The European Tour will take another crack at curbing slow play next summer when they implement a 40-second shot clock on every hole at the Austrian Open.
As first reported by the U.K.’s Daily Mail, the June 7-10 event outside Vienna will feature referees walking with every group, timer in hand. Players will be given a warning the equivalent of a yellow card in soccer for their first offense, while every subsequent shot that takes longer than 40 seconds will incur a one-shot penalty.
The report cites an unnamed official who estimates that the measure could help speed up rounds by as much as 45 minutes. It reportedly received “unanimous support” at a players’ meeting during last week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, including that of 2016 Ryder Cup participants Lee Westwood and Andy Sullivan.
“It underlines how long 40 seconds is to play a shot, and how ridiculous it is that rounds take so long,” Sullivan said. “The sooner it’s introduced on tour, the better.”
It’s the second time in as many years that the European Tour has introduced an innovation designed to speed up play. The inaugural edition of Golf Sixes in May featured a digital, 40-second shot clock behind players on one hole, where American Paul Peterson received the only slow-play penalty of the week.
This year also saw the first slow play penalty on the PGA Tour since 1995, when the team of Miguel Angel Carballo and Brian Campbell were docked a shot during the alternate-shot portion of the two-man Zurich Classic of New Orleans.