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Pace of Play Guidelines

Maintaining a reasonable pace of play is not about ‘rushing’, it’s about being ready when it is your turn to play.


When you play on unfamiliar courses, 4.5 hours is a reasonable pace of play. Maintaining a reasonable pace of play is an important element in having a good experience on course. It’s often a combination of little things not done that wind up contributing to slow play and on-course traffic jams.


Here’s some hints and tips we’ve put together to keep the field moving for the enjoyment of all.


  • Think ahead: While walking to your ball, use the travel time to begin thinking over your next shot – the yardage, which club you’ll use, and so on. Begin preparing before you get to your ball.


  • When you are sharing a cart: drop the first player off at their ball, drive on ahead to the second ball. The first player should walk over to the cart as the second player is playing his shot.


  • Carry spares in your pockets: Carry a few extra tees, ball markers and a spare ball in your pockets so you don’t have to return to your golf bag if you are in need of one.


  • When you think your ball may be lost or out of bounds, hit a provisional ball straight away.


  • Don’t spend more than 2 minutes searching for a ball: It’s nice to watch a good shot, it is more important to watch a bad one to see where the ball finishes. Get a line or a physical marker to help the search for your ball.


  • Get ready to make the stroke on the green, begin lining up your putt and reading the break as soon as you reach the green.


  • Putting: When it’s your turn to putt, be prepared to step right up and take the stroke.


  • Leave your bags or golf carts to the side of the green, and in the direction of the next tee, never in front of the green.


  • After holing out on the green, write down your scores. If you have the honour, go to the next hole, tee off and then attend to your scorecard.


  • If you have fallen behind the group in front, play ‘ready golf’ until you have caught up.


  • In stableford competitions, if you cannot score, please pick-up.


  • If a player in your group is ‘slow’, offer encouragement and help, not abuse.


  • If it takes you longer than 15 seconds to calculate distances with your range-finder, then you shouldn’t be using it.