Pace of PlayRules Notebook: Amateur Championships

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USGA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPS PACE OF PLAY POLICY

 

STROKE PLAY                                                 

Players should play at a prompt pace throughout the round. Players are both allowed and encouraged to play “ready golf” in a safe and responsible way (Rule 6.4b) and should make a stroke in no more than 40 seconds (Rule 5.6b).

GENERAL

The Committee will designate four (4) holes on the course as pace of play checkpoint holes. When a group has been notified by a checkpoint official of a missed checkpoint (out of position), the group is expected to regain its position.

 

MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE TIME

Maximum allowable time is the MAXIMUM time considered necessary by the Committee for a group to complete its round. This is expressed in a per-hole and aggregate time format on the player scorecard.

 

OUT OF POSITION

A group is out of position when it:

  • Takes more than the maximum allowable time to finish a checkpoint hole and
  • Completes play of that checkpoint hole more than 14 minutes after the group in front of them.

 

A checkpoint hole is complete when the ball of the last player in the group to hole out has been removed from the hole.

The first group(s) of each wave is measured only against maximum allowable time until they are within 14 minutes of the group in front of them.

 

GROUP OUT OF POSITION – MONITORED BY A RULES ROVER

  • Any group that is out of position will be monitored by a Rules Rover who will individually time strokes made by a player(s).
  • Bad times (see below) and other information gathered at any time, including extensive rulings, will be considered during the review process. 
  • Regardless of position, if the Pace of Play Committee determines that a player(s) in the group is delaying play of their own group, following groups or the com- petition in general:
    • The player(s) may be spoken to by a Rules Rover.
    • The penalty for breach of Rule 5.6a (Unreasonable Delay of Play) may be applied.
  • Any player(s) concerened about another player(s) in the group should request a Rules Rover to monitor the group.

 

TIMING/BAD TIMES

  • If the group misses a checkpoint, bad times will be considered when determining penalties.
  • Each player is permitted a maximum of 40 seconds to make a stroke. A player is considered to have made a bad time only when the player exceeds 40 seconds, plus an additional 10 percent timing margin.
  • The timing of a player’s stroke begins when it is the player’s turn to play without interference or distraction. Time spent determining yardage and other conditions, such as wind, will count as time taken for the stroke.
    • On the putting green, the actions allowed under Rule 13.1 are not included in the timing of a player’s stroke, provided the player is not unreasonably delaying play. However, time spent surveying the line of play from any angle will count as time taken for the stroke.
  • A player may inquire about their bad times at any point during the round.

MISSED CHECKPOINTS (PENALTIES)

The following penalty structure applies for players in a group that have missed one or more checkpoints: 

  • 1 missed checkpoint – warning
  • 2 missed checkpoints – one penalty stroke
  • 3 missed checkpoints – additional two penalty strokes
  • 4 missed checkpoints – disqualification

 

If a group misses multiple checkpoints but finishes the round under their maximum allowable time, the group is still liable to penalty.

Any penalty strokes that are to be applied to a player(s) score are applied on the checkpoint hole(s) where they became liable to penalty.

 

REVIEW PROCESS

Pace of Play reviews will not take place during the round. The Pace of Play Committee will review missed checkpoints in the scoring area only (before scorecards are returned) and make a final determination whether penalties will be assessed.

 

MATCH PLAY                                                  

MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE TIME

Maximum allowable time is the MAXIMUM time considered necessary by the Committee for a match to complete its round. This is expressed in a per-hole and aggregate time format.

 

OUT OF POSITION

A match is out of position when it takes more than the maximum allowable time to finish a hole and:

a)  Reaches a par-3 that is clear of play and all players in the match ahead have played from the teeing area of the next hole.

b)  Reaches a par-4 that becomes clear of play before any player plays a stroke from the teeing area.

c)  Reaches a par-5 after any player in the match ahead has made a stroke on the putting green.

A match that is out of position may be timed.

 

TIMING ("ON THE CLOCK") / BAD TIMES

  • When the Committee determines that a match will be put “on the clock,” the players will be notified by a Rules Rover.
  • Each player is permitted a maximum of 40 seconds to make a stroke. A player who exceeds 40 seconds is considered to have made a bad time only when the player exceeds 40 seconds, plus an additional 10 percent timing margin. A player will be informed as soon as possible.
  • The timing of a player’s stroke begins when it is the player’s turn to play without interference or distraction. Time spent determining yardage and other conditions, such as wind, will count as time taken for the stroke.
    • On the putting green, actions allowed under Rule 13.1 are not included in the timing of a player’s stroke, provided the player is not unreasonably delaying play. However, time spent surveying the line of play from any angle will also count as time taken for the stroke.
  • When “on the clock,” the Committee may assess a bad time to a player who delays play between shots or holes.
  • A Rules Rover will not tell a match when it has regained its position and is no longer “on the clock.” A player may inquire of the match’s status at any time.
  • Regardless of position, if the Pace of Play Committee determines that a player(s) in the match is delaying play of their own match, any subsequent match, or the competition in general:
    • The player(s) may be spoken to by a Rules Rover.
    • The penalty for breach of Rule 5.6a (Unreasonable Delay of Play) may be applied.
    • The Committee reserves the right to put a match, or individual player “on the clock” regardless of whether the match is out of position.

 

PENALTIES

The following is the penalty structure for players who receive bad times while being timed (“on the clock”):

  • 1st bad time – warning
  • 2nd bad time – loss of hole
  • 3rd bad time – loss of hole
  • 4th bad time – disqualification

If the match in question regains its proper position, any previous bad times will be carried over for the remainder of that match.

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