May 15, 2012

Setting the Pace: Rarity of the Double Red Card

In 2011 there were 2,532 red cards (warnings) issued. From those warnings, 9 of them resulted in a penalty. That means 0.003% of players who receive a warning on the golf course, wind up getting a penalty.

When the AJGA is evaluating a group that has been given a red card, we gather a lot of information and take all of it into consideration before making a decision. The data that is typically collected ranges from. but is not limited to:

·         Individual player shot times

·         The time the group takes to play the following holes

·         The amount of time that the group makes up during those holes

·         Were there any rulings with the group AFTER the warning was given?

o    The time(s) for that/those ruling(s)

·         Were there any lost balls/searches AFTER the warning was given?

o    The time(s) for that/those search(es)

·         Were there any other situations (outside of slow play) that held up the group?

The AJGA will then take all of this information into consideration at the next checkpoint, prior to assessing a penalty. For instance, if a group has made every effort to make-up time, but a full 5-minute search resulting in a lost ball, prevents them from being able to do so – that could result in an extension of a warning vs. issuing of a penalty. Similar results would come from instances with rulings and/or having to be tended to by the medic.

 Also, it is a common misconception that if a penalty is being assessed, the entire group must be penalized. If when taking player times, an individual player has consistent bad times (those over 45 seconds once it is that player’s turn to play) and the others in the group do not have any – then that penalty can be assessed to just THAT individual. Similarly, once a player has more than three bad times, he/she is subject to that penalty without question or inclusion of the rest of the group.

In order to be in question for a double red card the following must happen:

·         The group has been given a red card (warning) at a timing station

·         The group does not get back within time par by the next timing station

o    This would result in the group regaining green card status

·         The group does not get back in position with the group ahead of them by the next timing station

o    This would result in the group regaining green card status

·         The group does not make up at least one (1) minute total in relation to time par - This would result in the group remaining on a red card warning status


Setting the Pace:
The AJGA Pace of Play Policy

AJGA Time Par
The Basics
Tips to stay Green
Warning! I just recieved a red card.
I haven't seen the group behind me
How to play on red card
Why is this rules official following my group?
Walk with a purpose
Why should I walk ahead?
Play ready, be ready
Rarity of the Double Red
Undue Delay
Importance of Pace of Play
The survey says...

For more information on the AJGA's 'Setting the Pace' educational series, or the AJGA Pace of Play Policy, please contact Tournament Coordinator Samantha Hirshberg at

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