Golf House Kentucky
Pace of Play Guidelines
Ready Golf / Being ready to play Introduction
Ready golf is a general practice that most golfers follow so that
they are not playing slowly. Ready golf includes thinking ahead so
you are ready to play when it is your turn. Here are some of the
principles that many golfers use so that they keep play moving.
On the Tee
Ready Golf, we often hear, means that the person who is ready at
the tee should hit first. This is not necessarily correct. Ready Golf
means that the player with the honors should be READY TO HIT
FIRST. If the player with the honors isn't ready, then someone else
should hit first. Remember there is no penalty for playing out of
turn in stroke play.
On the Fairway
Golfers are typically at their worst AFTER they have hit their tee
shots. How often do you see players watch other players hit first,
and start thinking about their shot only when it's their turn? How
often do you see drivers of carts wait for their partners to hit
before driving to their own balls?
Ready Golf means that ALL golfers should go to their balls as soon
as possible and get ready to play their shots. While waiting to hit,
players should SURVEY their shot, SELECT their clubs, TAKE them
from their bags, and STAND at their balls READY to step up and
make the shot when it is their turn. That’s Ready Golf.
Ready Golf particularly means that the drivers of carts should
DROP OFF their partners, let them CHOOSE their clubs (take extra
ones if required), DRIVE to their own balls, and then get READY to
play. Drivers should NOT wait for their partners to hit the shot
and then drive to their own balls to make their shots.
All players should go to their balls as soon as possible. The only
time players should wait for other players is if the first player's
ball is in front of the other player in such a way that the other
players could be hit by the first player’s shot. Players should
NEVER CONVERGE unless their balls are all in the same location.
The only time players should stop in a group and wait for a player
to hit is if the line of flight of that player’s shot prevents the other
players from going to their own balls.
Helping to Find Lost Balls
It is important that everyone try to help find a lost ball in order to
keep the round moving, but players should do it AFTER hitting
their shots, not BEFORE. How often do you see four players
searching for a lost ball, while NONE of them are getting ready to
Use common sense. The player who is closest to the pin and
scheduled to hit last should be the first to help the player whose
ball is lost, while the players who are farthest away from the hole
should PLAY THEIR SHOTS FIRST. When the players farthest away
have played their shots, they should resume looking for the lost
ball, while the players who are closest should get ready to PLAY
THEIR SHOTS. In this way, slow play is not compounded because
of a lost ball.
Entering and Exiting Greens
How many times do you see players leave their clubs in front of a
Green? When the players finish, they then walk to the front to get
their clubs. ALWAYS leave clubs at the back or side of the Green
closest to the next tee. If a shot is played in front of the Green
first, the player should move his or her clubs to the back or side of
the Green before playing the next shot. Additionally, please don't
stand around after you've finished the hole to write down the
scores. You can do that at the next tee or when you wait for
others in the next fairway.
Speeding Play on the Greens
Emulating the pros around the putting green has done more to
slow down golf than anything else. How often do you see players
waiting until it is their turn to play and then walking around the
putt as though they were putting to win a major championship?
Playing Ready Golf around the Greens means getting READY to
putt BEFORE it is your turn! Players should line up their putts
WHILE other players are putting, so they're ready to putt when it’s
Ready Golf also means putting CONTINUOUSLY if the bail is not in
someone else’s line, and if the player does not have to spend a lot
of time surveying the putt. When you putt, you should always
take your time so you make a smooth, unhurried stroke. Ready
Golf DOES NOT mean RUSHING. If you prepare in advance to putt,
you can take your time and play Ready Golf.
Ready putting starts when you're walking up to the green from
your approach shot. Make sure you set your bag or any clubs you
are carrying down between the green and the next tee box so that
after you finish putting, you minimize the time it takes to retrieve
your bag or clubs and get to the next tee.
If you're on the green before others in your group, there's no
reason you can't putt while others are raking bunkers or lining up
longer putts. When you fall behind you forfeit your right to "go to
school" on others if they are not ready to putt.
While you're on the putting green you should read your putts, rid
your line of loose impediments, and fix any damage to the putting
surface allowed under the rules while others are putting.
If your group is behind, there is no reason why the first player
who has holed out can't proceed to the next tee box while others
are still putting, as long as there’s three people in the group so
that every score can be certified. Remember, when you are
behind, you've lost your right to play with honors until you catch
up to the group in front of you.
If your group does have to wait for the group in front of you on a
tee box, the shortest hitter could hit as soon as those in front of
you are out of his way.
If you're on a par 3 that you can't reach, there's really no need to
wait for the group in front of you to hole out. In the interest of
time you should tee off as soon as it's safe to do so.
Ready Golf Carts
If you play with a golf cart, you should be fully prepared for your
next shot(s) whenever you leave the cart. This means you take
EVERYTHING you will possibly need including a putter and a
wedge if you are anywhere near the green. In the fairway, you
should take the club you think you're going to hit, the next
shortest club, and the next longest club, in case you change your
mind. If you don't know what club you're going to hit, take your
entire bag. You should also take your entire bag if your cart
partner has a lost ball or is on the other side of the world. Don't
forget to keep an extra ball in your pocket, as well as your range
finder if you use one.
Try to minimize the number of transactions you make with your
golf bag. You can save time by getting into the cart without
putting your club(s) away from the previous shot if you know you
will have to go back to your bag for the next shot anyway. If you
hit the green on your approach shot, you can get your putter out
the same time as you put your other clubs away so you won't
have to go back to your bag once you get to the green.
Ready Golf means BEING READY to play, not playing when you are
ready. Here are some simple reminders to follow.
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
When driving a cart drop your partner off at their shot first, let
your partner choose his or her club and then drive to your own
ball to get READY to play.
When a ball is lost hit your shot FIRST and then look for the lost
Walk down the SIDES of the fairway to reach your ball and then
APPROACH it from the center. NEVER play in a caravan, moving in
a group from ball to ball.
When on the Green, line up your putt BEFORE it is your turn, and
putt out immediately instead of marking, if you are not in
someone else’s line.
Remember that the officials on-site are there to assist you, not
penalize you. Between spotting for balls, helping with rulings and
anything else, the goal is to help you and the rest of the field
enjoy a first-class golf tournament. If a staff member can ever be
of assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know
how we can make your experience better.
Other Helpful Resources
A pace of play video series is available on the Golf House Kentucky
website which provides a visual demonstration to many of the
things discussed in this pamphlet. It can be found by visiting
www.kygolf.org, scrolling over “Amateur Golf” and will be seen
The USGA offers a comprehensive pace of play page on their
website. This can be found at www.usga.org/pace-of-play-
Ask your PGA Professional. PGA Members are equipped with a
wealth of knowledge about how to improve pace of play. Talk to
your home course’s PGA Professional to receive assistance on
how to implement other strategies that will improve pace.
KGA Pace of Play Policy
Guidelines & Procedures
“Time Par” is the maximum amount of time for a group to play a hole as established by the
committee. A time par is established for each competition course and is listed in the Notice to
Players and the official scorecard for each hole. The term “time par” also includes all official
adjustments made by the committee to the times due to suspensions of play for weather, etc.
Compliance with time par is determined by when the last player in the group leaves the putting
GROUP OUT OF POSITION
First Group: The first group is out of position if at any time during the round the group is behind the
time par as detailed on the Notice to Players and the official scorecard. When starting on both holes
one and ten, the first groups to play from tee #1 and tee #10 shall be measured solely against time par.
If, after making the turn, either of the first groups catch up with the last group starting in front of them,
the first group shall then comply with the “following group” requirements for pace of play.
Following Groups: A following group is out of position if it is:
A. Taking more than the allotted time to play; and
B. More than 14 minutes behind the preceding group based on flag-in time.
When a group becomes out of position, all players in the group shall be notified by a tournament
official, “Your group is out of position and subject to timing.”
The group is to be notified either when they leave the green or leave the tee.
The official should state how many minutes behind the group is only if asked by the players.
If an official finds a group lagging behind, the official should radio other officials to help determine
the cause, while waiting for a group to clear the green. If a ruling, illness, or some other legitimate
delay has caused the group in question to lose its position, that group is expected to regain its
position within 2 holes of when the delay occurs. They should not be timed unless they fail to regain
position within the 2 holes.
When a group is notified of timing, the groups behind them should be given a courtesy notice that
the group ahead is being timed and will likely speed up.
WHEN A GROUP IS BEING TIMED
A player is permitted 50 seconds to play a stroke.
Strokes on teeing ground/through the green: The timing of a player’s stroke will begin when the
player has had a reasonable opportunity to reach the ball or the tee, it is that player’s turn to play,
and the player can play without interference. Time spent determining yardage counts as time taken
for the stroke.
Strokes on the putting green: The timing of a player’s stroke will begin after a player has been
allowed a reasonable amount of time to lift, clean, and replace his ball, repair his ball mark and other
ball marks on his line of putt, and remove loose impediments on his line of putt. Time spent looking
at the line of putt from beyond the hole and/or behind the ball will count as part of the time taken
for the stroke.
PACE OF PLAY PENALTIES
A player who exceeds the 50 seconds to play a stroke will be notified by the Rules official as soon as
The following are the penalties, in sequence, for any player in a group being timed who exceeds 50
seconds to play a stroke:
• 1st bad timing | Warning
• 2nd bad timing | 1 stroke penalty
• 3rd bad timing | Additional 1 stroke penalty
• 4th bad timing | Disqualification
Note: If a group being timed regains its proper position, any previous “bad timings” will be carried
over for the remainder of that round in the event that group requires additional monitoring.
2019 Rules of Play
Play is governed by the Rules of Golf effective January 2019, and where applicable, by the following Local Rules and Terms of
the Competition. Committee Procedures refers to the Committee Procedures section in the current Official Guide to the Rules of
Golf. The Committee refers to the Tournament Committee assigned to each event. Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach
of a Local Rule is the general penalty (2-strokes in Stroke Play / Loss of Hole in Match Play)
Abnormal Course Conditions: Ground Under Repair is any area encircled by a white line, including gallery crosswalks
(except dropping zones or out of bounds), newly trenched areas, including grass-covered cables, and french drains,
which are trenches filled with rocks or stones.
If a player’s ball lies in or touches a seam of cut turf or a seam interferes with the player’s area of intended swing in the
general area, the player may take relief under Rule 16.1b. But interference does not exist if the seam only interferes with
the player’s stance. All seams within the area of cut turf are treated as the same seam in taking relief. This means that if
a player has interference from any seam after dropping the ball, the player must proceed as required under Rule 14.3c
(2) even when the ball is within one club-length of the reference point.
Immovable Obstructions: Asphalt and artificially surfaced roads and paths. White lined areas of ground under repair tying
into such roads or paths are treated as a single abnormal course condition when taking relief under Rule 16.1. Railroad
ties, curbing or other similar artificial edges adjoining cart paths are part of the same obstruction.
Ball Deflected by Power Line - If it is known or virtually certain that player’s ball hit a power line [or tower or a wire or
pole supporting a power line], the stroke does not count. The player must play a ball without penalty from where the
previous stroke was made (see Rule 14.6 for what to do).
Penalty for Playing Ball from Wrong Place in Breach of Local Rule: General Penalty Under Rule 14.7a
Integral Objects: (Free relief not allowed): Artificial retaining walls and/or pilings when located in penalty areas, wires,
cables, wrappings, signs and lightning rods closely attached to trees or objects and bunker liners in their intended
Note: The Committee may treat an exposed liner, not in its intended position, to be ground under repair, but interference
does not exist if a liner only interferes with the player’s stance.
Out of Bounds and Course Boundaries: Out of Bounds is defined by the line between the course-side points at ground
level of white stakes and fence posts. When a line is not in use, the stakes or posts define the Out of Bounds.
Procedures for Bad Weather and Suspensions of Play: Methods for Stopping and Resuming Play: A suspension of
play for a dangerous situation will be signaled by one prolonged note of a siren or horn. All other suspensions will be
signaled by three consecutive notes of a siren or horn. In either case, resumption of play will be signaled by two short
notes of a siren or horn.
Note: All practice areas are closed during an immediate suspension for a dangerous situation until the Committee has
declared them open.
Restrictions on Practice: Rule 5.5b is modified in this way: A player must not practice on the competition course
between the play of two holes during Stroke Play and must not test the surface of the putting green of the hole being
played by rolling a ball.
Penalty for breach of Rule: General Penalty applied to the next hole
Restrictions on Use of Specific Equipment: List of Conforming Driver Heads: Any driver the player uses to make a
stroke must have a clubhead, identified by model and loft, which is on the current List of Confirming Driver Heads issued
by the USGA.
Penalty for Making a Stroke with Club in Breach of this Local Rule: Disqualification.
There is no penalty under this Local Rule for carrying, but not making a stroke with a driver that is not on the List of
Conforming Driver Heads.
List of Conforming Golf Balls: Any ball used in making a stroke must be on the current List of Conforming Golf Balls
issued by the USGA.
Penalty for Making a Stroke at a Ball Not on Current List in Breach of this Local Rule: Disqualification.
Returning Scorecard: For the purpose of applying Rule 3.3b (2), a player’s scorecard is treated as returned when the
player has first left the scoring area with both feet.
When the Result of the Competition is Final: When all scores have been posted on the official scoreboard and approved
by the Committee, the competition is closed.
Replacement of Broken Club:
If a player’s club is “broken or significantly damaged” during the round by the player or caddie, except in cases of
abuse, the player may replace the club with any club under Rule 4.1b(4).
When replacing a club, the player must immediately take the broken or significantly damaged club out of play, using
the procedure in Rule 4.1c(1).
For the purposes of this Local Rule:
A club is “broken or significantly damaged” when:
➢ the shaft breaks into pieces, splinters or is bent (but not when the shaft is only dented)
➢ the club face impact area is visibly deformed (but not when the club face is only scratched)
➢ the clubhead is visibly and significantly deformed
➢ the clubhead is detached or loose from the shaft, or
➢ the grip is loose.
Exception: A club face or clubhead is not “broken or significantly damaged” solely because it is cracked.
Penalty for Breach of Local Rule – See Rule 4.1b.” (Added 4/2019)