March 6, 2012

Setting the Pace: AJGA Time Par

Setting the Pace: AJGA Time Par is the first installment in the “Setting the Pace” educational series, meant to educate and inform parents and players about the AJGA’s pace of play  policy.

The foundation of the AJGA Pace of Play Policy is the overall  time par set by the AJGA Tournament Committee. Overall time par is the amount  of time in which the AJGA Tournament Committee expects all players to complete  a round. This will be expressed on a per hole basis and an overall time for 18  holes.
The AJGA Tournament Committee takes several factors into  consideration when setting time par at each course. Factors such as the  difficulty of each hole, the distance from green to tee, the overall terrain of  the golf course and the pace of play history of the golf course are taken into  account when overall time par is set. Other factors include weather, conditions  of competition, group size and format of play.
Prior to setting time par, the Committee times and records  the amount of time it takes to walk or take a shuttle from the green of the  hole just completed to the tee of the next hole to insure accuracy when setting  time par. Our time par is also tested by having AJGA staff play the course,  having confidence that if they can complete within the time par set, three to  four nationally competitive junior golfers can too.

Click for larger image

The scorecard above is an example of an overall time par breakdown for The Woodlands course at Chateau Elan. This example takes into consideration all the factors listed above.

When setting time par, the Committee starts with a base time  that is determined by the par of each hole. Once this base time is determined,  the other factors listed above are then accounted for, resulting in a time that  each hole could reasonably be played in. Once we have established a time for each hole, the addition of this time represents the overall time par for the golf course. The players are informed of the time par on the first tee by the starter and it is also located on their hole-location sheet which they receive  prior to the start of each round.


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... June 5

Throughout the round, an AJGA Rules Official will monitor the group's pace using a timing grid, such as this one. The time par grid  is an example of what each AJGA  rules official uses when assessing a groups position on the course. The  hole-by-hole breakdown of the overall time par from The Woodlands was used to create this time par grid.

Should you have any questions about how the AJGA sets an overall time par, or about the AJGA's Pace of Play program, please contact Tournament Coordinator Samantha Hirshberg at To learn more about the series and upcoming topics, check out the introductory article.


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