Back in the mid-2000's I played a majority of my rounds at a club about a mile from my house. I averaged 100+ rounds per year there, played at least 1000 rounds there over the years. Slow play wasn't a huge factor during the week, but on the weekends it was atrocious. No enforcement. No course rangers trying to keep tabs and help speed up play. It wasn't uncommon to be backed up 3 groups deep, waiting to tee off on the par3 4th hole.
So right out of the gates - waiting on the group ahead was pretty much expected.
We, as a group, decided that we'd simply adapt. Complaining about it got us nowhere. It wasn't like management was overly concerned about it, as they were trying to cram as many golfers on the tee sheet as they could on the weekends, at 8-minute intervals. And they didn't want to piss players off by telling them to pick up their pace. They didn't want to confront the slow players.
But it was so close to my house, and such a good deal for me as the membership was very affordable. Our group simply adapted to that environment. We'd take time in between shots to clean clubs, make small talk, whatever, to keep us somewhat distracted from the fact that we were having to wait.
So back around 2006-2007, I decided I'd had enough of it. It was time for change. I'd played this course 1000 times and decided to change things up. I joined a private club beginning the following year.
About 7 months into my private club membership, one of the guys in my group just casually says to me, "Hey - you know that you have a reputation here for being a slow player, right? Don't take it personal - we enjoy playing with you. You're a good player and we very much look forward to playing with you. But it wouldn't hurt to pick up your pace a bit."
Initially, I was dumbstruck. Slow player? How so? Are you serious? But I kept my own opinions to myself and thanked him for letting me know. I didn't take it personal. And I went about making the adjustment, once again, for a quicker pace of play. And that adjustment wasn't easy early on. I was so caught up in trying to make sure I wasn't delaying play that my game suffered as a consequence. But then once I made that adjustment, when I got more accustomed to playing at a quicker pace - my game and my scores actually improved a month later.
All it took was someone with enough balls to confront me about it, and then me not taking offense to the advice given.
I'd spent the better part of a decade playing at the local 5+ hour round of golf that it became part of my normal routine. It took someone willing to confront me to change that. And a few months later, I was actually the quickest player in our group and no longer part of the problem.
That's pretty much the identical situation we have on Tour these days. No one thinks they're slow. Yet most of them are, because they've adapted to the standards that the Tour allows regarding pace. There's no enforcement. There's no one calling someone out for being slow. It is accepted, and all of the players are forced to adapt to that situation.
And that's why I can't find fault with one particular player on Tour for being slow. It is a symptom of lack of enforcement by the rules officials. If they're not gonna address the issue, then the players are obviously gonna somehow adapt to maintain some sort of playing rhythm, otherwise the frustrations of waiting on every other shot on the group ahead takes a toll.
Slow play exists because it is tolerated. Not just at the tour level, but our level too.