European Tour unveils 2018 Shot Clock Masters
A shot clock has already been used at a European Tour event, but next year it will be utilised for every stroke of a new tournament.
The European Tour has stepped up its bid to combat slow play with the announcement of a new event for 2018 – the Shot Clock Masters.
This year's innovative GolfSixes event, which featured entrance music for players, celebrity hosts and increased fan interaction, experimented with the use of a shot clock on one hole.
However, the tour's latest addition to the schedule – taking place at the Diamond Country Club in Austria next June – will see every shot subjected to time limits in a first for professional golf.
The first competitor playing any given shot in each group will be afforded 50 seconds, with subsequent players getting 40 seconds. Each player will also have the right to call two 'time-outs' in each round, giving them double the usual allotted time.
Any player picking up a 'bad time' will incur a one-shot penalty.
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: "The 2018 Shot Clock Masters will be a fascinating addition to our schedule next year. Not only will it help us combat slow play and reduce round times, it is also further evidence of our desire to embrace innovation."
Bernd Wiesberger, Austria's leading player, added: "The new shot clock format is an ideal way to focus on the issue of pace of play. The game of golf should definitely be faster and therefore this is a step in the right direction."
A 40 second time limit. On every shot?!— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 23, 2017