First it was snooker, now it is golf. Two sports that people often describe as arduous, lengthy and boring have been spiced up by the introduction of a shot clock to help speed up play in tournaments.
The 2018 Shot Clock Masters in Austria will be the first time European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley has made a direct attempt to step up his fight for the European Tour against slow play by introducing shot clocks, shot penalties and red cards at an event next year.
How will it work?
- The first player in a group will get 50 seconds to hit a shot then 40 seconds for the others.
- Players will be hit with a one-shot penalty for each bad time incurred and these will be shown as a red card against their name on the leaderboard.
- Each player will have the right to call two ‘time-outs’ during a round, permitting them twice the usually allotted time to play the shot.
What does Monty think?
European Tour legend Colin Montgomerie, who has been an advocate for speedy play throughout his trophy-laden career, is a big fan of the new tournament that will appear on the 2018 schedule. He wrote on social media site Twitter: “Congratulations @EuropeanTour. After 30 yrs a deterrent that will work. Pace of play has been determined by the slowest player for too long.”
Congratulations @EuropeanTour after 30 yrs a deterrent that will work pace of play has been determined by the slowest player for too long
— Colin Montgomerie (@montgomeriefdn) October 23, 2017
It is predicted that this latest innovation will reduce round times by around 45 minutes, reducing three-ball timings to approximately four hours, and two-balls to around three hours 15 minutes.
“The 2018 Shot Clock Masters will be a fascinating addition to our schedule next year,” said Pelley. “Not only will it help us combat slow play and reduce round times, it is also further evidence of our desire to embrace innovation.”
Pelley is certainly helping to transform the European Tour to new heights which is proven from this year’s successful Rolex Series and this latest introduction that is not only advancing the Tour but also golf in general as a sport and attraction.