The European Tour has been leading the way when it comes to new innovations towards the game and they’re not joking around when it comes to slow play. The Tour will be implementing shot-clocks for the first time in a professional tournament.
The first player in the group will have 50 seconds to make their shot, with every subsequent shot 40 seconds. Not only will the timing be forced, but a whole new kind of ref will be added to the course with this new addition. 40 timing officials will be needed to implement this practice, an intimidating prospect for those who like to take their time (looking at you Jason Day).
A 40 second time limit. On every shot?! ⏱️
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 23, 2017
Initially, the thought was to give players a type of yellow card in warning before being issued a penalty. This idea was shot down to show how serious they really are about pace of play and will be giving no warnings. Players will be sanctioned immediately and shamed with a red card placed next to their names on the scoreboard.
However, the pros will be allowed two “time-outs” per round, which will permit them twice the allotted time to play the shot.
With this new policy, the tournaments name will be changed to the Shot Clock Masters and although there will surely be controversy, the Tour seems pleased to welcome such a change to the game.
“With this change, there will be much more attention from the international sports media during the tournament,” Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger said. “The new shot-clock format is an ideal way to focus on the issue of pace of play. The game of golf should definitely be faster and therefore this is a step in the right direction.”
Dustin Johnson actually thinks it’s a “fun” idea, even though he knows some players might not like it at all.
“I think it would be very interesting. You’d see a lot of guys getting penalties on our tour,” Johnson said. “Yeah, that would be quite fun, actually. I’d have plenty of time, but there’s a lot of guys that wouldn’t. They would be getting a penalty on every hole.”
Players like Henrik Stenson will be watching the tournament closely to see how it all unfolds. The stress levels of these golfers will be at an all time high as the time ticks away from them, but if all goes well we could be seeing more tournaments like this.