Colin Montgomerie suggests golf needs a shot clock
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Colin Montgomerie suggests golf needs a shot clock

Colin Montgomerie's now 50 years old and competing on the Champions Tour. So, with a sense of irony, Monty is preaching an even better solution than the "While We're Young" campaign.

The eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner suggested this week that golf needs a shot clock.

“There are 52 referees out there at major championships and they should all have a clock to be able to put them on the clock on the first tee to ensure they all get around in time," Monty said ahead of this week's Senior Open Championship at Birkdale, according to the Independent. "It has been mentioned about a shot clock, and that is interesting. There should be an allotted time to play the game, like chess, where you have a certain time to play.”

Monty's not the first to say it, and he certainly won't be the last to offer it as a solution for slow play.

While it's a good idea in theory, there are some hang-ups.

  • When does a referee decide it is officially a player's turn? That's awfully arbitrary, especially if the ball still has to roll out and come to a complete stop before the next player is to go.
  • Where is the shot clock posted? Is it put on the standard? Who controls it?
  • What times are assigned to each shot? Drives take less time than approaches which take less time than putts. What if someone lands in a hazard? Does the shot clock begin as soon as the ball is in play?
  • What if a fan shouts "Mashed potatoes!" in the middle of a player's swing and they back off? Is the clock reset?
  • How many times could a player miss the clock before they are penalized? Is there a foul limit?

As you can see, a simple suggestions gets awfully complicated very quickly. To solve it, then, maybe we should've started while we were young.

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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