PACE OF PLAY POLICY
This Pace of Play Policy has been adopted to ensure that competition and general play rounds are played in an appropriate interval of time to make golf more enjoyable for everyone, by:
• ensuring players keep pace with the group ahead;
• establishing 3 hours 45 minutes as the target time for a 3-player group to complete an 18-hole competition round from the Back Tees
• introducing, educating and enforcing Ready Golf standards;
• highlighting timesaving hints;
• monitoring of play and enforcing R&A Rule 5.6
Members must report incidents of “slow Play” in writing to the General Manager or email email@example.com and must include the following detail; date of the incident, time, competition and names of the members playing.
Breach of Pace of Play Policy
An initial written warning will be issued to members found in breach of the club’s Pace of Play Policy.
A record of the warning notice will be held on file for six months. Any further breach of the pace of play policy within six months i.e. 2 warnings in six months, will result in one or all of the sanctions listed below being implemented, as suggested by the R & A;
a) requiring attendance at a session on how to improve their pace of play.
b) suspension from play on the course for a period of time.
a. being required to play at the end of the field in competitions for a specified period of time.
c) displaying the names on the club notice board of members/groups who, without good reason, have taken longer than the stipulated time to play.
d) applying penalties under the Rule 6-7 for undue delay.
e) a combination of the above.
Ready Golf is not appropriate in match play due to the strategy involved between opponents and the need to have a set method for determining which player plays first. However, in stroke play formats it is only the act of agreeing to play out of turn to give one of the players an advantage that is prohibited.
On this basis, it is permissible for administrators to encourage “ready golf” in stroke play, and there is strong evidence to suggest that playing “ready golf” does improve the pace of play. For example, in a survey of Australian golf clubs conducted by Golf Australia, 94% of clubs that had promoted “ready golf” to their members enjoyed some degree of success in improving pace of play, with 25% stating that they had achieved 'satisfying success'.
When “ready golf” is being encouraged, players have to act sensibly to ensure that playing out of turn does not endanger other players.
“Ready golf” should not be confused with being ready to play, which is covered in the Player Behaviour section. The term “ready golf” has been adopted by many as a catch-all phrase for a number of actions that separately and collectively can improve pace of play. There is no official definition of the term, but examples of “ready golf” in action are:
• Hitting a shot when safe to do so if a player farther away faces a challenging shot and is taking time to assess their options
• Shorter hitters playing first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters have to wait • Hitting a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play • Hitting a shot before helping someone to look for a lost ball
• Putting out even if it means standing close to someone else’s line
• Hitting a shot if a person who has just played from a greenside bunker is still farthest from the hole but is delayed due to raking the bunker
• When a player’s ball has gone over the back of a green, any player closer to the hole but chipping from the front of the green should play while the other player is having to walk to their ball and assess their shot
• Marking scores upon immediate arrival at the next tee, except that the first player to tee off marks their card immediately after teeing off.