Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pace of Play Formula

The USGA has announced a formula for pace of play that works. In the ten national amateur championships it had a major effect in speeding up play. On average, the threesomes sped up by 30 minutes in their stroke-play events.

Here's how it works: Each group has to hit four checkpoints -- the fourth, ninth, thirteenth, and eighteenth holes -- in a certain allotted time, depending on the course, or stay within 14 minutes of the group in front of them once the flagstick is put back into the hole.

The first breach is a warning and then a Rules official will monitor the players in the group to see if the culprit is one player or if the entire group is the problem. If the problem is the group, then the second infraction is a one-stroke penalty for each player.

How I wished this policy was implemented at most courses, or at least during tournaments.


David Joseph said...

I know it is sort of late to leave a comment on this old hag of an article but I can't stop myself.

I am the president of the International Pace of Play Committee. We have conducted a ten year study of pace of play. The USGA is the biggest stumbling block we encounter. Their expectations are so low they provide an excuse for all the five hour rounds that presently dominate the public golf courses I haunt.

The story presented here chronicals a 4 hr 45 min round and calls it acceptable. Fourteen min. behind the group in front of you means that someone, somewhere has stopped performing the task at hand. They should be asked to leave.

For more on this study and its findings visit me at

David Joseph
The International Pace of Play Committee

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