The R&A - Working for Golf

Management Practices

Good management practices can assist with pace of play and enhance the enjoyment of golfers.

Keeping Pace: Tip Tips for Committee’s

  • Increasing the number of players per group increases round times.
  • Try to avoid mixing two-balls and three-balls in amongst four-balls.
  • Consider restricting certain forms of play, e.g. four-balls, to certain times and/or days.
  • Accurately assess the course: how long should it take a two-ball, a three-ball and a four-ball to play the course?
  • Establish achievable pace of play targets.

Starting Intervals and Gaps

While there is a temptation to get as many groups on the course as possible, this will have a negative impact on pace of play and, potentially, a long-term impact on your business.


  • Allow 8 minute starting intervals for two-balls, 10 or 11 minutes for three-balls and 12 minutes for four-balls.
  • Ensure players start on time to help the flow of groups around the course.
  • Incorporate additional gaps between starting times to allow any delays to clear, e.g. give an additional 5 minutes between tee times once every hour or so.
  • Consider implementing a pace of play policy.
  • Monitor pace of play.


  • Do not overload the course by using short starting intervals – this simply results in players being on the course longer and enjoying the game less.


  • Encourage players to play from tees that suit their ability. Pace of play will improve and players will enjoy their golf more.
  • Advise players of the time that should be taken to play the course, i.e. the pace of play targets.
  • Politely remind players of their responsibilities with regard to pace of play
  • If you employ course marshals they should be active and should politely encourage players to catch up with the group in front if they have fallen behind. Action must be taken promptly when gaps appear.

Pace of play – Committee Responsibilities