After announcing new measures to speed up the European Tour golf, penalty strokes are more likely to be imposed on slower players. The Tour will impose the new protocols in the professional side game from next season, with slow play being one of the hottest topics in the game. They are being designed to ensure that it takes less time to complete rounds at their tournaments. The four-point plan includes giving players an immediate one-stroke penalty if they incur two bad times in a round. Golfers who consistently fall behind schedule will also receive increased fines.
The tour also plans technological innovations to ensure players are more aware of playing too slowly and some tournaments will have reduced field sizes to avoid logjams of the course. The plans were endorsed by the tournament committee of the European Tour last month and are not a specific response to recent controversy surrounding the American Bryson DeChambeau. At the recent Northern Trust Open on the PGA Tour, the US Ryder Cup star was timed to miss an eight-foot putt for more than two minutes, prompting criticism from several rival players.
As portion of their European Tour affiliation, players will be needed to take a rule exam and fresh participants will meet with referees to teach them on the speed of play strategies. At next month’s BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth, a fresh timing scheme will be trialled. This will offer accurate timing for each team on the course to the referees.
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