If the United States Golf Association and Royal Ancient Golf Club can quicken the pace of play as rapidly as they continue to introduce new rules, golf might finally have something here.
While stating the game is meant to be performed more naturally without the aid of those measurements, the ruling bodies of golf are also seeking to speed-up play by eliminating the somewhat tedious process of watching players study those books as though they are cramming for a chemistry exam.
Open local qualifier will be Wednesday at Butler Country Club where 78 players will be competing for four spots.
However, the field will include 52 amateurs, a growing sign that fewer and fewer local professionals are competing in the Open qualifiers.
At last week’s other local qualifier at Wildwood Golf Club, a similar percentage of players 26 of 40 players (65 percent) also were amateurs.
Sean Knapp, a seven-time West Penn Amateur champion who is in the field at Butler, said there are several reasons for the disparity between amateurs and professionals competing in the U.S.
Also, strange as it sounds, amateurs have more time to play than most club professionals.
After a nine-year absence, the West Penn Golf Association is bringing back its women’s amateur championship a tournament that disappeared because of a lack of participation.
The tournament, formerly known as the Club Car Classic, was shortened to 18 holes in an attempt to strengthen the field and get more local club professionals to compete.