When I started playing golf I saw it as a great way to unwind after a week of work or for the retired, a way to escape the missus for the day. It was a leisurely day out and whilst we weren't slow, we weren't interested in "running" around the course. However times have changed and nearly everyone these days is time poor can't be seen to be taking the whole day out for a game.
Pace of Play has become a big talking point. In the latest Iseekgolf.com. news there is talk about a Green Card for golfers!
It talks about having to pass a test to prove that the player understands pace of play...I can't see this happening here and to me, seems ridiculous. Some clubs charge a fortune to join and then they want you to sit a test on slow play...crazy. At a time when many clubs are struggling, this would drive people away from the game, not encourage them to take it up.
It's up to the clubs to impress upon its members the etiquette for pace of play...it's not rocket science but seems to be something that golf clubs have trouble commandeering. The need to have a certain amount of players through on certain days (mainly Saturday comp) is a good starting point.
If you are trying to push 200+ through and the course has a capacity of 180 then no amount of educating members will solve the problem, there will be hold ups everywhere because the groups are hitting off too close together and there is just not enough hours of daylight (talking mainly winter here) to get everyone finished before the light has gone. It only takes one group to have a problem and that delay dominoes back through the field. The first few groups of the day might take 4hrs or less but if a group mid field has trouble and takes 4hrs 30 then that is the pace for all groups behind them..and so on if another strikes trouble.
Every golf course presents unique challenges therefore it cannot be assumed that say 4hrs 20 is the norm. Some are faster, some slower but if it takes 4hrs45+ at any course then management need to look hard at themselves and the practices they employ.
There are many factors that go into the deciding pace of play of a course besides just the player. Management have to start taking a stronger approach. A "Green Card" won't make an iota of difference here.