May 31, 2012

Setting the Pace: Importance of Pace of Play

AJGA uses six checkpoints, USGA and LPGA use four checkpoints and the PGA TOUR uses zero checkpoints.


The AJGA had an average pace of play in 2011 of 4:21 which would not have been possible without our Pace of Play system.  The importance of the Pace of Play system is seen and felt most at events with any type of weather, be it rain, cold temperatures or dangerously excessive heat.  These are the events where the players (parents, volunteers, staff, etc.) benefit most from quicker rounds.  Between 2010 and 2011 the AJGA shaved 10 minutes off the average round of golf played in threesomes.


Let’s see what this 10 minute difference can feel like for a player from Texas, where the average temperature last summer was a record-shattering 87 degrees and highs were regularly in the 100’s.  The player participated in their five allotted AJGA Open events for a total of 15 tournament rounds. Under our improved Pace of Play system this player was dismissed from the scorching heat for 150 minutes during the five events.


The benefits of the Pace of Play system are not just seen in the time saved from being on the golf course but also during each round.  Golfers at all levels, junior, college and professional, know that they play better when they’re able to get into a rhythm during the round.  Waiting on every shot due to a slow group ahead does not lend well to finding a rhythm.  Our Pace of Play system identifies slow groups and then gives them an opportunity to return to playing at the recommended pace without penalty.  Players behind the slow groups see the change in pace which takes them from waiting on each shot to getting back to a natural rhythm. 


Many studies have found that the longer you partake in a habit, the more it becomes ingrained in your lifestyle.  We hope the same applies to our young players and playing ready golf.  As these players grow and continue onto the next step in the golf career, it will be imperative that they continue to play ready golf during tournament rounds.  After all, finding their rhythm during rounds was probably a key factor in their success.

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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