Optimist International Junior Golf Championships
Pace of Play Overview and Policy Statement

Pace of Play Policy
Rule 5.6b - A round of golf is meant to be played at a prompt pace. Each player should recognize that his or her pace of play is likely to affect how long it will take other players to play their rounds, including both those in the players own group and those in following groups. In match play, players may agree that one of them will play out of turn to save time. In stroke play, players may play "ready golf" in a safe and responsible way.

Allotted Time
Groups are expected to play at no more than the allotted time published for the event. The allotted time is 4 hours and 30 minutes for the 18-hole round or 15 minutes per hole unless otherwise stated on the Notice to Players.

Definition of “Out of Position”
The first group to start will be considered out of position if, at any time during the round, the group is behind their allotted time.

Any following group will be considered out of position if it, a) is taking more than the allotted time to play, and b) reaches the tee of a par-3 hole and the hole is clear, fails to clear the tee of a par-4 hole before the preceding group clears the putting green or arrives at the teeing ground of a par-5 hole when the preceding group is on the putting green. Both a) and b) must apply for a group to be out of position.

Group Notification
Groups MAY be notified when they are out of position and given an opportunity to regain their position. If a ruling or some other legitimate delay occurs which causes a group in question to lose its position, that group is expected to regain its position in a reasonable time (within two holes). If a group fails to regain its position, it will be notified and subject to being timed.

A group may be monitored or timed for compliance within this pace of play guideline if it is “out of position”. When a group is “out of position” a player in the group is expected to play any stroke within 40 seconds.

Other than on the putting green, the timing of a player’s stroke will begin when he/she has had a reasonable opportunity to reach his/her ball, it is his/her turn to play and he/she can play without interference or distraction. Time spent determining yardage will count as part of the time it takes 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 place his/her ball, repair his/her ball mark and other ball marks on his/her line of putt and remove loose impediments on his/her line of putt. 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.

NOTE: The Committee reserves the right, at any time, to time a group when the Committee deems it necessary. Players should also be aware that the Committee may assess a “bad time” to a player in a group which is out of position if the player makes no effort to help his/her group get back in position. An example of this would be a player who unduly delays play between shots.

Pace of Play Penalties
The following are the penalties, in sequence, for any player in a group out of position who takes more than 40 seconds to play a stroke when it is his turn to play:

• 1st bad timing exceeding the allotted time – Warning
• 2nd bad timing – 1-stroke penalty
• 3rd bad timing – Additional 2-stroke penalty
• 4th bad timing - Disqualification

Pace of Play Tips
The following tips will enhance your tournament experience and can keep your group from receiving a warning and penalty strokes during your round.

  • Show identifying marks on your golf ball to fellow competitors.
  • Get your yardage before it is your turn to play.
  • Read your putt before it is your turn to play.
  • Recognize when someone will need the flag tended or your ball marked.
  • Get to your next shot without delay. It is more important what you do between shots than during.
  • Play "ready" golf. When you are ready to play go ahead with your shot even if you are not away. Make sure your fellow competitors are aware you are playing your shot.
  • Know where your group is in relation to the group in front of you.
  • Anyone can search for a lost ball. Have your parents and spectators one shot ahead of your group to spot errant shots.
  • If your ball might be lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds, play a Provisional Ball (Rule 18.3).
  • If a situation arises and you do not know how to proceed, play a second ball under Rule 20.1c3 and continue play. You must report the facts to the Rules Official afterwards regardless of score.
  • Place golf bag off the putting green near the next teeing ground. This avoids holding up the following group to hit while a player retrieves their golf bag from the front of the green.