As a first or second year member of the AJGA, there are some things that a player should know about the Association’s pace of play policy. Knowing, understanding and utilizing this information will not only make it easier on the player during the round; it will prevent any unnecessary stress or confusion during a competitive round.
First and foremost, there are six timing stations throughout the course, signified by an AJGA Pace of Play sign at the tee of designated holes. These are the locations on the course where your pace of play and position on the golf course will be evaluated.
Volunteers will be stationed at each checkpoint to signal the group by holding up a card, according to their position on the course. At the timing station, it is the responsibility of the junior to know what color card they receive. The results from the timing stations are as follows:
- Green Card: the group is in position with the group ahead of them OR they are playing under time par.
- Red Card: the group has fallen out of position AND behind time.
- Double Red Card (one stroke penalty): the group is out of position and behind overall time par through that checkpoint AND did not make its required checkpoint-to-checkpoint time determined at the last timing station
- A double red card penalty is only issued if the group goes through consecutive timing stations behind time, out of position and fails to achieve the time allotted from checkpoint to checkpoint.
As the second bullet point alludes, a red card is simply a warning. At this point, players need to show an effort to regain their position and/or regain their time (all the AJGA asks is a minimum of 1 minute made up, which is 20 seconds per hole). If this is done, they will either regain their green card or receive another warning. A penalty will not be issued unless the group has made no effort to improve after receiving a warning and thus has made no progress.
Key phrases defined:
Time par – The amount of time in which the AJGA Tournament Committee expects all players to complete a round expressed on a per hole basis and an overall time for 18 holes.
Group’s position in relation to pace of play – The position of the group relative to the group in front of them determines a group’s position on the course. A group is out of position when they are more than 14 minutes behind the group in front of them.
Checkpoint to checkpoint time – The amount of time allowed for each group to complete play of the holes between consecutive checkpoints.