Pace of Play Policy

Pace of Play

Rule 5.6 states, in part: “A round of golf is meant to be played at a prompt pace. To encourage and enforce prompt play, the Committee should set a Pace of Play Policy. This Policy may set a maximum time to complete a round, a hole or series of holes and a stroke, and it may set penalties for not following the Policy.” In order to prevent any such penalty, we suggest that you carefully review the following guidelines:

Definition of “Overall Time Par”

Overall time par is the amount of time in which the GSGA expects all players to complete a round. This will be expressed on a per-hole basis and an overall time for 9 or 18 holes.

Definition of “Out of Position”

The first group (each side; both morning and afternoon “waves”) to start will be considered out of position if, at any time during the round, the group is behind overall time par as detailed on the players’ scorecard.

Any subsequent group will be considered out of position if it is (a) behind overall time par and (b) reaches a par-3 hole that is clear of all play and all players in the preceding group have played from the next teeing area or reaches a par-4 or par-5 hole that is clear of all play. Both (a) and (b) must apply for a group to be out of position.

Group Out of Position

If a group is out of position, it will be timed by a GSGA rover. A group will be notified when it is being timed.

The group will continue being timed until (a) it is back in position or (b) it completes its round. A group will be notified when it is no longer being timed.

Timing/Bad Times

During a round, a player is always expected to play a stroke within 40 seconds. When a group is being timed, any stroke taken in excess of 40 seconds is a “bad time.” The timing of a player’s stroke will begin when he/she has had reasonable opportunity to reach his/her ball, it is his/her turn to play, and he/she can play without interference or distraction.

Except on the putting green, if a player has reached his/her ball, it is his/her turn to play, and there are no distractions, timing will begin after he/she has had reasonable time to select a club. Time spent walking backward or forward for determining yardages will count as part of the time taken for the next stroke.

On the putting green, timing will begin after a player has been allowed a reasonable amount of time to lift, clean, and replace his/her ball, repair his/her ball mark and other damage, and remove loose impediments on his/her line of play. Time spent looking at the line from beyond the hole and/or behind the ball will count as part of the time taken for the next stroke.


The following are the penalties, in sequence, for any player(s) in a group being timed who accumulate bad time(s):

One bad timing of more than 40 seconds – warning

A second bad timing – 1-stroke penalty

A third bad timing – Additional 1-stroke penalty

A fourth bad timing – Disqualification

Rulings or Other Incidents

If a ruling or some other legitimate delay occurs which causes the group in question to lose its position, that group is expected to regain its position within a reasonable time. All information will be taken into consideration when issuing any penalties

The GSGA reserves the right to adjust this Pace of Play Policy – Revised 02/20/20