Pace of Play - Guidelines


Pace of play on the golf course has become frustratingly slow in the eyes of many members. So what are the main causes, and what can be done?

To some of you this may seem like we're trying to teach you suck eggs.However, the pace of play is becoming a problem. Therefore, we would like all members to follow the guidance below.

Below are the five mistakes that members most commonly make,

1. Not ready to play
2. Leaving bags or trolleys in the wrong place
3. Marking cards on the green
4. Leaving the green in the wrong place
5. Please ‘pick up’ if you cannot score (applies to Bogey & Stableford Competitions)

Compared to other courses the yardage of SGC is relatively short. Therefore, your rounds of golf should take no longer the times shown below.

• Medal

o Four-Ball - four hours
o Three-Ball - three and half hours

• Casual Play

o Four-Ball - three and half hours
o Three-Ball - three hours

All players must maintain their place in the field, which is immediately behind the group in front and not ahead of the group behind. This is a group responsibility and not an individual one. All members should be proactive in addressing the slow play problem.

If your group is a clear hole behind (e.g. you are on the tee of a par four or five hole, the group in front has already left the green) and you are delaying the group behind please invite the group behind to play through (irrespective of the number of players in that group).

No more than five minutes is allowed to search for a ball. If you can’t find your ball in five minutes you must proceed by enforcing the golf rules governing the conditions under which your ball was lost. If more than one ball needs to be found, split up and search for all the balls at the same time.

If you hit a ball that you think may be hard to find, or it may be out of bounds, please hit a provisional ball.

Go to your ball and get ready to hit your next shot as soon as it is feasible; i.e., not impeding another player’s shot or endangering yourself. Don’t always wait for your mate to play before going to your ball.

One of the biggest causes of slow play is the golfer simply not being ready to play when it is his or her turn on tee, fairway or green, or when the course ahead is clear. Golf is not a race, so you don’t have to be relentless in your pursuit of the finishing post. But you do need to be ready to go as soon as it’s your turn rather than a minute afterwards, to prevent unnecessary frustration for others in your group and all those behind you.

Walking briskly between each shot.

Leaving your golf bag, trolley or buggy strategically placed to side of the green nearest the next tee.

When you reach the green, move to your ball and repair any pitch marks. Where possible, line up your putt prior to your turn to putt.

If your ball needs to be marked, then do it as quickly as you can. Anticipate the requirements of your fellow players. Move back and line up your putt.

Except in match play, and where you will stand on someone else’s lie, when you start putting, continue until you have holed out. If playing a bogey or stableford event and you can no longer score on that hole, pick up your ball and let others continue.

The first player to finish putting should take control of the flag and be ready to replace it in the hole when the final player has completed the hole.

Players should proceed to the next tee without delay. The following group should be waiting to play their approach shots, so the path taken to the next tee should be borne in mind.

Think ahead; leave your bag, trolley or buggy in a place where you won’t be hindering the following players. Always leave the green from the right place, this is particularly important on holes 2/11, 4/13, 5/14, 7/16, the exit point for these holes is behind the bunkers nearest the path to the next tee, the exit point for 9/18 is behind the Captain’s Bunker.

Cards should be marked as quickly as possible after completing the hole, but it is best to mark the cards at the next tee NOT ON THE GREEN. Please mark your card when it is not your turn to play and remember, at all times your place in the field is immediately behind the group in front and not in front of the group behind.

Lastly, try and demonstrate courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive you may be – this is essentially the SPIRIT OF THE GAME.

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