We started this year with a shotgun and finished in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Shotguns are one of the hardest formats to maintain Pace of Play, but you did it. Since then each week has seen a decline in that remarkable effort and last week was just miserable. First and foremost, Pace of Play is everyone’s responsibility. It’s a matter of respect for your fellow members.
What is Pace of Play?
Pace of Play at VNCC is 4 hours and 10 minutes, that means 2 hours and 5 minutes per nine. Given the competitive nature of Men’s League, some flexibility should be considered – but a round should not take any more than 2 hours and 15 minutes. That’s 15 minutes per hole – tops.
What is your responsibility?
Show up on time –
You should be ready to golf, and waiting on the tee box off 5 minutes before your tee time. Your group will tee off as soon as the hole is open – players not on the tee box will have to catch up to their group. If the group has left the first tee box, you’ll start on the second hole, losing the first by default. No questions asked.
Make sure you know IF you’re on Pace –
If the clocks on the course weren’t enough, do the math. multiply 15 by the number of holes you’ve played and add it to your tee time. Look at your watch to find out where you’re at. Keep in mind Pace of Play and your group playing fast aren’t the same. A twosome might play faster than a foursome in front, that doesn’t mean the foursome is off pace. There might be an entire hole between the group in front of you, and the group in front of them – it still doesn’t mean they’re off pace. 15 minutes per hole is a reasonable time frame – calculate it before you complain about it.
Catch Up –
Shit happens. Lost balls, provisional shots, water hazards, three putts are a reality of this game. Some holes may take longer to decide and that’s ok. But it’s your responsibility to make up the time with a hole, two tops.
Monitor yourself, your group –
If you’re not on Pace because of something you’ve done, fix it. If your group is slow because of someone in your Group, help them fix it. Don’t be a jerk – do it with constructive criticism and a suggestion, but have a conversation with your group about the problem.
Report the problem –
If you’ve already determined that a group in front of you is not on Pace of Play, give them a chance to catch up. If they haven’t caught up in a hole or two, call the Pro Shop. Someone will come out and assess the situation, evaluate why it’s happening and help fix the problem. If you call, you won’t be identified. If someone calls on your group, it doesn’t matter everyone behind you is frustrated – it’s still your responsibility.
What are the consequences? –
There aren’t any consequences at this point, this is a Gentleman’s game and we can improve this ourselves. If not, and a majority of members are still frustrated, I’ll start working more closely with the Pro Shop to monitor the situation, assess the Who, What and Why it’s happening based largely on their on-course assessment, and find a reasonable consequence. Please don’t make me do that, I truly believe that we can help each other for the greater good.
Are there any tips for keeping the pace?
The USGA site has a number of great resources to learn how to improve pace of play for everyone, read it and share it with your friends. Click on this link to learn more – USGA Pace of Play Tips While you’re there, Take the Pledge I have. Play ready golf, Plan before you get to the ball and picking up when you’ve lost the hole will help everyone enjoy the round.
Thanks for your consideration, and working together to improve our overall experience. If Tiger can do it, you can too. Have fun, Play Well.