The R&A - Working for Golf
Pace of Play Policy
Committee Procedures
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Section 5F
Section 5H
5G
Pace of Play Policy

The Committee can set its own Pace of Play Policy adopted as a Local Rule (see Rule 5.6b). In practice the nature of such a Policy will be dependent on the number of Committee members available to implement it (see Section 8K).

Pace of Play Policies may contain:

  • A maximum time to complete a round, a hole or series of holes or a stroke.
  • A definition of when the first group is out of position and when each other group is out of position in relation to the group playing ahead of it.
  • When and how a group or individual players may be monitored or timed.
  • If and when players may be warned that they are being timed or have had a bad time.
  • The penalty structure for breaches of the Policy.

The Committee is responsible for making sure that a competition is played at a prompt pace of play. What is considered a prompt pace can be different based on the course, size of the entry and number of players in each group. To do this:

  • The Committee should adopt a Local Rule setting a Pace of Play Policy (see Rule 5.6b).
  • Such a Policy should at least set a maximum time for completing the round or parts of the round.
  • The Policy should stipulate any penalties for a player’s failure to comply with the Policy.
  • The Committee should also be aware of other actions that they can take to have a positive impact on pace of play. These include:
    • Management practices such as reducing group sizes, increasing starting intervals and introducing starter’s gaps.
    • Considering fundamental changes to course set up such as widening fairways, reducing the thickness or length of rough, or reducing the speed of greens. When changes such as these are made to the course, the Committee should consult the rules or recommendations contained within the Handicap System operating in the local jurisdiction to assess the impact on the issued Course Rating and follow the procedures to make any necessary adjustments.