Pace of Play

Pace of play is the amount of time that it takes a group to complete a hole. Over 18 holes this means the amount of time that it takes from the 1st tee shot to the last putt on the last hole. There are some pointers below to be sure that groups keep slow play to a minimum.

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Pace of Play

Ready Golf at the Tee Box
If it’s clear to play, the only priority on the next tee is for the person with the honour to be ready to hit – or anyone if you’re playing ‘ready golf’. So, if you know it’s you to go first, have your glove on, tee and ball ready to tee it up as soon as you get there. Remember which tees you will be playing from too, especially if you are playing a Qualifying Round.

Keep pre-shot routines to a minimum
Simplify your pre-shot routine. Assess your distance, select your club and determine the shape and direction for your next shot. Take one or two practice swings then address the ball and take your shot. Consider performing part of your routine while others are playing. For example, take as many practice swings as you like while you are waiting to tee, but when it’s your turn take only one or two and only clean your clubs whilst waiting for others take their shots.

Be ready to play when it’s your turn
Don’t be a spectator. Begin assessing your next shot whilst walking towards your ball so that you know what you are going to do when you reach your ball and you’ll be ready to play as soon as it’s your turn.

Play your shot
Consider playing your shot before assisting others search for their ball.

Not watching where you’ve hit the ball
Golf can be a frustrating game. Bad shots happen to us all and it’s easy to spin away in disgust and forget to watch where you ball lands and finishes. Always be courteous to your playing partners and watch where everyones balls end up, thereby helping to focus the search process in the relevant areas.

If in doubt, play a Provisional Ball
Listen to your group to determine if they’ve seen where your ball has landed. If there is any doubt, consider playing a Provisional Ball. Always remember to announce to your playing partners that you will be hitting a Provisional Ball and announce what brand and visual markings this ball will possess for identification purposes. Please don't hit a Provisional Ball that is identical to your first ball.

Searching for a lost ball
Remember to keep to the 3-minute rule and declare the ball lost once your search time is up. Accept your penalty and play your Provisional Ball that now becomes your Ball in Play.

On the green
Begin to read your putt as you approach the green. Repair pitch marks and mark your ball if you need to. Remove leaves/twigs in your path and ask any other balls be marked if they are closeby. Don’t mark a short putt unless you need to clean the ball – instead just putt out. Never mark your card on the green if others are waiting to play in.

Always put your clubs in the right place (especially around the green)
Try to leave your clubs on the side of the green which is adjacent to the next tee so that you can move on quickly to the next hole. If you unsure where that is, ask someone who knows.

Wave people through
It is your responsibility to keep up with the group in front. However, don’t be embarrassed to wave people through if they are clearly playing faster than you and the course ahead is clear. Everyone will feel happier that way.

Offer to rake a bunker
Consider offering to rake the bunker sand if it will save time for the group.

4th Green