Pace of Play regulation (POP)
Golf Saskatchewan (Golf SK) has instituted the following Pace of Play (POP) regulation, leaving the responsibility for maintaining the pace of play where it belongs, with the player.
All subsequent groups must finish the checkpoints within the parameters listed below.
There are two things to keep in mind:
- Each group is responsible for monitoring its own pace, and
- Players are not entitled to receive warnings, as it is the responsibility of each player to know her or his position on the golf course.
NOTE: Our referees may warn and/or penalize players under Rule 5.6 for Unreasonable Delay; Prompt Pace of Play.
The Allotted Time is the time within which all groups must play each nine holes. An Allotted Time will be given for the front nine and back nine, for example the Allotted Time for the 1st nine might be 2:15 and for the 2nd nine 2:15 *, with an additional 5 minutes at the turn.
When a group falls behind whatever the reason, the group must regain its position. Time for ball searches, rulings and walking time between holes is included in the Allotted Time. Bad play, on its own merit, is not a considerable allowance under the Pace of Play.
* Time may vary depending on the golf course and weather conditions (Pace of Play Times will be posted at each Championship site).
Each group’s starting time will be recorded on her or his scorecard at the start of each round and with the Starter. If your group falls behind, they are expected to play efficient golf and get back into position. This means playing ready golf and/or continuous putting. Both actions are allowable in stroke play. The group’s time will be verified via a time clock when the flagstick is replaced at the end of each 9 holes (or when the ball is retrieved from the hole). If the group is within the Allotted Time and less than 14 minutes behind the group in front, the group is not in breach of the pace of play policy. A successful time means no action will be taken although the group may be advised if they are failing to keep up with the group ahead. The Checkpoint Officials will monitor and track all competitor times for the Championship Official Records and POP guidelines.
POSITION OF FIRST GROUP(S) OFF EITHER TEE
If the lead group is behind its Allotted Time after completing the first 9 holes of the round, players will be notified, and are expected to make up the time over the final 9 holes. (Your group is holding up the entire Championship). If the group passes the second checkpoint behind their allotted time, each player is subject to a TWO-STROKE PENALTY to their score for their 18th hole played. (One for the front 9 missed and back 9 holes missed). A group may appeal the penalty in the scoring area before returning the scorecards to the Committee.
* see Players Concerns, Appealing a Decision and/or Questions Section
POSITION OF SUBSEQUENT GROUPS
If any subsequent group passes their first checkpoint behind its Allotted Time AND more than 14 minutes behind the preceding group, players will be notified, and are required to make up the time over the final 9 holes. If they pass the second checkpoint behind their allotted time AND more than 14 minutes behind the preceding group, each player shall apply the Penalties Summary listed below.
To avoid penalty, groups must complete each checkpoint hole:
Checkpoints will be on holes #9 and #18, unless otherwise indicated.
Group is out of position upon completion of first 9 hole checkpoint = Players in the group are subject to a 1 stroke penalty
- Group is out of position upon completion of second 9 hole checkpoint = 1 Penalty Stroke to each player in the group
- Group missed both checkpoints upon completion of the stipulated round = 1 Stroke Penalty for first 9 holes and 1 stroke penalty for the second 9 holes (Total of 2 strokes). 1 penalty stroke will be added to last hole on each 9 played.
- If the group misses the first 9-hole checkpoint but is under time on the second 9-hole checkpoint, there may be no penalty assessed.
- The Committee may be satisfied that the group has made up the time and has finished the round under the established Pace of Play.
Any group completing a checkpoint hole in breach of the pace of play regulation will be verbally notified by a Checkpoint Volunteer and/or Referee. Checkpoint Volunteers, Referees and/or Staff at checkpoints must not be confronted by a player or the group. It is the player’s responsibility to recognize when a breach has occurred at each checkpoint. Penalties are to be added to the checkpoint hole in which the group was notified of the breach (usually Hole #18). Any penalty strokes added to the 9th and/or 18th hole or the hole being played at the time the penalty is assessed, as directed by a Referee. The next two groups through a checkpoint will be notified the group was behind the Pace of Play and have been officially warned.
ADDITIONAL PACE OF PLAY NOTIFICATION PENALTIES
NOTE 1: The Committee reserves the right, at any time, to monitor or time a group when it deems it necessary.
NOTE 2: A Committee may monitor play and assess penalties under Rule 5.6.
PLAYERS CONCERNS, APPEALING A DECISION &/OR PENALTY(S):
A player concerned about slow player(s) in a group should first remind the player of the Pace of Play Regulation and encourage them to play more efficiently. The concerned player may, before or after penalties are assessed, request a Referee to monitor the group. If a player is identified as holding up the pace of the group, penalties may be applied to that player and rescinded from the others.
Review and application of the penalty will only occur in the scoring area or other predetermined location, not during the stipulated round as any discussion of the situation with the Checkpoint Volunteer and/or Referee will only cause further delay of the group. If a group misses one or more checkpoints, a player(s) may request a review before signing and returning her or his scorecard.
A review will be successful only if there is evidence the player was:
NOTE 1: If the answers to the above statements are NO, the penalty/penalties stand as it is the responsibility of the group to maintain the Pace of Play established by the Golf Saskatchewan Rules & Tournaments Committee.
NOTE 2: If the answer to one of the statements above is YES, then a meeting with the group will take place as soon as possible at a location other than the scoring tent at the time set by the Golf Saskatchewan Pace of Play Committee.
NOTE 3: The physical scorecards, whether signed or unsigned, at this point are now considered to be Returned and property of the Committee.
After the fact, a Pace of Play penalty or penalties for Slow Play may be appealed to the Golf Saskatchewan Pace of Play Committee. The appeal must be in writing and must be based on facts relevant to the reason Pace of Play was not maintained. A Pace of Play Appeal form will be made available at the player(s) request and must be submitted to the Golf Saskatchewan Tournament Director within 1 hour of the play, on the day the infraction occurred. The Golf Saskatchewan Pace of Play Committee may review the information and render its decision by the end of the day. The decision of the Golf Saskatchewan Pace of Play Committee is final.
Allotted Time – The “allotted time” is the maximum time allowed to complete play of the course or the holes between checkpoints. The allotted time is predetermined by the Golf Saskatchewan Rules & Championships Committee and may be adjusted between rounds. Time for ball searches, rulings, and walking or travel time between holes is included in the allotted time. The allotted time for each hole and golf course being played will be posted on each player’s scorecard.
Timing – A group’s completion time at each checkpoint is measured when the flagstick is replaced in the hole once all players in the group have holed out, or in the case of a player or group leaving the flagstick in while putting, when the last player has removed her or his ball from the hole.
Rule 5.6 Unreasonable Delay; Prompt Pace of Play: see Rule 5.6
TIPS TO ASSIST PACE OF PLAY
- If your group keeps up with the group ahead of you (within 14 minutes) your group will NEVER be in jeopardy of being out of position.
- Always look ahead – not behind.
- Your groups’ place on the golf course is behind the group in front of you, not in front of the group behind you.
- Minimize your practice swings. A player should attempt to play without delay.
- If you are not taking your bag up to the Teeing area, bring and extra ball and/or tee, just in case.
- All players and caddies should spot the player’s shot in case assistance is needed in searching for a ball(s). Use a maker in the distance as a reference point (such as a tree, building or the like).
- Play a provisional ball if you think the original might be lost outside a Penalty Area or Out of Bounds.
- Take your equipment with you to the teeing ground to avoid having to go a distance to your bag for a provisional ball or changing club(s).
- Plan your shot while walking to your ball or while others are playing, and be ready to play when it is your turn. This includes finding your yardage, selecting your golf club to play, putting your glove on, and the rest of your pre-shot routine.
- On the putting green, study your line of putt while others in your group are preparing to putt if it does not interfere with their play.
- Please putt out when possible and play ready golf when it is safe to do so.
- Return the flagstick into the hole as soon as possible to avoid a potential missed checkpoint. Reminder, standing at the side of the putting green with the flagstick in your hand may cost the group a missed checkpoint.
(*exception for a group/player putting with the flagstick in the hole)
- Walk briskly between shots (or drive the power cart, if allowed,) without undue delay.
- Proceed directly to your golf ball; do not follow others unless you are assisting in a search.
- If using a power cart take several clubs with you to your ball so you will not have to walk back to the power cart.
- Park power carts and leave golf bags towards the rear of the green or nearest point in the direction of the next hole so when your group has completed putting you will be moving away from the field of play.
- Mark your scorecard on the next teeing ground or on the way to the next teeing ground and not on the putting green.
- A faster pace has been proven to lead to better scores. Remember, a 15-second delay per player per hole makes your round of golf more than 13 minutes longer. Play faster = lower scores.