Pace of play was a big issue at the Ladies Scottish Open, and Harriet Shephard worries that it dampened the LET's long-awaited comeback.
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Watching the final round of the Ladies Scottish Open, I went through a weird mix of emotions.
On the one hand, it was INCREDIBLY exciting.
Five different players were leading throughout the day, and Stacy Lewis eventually won with a superb birdie putt on the first hole of the four-way playoff.
On paper, it sounds like it should have been edge-of-your-seat action from start to finish.
And, in almost every way it was, except for the fact that many groups took over five hours. That bit was a little tedious.
But, what I find way more frustrating than watching so much pausing and waiting is that straight after the first LET event since March, much of the discussion on social media in and in some of the press is about how slow the final was, rather than how brilliant the playing was.
I really wanted women’s golf to come back with such a huge bang and wow everyone. After all, it's essential that we keep on building on the momentum generated by the Rose Ladies Series.
Stacy Lewis spoke out about the slow pace of play, and I can't blame her for that.
Many media outlets (and yes, I know I'm doing it again now) quoted her criticising her playing partners Jennifer Song and Azahara Muñoz at the end of Round 3.
“The pace of play is dreadfully slow. My biggest challenge tomorrow will be to figure out how I can get into a good rhythm and not feel like I’m waiting so long in between holes," she said.
She wasn't wrong to be concerned either - her final round took five hours and 16 minutes and it must have been so exhausting to remain totally focused throughout that whole time.
After her win she said: “It shouldn't take that long to play but I knew it was going to; that's the sad part. I do think an effort needs to be made across the board to play faster."
The pauses certainly didn’t help our campaign to convince the wider public that women’s golf is fun to watch and deserves more television time.
But many were quick to point out that players in the men’s game are also slow, they just have the extra budget and cameras to be able to disguise this on TV.
While taking over five hours for a round is never okay, it does lead back to the wider point that if the women’s game had the money and investment that the men’s game has, then it would grow in popularity enormously.
Speaking to Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist this morning she told me that one of her rounds at the Ladies Scottish took even longer that Stacy’s.
“On Friday my round took five hours and 45 minutes. There’s no excuse for that,” she said.
“We waited for every shot from the second hole, just standing around. I don’t know if anyone enjoyed it, it wasn’t fun. It’s a long time to try and keep your focus.”
You have to sympathise with the players and those like Anna and Stacy who thrive with a faster pace. It's also been suggested that the slow pace was why Stacy stumbled and shot a double bogey on the 11th.
Meanwhile, on Twitter two-time European Tour winner Eddie Pepperell described a screenshot of Song and her caddie consulting three books on the tee as "painfully slow, awful TV."
But 99.9% of the tournament was sensational entertainment, and it’s very unfair that many will now have totally the wrong impression about women's golf. It's not boring or painful to watch, at all.
However, slow play is a problem that we can’t ignore.
Just as it will put busy working women off from taking up the game at club level, it puts people off watching the professional game and deters sponsors from investing money in it.
We need to get the game moving faster and the focus switched back onto the talents of these amazing players.