One of the many downsides to the PGA Tour turning a blind eye to slow play all of these years: eventually the glacial practices would become sacrosanct. The process of hitting a ball, in the wrong hands, is an act of entitlement, not a privilege.
While the loathsomely slow and inconsiderate Ben Crane will always be leader in the PGA Tour slow play clubhouse, Bryson DeChambeau’s making a strong push to be known as the PGA Tour’s slowest and least considerate player.
After two episodes on PGA Tour Live went viral—Featured Group coverage can not jump to another hole to mask how long some players take to figure out a shot—DeChambeau was blasted by many, including fellow pros. (You can also watch the episodes in question, if you can carve out the time).
Following his round Saturday at The Northern Trust, DeChambeau opened his press conference with a diatribe that essentially returned to his views shared earlier this year that he gets to his ball faster than most, therefore earning rewards of a sort in the form of extra seconds to contemplate.
“A lot of it’s the caddies. A lot of it’s the other players,” DeChambeau said. “They don’t care about walking fast. I play a different way out there. I take my 40 seconds that’s allotted, sometimes over, absolutely. Totally agree. It’s maybe 5 percent of the time. But I’ll tell you that it’s really kind of unfortunate the way it’s perceived because there’s a lot of other guys that take a lot of time. They don’t talk about this matter and for me personally, it is an attack and it is something that is not me whatsoever. People don’t realize the harm they are doing to the individuals.”
Imagine what he’d think of the harm of being put on the clock and it ended in penalty shots.
But back to the original issue at hand: the PGA Tour’s inaction over the years. It has led to this festering situation where top players Koepka and McIlroy are speaking out, where players are calling each other names and where fans are responding in droves on social media that DeChambeau is the poster child for why they watch less golf.
All of the avoidance of penalty strokes, to protect a player’s brand and keep golf out of the headlines with negative press, has led us to a point where the bickering is getting louder, uglier and more expensive for the PGA Tour if nothing continues to be done.