“Pace of Play” POLICY/CONTRACT
The USGA did a study a few years back and found that “slow play” is the number-one obstacle to growing the game.
If we ask anyone that causes slow play, almost universally the answer is, “the group ahead.” What’s the solution? Many of us will have a multitude of answers; walk faster, take gimme putts, move the slow players to later in the tee sheet, tee it forward, wave up on par threes, etc, etc...
The big obstacle to correcting the problem has been the lack of a thorough understanding of what causes slow play.
So, who is responsible for slow play? Statistics show we all are! Here are some important tips to improve everyone’s pace of play:
MAXIMUM score allowed on any hole is a 9. Everybody has a rough hole now and again, and that’s what this rule is for. NEVER take your 9th swing, as you have already made a 9. Please pick up your ball after your 8th shot and record a 9 on the scorecard and get ready to battle on the next hole...
USE THE GIMME TAPE! If your ball is in the tape, pick it up and add the stroke. DO NOT PUTT!
You DO NOT have to play good, to play fast. Be ready to play your shot when it is your turn. DO NOT wait to line up your
putt, start your pre-shot routing, etc. until it is your turn. Do these things while others are hitting so you are ready to pull the
trigger as soon as it is your honor.
DO NOT walk down the fairway together as a group chatting. Each member of a group should proceed directly to his or her ball. The group should not travel as a pack, going first to one ball, then the next, and so on. Do your chatting on the tee box and the green when the group naturally comes back together.
If sharing a cart, don't drive to the first ball and wait for the first player to hit and then head to the second ball. Instead, drop the first player off at his ball and drive on ahead to the second ball. The first player should hit their shot and then walk over to the cart as the second player is playing his shot.
Carry a few extra tees, ball markers and a spare ball in your pockets so you don't have to return to your golf bag to retrieve them, should you find yourself in need of one.
When you think your shot might have landed out of bounds or be lost, immediately hit a provisional ball. Don't walk ahead to search, only to have to return to the original spot to replay a shot. ***BE SURE TO DEEM YOUR SHOT A PROVISIONAL***
Limit your search for lost balls. If you're not following the rules anyway, don't spend more than a minute searching - or just immediately play your provisional. (If you are playing by the rules, wave through any group behind that is being held up by your search.)
Never hold up play because you're in the middle of a conversation. Put the conversation on hold, take your stroke, then continue the conversation.
On the green, begin lining up your putt and reading the break as soon as you reach the green. When it's your turn to putt, be prepared to step right up and take the stroke.
Leave your bags or golf carts to the side of the green, and in the direction of the next tee, never in front of the green.
Never stand on or next to the green after holing out in order to write down your score. Write it down when you reach the next
If all else fails, try playing "ready golf," which simply means that order of play is based on who's ready, not who's away.
Utilize all of the drop zones at the water hazards. These drop zones, on holes 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 are there to help you out, and
SPEED UP play.
On hole #4, allow the group behind you to hit their tee shots when you approach the green. This is ESPECIALLY important if
the group behind you is walking! It will allow them to start the longish trek across the bridge and to the green while your group is chipping/putting out.
· Most experts say that a good pace of play not only increases enjoyment of the game, it can actually improve one's game. Standing around on every shot allows the muscles to cool down or limbs to stiffen up. A brisk pace can help keep a golfer loose and ready to play.
· Use the groups ahead of you and behind you to gauge your pace. If there's no one in front of you holding you up, but you are holding up those behind you, either speed up or prepare to be forced to skip playing the 6th hole. If you cannot see the group ahead of you, you are the problem! Please take action to speed up.
· After you have hit your shot, get back in the cart as soon as you have determined where your shot has landed. Clean and place your club back into your bag when you get to the next shot. The idea here is to keep moving, not race around or make your cart partner wait for you.
As a FOURSOME, you, me, and the other guys, MUST keep up with the group IN FRONT of us/them. It sounds very simple and in reality, it really is. If each group simply keeps pace with the group in front of them, we will all be able to play 9 holes in about 2 hours. We NEED to do this.
IF THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN, our Pace of Play Policy will be enforced.
· The USGA course rating pace of play has been established at 1 hour and 55 minutes. Our league expected pace of play is MAXIMUM 2 hours and 15 minutes.
· Pace thru 5 holes should be no more than 1 hour and 15 minutes (15 minutes per hole) with the final four holes to be completed in NO MORE THAN 60 minutes.
· If a group is thru hole 5 and has a time that is longer than 1 hour and 15 minutes, AND, if that group has an empty hole 6 in front of you that is open, you will have been added to the slow play list.
· If a group is added to the slow play list, each and every week thereafter, if the group finishes hole 5 and has a time that is longer than 1 hour and 15 minutes, AND, the green on #6 is clear, they will be required to move directly to hole 7.
· If a group is forced to skip hole 6, each player in the group will receive a NET bogey on hole 6.
Believe me, this is the absolute last thing we want to do to any group. But it is absolutely imperative that we do this to assure
EVERYBODY’s enjoyment of the league.
Here are some things that the new league members may or may not know in regards to the league that will help improve our pace,
along with a few tips from my years of playing golf and managing golf operations:
It is not our intention to penalize any player or make a group skip the 6th hole because of slow play. It is our intention to have a league that all members can enjoy at a reasonable pace. 2 hours and 15 minutes is actually longer than existing course pace rating (1:55), while 1:55 is certainly preferred, 2:15 is acceptable and easily attainable.
As in any change, there will be discussion, disagreement and even frustration over who is at fault, the pointing of fingers and so on. Understand this, each member of a foursome is responsible for that groups pace of play.
All League Members must sign the following statement before your first round of the year.
I have read and understood the above pace of play tips and rules. I understand that if my group finishes the 5th hole in more than 1 hour and 15 minutes, that our group will receive a slow play warning. I understand and agree that if this happens a second time during the league season, that our group will move directly to the 7th tee and skip playing the 6th hole.
I have read the above suggestions, tips, rules, & regulations. I agree to follow said provisions.
Signature:_________________________________________________ Print Name:________________________________________