THE WARWICK GOLF CLUB PACE OF PLAY POLICY 2017
During 2016, incompatible paces of play were evident between members of the golf club, particularly during the Saturday competition. The Management Committee issued a notice re speeding up play which did not resolve the issue. From January 1st 2017, all women were instructed to begin their game at the 10th tee during certain times on a Saturday. This decision did not sit comfortably with many members both female and male, as it was seen to be discriminating women players.
At the start of 2017, the Committee agreed to data being collected over several months during various types of golf rounds, both Wednesdays and Saturdays for all players. Results indicated a wide variety of times being taken with up to 1 hour 15 minutes difference on the same day. There was no consistency with either the women or the men taking the longest times. The data showed variation in:-
Time spent in the clubhouse after 9 holes
Whether the player was walking or in a buggy
Whether each person in a group was in their own buggy or sharing a buggy
The number in the group from 2 to 5 on any one day
Agility of the member
The type of game being played
As a result, it is recognised that given the demographic and playing preferences of the WGC members that data returned has provided guidelines to develop a Pace of Play Policy, which allows all members to continue playing their own game with reasonable expectations for their fellow playing partners and the competition field.
While the majority of games were played around the 4-hour mark, it is reasonable to state this to be the approximate time expected for golfers to complete their 18 holes at the Warwick Golf Club. With the relatively small size of the club and committed ways that members play their golf, the intent of this policy is not to state round time allowances, but rather outline steps to avoid inconsistent pace of play.
Keeping up with the play
The best way to play your round is to stay no more than a shot behind the group in front, not a shot ahead of the group behind. This is a group responsibility not an individual one. A group is behind the field if it is more than a hole behind the group in front of it. It is the responsibility of the lowest marker in a group to bring this to the group's attention so appropriate action can be taken to speed up the group’s pace of play.
Catch up strategies:-
As soon as you realize that your group has lost a fairway you need to use as many of the following strategies, for as many holes as it takes to catch up. Playing "Ready Golf" is highly recommended as an effective catch-up strategy. "Ready Golf" is an approach to golf that was instigated in other clubs world wide in response to the growing problem of slow play. It means being ready to play, not playing when you're ready.
SOME READY GOLF STRATEGIES
ON THE FAIRWAY
Be ready on the tee first if it’s your honour from the previous hole
Hit a provisional ball if you think you are out of bounds or the ball may be hard to find
Walk to your ball as soon as possible, so that you can choose your club and think about the shot in
ADVANCE, not when it is your turn - this means checking distance, having practice swings etc while
waiting for others to hit
When driving a cart, drop off your partner first, let your partner choose his or her club, and then
drive to your own ball to get READY to play – don’t wait with him
Walk down the SIDES of the fairway to reach your ball and then APPROACH it from the side. NEVER
play in a caravan, moving in a group from ball to ball.
Before looking for a player's lost ball, hit your own next shot first then look.
Be realistic about your abilities. Don't wait on a green you can't possibly hit.
Parking buggies whether walking or riding at the approach to the next tee – this allows the group behind to hit up as soon as you walk from the green
ON THE GREEN
Move straight to your ball, repair pitch marks, line up etc prior to your turn to putt
Anticipate the order of putting and be ready when its your turn
Limit unnecessary marking and lifting of the ball on the green – putt out
If you can no longer score on the hole (stableford) pick up
If the group is falling behind send the first two players to putt out onto the next tee
Mark your cards at the next tee while waiting to tee off – if it’s your honour hit then mark the card The time for socialising is in the club house
COMPLIANCE AND PENALTIES
The ideal result would be to avoid any penalty applications by gaining the willing compliance with the majority of the membership. This can be only achieved with strong and effective communication of the Policy combined with informed and willing member support.
The Pro Shop will monitor play and ensures slow groups are made aware of their obligations to the rest of the field. The ProShop could be alerted to the situation on the course at anytime through a phone call from a member.
The Captains and members of Committees will also work informally with groups that are lagging to alert them of the problem and encourage increased speed and strategies by playing Ready Golf. In the vast majority of cases, this is all that is needed. There is a huge discrepancy between the ways our local members play their golf and hence what is slow for some is normal for others etc. Referring to the PGA tour rules provides a basis for us to work with as follows.
To be put “on the clock” — the first step in penalizing a player or group for slow play — a gap between your group and the group ahead must be significant, usually greater than one hole. What we need to be mindful of is that the rules of Golf allow players to take 40 seconds to pay their ball once it is their turn to play. In theory, if it goes longer than that, the player gets a warning. If it occurs again in that round, the player gets a 1-stroke penalty. If it occurs a third time, the player gets an additional 2-stroke penalty, and if it occurs a fourth time the player is disqualified.
Managing the Pace of Play through the ProShop timesheet:-
Move groups into workable numbers – eg 3 or 4, not 2 then 5 a few slots later
Be mindful of players abilities and their potential to not be able to keep up with the group ahead
(eg. C Grade ladies ahead of A grade men)
Women to be in groups of 3 during popular time sheet slots (late morning Saturdays)
Mixed groups (usually 4) to be mindful of selection of tee time
Groups of 5 to be discouraged however if inevitable, to be at the end of the field
If the Pro Shop then provides evidence it is being ignored by members, the Match Committee would then call members to task.
The Management Committee is confident that all Warwick Golfers can enjoy their game each time they play. Members are asked to read this policy and adhere to its contents. Respect and reasonable common sense negotiation is requested of all members to this sensitive issue confronting all golfers.