EXCLUSIVE

Darren Clarke demands action on slow play

Darren Clarke Slow Play Main

Darren Clarke is the latest golfer to urge the powers-that-be to take action against slow play.

The issue has been of the sport’s most contentious issues for years but continues to dog the main professional tours.

Clarke, 50, believes it’s now time for the game’s ruling bodies to step in and start consistently punishing players who take too long.

“Slow play is the bane of professional golf,” the former Open champion told bunkered.co.uk. “Give them shots. There’s nothing else that’s going to make any difference other than giving them shots. Financial penalties, warnings, all that sort of stuff – that’s not going to make any difference whatsoever.”

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Clarke, one of the faster players in the game, insists that there’s next to no good reason for taking over the allotted time to play.

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“The only time it’s acceptable is if you’ve got a really difficult lie, and you can’t get your yardage, and you’re trying to work out angles and that sort of stuff,” he added. “That’s when you’ve got to spend a bit of time, you and your caddie, working out what to do. Sometimes, that takes longer and that’s fine, that’s the way it is.

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“But let’s say you’re third on the tee on a par-3. The two guys in front of you have got their yardages and you and your caddie have got yours. So, before the first guy hits, you know what your number is. There’s no reason why, when it comes your time to play, why you shouldn’t know what to be hitting. I don’t get it. I honestly don’t understand it. I’ve never been a slow player and I never will be.”

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The 2011 Open champion believes that the knock-on effects of tour players playing slowly are potentially damaging for the game in both the short and long-term.

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“It’s awful to watch. Absolutely awful. You see some guys stalking all around the greens and it’s just horrendous.

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“It’s hard thing to watch and the worst of it is that you’ve got all these young amateurs coming through and they’re watching the PGA Tour, watching these guys take forever to hit the ball. Who do you think they’re modeling themselves on?

'I understand to a certain degree that, because the financial rewards these days are so huge, the difference between one shot could be an exorbitant amount of cash. But, at the end of the day, I’ve yet to find anybody who plays better slower.”

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