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8K

Committee Procedures
Pace of Play Policies
Committee Procedures
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8K
Pace of Play Policies

The following Model Local Rules give some examples of how the Committee can choose to address the issue of Pace of Play. The Committee can adopt other Local Rules to suit the resources available to them and so these are not an exhaustive list.

Other sample policies are available at RandA.org.

K-1
Maximum Time for All or Part of Round

Purpose. In competitions where there are few or no referees on the course, it may be desirable for the Committee to formulate a simple Local Rule that establishes a time limit that it considers adequate for players to complete the round and/or a certain number of holes. These time limits will vary depending on the numbers in groups and the form of play. If a group exceeds the prescribed time limit and is out of position on the course, each player in the group is subject to penalty.

Model Local Rule K-1

"If a group finishes the round [or specify number of holes] more than the starting interval behind the group in front and over [specify time, for example, 3 hours 45 minutes] from the time of starting [or specify as required], all players in the group are subject to a penalty of one stroke [or specify as required]."

K-2
Hole-by-Hole and Shot-by-Shot Pace of Play Policy

Purpose. In competitions where there is an adequate number of officials on the course, the Committee can put a Pace of Play policy into effect that allows a set length of time for each hole, and then if players exceed that time, establishes a maximum time to play each stroke.

The Model Local Rule below is an example of a policy for a stroke play competition where players will be individually timed when the group is out of position.

A modified penalty structure which may be used in a pace of play policy is also detailed in Model Local Rule K-5.

Options for Being Out of Position

A group is out of position when it is over the allocated time for the holes that have been played and not in position with the previous group. When defining when a group is out of position the policy should specify when the group is considered out of position by reference to the group in front of them . Some examples are:

  • The group is more than the starting interval behind the group in front of them.
  • A par 4 or par 5 hole is open before the group reaches the teeing area of that hole.

Time for Making a Stroke

When a group is being timed, each player must make his or her stroke within a specified time limit. The Committee may require all strokes to be made in the same amount of time or it may adopt the optional language shown below to allow an additional period of time for the first player to play from a specific area such as the teeing area or the putting green.

Model Local Rule K-2

"Maximum Allowable Time

The maximum allowable time is the maximum time considered necessary by the Committee for a group to complete its round. This is expressed in a per-hole and aggregate time format and includes all time associated with playing the game, e.g., for rulings and walking times between holes.

The maximum time allotted for the completion of 18 holes at [insert course name] is [insert maximum time, for example, 4 hours and 05 minutes]. The following procedure applies only if a group is "out of position."

Definition of Out of Position

The first group to start will be considered "out of position" if, at any time during the round, the group's cumulative time exceeds the time allowed for the number of holes played. Any following group will be considered out of position if it is [specify when a group is out of position to the group in front of them (see examples above)] and has exceeded the time allowed for the number of holes played.

Procedure When Group is Out of Position

  1. Referees will monitor pace of play and decide whether a group that is "out of position" should be timed. An assessment of whether there are any recent mitigating circumstances, e.g. a lengthy ruling, lost ball, unplayable ball, etc. will be made.
    If a decision is made to time the players, each player in the group will be subject to individual timing and a referee will advise each player that they are "out of position" and they are being timed.
    In exceptional circumstances, an individual player, or two players within a group of three, may be timed instead of the entire group.
  2. The maximum time allocated per stroke is [specify a time limit such as 40 seconds].
    [10 extra seconds are allowed for the first player to play: a) a tee shot on a par 3 hole; b) an approach shot to the green; and c) a chip or putt.]
    The timing will start when a player has had sufficient time to reach the ball, it is his or her turn to play and he or she is able to play without interference or distraction. Time taken to determine distance and select a club will count as time taken for the next stroke.
    On the putting green, timing will start when the player has had a reasonable amount of time to lift, clean and replace the ball, repair damage that interferes with the line of play and move loose impediments on the line of play. Time spent looking at the line of play from beyond the hole and/or behind the ball will count as part of the time taken for the next stroke.
    Timings will be taken from the moment it is decided by the referee that it is the player's turn to play and he or she is able to play without interference or distraction.
    Timing ceases when a group is back in position and players will be advised accordingly.

Penalty for Breach of Local Rule:

  • Penalty for first breach: One-stroke penalty.
  • Penalty for second breach: General Penalty applied in addition to the penalty for the first breach.
  • Penalty for third breach: Disqualification."

Until a player has been advised of a bad time, he or she cannot incur a further bad time.

Procedure When Again Out of Position During Same Round

If a group is "out of position" more than once during a round, the above procedure will apply on each occasion. Bad times and the application of penalties in the same round will be carried forward until the round is completed. A player will not be penalized if he or she has a second bad time before being advised of the earlier bad time."

K-3
Hole-by-Hole and Shot-by-Shot Pace of Play Policy for Stableford

Purpose. For a Stableford competition, the Committee can modify the penalty for a breach of Model Local Rule K-2 to ensure that the penalty will impact the player's score. The Committee may optionally add a verbal warning for the first breach.

Model Local Rule K-3

"The penalty statement to Model Local Rule K-2 is modified in this way:

Penalty for Breach of Local Rule:

  • Penalty for first breach: Deduction of one point from the total points scored for the round.
  • Penalty for second breach: Deduction of a further two points from the total points scored for the round.
  • Penalty for third breach: Disqualification."
K-4
Hole-by-Hole and Shot-by-Shot Pace of Play Policy for Par/Bogey Competitions

Purpose. For a Par/Bogey competition, the Committee can modify the penalty for a breach of Model Local Rule K-2 to ensure that the penalty will impact the player's score. The Committee may optionally add a verbal warning for the first breach.

Model Local Rule K-4

"The penalty statement to Model Local Rule K-2 is modified in this way:

Penalty for Breach of Local Rule:

  • Penalty for first breach: Deduction of one hole from the aggregate of holes scored.
  • Penalty for second breach: Deduction of a second hole from the aggregate of holes scored.
  • Penalty for third breach: Disqualification."
K-5
Modified Pace of Play Penalty Structure

Purpose. A Committee may modify the penalty for a breach of any Pace of Play policy such that the penalty for a first breach of the policy is a verbal warning from the referee. The example given below is how the penalty statement is modified for a stroke play competition and the penalty statements for match play, Stableford and Par/Bogey competitions could be similarly adjusted.

Model Local Rule K-5

"Penalty for Breach of Local Rule:

  • Penalty for first breach: Verbal warning from referee.
  • Penalty for second breach: One-stroke penalty.
  • Penalty for third breach: General Penalty applied in addition to the penalty for the second breach.
  • Penalty for fourth breach: Disqualification."
Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

See Committee Procedures, Section 1 (explaining the role of the Committee).

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Referee

An official named by the Committee to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules.

See Committee Procedures, Section 6C (explaining the responsibilities and authority of a referee).

Lost

The status of a ball that is not found in three minutes after the player or his or her caddie (or the player’s partner or partner’s caddie) begins to search for it.

If the search begins and is then temporarily interrupted for a good reason (such as when the player stops searching when play is suspended or needs to stand aside to wait for another player to play) or when the player has mistakenly identified a wrong ball:

  • The time between the interruption and when the search resumes does not count, and
  • The time allowed for search is three minutes in total, counting the search time both before the interruption and after the search resumes.

 

Interpretation Lost/1 - Ball May Not Be Declared Lost

A player may not make a ball lost by a declaration. A ball is lost only when it has not been found within three minutes after the player or his or her caddie or partner begins to search for it.

For example, a player searches for his or her ball for two minutes, declares it lost and walks back to play another ball. Before the player puts another ball in play, the original ball is found within the three-minute search time. Since the player may not declare his or her ball lost, the original ball remains in play.

Interpretation Lost/2 - Player May Not Delay the Start of Search to Gain an Advantage

The three-minute search time for a ball starts when the player or his or her caddie (or the player's partner or partner's caddie) starts to search for it. The player may not delay the start of the search in order to gain an advantage by allowing other people to search on his or her behalf.

For example, if a player is walking towards his or her ball and spectators are already looking for the ball, the player cannot deliberately delay getting to the area to keep the three-minute search time from starting. In such circumstances, the search time starts when the player would have been in a position to search had he or she not deliberately delayed getting to the area.

Interpretation Lost/3 - Search Time Continues When Player Returns to Play a Provisional Ball

If a player has started to search for his or her ball and is returning to the spot of the previous stroke to play a provisional ball, the three-minute search time continues whether or not anyone continues to search for the player's ball.

Interpretation Lost/4 - Search Time When Searching for Two Balls

When a player has played two balls (such as the ball in play and a provisional ball) and is searching for both, whether the player is allowed two separate three-minute search times depends how close the balls are to each other.

If the balls are in the same area where they can be searched for at the same time, the player is allowed only three minutes to search for both balls. However, if the balls are in different areas (such as opposite sides of the fairway) the player is allowed a three-minute search time for each ball.

Stroke

The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball.

But a stroke has not been made if the player:

  • Decides during the downswing not to strike the ball and avoids doing so by deliberately stopping the clubhead before it reaches the ball or, if unable to stop, by deliberately missing the ball.
  • Accidentally strikes the ball when making a practice swing or while preparing to make a stroke.

When the Rules refer to "playing a ball," it means the same as making a stroke.

The player's score for a hole or a round is described as a number of "strokes" or "strokes taken," which means both all strokes made and any penalty strokes (see Rule 3.1c).

 

Interpretation Stroke/1 - Determining If a Stroke Was Made

If a player starts the downswing with a club intending to strike the ball, his or her action counts as a stroke when:

  • The clubhead is deflected or stopped by an outside influence (such as the branch of a tree) whether or not the ball is struck.
  • The clubhead separates from the shaft during the downswing and the player continues the downswing with the shaft alone, whether or not the ball is struck with the shaft.
  • The clubhead separates from the shaft during the downswing and the player continues the downswing with the shaft alone, with the clubhead falling and striking the ball.

The player's action does not count as a stroke in each of following situations:

  • During the downswing, a player's clubhead separates from the shaft. The player stops the downswing short of the ball, but the clubhead falls and strikes and moves the ball.
  • During the backswing, a player's clubhead separates from the shaft. The player completes the downswing with the shaft but does not strike the ball.
  • A ball is lodged in a tree branch beyond the reach of a club. If the player moves the ball by striking a lower part of the branch instead of the ball, Rule 9.4 (Ball Lifted or Moved by Player) applies.
Stroke

The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball.

But a stroke has not been made if the player:

  • Decides during the downswing not to strike the ball and avoids doing so by deliberately stopping the clubhead before it reaches the ball or, if unable to stop, by deliberately missing the ball.
  • Accidentally strikes the ball when making a practice swing or while preparing to make a stroke.

When the Rules refer to "playing a ball," it means the same as making a stroke.

The player's score for a hole or a round is described as a number of "strokes" or "strokes taken," which means both all strokes made and any penalty strokes (see Rule 3.1c).

 

Interpretation Stroke/1 - Determining If a Stroke Was Made

If a player starts the downswing with a club intending to strike the ball, his or her action counts as a stroke when:

  • The clubhead is deflected or stopped by an outside influence (such as the branch of a tree) whether or not the ball is struck.
  • The clubhead separates from the shaft during the downswing and the player continues the downswing with the shaft alone, whether or not the ball is struck with the shaft.
  • The clubhead separates from the shaft during the downswing and the player continues the downswing with the shaft alone, with the clubhead falling and striking the ball.

The player's action does not count as a stroke in each of following situations:

  • During the downswing, a player's clubhead separates from the shaft. The player stops the downswing short of the ball, but the clubhead falls and strikes and moves the ball.
  • During the backswing, a player's clubhead separates from the shaft. The player completes the downswing with the shaft but does not strike the ball.
  • A ball is lodged in a tree branch beyond the reach of a club. If the player moves the ball by striking a lower part of the branch instead of the ball, Rule 9.4 (Ball Lifted or Moved by Player) applies.
Putting Green

The area on the hole the player is playing that:

  • Is specially prepared for putting, or
  • The Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

The putting green for a hole contains the hole into which the player tries to play a ball. The putting green is one of the five defined areas of the course. The putting greens for all other holes (which the player is not playing at the time) are wrong greens and part of the general area.

The edge of a putting green is defined by where it can be seen that the specially prepared area starts (such as where the grass has been distinctly cut to show the edge), unless the Committee defines the edge in a different way (such as by using a line or dots).

If a double green is used for two different holes:

  • The entire prepared area containing both holes is treated as the putting green when playing each hole.

But the Committee may define an edge that divides the double green into two different putting greens, so that when a player is playing one of the holes, the part of the double green for the other hole is a wrong green.

Replace

To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

If the player sets a ball down without intending it to be in play, the ball has not been replaced and is not in play (see Rule 14.4).

Whenever a Rule requires a ball to be replaced, the Rule identifies a specific spot where the ball must be replaced.

 

Interpretation Replace/1 - Ball May Not Be Replaced with a Club

For a ball to be replaced in a right way, it must be set down and let go. This means the player must use his or her hand to put the ball back in play on the spot it was lifted or moved from.

For example, if a player lifts his or her ball from the putting green and sets it aside, the player must not replace the ball by rolling it to the required spot with a club. If he or she does so, the ball is not replaced in the right way and the player gets one penalty stroke under Rule 14.2b(2) (How Ball Must Be Replaced) if the mistake is not corrected before the stroke is made.

Line of Play

The line where the player intends his or her ball to go after a stroke, including the area on that line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of that line.

The line of play is not necessarily a straight line between two points (for example, it may be a curved line based on where the player intends the ball to go).

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

  • Stones, loose grass, leaves, branches and sticks,
  • Dead animals and animal waste,
  • Worms, insects and similar animals that can be removed easily, and the mounds or webs they build (such as worm casts and ant hills), and
  • Clumps of compacted soil (including aeration plugs).

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

  • Attached or growing,
  • Solidly embedded in the ground (that is, cannot be picked out easily), or
  • Sticking to the ball.

Special cases:

  • Sand and Loose Soil are not loose impediments.
  • Dew, Frost and Water are not loose impediments.
  • Snow and Natural Ice (other than frost) are either loose impediments or, when on the ground, temporary water, at the player's option.
  • Spider Webs are loose impediments even though they are attached to another object.

 

Interpretation Loose Impediment/1 - Status of Fruit

Fruit that is detached from its tree or bush is a loose impediment, even if the fruit is from a bush or tree not found on the course.

For example, fruit that has been partially eaten or cut into pieces, and the skin that has been peeled from a piece of fruit are loose impediments. But, when being carried by a player, it is his or her equipment.

Interpretation Loose Impediment/2 - When Loose Impediment Becomes Obstruction

Loose impediments may be transformed into obstructions through the processes of construction or manufacturing.

For example, a log (loose impediment) that has been split and had legs attached has been changed by construction into a bench (obstruction).

Interpretation Loose Impediment/3 - Status of Saliva

Saliva may be treated as either temporary water or a loose impediment, at the option of the player.

Interpretation Loose Impediment/4 - Loose Impediments Used to Surface a Road

Gravel is a loose impediment and a player may remove loose impediments under Rule 15.1a. This right is not affected by the fact that, when a road is covered with gravel, it becomes an artificially surfaced road, making it an immovable obstruction. The same principle applies to roads or paths constructed with stone, crushed shell, wood chips or the like.

In such a situation, the player may:

  • Play the ball as it lies on the obstruction and remove gravel (loose impediment) from the road (Rule 15.1a).
  • Take relief without penalty from the abnormal course condition (immovable obstruction) (Rule 16.1b).

The player may also remove some gravel from the road to determine the possibility of playing the ball as it lies before choosing to take free relief.

Interpretation Loose Impediment/5 - Living Insect Is Never Sticking to a Ball

Although dead insects may be considered to be sticking to a ball, living insects are never considered to be sticking to a ball, whether they are stationary or moving. Therefore, live insects on a ball are loose impediments.

Line of Play

The line where the player intends his or her ball to go after a stroke, including the area on that line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of that line.

The line of play is not necessarily a straight line between two points (for example, it may be a curved line based on where the player intends the ball to go).

Line of Play

The line where the player intends his or her ball to go after a stroke, including the area on that line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of that line.

The line of play is not necessarily a straight line between two points (for example, it may be a curved line based on where the player intends the ball to go).

Stroke

The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball.

But a stroke has not been made if the player:

  • Decides during the downswing not to strike the ball and avoids doing so by deliberately stopping the clubhead before it reaches the ball or, if unable to stop, by deliberately missing the ball.
  • Accidentally strikes the ball when making a practice swing or while preparing to make a stroke.

When the Rules refer to "playing a ball," it means the same as making a stroke.

The player's score for a hole or a round is described as a number of "strokes" or "strokes taken," which means both all strokes made and any penalty strokes (see Rule 3.1c).

 

Interpretation Stroke/1 - Determining If a Stroke Was Made

If a player starts the downswing with a club intending to strike the ball, his or her action counts as a stroke when:

  • The clubhead is deflected or stopped by an outside influence (such as the branch of a tree) whether or not the ball is struck.
  • The clubhead separates from the shaft during the downswing and the player continues the downswing with the shaft alone, whether or not the ball is struck with the shaft.
  • The clubhead separates from the shaft during the downswing and the player continues the downswing with the shaft alone, with the clubhead falling and striking the ball.

The player's action does not count as a stroke in each of following situations:

  • During the downswing, a player's clubhead separates from the shaft. The player stops the downswing short of the ball, but the clubhead falls and strikes and moves the ball.
  • During the backswing, a player's clubhead separates from the shaft. The player completes the downswing with the shaft but does not strike the ball.
  • A ball is lodged in a tree branch beyond the reach of a club. If the player moves the ball by striking a lower part of the branch instead of the ball, Rule 9.4 (Ball Lifted or Moved by Player) applies.
Referee

An official named by the Committee to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules.

See Committee Procedures, Section 6C (explaining the responsibilities and authority of a referee).

General Penalty

Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Referee

An official named by the Committee to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules.

See Committee Procedures, Section 6C (explaining the responsibilities and authority of a referee).

General Penalty

Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play.