Shot clock in golf? Colin Montgomerie is for it

Colin Montgomerie
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Colin Montgomerie thinks golfers, like chess players, should have a specific amount of time to play each shot or receive a penalty.
By John Holmes

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013 | 8:56 p.m.

The topic of slow play has been much discussed lately. European Tour stalwart Colin Montgomerie has an idea how to stop it once and for all – a shot clock.

Monty, who's now playing the Champions Tour, is one of the faster players in the game. He'd like to see every player timed from first tee box to 18th green, and that one-stroke penalties be applied whether players are famous or not. His reference is to the fact that two young Asian players have been penalized for slow play in majors this year, but no big-name tour player ever has.

"What I would love to see … would be for one of the top players to have that shot penalty and then it would really resonate throughout the rest of the field," he said at the Senior British Open at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England. 

"Why do you have to wait to be slow before you are put on the clock?,'' he asked. ''There should be an allotted time to play the game, like chess where you have a certain time to play.

"It has been mentioned about a shot clock and that is interesting,'' he added. "There are 52 referees out there at major championships and they should all have a clock, should be able to put them on the clock on the first tee to ensure they all get around in time."

Montgomerie calls slow play ''the biggest bugbear" in golf.

"If the first two groups take five or more hours to go round, then the day is gone, you can't make it up,'' he said. "But if that first group takes four hours and five minutes then you have a chance.''




I totally agree. But, there is something else. Golf is the greatest game in the world-with the dumbest and mo0st ubiquitous rules. We have a commercial on TV where Mickleson is reminding a guy to play the ball where it lies. And yet, one of the things that slows play the most is these pros and their caddies waiting for marshalls to show up to explain to them all of their options because they want relief. If the ball is playable, hit it as it lies...if not, declare it unplayable, take your stroke penalty, and hit it. If you are on a fairway with hazards to either side and it goes in the hazard, there ought to be a reasonable drop zone just like on a par 3, maybe 2-one back some and one further up. Drop it and hit it. Don't wander around for 1/2 hr., trying to figure the EXACT spot of crossing.Simplify the rules!