Golfers' Perceptions of Pace of Play

Open Access
Bird, Matthew Lee
Area of Honors:
Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Deborah Lee Kerstetter, Thesis Supervisor
  • Deborah Lee Kerstetter, Honors Advisor
  • G Burch Wilkes Iv, Faculty Reader
  • golf
  • golfers
  • perceptions
  • slow play
  • speed of play
  • pace of play
Growth in the golf industry has been mostly flat for the past eight years. It is crucial for golf facilities to retain members and increase rounds during this current economic downturn. One way golf facilities retain members is by effectively handling the issue of slow play. Golf facilities that effectively handle slow play will experience a more content membership. The primary purpose of this study was to explore golfers’ perceptions of pace of play at a public golf facility. The extent to which golfers believe slow play is an issue was evaluated. Respondents were asked to answer a number of questions through an on-line questionnaire including the number of golf holes played weekly, the number of years as a member, and golfers perception of pace of play. The results indicated that pace of play is perceived to be a problem at the Penn State Golf Courses and the number of golf holes played weekly and length of membership are significantly related to golfers’ perceptions of pace of play. More specifically, the bulk of members felt that having clocks on various tee boxes has been ineffective in improving pace of play. Also, a majority of members felt that the full-time golf course rangers have been ineffective. The results of the study indicate that the Penn State Golf Courses need to do a more effective job in improving pace of play through more useful initiatives.