Setting the Pace: The Basics


As a first or second year member of the AJGA, there are some  things that a player should know about the Association’s pace of play policy. Knowing,  understanding and utilizing this information will not only make it easier on  the player during the round; it will prevent any unnecessary stress or  confusion during a competitive round. 

First and foremost, there are six timing stations throughout  the course, signified by an AJGA Pace of Play sign at the tee of designated  holes. These are the locations on the course where your pace of play and  position on the golf course will be evaluated.

Volunteers will be stationed at each checkpoint to signal the  group by holding up a card, according to their position on the course. At the  timing station, it is the responsibility of the junior to know what color card  they receive. The results from the timing stations are as follows: 

  • Green  Card: the group is in position with the group ahead of them ORthey are playing under time par.  
  • Red Card: the group has fallen out of position ANDbehind time. 


  • Double  Red Card (one stroke penalty): the group is out of position and behind overall time par through that checkpoint AND did not make its required checkpoint-to-checkpoint time determined at the last timing station 
    • A double red card penalty is only issued if the  group goes through consecutive timing stations behind time, out of position and fails to achieve the time allotted from checkpoint to checkpoint. 


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...

As the second bullet point alludes, a red card is simply a  warning. At this point, players need to show an effort to regain their position and/or regain their time (all the AJGA asks is a minimum of 1 minute made up, which is 20 seconds per hole). If this is done, they will either regain their  green card or receive another warning. A penalty will not be issued unless the group has made no effort to improve after receiving a warning and thus has made no progress. 

Key phrases defined:
Time par – The amount of time in which the AJGA Tournament Committee expects all players to complete a round expressed on a per hole basis and an overall time for 18 holes.

Group’s position in relation to pace of play – The position of the group relative to the group in front of them determines a group’s position on the course. A group is out of position when they are more than 14 minutes behind the group in front of them.

Checkpoint to checkpoint time – The amount of time allowed for each group to complete play of the holes between consecutive checkpoints.