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Management Company Takes Lead in Speeding Up Play


OB Sports has come up with a novel plan to address unnecessarily long golf rounds. The Scottsdale-based firm, which operates courses mostly in the West but also in the Southeast and in the Great Lakes area, has launched Express Lane Tee Times.

The program was initiated at Angel Park in Las Vegas in February, but has since expanded it to Sedona Golf Resort and Eagle Mountain Golf Club in Arizona.

The program involves guaranteeing players that they'll get their rounds in under four hours, 3:45 to be exact.

"We began the program as a way to speed up pace of play and to differentiate Angel Park from other courses in Las Vegas," said Kris Strauss, OB Sports VP of Marketing.

"We weren't sure how it would be received, but found out quickly there are a lot of players who want to get out for an early morning tee time and be home in time to take their kids to soccer or baseball."

As part of the Express Lane Tee Time plan, the first tee times of the day are reserved specifically for players who agree to play their rounds in 3:45 or less. When a player calls to reserve one of those times, they are told they must agree to play in the allotted time. When they arrive at the course, each player must sign an agreement committing to the pace of play. If a group falls behind, they are warned to speed up play.

If that doesn't happen, they are moved up a hole or to the back of the Express Lane Tee Times, allowing those who are on pace to play through and complete their rounds on time.

"I think the key to the success of the program is that we communicate it loud and often," added Strauss. "We tell then when tee times are booked, we remind them in the Pro shop, have them sign the agreement and remind them again on the first tee. So no one can be surprised if our course marshal tells them to pick up the pace."

Sedona Golf Resort announced this week that they will dedicate the first six tee times each day to the Express Lane program. Eagle Mountain Golf Club in Fountain Hills has also converted the first four tee times on the weekend to Express Lane Tee Time.

Plans call for additional courses to add the program to their tee sheets in the coming months.

For more information about OB Sports and its stable of golf courses, visit www.obsports.com.