From the fairways: a golf guru at the right pace


A good tempo in the golf swing and a good score can invariably be affected by a good pace of play.

Local teaching guru Joe Grochmal chimes in this week with his thoughts on the right pace of play on the golf course.


“There is an expression of golf that I never heard when I was a kid. If a player habitually spent excessive time on each move, they were sometimes diplomatically and sometimes less diplomatically told to continue. Slow play wasn’t so much the problem as it is now,” Grochmal said. “So what triggered the new attitudes? Maybe it stemmed from high-cost resort courses wanting to add a few more quartets every day, or maybe it was an attempt to get the pros out of the course before the 6 p.m. news on TV.

I can’t identify the exact cause, but slow play is definitely an issue today. This isn’t much of a problem on the professional tours or amateur championship tournaments where player skill is nearly equal and rule makers are readily available. During regular country club play, high handicap players hold low handicap players. More strokes equals more time equals a slow pace. Skilled players equal faster play and wait. So what to do?

A slow group might let a waiting group pass – but be careful as fast players cannot be expected to play in every group on the course. The issue of slow play is a dilemma. Be aware of the group of golfers waiting. Limit your practice swings and green reading to one and you’re done. It’s a gentleman’s game. We’ve all been to worse places, so be safe and play nice.

Women’s Golf: Feeding Hills’ Angela Garvin won the 2022 Hartford Women’s Open earlier this week, held at Keney Park Golf Course in Windsor, Connecticut. Garvin won in the playoffs with Longmeadow’s Annie Dai. Both players finished tied with a two-day total of 143. Garvin also won the event in 2020.

Jaelyn DeBoise of Springfield was 14th.

Tournament info: The 49th Union Street Open will be played on Saturday July 30 at Tekoa CC. USO commissioner Pete Mayock said: “When I started we had six players, it grew to 120 players, now we still have between 80 and 90 golfers. It’s a great way to bring long-time friends together for a round of golf, a few beers, lunch, and dinner. Special thanks to committee member Tom Lepper for all the work he does for this tournament. Other committee members include Gary DeStephano and Mike Grimaldi. “The older we got, the better off we were,” Mayock added.

The Annual Western Mass Junior Golf Open will be held on August 6, 2022 at the Franconia Golf Course in Springfield, MA.

Register at

6-9 year olds play 4 holes. 10-12 year olds play 9 holes. 13-18 year olds play 18 holes. Deadline: August 2, 2022

Approximate tee time for all age groups is 1:30 pm Registration fee: $30 including golf, prizes and dinner payable in cash or check at the tournament site.

Golf Western Mass, founded in 2014 by Joann and David DiRico, has been supporting junior golf and Western Mass golfers for seven years. Distributing over $60,000 in college scholarships, hosting the Western Mass Junior Open, supporting the CT PGA Golf Foundation, and honoring the MassLive All Western Mass Golf team. In 2021, Golf Western Mass awarded $8,000 in scholarships to high school golfers en route to three different schools, UCONN, Franklin Pierce and Campbell University. Golf Western Mass is now co-chaired by EJ Altobello, PGA and Lindsay Allard.


Mark Rodrigo, Chicopee Country Club, July 21, 16th hole, 165 yards, 6 iron, attended by Matt Przybylowicz, Ross Domingos and Austin Kuenzel; Cliff Lanier, Chicopee Country Club, July 25, 16th hole, 160 yards, 8 iron, in the presence of Dave Irwin and Mike Fortin; Michael Squires, Greenfield Country Club, July 23, 15th hole, 127 yards, 9 iron, David Washburn, Shaun Fleming, Chris Demers attended.

Chris Miracle’s weekly golf column, From the Fairways, appears on Thursdays. He can be contacted by email at