Rule 5.6, Unreasonable Delay; Prompt Pace of Play, states: “A player must not unreasonably delay play, either when playing a hole or between two holes…To encourage and enforce prompt play, the Committee should adopt a Local Rule setting a Pace of Play Policy.”
Allotted Time: Groups will be required to play at no more than a 4-hour and 30 minute pace for an 18-hole stipulated round or within such other time specified in a separate Notice to Players.
Definition of “Out of Position”: The first groups will be considered out of position, if at any time during the round, the group is not playing within the allotted time. Any following group will be considered out of position if it (a) takes more than the allotted time to play and (b) reaches the tee of a par-3 hole and the preceding group has cleared the next tee; reaches the tee of a par-4 hole and the putting green is clear; or reaches the tee of a par-5 hole when the preceding group is on the putting green. Both (a) and (b) must apply for a group to be out of position.
Group Out of Position: If a group is out of position, the players in that group may be monitored and timed. Anytime a group is to be monitored and timed, they will be notified by the timing official that they are being timed.
Timing: When a group is being monitored and timed each player in the group is expected to make any stroke within 40 seconds after timing of the player’s stroke begins.
Other than on the putting green, the timing of a player’s stoke will begin when he has had a reasonable opportunity to reach his ball, it is his turn to play and he can play without interference or distraction. Time spent determining yardage, selecting a club, making practice swings, gauging wind, determining strategy and the like will count as time taken for the stroke.
On the putting green, timing starts when the player has had reasonable time to lift, clean and replace his ball, repair ball marks and remove loose impediments on his line of putt.
Timing ends with the stroke.
Warnings: No warnings are required prior to a group being monitored or timed or before a penalty is issued. It is the player’s responsibility to be in position and not unduly delay play.
The following are the penalties, in sequence, for any player in a group being timed who takes more than 40 seconds to play a stroke (a “Bad Time”) after timing of the player’s stroke begins:
First Bad Time – One stroke penalty
Second Bad Time – Additional two stroke penalty
Third Bad Time – Disqualification
Note 1: If the group in question regains its proper position, any previous Bad Times will be carried over for the remainder of that round in the event that group requires additional monitoring and timing
Note 2: The Committee reserves the right at any time to assess a Bad Time to a player in a group which is out of position if the player delays play between strokes or makes no effort to help the group get back in position.
As a recommendation to improve each group’s pace of play, the following guidelines as laid out by the AJGA should be followed.
1. Play ready golf throughout your entire round.
2. Must, Must, May
Must - The first player to finish playing a hole MUST immediately grab their bag and start making their way to the next tee. In doing this, the player walking ahead is expected to be quiet and courteous to his/her fellow-competitors. The player should periodically look back to watch the other players’ shots.
Must - The player MUST be the first person to play from the next teeing ground. This player must be getting their yardage and deter-mining club selection while the other players are finishing the previous hole and walking to the tee.
May - This player MAY tee off if he/she chooses to. All players must confirm scores on the previous hole prior to leaving the tee.
3. When spotters, officials or parents are available to help search for a lost ball, other players in the group will go forward to play their next shot in attempts to hold the group’s position on the golf course. After advancing their ball, the entire group may search for the remainder of the three minutes.
4. Walk with a purpose between shots and from green to tee.