Pace of Play

Pace of Play Policy (to be reviewed February 2021)

Introduction

This is a policy with the aims and objectives of addressing “slow play” as recommended by the rules of golf.

It has been adopted to ensure competition rounds are played at a prompt pace to make golf more enjoyable for everyone, by:

  • Abiding by the Rules of Golf with respect to Pace of Play as laid down in Rule 5.6b Prompt Pace of Play;
  • Ensuring players keep pace with the group ahead;
  • Introducing, educating and enforcing Ready Golf standards;
  • Monitoring of play and enforcing Rule 5.6b;
  • Highlighting timesaving hints;

Key Objectives

  • The primary objective is that all groups must keep pace with the group playing in front of them, with no more than a minute delay.
  • Tee times to be strictly observed.
  • Adoption of “Ready Golf Standards”
  • Use of the GolfTag system.
  • All players, within a group are equally responsible for maintaining their position in the field to achieve the Target Time

 Rules of Golf on Pace of Play

The new rules which came into effect in January 2019 are very clear on the need to play golf at a prompt pace.  They are laid down in Rule 5.6b which states “A round of golf is meant to be played at a prompt pace. Each player should recognize that his or her pace of play is likely to affect how long it will take other players to play their rounds, including both those in the player’s own group and those in following groups.”

It goes on to say “To encourage and enforce prompt play, the Committee should adopt a Local Rule setting a Pace of Play Policy.  This Policy may set a maximum time to complete a round, a hole or series of holes and a stroke, and it may set penalties for not following the Policy.”

Tee Times

  • Players must be checked in with the Pro Shop at least 12 mins before their scheduled tee-time and must be at the tee 6 mins before their scheduled tee time.
  • There is no guarantee of play for late arrivals. 
  • Players who are delayed for whatever reason should ring and advise the Pro Shop. Failure to notify the starter of no show may incur penalties.

Ready Golf Standards

  • On the tee: Players are required to apply “Ready Golf” standards. The first player to each tee who is READY, hits off. 
  • On the fairways: The first player READY plays their shot, regardless of distance to the green, (PROVIDED IT IS SAFE TO DO SO). 
  • On the greens:  Make your preparation while others are putting so that you are ready to putt immediately it is your turn. Once you start putting, you should finish unless you will be standing in someone’s line.  
  • If your group has fallen behind the group in front then when 2 players have putted out, then they should immediately move to the next tee and tee off.

  GolfTag System

  • All groups must Tag to be included in the club competition. It requires only one player from the group to Tag at the 1st tee, 5th green, 12th tee and exit of 18th green. 
  • GolfTag records the tag times to a website that allows course marshals to quickly identify any slow play and manage accordingly.
  • The starting interval time between groups is typically six (6) minutes.  It is expected that all groups will maintain an interval time of six (6) minutes with the group ahead throughout the round. From time to time circumstances (e.g. Par 3 holes) may cause the interval time to exceed six minutes; yet all efforts should be made to catch up with the group in front.
  • All players within a group that lose 4 minutes or more on the group in front will incur penalties for repeat occurrences.
  • Groups that fail to Tag at any of the detectors will be excluded from the daily competition (missing one or two tag readers is acceptable).

Monitor & Enforce

a) Stage 1 – Letter to Request Co-Operation

A player who repeatedly loses 4 minutes or more (i.e. finishes 10 minutes or more) behind the group ahead will be sent a notice. The notice will request the player’s co-operation to improve their pace of play by being aware of the situation and, if necessary, modifying their behaviour and/or their group’s behaviour.

b) Stage 2 – Report to Committee, Monitoring/Suspension

If a player continues to be repeatedly identified to be in the “slow” category, they may be requested to attend a Match Committee meeting to explain their actions. The Match Committee will not impose any penalties until the member has had the opportunity to meet with the Match Committee to discuss the issue.

Failure to meet with or contact the Match Committee will result in a penalty automatically being applied. The Stage 2 penalty will be determined by the Match Committee and may include:

  1. For each future infringement, over a further twelve (12) week period, the player will receive a 2 shot penalty (or a loss of hole in Par, or a 2 point deduction in Stableford) in the competition of the day.
  2. The player will not be able to book on the timesheet for two (2) weeks.
  3. The player is also put on a twelve (12) week probationary period. Two (2) further offences in that time will be penalised in accordance with Stage 3.

c) Stage 3 – Subsequent Offences, Report to Committee - Suspension

If a player is identified in a “slow” group during the probationary period detailed in Stage 2, and as such is considered to have consistently disregarded the Policy, the player will again be requested to explain to the Match Committee.

The player may be “suspended” from competition play for two (2) or more weeks. At the Match Committee’s discretion, extended suspensions may apply for multiple breaches.

d) Immediate Penalty – Severe Breach During Competition

As a further deterrent to slow play, any group that is identified as losing 12 minutes or more (i.e. finishing their round 18 minutes or more behind the group in front), and a duration of over 4 hours, will receive an immediate penalty. The penalty shall be 2 strokes (stroke event), 2 points (stableford) or 1 loss (par) in the competition of the day.

Please note: 18 minutes is sufficient time to play any hole at Redcliffe. Hence, that group would easily be much more than one hole behind the group ahead.

The decision of the Match Committee or its authorised representative is final.

Timesaver Hints

Always be ready to hit

  • Proceed directly to your own ball.
  • Plan your shot and select your club when approaching your ball.
  • Only take one (1) practice swing and prepare yourself while others are hitting.
  • When in doubt, notify your marker and hit a provisional ball.
  • If necessary, encourage your playing partners to maintain a good pace of play.
  • Know the Rules of Golf, including those about out of bounds, penalty areas & lost balls.

Don’t waste time

  • Even if starting after a gap in the field, your group must catch the group in front.
  • Never record scores on or near the green. Count strokes and write scores at the next tee.
  • Don’t leave a cart/bag in front of the green. Leave it to the side towards the next tee.
  • Carry extra tees, balls and ball markers in your pocket.
  • If safe to do so, encourage players on incorrect fairways to play through.
  • Quickly purchase food/drink. If out of position, do not stop for a conversation.
  • Do not give lessons/instruction on the course. Reserve that for a practice session.

On the tee

  • The first player ready to hit should do so as soon as it is safe.
  • Encourage your playing partners to tee off as soon as they are ready.
  • Other players should wait right next to the tee markers.
  • All players should watch other shots to help pinpoint the position of the ball.
  • After hitting, each player should return to their clubs and be ready to proceed to their ball.

On the green

  • Park clubs/cart beside the green in line with the next tee.
  • Study the line, slope, grain, etc before it is your turn.
  • Encourage your playing partners to putt, if they are ready to do so.
  • Follow continuous putting rules until holed out, unless restricted by another player’s line.
  • When the first two player are finished putting, they should proceed to the next tee (without disturbing the other players yet to putt).  There is no point three people standing around doing nothing when the group needs to catch up.