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Pace of Play Policies
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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."
EXPLORER PLUS
Section1The Role of the Committee
The Rules of Golf define the Committee as the person or group in charge of a competition or the course. The Committee is essential to the proper playing of the game. Committees have the responsibility of running the course on a day-to-day basis or for a specific competition and they should always act in ways that support the Rules of Golf. This part of the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf provides guidance to Committees in fulfilling this role. While many of the duties of a Committee are specific to running organized competitions, an important part of the Committee's duties relates to its responsibility for the course during general or every day play.
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