Pace of Play Policy

Golf is more enjoyable at a good pace, and that is no exception with what the NCCGA strives to provide for all tournaments. With a large disparity of scores at NCCGA tournaments, keeping a good pace requires rules and enforceable guidelines. NCCGA and course staff are responsible for all PoP enforcement and can issue penalties based on this policy. Beyond the rules that penalize slow play, it is the responsibility of all players to play a part in speeding up play. Contact rules@nccga.org with questions.

Group Guidelines – Out of Position

A group will be considered out of position by an NCCGA or course staff member if:

  • While on the tee of a par 3 the next group has cleared the next tee
  • While on the tee of a par 4 the next group has cleared the green
  • While on the tee of a par 5 the next group is on the green

Warning & Penalties

At the end of each 3-hole stretch after a group is deemed out of position, the following penalties are assessed at the end of the round if the group has not gotten back into position.*

  • Yellow Card – 1 stroke penalty
  • Red Card – 2 stroke penalty

Slow groups will initially receive a Yellow Card and if they fail to close the gap during the following 3-holes stretch. If the same group continues to fail to close the gap, they will receive subsequent Red Cards.

All Yellow and Red Card penalties can be avoided if a group turns in their score within 5 hours of teeing off. So even if you fall behind a speedy group in front of you, if you finish your round in a reasonable time, no penalty will be assessed.

*Lead groups in a starter’s time format will be penalized 1 stroke each if no public play is in front of their group and they fail to submit their card within the allotted time by the committee or at most 5 hours

Disqualification

NCCGA and course staff have the right to disqualify any group that makes no effort to improve pace of play. If at any point the group gets back into position, the penalty status returns back to a warning only. The next out of position notice will result in a Yellow Card.

Individual Golfer – Time Allotted per Shot

45 seconds per shot is the maximum amount of time a player can take upon setting his or her bag down. NCCGA and course staff may provide warnings and assess 1 stroke penalties for players who do not meet this timing, especially for groups where a single player is holding up the group pace.

Best Practices for all Groups

  • Play ready golf throughout the round
  • When a player completes a hole, he or she should proceed to the next tee to speed up play and reduce amount of time between holes
  • Players should always hit provisional balls if there is any possibility of an out of bounds or lost ball. Players in the group should remind a player to hit a provisional if there is any doubt
  • Leave your golf bag between the green and the next tee