We [almost] all know how much a slow round of golf kills our golf mojo. It’s one of the things that can turn an enjoyable day of golf into a complete nightmare. Let’s take a look at the new rule changes and recommendations implemented by the R&A, USGA, and Golf Canada that address improving pace of play:
- Time allowed for a ball search: NEW RULE: A ball is lost if not found in three minutes.
- OLD RULE: A ball is lost if not found in five minutes.
- Recommendation on how to play promptly:NEW RULE: Recommends that players make each stroke in no more than 40 seconds, and usually in less time.
- OLD RULE: No recommendations are given.
- Playing out of turn in stroke play:NEW RULE: No penalty, and “ready golf” is encouraged when it can be done in a safe and responsible way.
- OLD RULE: No penalty, but the current Rule is written in a way that may imply that playing out of turn is wrong or is not allowed.
- New alternative form of stroke play:NEW RULE: A new “Maximum Score” form of stroke play is recognized, where a player’s score for a hole is capped at a maximum score (such as two times par, a fixed number or net double bogey) that is set by the Committee.
- OLD RULE: In standard individual stroke play, players must hole out at every hole; the only recognized alternative forms of stroke play where holing out is not required are Stableford, Par and Bogey.
There are other rule changes that will also aid in improving pace of play, but they will be addressed in more detail in their more relevant category.
What do you think of these changes?