March 20, 2012
The AJGA Pace of Play program awards a dual responsibility between the AJGA Tournament Committee and YOU – the player. The following are guidelines, if utilized, will help you do your part to keep pace:
- Realize your group is “on the clock” as soon as you play from the teeing ground on your first hole. Please PLAY READY GOLFthroughout your entire round!
- The first person to complete play on each hole should IMMEDIATELY GO TO THE NEXT TEE and is expected to be the first person to tee off. The second person to finish should replace the flagstick.
- When spotters, officials or parents are available to help search for a potential lost ball, we recommend that you please go forward and play your next shot – HOLD YOUR GROUP’S POSITION ON THE GOLF COURSE!
- WALK WITH A PURPOSE between shots!
An example of the application of the first guideline is that when a player arrives to his ball in the fairway, he should have already stepped off his yardage and begun thinking of his club selection. If a fellow-competitor is deliberating a shot, any other players in the fairway who are ready to play should play. By utilizing ready golf techniques similar to this throughout the round, we can ensure constant movement during the entire tournament and avoid wasted time.
The next guideline is the practice of the first player that finishes a hole, walking ahead to the next tee. As the first player is walking towards the next tee, they can watch the other players’ hole out, while maintaining a steady pace toward the next tee. This first player to walk ahead is expected to be the first player to play from the next tee.
Holding your group’s position on the course, as mentioned in the third tactic, involves circumstances when players need a ruling on the course. When one player in the group is searching for a lost ball, the group has the capability of falling five to seven minutes out of position on one hole. To avoid this situation, the other two players in the group are to continue playing their golf balls. His fellow-competitors are helping the group to hold their position on the course as they continue to the green.
The final guideline players can use to stay on green cards for their round is to walk with a purpose. The pace at which players walk can have a significant effect on their overall pace. Players who do not make an effort to walk swiftly often fall behind their fellow-competitors and can be seen 10 – 15 yards behind them in the fairway. If players begin the round with the goal to walk at a swift pace they will avoid falling behind.
These four guidelines, individually, are small contributions to combating slow play, but together make a considerable impact on a group’s pace of play. They are best put into action at the start of the round. If players find themselves on red card and have not been operating under these guidelines, continuing their round with the four tactics in mind will ideally get them back on green card.