Pace of Play

Slow Play Defined

Slow play is defined as loss of place in the field effectively being 15 minutes or more behind the group in front which reflects the 8-minute starting time gap plus a further 7 minutes ‘grace period’.

Responsibility of Players

Each player is responsible for the group’s position on the course with respect to the group preceding it and to maintain the time requirement specified in the Club’s Pace of Play time chart.

Administration of Slow Play

This policy is to be administered by a Pace of Play official who may be any of an appointed marshal, starter, Board members or GM for all male, mixed, and women’s competitions. All or any of the above are considered to be acting Pace of Play officials at any time and there may be more than one at any time on the course.

Addressing Slow Play

On the Course: When a group is observed to be out of position or behind time, the Pace of Play official will work with the group to alert them to the situation, provide support and encourage the group to regain their correct position in the field. In the vast majority of cases this is all that will be required. In the situation where the group does not respond and continues to fall behind, the Pace of Play official has the authority to instruct groups/players in any competition to

  1. Stand aside and call through the group or groups behind; and/or
  2. Pick-up their ball and move to the correct position on the course.

This procedure is to be followed to ensure unacceptable delays are actioned immediately on the course to give following players an opportunity to complete their rounds within the required pace of play.

On Completion of the Round: If the group is out of position on completion of the round the group will be contacted by a pace of play official to discuss the causes for the delay. Over time, repeat offenders will be asked to meet with the Match Committee.

Improving Pace of Play at Avondale

Being Ready to Play

While taking care not to distract other players or compromise safety, all players are encouraged to do the following while waiting for others to play:

  • Walk efficiently to the ball, putting their glove on in the process
  • Assess the shot, including any calculation of distance the player wants to make, or line up the putt, and
  • Make a decision on club selection

It is even more important that the first person in a group to play carries out these tasks promptly.

Playing ‘Ready Golf’

‘Ready Golf’ is a commonly used term indicating that players should play when they are ready to do so, rather than adhering strictly to the ‘farthest from the hole plays first’ stipulation in the Rules of Golf.

Examples of ‘Ready Golf’ in action include:

  • 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
  • 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 the card immediately after teeing off

‘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.