Bill Yates, pace-of-play guru, passes away

Bill Yates, the golf industry’s best-known 
advocate for speeding up play at
 courses around the world, 
died June 4 at his Pebble Beach,
Calif., home after a short battle 
with pancreatic cancer. 

the “Pace of Play Guru,” Yates 
founded a consulting company, Pace Manager Systems, that helped operators eliminate problems caused by slow play. He was a frequent speaker at industry gatherings, including Golf Inc., offering his extensively researched recommendations for improving the pace of play at courses.

He also consulted with golf club general managers at hundreds of golf course properties. These included Pebble Beach Golf Links, and St. Andrews in Scotland, the Royal and Ancient.

Yates was an industrial engineer and efficiency expert when in 1993 he read an article about the USGA’s efforts to create a Pace Rating for each golf course. He volunteered to help and began testing the association’s formula. After hours of observation, he identified the root causes for slow play. He eventually founded his company and began to offer his expertise to courses. 

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