Player Policies

Pace of Play

AJGA Pace of Play Philosophy

Every golf course has its own rhythm and appropriate pace. This rhythm is expressed as an overall time to play the course and likewise for each individual hole.

The AJGA's goal is to establish an "overall time par " for each course we play, which is geared toward the ability of nationally-competitive junior golfers playing in threesomes or foursomes.

Stephen Hamblin on Pace of Play

How It Works

The AJGA will designate a minimum of six (6) holes on the course as timing checkpoints. Color-coded cards (green, single red or double red) will be shown indicating a group’s position on the course. The player is responsible to know which color cards are received at all checkpoint holes.

Related info: Factors used to determine overall time par

AJGA Pace of Play Overview

AJGA Pace of Play by the Numbers

Number of EventsRed Cards IssuedDouble Red Cards IssuedPace of Play Penalties IssuedUnreasonable Delay Penalties IssuedAverage Pace of Play

AJGA Pace of Play Guidelines

All players are responsible for ensuring the group follows the AJGA Pace of Play guidelines.

  • Each group is “on the clock” as soon as it plays from the teeing area on the first hole.
  • Play ready golf throughout the entire round.
  • The first player to hole out should go toward the next tee and be the first to tee off. The second player to finish should replace the flagstick.
  • When spotters or parents are present to search for a lost ball, players should continue playing and hold the group’s position on the golf course.
  • WALK WITH A PURPOSE between shots.
AJGA Pace of Play Tips

Overall Time Par

Overall time par is the amount of time in which the AJGA expects all players to complete a round. This is expressed on a per-hole basis and as an overall time for 18 holes. In part, time par is established with the understanding that more than 40 seconds to play a shot is excessive.

  • A group's time begins when the first member of the group has played a stroke from the teeing area.
  • Checkpoint times are measured when the flagstick is replaced in the hole or when all players have removed their balls from the hole.
  • The AJGA may adjust time par between tournament rounds.

Factors in Determining Time Par

The AJGA takes the following into consideration in creating a fair time par at each event:

  • Difficulty and length of course
  • Walks and shuttles between holes
  • AJGA Pace of Play history for course
  • Conditions of competition
AJGA Pace of Play - Time Par and the Card System

Out of Position

  • Groups are expected to maintain their position relative to the group immediately ahead at checkpoint holes. The AJGA expresses position in an established number of minutes. (i.e. 14 minutes is defined as 00:14:00:00)
  • “Out of position” is defined as: completion of the checkpoint hole in more than the established number of minutes. The first group(s) of the day is judged only against time par until they get into position with any group ahead of them.

Timing Cards


The green card (no penalty)
The group is in position AND/OR within overall time par through that checkpoint.

The single red card (warning)
The group is out of position AND behind overall time par through that checkpoint.

The double red card (subject to one-stroke penalty)
The group is out of position, behind overall time par through that checkpoint AND did not make its required checkpoint-to-checkpoint time determined at the last red card checkpoint.

Extending Single Red Cards

  • Groups playing on a single red card may extend the red card by gaining one-minute against time par between future checkpoint holes.
  • Groups receiving a red card at a checkpoint which immediately precedes their final hole must play the final hole without delay.
  • Timing will begin when the flagstick has been replaced or when all players in the preceding group have removed their balls from the hole.

Rescinding Red Cards

A single red card can be rescinded in two ways:

1. Group is in position with the group immediately ahead through the next checkpoint; or
2. Group is on or below overall time par through next checkpoint.

A double red card can be rescinded in two ways:
1. Group finishes the round in position with the group immediately ahead; or
2. Group finishes the round on or below overall time par.

  • If a group runs after receiving a double red card they forfeit the ability to have the double red card rescinded.

Penalties / Bad Times

  • Bad times: A player has recorded a bad time when they have taken in excess of 40 seconds to play a shot once it is their turn to play and there are no distractions. At each checkpoint, players with bad times will be notified. See “Unreasonable Delay” for further information regarding bad times.
  • Double red card: A one-stroke penalty may be assessed to each member in the group if the group receives a double red card. A player may be subject to a one-stroke penalty if they record a bad time(s) after the group has received a red card or double red card, regardless of if that card was rescinded.

*Penalty strokes are added to the hole where the first red card was received. Penalties will be verified in the scoring area by the AJGA.

Unreasonable Delay

  • If a player records two (2) bad times during the round, they will receive a one-stroke penalty for unreasonable delay. Players will be warned immediately after recording the first bad time.
  • The player will receive a two-stroke penalty if they record three (3) bad times and the player will be disqualified after four (4) bad times.

The AJGA reserves the right to adjust the Pace of Play Policy - Revised 2/5/2021