Pace of Play Guideline

Beginning with the 2012 season, the BVGC tournament committee instituted a pace of play guideline. The goal, based on overwhelming member comment, was to avoid the dreaded 5-1/2 and 6 hour tournament rounds that at times are too prevalent. Most affected were pairings toward the middle and end of the field.

In fairness to all competitors, each group needs to finish the front 9 holes no more than 13 minutes behind the group in front of them. For the back 9 holes, completed and signed scorecards need to be turned in to the tournament committee no more than 15 minutes after the group in front.

When pace of play monitoring is in effect, a clipboard with the teesheet for the event will be located at the Pro Shop counter. At the turn, one player from each group needs to go into the Pro Shop to write down the time. Failing to check in at the turn or failing to keep up with the group in front will result in a two stroke penalty for each member of the group. If an egregious gap is noticed where a group submits a scorecard 30 minutes or more behind the group in front will result in a six month late tee time prioritization for each member of the group. An enforcement notice will be sent via email whenever a penalty is assessed.

Enforcement is a delicate balancing act. Generally speaking, fast play tends to not be as important to later groups so rounds that creep mildly longer is expected and acceptable. Slow groups may want to request a later tee time to find a comfortable pace of play and round length. One undesirable side effect of a pace of play policy is what's called the "accordion effect" where some groups suddenly speed up and slow down. The Committee attempts to spot accordion situations by comparing check-in times at the turn with scorecard submission times. The only ultimate solution to maintaining pace of play is for every group to keep up with the group in front. Inevitably, the group with the gap in front is considered the culprit regardless of the situation.

Pace of play issues come and go. Whenever an enforcement action is is necessary it's no fun for anyone. The Commitee has the undesirable job of carrying out the enforcement. Players receiving the enforcement action are sore from the penalty. Players behind slow group(s) had to an endure a long round with lots of waiting. Please consider the overall situation whenever an enforcement notice is received.

Please read USGA's Tips and Suggestions for Improving Pace of Play for insights. Not all tips apply to our tournaments but generally speaking are good suggestions. Ready golf and having the first to putt out advance solo to the next tee are options to consider if agreeable to the group from an etiquette standpoint. Rushing is not a solution. Finding ways to be time efficient is ideal.