Golf is an amazing sport that we all know and love, but it’s a sport that should and can be played faster than it currently is. With this policy, SCGA staff and officials are hoping to create a mindset in tournament participants of playing faster and enjoying quicker rounds. Our ultimate goal is to provide a positive tournament experience for our participants, and we believe efficient pace of play contributes largely to that objective. In order to change a culture of deliberate play there has to be incentive for players to want to play fast, walk faster between shots and keep up with the group in front of them. The incentive behind this policy is that penalty strokes will be assessed if participants do not play within this policy’s parameters. Similar to Rule 6-3 in which the player must start at the time established by the committee, Rule 6-7 will be enforced and the player will have a maximum allowed period to compete a stipulated round or penalty strokes will be assessed.
TRIAL PACE OF PLAY POLICY
The Tournament Committee at each competition will determine the maximum allotted time each group is permitted to play the stipulated round. This time will be posted on each player’s scorecard and each player is expected to maintain a pace faster than the maximum allotted time. The stipulated round is complete when the last player in the group completes play of the final hole and the flagstick is replaced.
The lead group(s) must finish their stipulated round within the maximum allotted time established by the committee. If they finish over the maximum allotted time each player will be assessed a two-stroke penalty to their score for the final hole.
- Exception: If the lead group is held up by play that was sent out before them or that began on the opposite tee, they will be exempt from the pace of play penalty if they finish over their allotted time but within 12 minutes of the group ahead of them.
Any subsequent group must finish their stipulated round within the maximum allotted time established by the committee. If they finish over the maximum allotted time, they must finish within 12 minutes of the group ahead of them. If they finish over the maximum allotted time and more than 12 minutes behind the group ahead of them, each player will be assessed a two-stroke penalty to their score for the final hole.
EXEMPTIONS FROM PENALTY:
If a group does not finish within their allotted time due to circumstances beyond their control (such as a ruling or a ball search on the final hole, or any other circumstances which the Committee deems to be exceptional) but was otherwise in position during the play of their final hole, the Committee may be justified in waiving the penalty. Being in position means to be immediately behind the group in front of you.
Any group that has a slow, deliberate or non-responsive player(s) may report the player(s) to SCGA Staff or a SCGA Rules Official at any time during the stipulated round and the player(s) will be monitored. If SCGA Staff or a SCGA Rules Official identifies that a player or players in the group are a cause of the group failing to maintain pace of play and determines other players are playing within the requirements of this policy, those meeting the requirements of this policy may be absolved from penalty.
THE SCGA COMMITTEE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REVIEW ALL PENALTY SITUATIONS.
PLAYER RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THIS POLICY
- Read and understand the policy. Ask staff or the starter any questions in advance of their starting time.
- Sign and acknowledge the SCGA Pace of Play Pledge at their starting tee.
- Play ready golf throughout their entire round.
- Check their overall pace after completion of 9 holes relative to their maximum allotted time on their score card.
- Make every effort to finish their final hole within their maximum allotted time or within 12 minutes behind the group in front of them.
- Realize they may be out of position if they complete a hole over their maximum allotted time on their score card.