Blog Entry

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days

Posted on: February 28, 2012 8:55 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 8:58 pm

By Steve Elling

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The NFL has the three-hour game almost down to a science. Big-league baseball not so much, but games are usually around that general time mark.

Basketball games in college and the pros log in well under that time figure.

So, how are fans supposed to remain engaged for a round of golf, not the most stimulating sport visually for spectators, if it takes five hours to complete? Or for the actual practitioners, five hours to play?

A possible answer: Cut the number of holes. Or at minimum, redistribute them. In theory, it would certainly help retain eyeballs in an era of increasingly shorter attention spans.

The game's biggest father figure, 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus, said Tuesday at the Honda Classic that he's suggested to PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem that a tournament in the future be cut down to 12-hole days, perhaps played over six days, versus 18 holes over four days.

"I'm trying to talk Tim -- and I talked to him about a year ago and he sort of poohpoohed me -- about the 12-hole golf," Nicklaus said. "He came back to me at the Masters last year and he says, 'You know, we are going to do more with this 12-hole golf. I'm going to do something with it.'

"He hasn't done anything yet, but he has it in his head. He likes it for the First Tee because they have two sixes [six-hole courses] and it makes a lot less time for First Tee. I said, 'Tim, what would be the difference -- we have to legitimize, if you are going to have people play 12-hole golf, you have to play golf in 2 1/2 hours."

Nicklaus has experimented with 12-hole rounds at his home track in Columbus, Ohio.

"Every other sport is played in less than three hours. If we can do that, why can't we play a tournament where we play six 12-hole rounds?" he said. "You just play a round and a half a day. You score it differently is all.  You wake up in the morning and you see where you've shot a 46 and a 23 and you shot 69 for the day as total number of strokes."

Actually, most people track scores relative to par, anyway, so a full 18-hole score at the end of the day has been somewhat marginalized already. In a 12-hole day, a player would be 3-under, and that number could be tracked instead over the 72-hole week.

"It's just how you score it, legitimize it, to get people to think about the game in a different way." Nicklaus said. "I hope he'll do it."

Don't hold your breath. The 18-hole round has been around for centuries, and Finchem is unwilling to do much more than turn his head on issues relating to slow play. But if Nicklaus presses the issue, it can't possibly hurt.


Since: Jun 18, 2012
Posted on: June 18, 2012 2:44 pm

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days

Here is a website and tell me what you think @ http://www.golfingforamatures.comKiss

Since: Jun 20, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:40 pm

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days

If you don't want to watch golf for 5 hours, don't!   Do something else for 2 hours, then turn on the TV and watch the last 12 holes!  Or, tape it and speed through the commercials.....done in 3.5 hours!!

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:49 am

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days Jack is the main reason golf takes so long now.  Golfers have been imitating his pace of play ever since he was on top of his game. You really don't know what you're talking about. Read the latest on Golf Magazine. Freddy Couples talks about his first pro tournament paired with Nicklaus. Freddy stated that he, out of deference to Nicklaus, walked the course, played the course, at Jacks pace...said it wore him out....he was not used to a quick pace.

Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: March 6, 2012 10:58 pm

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days

Uh for all you traditionalists golf was a round of 20 holes before it was "decided" by the Scots to only play 18.  So what, golf is golf if I play only 12 holes you only play 12 holes.  The better score still wins.

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: March 6, 2012 7:06 pm

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days

Jack is not thinking straight anymore and trying to fix the problem he caused.  The pro-am brings in BIG bucks to charities and how would that fit in the 12-hole format?  What the PGA needs is a SHOT Clock.  All the pre-shot routines are stupid.  In two-somes, they should be able to play in 3 hours, not 4+.  I know there is a lot of money at stake but making penalties for all the routines would make it fun.  Do you like the 24-second clock in BB or a clock in the NFL.  The players who can't get their stuff together should be penalized.  Watching Keegan Bradley makes me nuts.  Same with Crane.  (Just hit it.)

Since: Mar 2, 2011
Posted on: March 6, 2012 6:08 am

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days

Jack is the main reason golf takes so long now.  Golfers have been imitating his pace of play ever since he was on top of his game.

Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 6:03 pm

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days

What about shorter fields? What about the field being sent off the first and 10th tees for three rounds? What bout having them competing on the clock, if for only the moment they hit the green -- no surverying the putts from 10 different angles and initiate continuous putting instead of marking a putt when all there is left is 18 inches or less.

I loved Jack as a golfer, but he has always and always will be one who wants to remain a sage. His press conferences were always lectures in agronomy, pin placements, and the complexities or shortcomings of the holes. Jack's recommendation is Jack being Jack.  Football, basketball, and hockey haven't shortened their fields, they have made modification of situations within the game.

Let it go, Jack. The game is fine but just needs several major tweaks to make it move faster for fans and television.    

Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 4:30 pm

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days

Not a silly idea at all. Golf is way to long. 12 holes would be great. 12 holes for four day. 48 holes instead of 72 would be great for golf and even better for non pro golf. Cut that space needed for a course to be made and cut the price and more importantly the time it takes to play a round of golf. i would love golf to be only 12 holes. With a price cut to go along with it. Pull your head out of you arse and see the light my short sighted friiend.

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 1:25 pm

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days

Jack, seriously. Come on, what a silly idea. Golf officials just need to kick a Ben Crane or a Keegan Bradley in the butt and say "speed it up". They don't enforce their warnings for slow play. Every player knows how much time they have (just like in bowling). Every time they do not get their shot in time, they lose a stroke. Keep their shot, but lose a stroke. True golfers enjoy a 5 hour round to watch. If you don't like it, there are more channels out there. Just like NASCAR, when I get tired of watching cars going around and around, I switch to another channel and come back. Satellite/Cable TV and remote control are handy to have. I sure hope writers and columnists invest in them. I don't think Jack minde at all, but because I heard the Nicklaus Foundation mentioned at lest 20 times Sunday.

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:54 am

Nicklaus poses heretical idea: Use 12-hole days

I'm not sure Jack is using his faculties fully anymore. There are 100 guys in every tourney, why would you even worrty about making a tourney "veiwable" like a Basketball game. Golf appeals to the folks that have lots to do on the weekend and don't mind doing other things, and then catching backup on the action.  A 12 hole format would still take 5 hours for the Thursday field to get thru.  So I don't get it.  Sorry Jack.   

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