If you play ready golf, it saves 25 minutes a round. What does that mean? It means you’ve got more to time to go to the clubhouse and have a decent drink, the clubhouse is going to make a bigger profit, and you’re going to play better.
There’s nothing worse than taking too much time. And if you work it out, if you play ready golf, over five years, what that does to a round of golf, the amount of time. If you multiply it by five years, it’s enormous. And what does that do? It cuts down on the income for a club to make a profit. It’s a small thing, but it’s a big thing. It’s like the faces of bunkers with all the sand piled up, it rains, and it washes it back. They pile it up again, and bring it back. You go to Australia where the best bunkers are in the world. They have a hard face, no sand in the face. And you hit in the face, whop, and it comes running back. Whop, bounces back.
Little things that can make a massive difference to a golf club, and to people’s enjoyment, and to save time. Now I see guys reading a book. These are the best players in the world, reading a book where to putt? And they have two or three practice rounds on the golf course, and they still have to have a book? Man, if you cannot read a green, you better go and sell potatoes. I’m telling you one thing, the players of the past, you can go back as far back as you like. The guys today do not putt any better. Bob Charles, Jack Nicholas, Bobby Locke was still the best putter of the world with Tiger. And they putted on greens with spike box. They didn’t want to look at books. The best putters that ever lived didn’t look at books, and the guys today cannot putt any better. In fact, they putt on greens that are 10 times better and still don’t putt better.
So, it’s a waste of time. And I believe, I believe Augusta stopped them from using books. We should not allow players to use a book to read a green. If you have practice, I go to golf courses, I’ve never seen in my life. I don’t misread the greens, at 86, with these old eyes. And they got young, fresh eyes, they have a practice round, they still need a book? No. That is really the epitome of ridiculous and slowing down play. Now, let me take you to the green and show you another thing that we should stop.
Here’s one of the worst rules they’ve ever introduced to golf, to speed up play. In fact, I think it slows up play. This is perfect, and we’ll come to this in a minute. But you go to golf clubs today, the guy holes the putt. I’m going to take this out a minute. He holes the putt, and he’s got a flag in there. Now he’s got to get these big-handed guys. They’ve got to get their hand inside the cup here, the side, here’s the flag. They’ve got to get their hands inside and they’ve managed to squeeze the ball out, and now watch. They take the ball out. Look what happens to the cup. See that?
They pull the cup up. Every single golf course you go to now, since they introduced that rule, the cup here, you see this, is an eighth of an inch higher. Look at this. Eighth of an inch higher. See? So when the ball comes here originally, when the cup is level there, level, the ball gets there and it falls in. Now, invariably you the ball get there and it stays there. Because the cup is tilted that way. And that’s because you have the cup.
Now here, which I expect from Bob Parsons. He’s put this bit of foam in here. It’s a very simple thing. You put the foam in there. When you do that, you take the ball out, you never put your hands in the cup, you just pull it out like that. They had this at Preston Trails the other day in Dallas, and they’ve got it here. You hit the ball in the cup. You just come up, you come up to the hole, and you just take the flag out like that. You never put your hands in the cup at all. And that makes a massive difference. I’m talking about a massive difference. Now you watch the pros when they play. You never see them put their hands and squeeze the cup. They always take the ball out nice and gently. And that makes a big difference to your putting.