Pace of Play

The WDCGA is committed to making “Pace” a priority.  Our “Setting the Pace Together” initiative is a common-sense approach to improve pace of play which includes 4 major components:

The District believes everyone — PGA Golf Professionals, GCSAA Superintendents, WDCGA Tournament Administrators and Players — must collaborate in “Setting the Pace Together”.  Good pace of play is a shared responsibility and increases everyone’s enjoyment of the game.

Download the Pace of Play Card

Tips to Speed up Play

Be Prepared

  • Plan your shot before you get to your ball
  • Be ready to play when it is your turn

Be Efficient

  • Keep your pre-shot routine short
  • Aim to play in 20 seconds

Close the Gap

  • Keep up with the group in front of you


USGA – Pace of Play Resource Center

USGA – Understanding Pace of Play, Episode 1: Why Traffic Jams Occur

NBC LEARN – Science of Golf – How the USGA Determines Pace of Play

Player Behavior

To emphasize the conscientious Player Behavior component of the “Setting the Pace Together” model, the WDCGA has developed a Player Behavior Reminder Card and Pace Rally Towel. All WDCGA Members received both in 2016. The major themes include:

  • Be Aware
  • Be Prepared
  • Play Ready
  • Manage Your Golf Cart and Equipment
  • Help Your Fellow Golfers
  • Close the Gap

Course Setup

Practical and sensible Golf Course Set Up is the next vital step in our “Setting the Pace Together” model. We have tasked our WDCGA Club Representatives, Tournament Chairs and Team Captains to work closely with our Golf Professionals and Superintendents when setting up the golf course for District Tournaments and to consider the following:

  • Set up the golf course using the appropriate tees and yardages
  • Avoid difficult course conditions – high rough, excessive green speeds and difficult pin locations
  • Avoid long difficult par 3’s, drivable par 4’s and reachable par 5’s
  • Ensure the golf course is marked well – OB, hazards and ground under repair
  • Add signage to help with direction of play or location of tee markers
  • Anticipate bad weather and poor golf course conditions – move the tees up, shorten the course

Tournament Administration

Tournament Administration includes both organizing the tournament before play and administering the tournament the day of competition. We are again asking our Club Representatives, Chairs and Captains to collaborate with our Golf Professionals.

Pre-Tournament Preparation:

  • Pairings – to help with pace, avoid putting two deliberate players in the same group when possible
  • Tee time tournaments – send out a strong fast lead group to set the pace
  • Group size – threesomes when possible
  • Increase the tee time intervals to help with flow rate and cycle time.
  • Shotgun tournaments – avoid double stacking groups on any holes; double-stack only on par 5’s when absolutely necessary. Do not overcrowd the golf course.
  • Avoid cart path only and preferred lies when possible
  • Have Golf Pros indicate hole by hole completion times on scorecards when possible
  • Provide pin sheets when possible
  • Shotgun tournaments – make announcements 20 minutes ahead of start time. Players should be at their golf hole ready to play at the designated shotgun start time.

Tournament Play:

  • Use the WDCGA flag system – a non-confrontational method ensuring players are in their correct position on the golf course
  • Team Match Play – Captains utilize your players to help spot and monitor pace of play
  • Solicit volunteers to help with spotting
  • Collect scorecards immediately after play is finished
  • During stoke play tournaments implement the WDCGA Pace of Play Identification Procedures for slow players

WDCGA Pace of Play Identification Procedures for Slow Players

While 4 hours WDCGA Tournament rounds may be difficult to achieve, 5+ hour WDCGA Tournament rounds are unacceptable!

In 2017, we instituted a WDCGA Pace of Play Identification Procedure for slow players. This procedure is consistent with the Pace of Play policy in our Handbook. This procedure will be in effect during all stroke play tournaments.

Identification Procedure

    1. The Tournament Chair will identify any group of slow players as follows:
      1. Groups with 3 players who are out of position when completing their round and who exceed tournament playing time of 4 ½ hours.
      2. Groups with 4 players who are out of position when completing their round and who exceed tournament playing time of 5 hours.
    2. The Tournament Chair will send the names of all players in the slow group(s) to and (WDCGA officers).
      1. However, after evaluating tournament conditions if the Tournament Chair believes extenuating circumstances prevail (i.e. weather, health issue, cart malfunction, etc.) no names need to be forwarded to the WDCGA officers.
    3. One of the WDCGA officers will e-mail each player in the offending slow group to discuss the circumstance, evaluate the problems and continue the WDCGA pace of play education.
      1. In some cases, certain players in the group are not the cause of the poor pace of play. No action will be taken with respect to those players.
      2. Only those players who will have been identified as slow players will receive their first-strike.
    4. If a first-strike slow player is identified as playing slow in another tournament they will be subject to a second-strike and a two-stroke penalty in that tournament will be assessed immediately.
    5. The WDCGA officers reserve the right to draw out second-strike offender from oversubscribed tournaments in that calendar year.
    6. New 2017 Target Pace of Play Times
Par 3’s Par 4’s Par 5’s Total Time
Groups of 3 :12 :14 :16 4:12
Groups of 4 :13 :15 :17 4:30

Total Time assumes a Par 72 course with 4 par 3s, 4 par 5s and 10 par 4s.