March 6, 2012
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.
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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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the series and upcoming topics, check out the introductory article.