PSMGA LOCAL RULE FOR PACE OF PLAY/ OUT-OF-POSITION

PURPOSE. Encourage and enforce prompt pace of play. One of the most important factors in the golf experience is pace of play- both the overall duration of the round and the flow of play during the round. A misconception has been that the allotted time is the pace they should play…actually this is the maximum amount of time given to implementing pace of play timing procedures and penalties. PSMGA wants to send one clear message to golfers…IF YOU FALL BEHIND, YOU MUST CATCH UP.

EDUCATE. The Committee will be available to assist with any advice to help players to play at a prompt pace-of play and answer any and all questions regarding pace-of play/ out-of-position issues. The maximum amount of time to complete a round at Pecan Hollow is…4 hours 30 minutes. This is based on 15 minutes per hole.

MONITORING. “Your correct position on the course is immediately behind the group in front of you, not immediately in front of the group behind you.” There can be several ways to monitor pace-of play/ out-of-position.

EXAMPLES OF MONITORING:

1.       Self-assessed pace-of-play/out-of-position control system.

2.       Monitored by the GPS system in the Pro shop.

3.       Reported by any other group of golfers on the course.

4.       When available, a referee (Marshall) monitoring the course.

REGULATION/OFFICIATING. The PSMGA’s pace-of play/ out-of-position leaves the responsibility for maintaining the pace of play where it belongs, with you, the player. If you are the first group in the field, play efficient golf. If you are in a following group, keep up with the group in front of you and will not have a pace of play issue. If you fall behind, you are expected to play efficient golf and get back into position.

In addition to the rules that cover certain pace-of-play aspects, the Committee can deal with slow play by placing competitors “on the clock.” This happens if a golfer is guilty of slow play that results in their group being “out of position”, which is often defined as being at least one hole behind the group in front. A golfer “on the clock” has his pace of play monitored.  A group is “out of position” when it is over the allocated time for the holes that have been played and not in position with the previous group; i.e., the group is more that the starting interval behind the group in front of them, or a Par 4 or Par 5 hole is open before the group reaches the teeing area of that hole.

Therefore, at PSMGA events, the groups that are “out of position” will be asked to “Close the Gap” even if they are under their allotted time.       

Once a group has been reported as a slow pace-of-play or out-of-position, the Pro Shop, Referee, a golfer, or a Committee Member will inform that group to “Close the Gap”.  At that time, that will be the first breach (Penalty: a Warning).  If that group cannot “Close the Gap”, a second breach occurs (Penalty: 1 stroke per player). A third breach (Penalty: 2 strokes per player. A fourth breach occurs (Penalty: Disqualification).

If a decision is made to time the players, each player in the group will be subject to individual timing, and each player will be advised that they are “out of position” and they are being timed. In exceptional circumstances, an individual player, or two players within a group of three, may be timed instead of the entire group.

If a group that has been identified to be more than one hole behind, that group will be informed to skip that hole and each player will be assessed the maximum strokes for that hole (3 over par).

It is inevitable that there will be holes that take longer to play than would normally be the case, either due to bad play, cart path only or some other delay. But, the key is for all players in that group to ensure that the group gets back into position promptly.   

IMPORTANT:   As per USGA Rule 1.2 Standards of Player Conduct, the Committee may disqualify a player for acting contrary to the spirit of the game if it finds that the player has committed serious misconduct. Examples of serious misconduct: repeatedly using vulgar or offensive language, and/or being disrespectful of other players, referees or Committee members.

An appeal process will only be considered for any DISQUALIFICATION issue.