PROJECT 4:20 | USGA RULE 5.6 : UNREASONABLE DELAY; PROMPT PACE of PLAY
Unreasonable Delay of Play
You must not unreasonably delay play, either when playing a hole or between two holes.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 5.6a:
- Penalty for first breach: One penalty stroke.
- Penalty for second breach: General Penalty.
- Penalty for third breach: Disqualification.
If you unreasonably delay play between two holes, the penalty applies to the next hole.
PROJECT 4:20 “The slowest group dictates the pace of play for everyone behind them”
Project 4:20 is a joint undertaking by the Men’s Golf Association (MGA) and Hamilton Mill Golf Club (HMGC) to increase the enjoyment of the game for its members by managing the time it takes to play the game . Under USGA Rule 6-7 the MGA Board of Directors is establishing a designated Pace of Play for all competitions run by the MGA. The designated Pace of Play is as follows:
- Every three holes should be completed in 45 minutes or less;
- Every nine holes should be completed in 2 hours and 10 minutes or less;
- Every eighteen holes should be completed in 4 hours and 20 minutes or less.
In order to accomplish the goal of 4:20 we will need your cooperation and that of your fellow MGA members along with the support of the HMGC staff.
- Arrive on first tee 5 minutes before your tee time. If your time is 8:00 AM, be on the tee at 7:55 ready to tee off.
- It is your responsibility to maintain the designated Pace of Play.
- 45 minutes or less for every three holes;
- 2 hours and 10 minutes or less for nine holes;
- 4 hours and 20 minutes or less for eighteen holes
- It is your responsibility to stay up with the group ahead of you, not the group behind you. During the final round of the 2012 U.S. Open Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell, playing in the last group, were warned about pace of play because they were out of position with the group ahead of them. The argument,”… we haven’t seen the group behind us so we are not holding anyone up” is not acceptable.
- The first time the Course Ranger has to advise a group that they have fallen behind the designated Pace of Play will be a courtesy. There will be one warning only per nine holes. He will ask everyone to make every effort and take all possible action to get back on time as quickly as possible. The second time he has to advise the group that they have fallen behind the designated Pace of Play he will ask all players in the group to pick up their golf balls and go to the next tee.During a par Point game, everyone should record a double bogey on the scorecard for the hole they vacated. Failure to vacate the hole will result in disqualification of the entire group. If disqualification occurs during a Par Point game, each player is still responsible for their $20 entry fee. Failure to pay the $20 entry fee for that day will require the MGA to recover the $20 entry fee for each player from previous money won and not yet paid or from future winnings.
- A few suggestions… If you can’t see the group ahead of you that is playing the same hole that you are, you are probably a SLOW FOURSOME. Remedy: You need to be on every tee box ready to hit when the group ahead of you has completed their second shot and are moving towards the green.
- If every week the group you are playing with is out of position and cannot maintain the designated Pace of Play, YOU are probably a SLOW PLAYER. Remedy: Slow play on the golf course is usually a habit that a golfer acquires over time. Or it’s the result of a golfer never having been taught proper golf etiquette. This means a slow golfer can usually be “cured” of his malady. Of course, that golfer has to be aware that he’s slow, and that’s where his fellow MGA members come into play. Helping slower players should be done in a positive constructive manner. If you take an honest look at yourself you may discover you are doing some of the same things to slow down play that you were complaining about others doing. Think about this. A study by golfdigest.com showed 57% of golfers rank their own pace of play as fast, while ranking 56% of other golfers as having a slow pace of play. REALLY!!! That’s a shock. It’s always the other player. If you can’t keep up with a foursome ahead of you that is playing the same hole that you are and you are only a threesome, more than one of you is probably a SLOW PLAYER. Remedy: Identify two of your playing partners that are slow. Quit after nine holes and go have a beer and see the remedy for #2.
- Maintaining the designated Pace of Play is not difficult if you pay attention to a few indicators. If the group ahead of you is walking off the green and you have not hit your tee ball you are out of position. If you can’t see the group ahead of you, you don’t need a ranger to tell you that you have fallen behind. A little common sense and a watch are all you need.
The starter will set the proper expectations by reviewing the designated Pace of Play established by the MGA. He will advise you that the ranger staff will be on the course to help assist you in maintaining your position.
The Course Ranger
The course ranger will advise you that you have fallen out of position with the group ahead of you or advise you that you have fallen behind the designated Pace of Play established by the MGA and you should make every effort and take all possible action to get back on time as quickly as possible.
The course ranger will advise you that you are still out of position with the group ahead of you or that you are still behind the designated Pace of Play established by the MGA. He will ask you all to pick up your golf balls and go to the next tee as directed by the MGA Board of Directors.