R&A releases new Pace Of Play measures

There is nothing more frustrating for a golf professional – or an amateur, for that matter, to be stuck with a player who is slower than everyone else…in his (or her) group and everyone else on the course as well.

Granted it is sometimes gamesmanship as it can make your game suffer as you try and player quicker to cover for their slow play.

Slow Play R&A releases new Pace Of Play measures

Soon it becomes fun for nobody as anger begins to take control.

Now the Royal and Ancient have moved to take further steps to avoid slow play with two new Pace of Play conditions that were introduced during last week’s British Amateur Championship played at Royal Porthcawl as well as the Pyle & Kenfig course in Wales.

The measures addresses two particular situations that can arise during championship play: groups being considered to be out of position even if they are playing within the time allowed, and the timing of individual players, who are playing at an unduly slow pace and are only being kept in position by other members of their group playing at a quicker pace.

The first measure brought in by the R&A is a change to the definition of “Out of Position”, which will now enable groups that are more than the starting interval behind the group in front to be timed, even if they have not exceeded the allotted time for number of holes completed.

The second measure is the addition of a new clause, “Random Timing Without Warning When Group Not Out of Position”, for situations where an individual player may be timed without warning, including when a group is not out of position, for playing at an overly slow pace.

According to the executive director – Rules and Equipment Standards at The R&A, David Rickman the two new measures are part of The R&A’s continuing efforts to improve pace of play at major amateur championships and international matches.

While it might not solve this age-old problem, it is certainly a move in the right direction.