Pace of Play Policy


Slow play frustrates golfers, spoils their game and causes operational problems for a busy club.
The CGC recognises the need to encourage a faster pace of play during competitions. A key aspect to achieving this goal is to communicate these expectations via a Pace of Play Policy (POPP). It is expected that the policy will find a balance point between unenjoyable slow play and unpleasant overly rushed play.

The CGC Match Committee would prefer that players acknowledge that the POPP is for the good of the majority of members enjoying their competition round, and adhere to the policy requirements. It is not the preferred option to discipline players, but those players who disregard the requirements are at risk of penalties and sanctions.

The Basics

  • Turn up on time – register at the Golf Shop at least 15 mins before your tee time
  • Be at the tee on time – 5 mins before your scheduled start
  • Concentrate on TWO TIME FACTORS throughout your round:
  • The Target Interval (TI) of 8 mins – this is the gap you should maintain as closely as possible with the group in front of you. This is the #1 priority
  • The Target Time (TT) for the round - 4h 15m
  • If your group is falling behind for any reason, take note of the tips at the end of this document and use them to speed up your play.


On the Tee: On or within 5m of the teeing ground concerned
Start of a hole:  A group has begun a hole when the first player in the group has hit their tee shot.
Commenced putting: A group is deemed to have commenced putting when the first stroke by a player on the green has been made.
Completion of a hole: A group has completed a hole if all players have holed out or picked up, and left the green concerned.
Time to complete round: The time to complete a round of 18 holes is measured by subtracting the published timesheet tee-off time from the time the group completes 18 holes.
Completion of a round is determined by the time the first scorecard from a group is entered into the Golf Shop scanner, or signed off in the MiClub App.
Target Time 4 hrs 15 mins is the target time for 18 holes at CGC. It is acknowledged that course conditions, walkers v carts, general fitness and competition format can all affect speed of play, but every effort should be made to achieve this target time.
Target Interval: The starting interval between groups is typically eight (8) minutes. This interval should be maintained throughout the round. Occasionally the interval may increase due to lost balls, poor play, course conditions, but every effort should be made to catch up to the group in front before they begin the following hole.

On target: A group is on the tee and the group in front has not completed the same hole (Par 3 or Par 4), or has not commenced putting on a Par 5

Behind target interval (8mins) or ‘out of position’: A group is teeing off on the 5th hole Par 4. The group in front has already left the green on that same hole. The slower group should endeavour to catch up and return to the Target Interval by the time they tee off on the 7th hole.

On the Clock: The time period during which a group has been identified as being OUTSIDE the Target Interval until they are WITHIN the Target Interval
Designated Official (DO): A Course Marshal, Match Committee Member, Director of Golf, General Manager or Golf Shop Assistant.


Commencement of a Competition Round

A player must be on the tee at, or before, their published timesheet tee-off time. If a player is in breach of this rule, and depending on the competition format, a 2-stroke penalty / deduction of 2 Stableford points / 2 minus points in par events / loss of hole in Match Play may be applied.

Furthermore, if a player is not on the tee within 5 minutes after their published timesheet tee-off time this player is disqualified, and will not be permitted to enter the competition at a later tee time.

A player may officially withdraw from a group any time before their published timesheet tee-off time. This must be done by the player, or the player’s representative, personally communicating this decision to the starter of the competition field. If a player has officially withdrawn, they are eligible to apply for another tee-off time if one is available. If a player has not officially withdrawn before their published tee-off time, that player is in breach of the POPP and will be penalized as such.

Re-commencement of a Competition Round After 9 Holes

The maximum recommended time for the break in play after completion of nine holes in a competition round is 6 minutes. It is the player’s responsibility to comply with this time limit. This time is measured as the interval between the group completing their ninth hole and the players being on the next tee for the re-commencement of play.

Target Time & Target Interval

The Target Time and Target Interval will determine the recommended pace of play. Whilst many factors can affect the pace of play eg: relative ability, health and fitness, type of competition, weather and playing conditions, all players in competition rounds should aim to finish within the Target Time.

A significant responsibility lies with early groups to ensure they ‘lead’ the field at a suitable pace to achieve the Target Time.

In addition, ALL groups should focus on maintaining the Target Interval. Lost balls, big hitters having to wait, and other factors may extend the interval at times.

All groups exceeding the Target Interval are deemed to be On the Clock and should make every effort to catch up quickly. (See Target Interval definition for an example)

Warnings, Penalties, and Appeals

We don’t want to penalise you… but we will if you fail to comply with the PoPP and your behaviour is affecting the enjoyment of other golfers. We hope to achieve a satisfactory pace of play by raising awareness and educating players.

The Match Committee and Designated Officials will use the MiClub timing software to monitor slow play. Marshals may be used on course when available, to monitor breaches of the POPP and to assist and advise groups on how to speed up their play.

Only a Designated Official (DO) can give a warning or apply a penalty. At no time will verbal or physical abuse towards a DO be tolerated. Any reported instance of this occurring will be investigated. The alleged offender will be contacted by the Match Committee to assess the incident and apply sanctions as appropriate.

The R&A Rules of Golf, Rule 5.6a states: “A player must not unreasonably delay play, either when playing a hole or between two holes”. Penalties apply.

When a Course Marshal is available, they may apply penalties immediately whilst on course if players fail to comply after receiving a warning and being advised that they are On the Clock.

The penalty for the first breach of Rule 5.6a is one penalty stroke and for a second breach, a general penalty (Loss of hole in match play, two-stroke penalty in stroke play). If a player breaches the Rule for a third time, he/she is disqualified.

However, because the CGC cannot afford to have marshals on course most of the time, this scenario is most likely to occur only in a major event. Most of the time, slow play will have to be dealt with using historical data from the MiClub system after players complete their rounds.

Implementation of Penalties

Stage 1 – First warning – Written notice to request co-operation and improvement of pace of play

Each player in any group that is identified as breaching either of the following will be advised in writing, notifying them of the details of their breach, and suggesting ways to improve their times by modifying their behaviour or the group’s behaviour.

  • Being out of position as per the Target Interval for more than two holes of play
  • Finishing a round 15 minutes or more longer than the total time recorded by the group ahead

NB: No notice will be issued if the group finishes within the appropriate Target Time.

Stage 2 – Second warning - Further Letter to Request Co-Operation

Any player who reoffends within a 12-week period will be sent a further letter stating the details and again requesting their co-operation to improve their group’s slow play.

The notice will also warn that further breaches may result in Stage 3 sanctions

Stage 3 – Report to Committee, Monitoring, Suspension, Timesheet Restrictions

If a player is again in breach within a further 12 weeks, they may be asked to attend a meeting with the Match Committee to explain their actions.
The Match Committee shall not impose any penalties until the Member has had the opportunity to discuss the issue. Failure to respond to the Committee’s request for a meeting within 14 days may result in a Stage 3 penalty automatically being applied.

Penalties may include any or all of the following:

  • The player may only be allocated the last timeslot on the am or pm timesheet for any period up to 12 weeks
  • The player may only be permitted to book on the timesheet restricted 24 hours before a round for any period up to 12 weeks

Following a Stage 3 Notice, the player will be placed on a 6-month probationary period. Two further offences in that time will be penalised in accordance with Stage 4

Stage 4 – Subsequent Offences, Report to Committee, Suspension

Where a player is identified as persistently breaching previous warnings and advice, the player will again be asked to meet with the Match Committee to provide explanation.

Stage 4 penalties may include any or all of the following:

  • The player may only be allocated the last timeslot on the am or pm timesheet for any period up to six months
  • The player may not be able to book on the timesheet until 24 hours before a round for a period up to six months
  • The player may be suspended for up to 3 months

At the Match Committee’s discretion, additional and extended suspensions may apply for multiple or consistent breaches.

Appeal Process

Any player who is sent a letter advising them of a breach of the PoPP may appeal to the Match Committee in writing if they believe they have a reasonable explanation for the breach.

Tips to Speed up Play


  • Do be at the club at least 15 minutes before your tee-time
  • Do be at the tee area 5 minutes before your tee-time
  • Do sort out scorecards, side games etc… BEFORE your tee time
  • Do let the ‘shorter hitters’ in the group tee off first when it is safe to do so
  • Do play ‘Ready Golf’ (except in match play where the honour on the tee, and furthest from hole applies)
  • Do move at a brisk pace between shots
  • Do watch ALL shots in your group, but locate your own ball before searching for other player’s balls.
  • Do play your own ball before searching for others a) if it is practical to do so and b) it is safe to do so
  • Do play a provisional ball if your ball may be lost or OOB
  • Do select your club and plan your shot whilst others are hitting
  • Do limit practice swings to one and pre-shot routines to a minimum
  • Do encourage players on incorrect fairways to play through if it is safe to do so
  • Do study the line, slope, grain for your putt whilst others putt out
  • Do putt out (do not mark and rest) unless it interferes with someone’s line
  • Do mark the card walking/driving to or at the next tee when others are teeing off
  • Do proceed to the next tee and tee off whilst your partners are still putting out if your group is falling behind
  • Do get in your cart after playing a shot and drive to the next tee or next shot before putting clubs back into your bag.
  • Do place your cart or buggy beside the green closest to the next tee
  • Do maintain constant awareness of the group in front of you – NOT the group behind you.
  • Do stay current with the Rules of Golf, especially those concerning out of bounds, lost balls, penalty areas, and taking relief


  • Don’t be late, but if you are, call the Golf Shop to advise
  • Don’t wait for a player who is late
  • Don’t have a long break in the Club house at half way; 6 minutes maximum
  • Don’t wait to tee off, once players are out of range, let the tee shot fly
  • Don’t partake in endless examinations of lines and borrows on the green
  • Don’t observe ‘the honour’ on the tee unless it will have no impact on the speed of play, or in Match Play
  • Don’t give lessons or instruction on course. Reserve that for a practice session. It’s a breach of the Rules anyway

OVERVIEW – Pace of Play Policy (PoPP) Effective 10th June 2023

The intent of the PoPP is to educate and inform players about managing the pace of play at the CGC. The Match Committee is hopeful there will be no need to issue Stage 3 & 4 penalties, however, they are prepared to do so if offenders make no effort to change their behaviour.

A link to the full Pace of Play Policy (PoPP) will be available on the CGC’s website, or players may request a printed copy if desired. All players should familiarise themselves with this document.

  • By paying a fee to enter any competition, a player is AUTOMATICALLY agreeing to comply with the PoPP
  • It is every player’s responsibility to maintain a good Pace of Play by keeping up with the group in front.
  • The Target Time is exactly that. A target. Whilst many factors may affect the speed of play, players must make every effort to aim for that time.
  • The Target Interval will become the #1 focus of the Match Committee in enforcing the PoPP. The easiest way to ensure that you comply is to KEEP UP WITH THE GROUP IN FRONT. If you can’t keep up, call those behind you to play through.
  • Start and finish times will be continuously monitored to ensure compliance
  • Be on time, but please advise the golf shop if you are delayed for any reason
  • Play Ready Golf and follow the Tips to Speed up Play in the PoPP
  • All penalty notices will be issued by the Match Committee
     - Stage 1 – First warning
     - Stage 2 – Second warning
     - Stage 3 – Restrictions to timesheet access
     - Stage 4 – Further restrictions to timesheet access and possible suspensions


Please do your part and help us to maintain a pace of play which allows everyone to enjoy their round.